I was talking to a friend the other day who has been struggling with addiction to prescription drugs and he mad a comment about the the 12 step group that I got sober in. It was something along the lines of ‘”why should I go and try to recover with a group of people who don’t behave the way they say they do and who treat anybody who isn’t just like them like crap?” I have to admit, I agree.
I think that I have seen a darker side of the recovery community because I am with a man who is a chronic relapser. I have seen horrifying behaviors from people who say they are trying to help other alcoholics get sober. Downright abusive behaviors actually. What bugs me about this the most is the hypocrisy. People don’t seem to remember what they used to be like and they put themselves on a pedestal just because they are sober. I actually had someone who is in recovery, come to my house in the middle of the night and go off on me about my boyfriends pill use. This guy was on pills too! In the past I would have just sat and let him continue, but thanks to the program of CODA I have learned to stand up for myself and put boundaries in place. So that only happened one time. The program of CODA is a whole other topic, which I will blog about in the future. But the point here is, the fact that I know that I couldn’t get sober and learn how to be happy on my own, anybody who is struggling in recovery needs support, not judgement, and definitely not abuse.
I don’t want to make it sound like people should not get sober this way, it has saved many lives and families. I think what people forget is that it is the spiritual principles that we learn in recovery that teach us how to be happy and how to be useful to others. If I am not practicing the principles, I have no business trying to help another alcoholic/addict/codependent. Once again I will bring up the importance of freeing ourselves from co-dependency. I had trouble helping people in the beginning because I had an agenda, I wanted people to look up to me, and I wanted to be able to take credit for another persons success. Needless to say that didn’t work very well. All over the place people in recovery are ‘helping’ others out of ego. The whole purpose of recovery is ego deflation! Maybe I should do a series on ego deflation and what that looks like. (comments and suggestions welcome.)
If anyone who is reading is new to recovery I would just say that from my experience, not everyone is a good teacher. Some will convince you that their life is awesome and they have all the answers, but if you look a little closer they are still ego-maniacs putting on a show. Then again there are the people who are awesome and who I really respect because they make an honest effort to practice self-love and love for others who are struggling. Just don’t be afraid of having a mind of your own and don’t fall into the trap of half-assed recovery, I have been there and I make no claims of being perfect, but just abstaining is miserable. If you happen to have some time in your own recovering community and you notice a lack of unity. Don’t ignore it, unity is so important I have talked to a lot of new people who don’t feel comfortable or welcome because a lot of ‘old timers’ have not experienced true ego-deflation.
A teachers job is not to run you life, they are supposed to help empower you to live your own life!
I owe my life to the 12 steps, and I still feel a sense of responsibility to people who are struggling with similar issues I found this site to be very interesting, http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/03/24/the-problem-with-12-step-plans/
Another site I found which may be helpful to anyone struggling with the 12 step concept http://donewithaa.wordpress.com/what-then-if-not-aa/