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Do we need to 12-step too?

Old 11-10-2010, 10:01 PM
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Do we need to 12-step too?

My mom has been an alcoholic all my life, never worked a program, never got clean. She's dying now as a result, and leaving behind my 13 year-old brother who's been wiping her ass for the past few years like I did as a child.

My boyfriend was an alcoholic/pain killer addict when I met him and did some pretty horrible stuff while using, even hurt me one night. Now he's clean 4 months, and after a much needed break from our relationship he's had an epiphany and knows 100% now that he wants to be together forever (didn't see that coming, I had begun the process of moving on). He really is taking his sobriety seriously though, and working really hard and claims he has no desire to even touch the stuff anymore after bottoming out the way he did...don't know if I should, but I believe him for some reason, and, well, that's a whole other post...

So, I've gone to alanon but I don't have a sponsor or anything. I guess what I'm wondering is how do WE recover? Do we have to work the same program they do? 12 steps and a sponsor? Especially those of us whose lives have been affected by addiction so heavily, and for so long... The steps seem like the most integral part of an addict's recovery but for us it's not so clear...
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:40 AM
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Hi Nicam. This is what I'm trying to work out too. What I understand is the twelve steps is a program we can work through Al-Anon and ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics). (I wish there was an ACoA program near where I live because it seems it may be a good fit for me. Is there one near you?). I go to Al-Anon when I can and I get a lot out of going to AA meetings too. I was surprised because I related to so much of what I heard in AA. There was part of me thinking, at least they know what's wrong with them and there's a way for them to recover, but what am I? I want to get better too, but where do I start? Then I started to realise, I have the spiritual malady too; the disappointments, resentments, frustrations, depression. I've never felt comfortable in my own skin. I feel hope when I go to AA because there are sober people there who have peace, serenity and happiness in their lives. I want some of what they have!

What I've realised is that alcohol is a symptom of a spiritual and emotional malady. This came home to me when I discovered the Laundry List on the ACoA site. It says something like, as children of alcoholics, we marry alcoholics, become alcoholics or both. It also says something like, we become para-alcoholics. We take on the characteristics of the alcoholic without picking up the drink. What an eye-opener! Adult Children have a big red book and workbook which you can order from the World Service Organisation. I haven't ordered it yet, but it sounds good. Other than that, all I can say is that I'm learning to love and accept myself where I am right now and I'm attempting to do nice things for myself.

It sounds like you're on the right track. You're here on SR and you're attending Al-Anon. Because I'm relatively new to 12 step recovery myself, I'm not sure what else to say except there are others on here who have a lot more recovery under their belts and I'm sure you'll (we'll) get some more insight into the process of recovery from their experiences and wisdom. Take care.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:53 AM
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Yes...

...in my opinion the answer is yes. In your short post it seems to me you kind of get it. You go to Al-Anon (I suggest going to many different meetings until you find ones that work for you), you get a sponsor, and you work the steps.

As to your boyfriend? It's your call based on what you know and what you are willing to risk. Al-anon will help you work through decisions like that. Ask me today and I'll tell you I'm very happy I took my wife back. Ask me tomorrow and I might tell you it was the worst decision I ever made. That said, I'm nearing the end of my rope and if she relapses again it may be the end.

Good luck!

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by nicam View Post
So, I've gone to alanon but I don't have a sponsor or anything. I guess what I'm wondering is how do WE recover? Do we have to work the same program they do? 12 steps and a sponsor? Especially those of us whose lives have been affected by addiction so heavily, and for so long... The steps seem like the most integral part of an addict's recovery but for us it's not so clear...
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:13 PM
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Yeah, I guess 12 steps couldn't hurt. My life really has become unmanageable, and like Floss said, we have the spiritual maladies of alcoholics, and I feel like a para-alcoholic too...

I'm afraid of relapse with my bf. Is relapse inevitable? What are the signs during recovery that someone is going to relapse? Maybe that's a whole new post...lol.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:22 PM
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Part of your recovery...q

...will be learning not to look for signs of relapse in him. That's his recovery. Al-Anon will be about your recovery. The way Al-Anon people relapse is by living a way we don't want to live, or continuing the behaviors we have come to realize are not making us happier people. These behaviors are often either codependant or controlling (both overtly and covertly).



Originally Posted by nicam View Post
Yeah, I guess 12 steps couldn't hurt. My life really has become unmanageable, and like Floss said, we have the spiritual maladies of alcoholics, and I feel like a para-alcoholic too...

I'm afraid of relapse with my bf. Is relapse inevitable? What are the signs during recovery that someone is going to relapse? Maybe that's a whole new post...lol.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:29 PM
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Short answer..yuip ..you need a 12 step program..work the program you wish they would.
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