Based upon being a student of the 12 Steps for over 10 years, I have come to believe that there are some things that need to be worked on by an addict or alcoholic who is seeking to turn their life around. These three areas need to be worked on at the same time and are not sequential like the 12 Steps are. And much like the Steps, being able to apply yourself to these key things will be much more likely to prove beneficial to you by having the the help of another human involved.
The first thing that needs immediate attention and improvement in the person recovering is self esteem. All addicts and alcoholics have serious self esteem issues and to not acknowledge that they have poor self esteem is part of the denial system, a function of the ego, and an attempt to not deal with the “inferiority complex” that lies within the individual. An addict or alcoholic has to learn how to authentically like himself/herself so they do not go back to self-abuse. They need to realize that they are worthy of a better life than they have been living.
Next, there needs to be put in place is a effective recovery program. Going to meetings, daily in the beginning, reading recovery material, getting a sponsor and working the steps is vital to an addict or alcoholic being able to transform their life. The support and comfort provided by the fellowship is absolutely crucial for the addict or alcoholic being to be able to transform their life. A recovery program has to be worked daily because the addiction was practiced daily. It’s how the new, better, life begins.
Also necessary for having a successful recovery program is for the person suffering to learn how to relax and as a result, lower stress and anxiety. Learning how to experience a deep state of relaxation through yoga, meditation or music, for example, will enable the person who is in misery to be more balanced and centered in life and as a result be much more likely to make more appropriate decisions. To have a good life is to be fully present and completely aware.
So again, in no particular order of importance- Self esteem. Action plan. Meditation.
You are worthy of a life that has quality relationships, significance and purpose. We all are worthy. Don’t think that you are the exception. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. Your relief will come by getting involved in a community that is based upon the faith of new life. The proven strategic action plan called the 12 Steps will provide the path to becoming who you were created to be- irregardless of how you think and feel right now.
I didn’t use to allow myself to feel because my emotions provoked uncomfortable thoughts of me being less than worthy of other people’s love for me. I got wasted when I could no longer tolerate my feelings. My thoughts were diluted and polluted so I needed clarity on what was confusing me. God granted me with enough serenity to accept things that I could not change; which are the people, places and things that used to upset me. Most importantly the courage to work through my fears and to not give up like I did in the past. That happened by daily prayer and meditation.
It’s been a long road with many lessons for me to build the needed confidence within myself to let love in and to let love flow out. Because of that, life has much more meaning and purpose than ever before. If you desire the needed self-confidence to love and be loved, it will come when you do daily a few simple things.