The Journey of Recovery Begins with a Step

There are those who would argue that addiction is a choice, and not a disease. There are those who would tell you that it’s simply a matter of choosing to stop—they say an alcoholic can put the bottle down at any time, and simply walk in the other direction.

The people who speak these misguided statements have never been there. They’ve never awakened in a cold sweat at four o’clock in the morning, hands fumbling first for the light switch, then desperate to find the nearest bottle of something, anything to take the craving away.

Admit You Have a Problem

The very first step in the 12 Step program is to admit that you have a problem. Denial is the primary psychological symptom of addiction, so the first step is often the hardest.

But the problem is almost always the same: you can’t stop. Whether your poison of choice is booze, beer, or pills, you can’t seem to get away from the stuff. Not alone. Not without help.

Addicts need support. They need loving friends and family who know how to help them while protecting themselves. (Even though they’ve probably already endured some of the most awful, hateful, shameful behavior that one human being can inflict upon another.)

Embark on a Lifelong Journey

The road to recovery has no destination. Rather, it is a lifelong journey that for many of us begins when we stumble with uncertainty into a room filled with battle scarred veterans who know our pain, and who share and live their fight against addiction daily.

Strong coffee, light snacks and whispered, tearful confessions; but most of all, acceptance and love fill these meetings.

And once you show up alone and afraid, your life begins to change. The change is slow and subtle, but that’s how change has always been.

Effective recovery from addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in a group. You need the support of others. AA meetings are more than just meetings, they are things of terrible, fragile beauty. They’re beacons of hope. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to one, find your way home.

The road is so long and the journey is not one that’s meant to be taken in isolation.

Bring yourself, and we’ll bring the coffee. Let’s walk into a wonderful future together. You deserve it.

Author: Brian W. (Brian is a MD/PhD student who enjoys writing about health, science, and the ways it can improve your life.) Check Out Brian’s Website