Why Relapse is Not a Sign of Failure

Many recovering addicts and alcoholics view relapse as synonymous with failure. We see it as a sign that we have learned nothing from our daily regimen of meetings, meditations, and calls to our sponsors. After spending weeks, months or even years working toward our spiritual development, one relapse sends us right back into our old…

Reading Guide for “Into Action”

In its fifth chapter (“How It Works”), Alcoholics Anonymous begins explaining the Twelve Steps in a fair amount of detail. Continuing this discussion, “Into Action” covers all of the remaining steps except for Step Twelve. You’ll want to read it in full, as there’s a lot of great information in here. But for those who’d…

Developing Open-Mindedness in Treatment

Many members of AA and NA define the three primary principles of recovery as honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of honesty and the origins of willingness. We have not, however, discussed the importance of opening one’s mind. And while willingness and open-mindedness may sound like similar concepts, they differ…

Learning How to Move Forward

One of the hardest things to overcome after years of addiction is our guilt. For quite some time, we remain convinced that our disease hurt no one but ourselves. Eventually, however, we come to realize that this isn’t quite true. In many cases, this realization leaves us devastated. Tortured by the pain of our own…

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Demi Lovato: A Recovery Role Model

It’s never easy to watch addiction or alcoholism take a life on the public stage. Celebrities such as Amy Winehouse and Heath Ledger pass away due to drinking or drug abuse, leaving tragedy in their wake. Fans wonder what untold wonders might have awaited us in the future if their beloved celebrity had lived. Grieving…

The Difference Between Acceptance and Complacency

If you suffer from addiction or alcoholism, then you’ve probably heard about the First Step. You know that many people say you must admit that you are powerless over drugs and alcohol in order to begin recovering. But many people shorten this step. The shortened version generally reads “admit that you’re an addict/alcoholic.” This can…

Showing Strength Through Vulnerability

Nobody wants to feel vulnerable. It’s hard to show others the chinks in our armor. In fact, it can even be quite difficult to admit the existence of these chinks to ourselves. But addiction recovery is an emotional experience. If we don’t process these emotions in a healthy manner, we just might relapse to escape…

Rebuilding Family Trust After Addiction

When we enter treatment, our families find that they feel quite relieved. They no longer wait up all night, wondering if we’ll make it home safe. They no longer fear that the neighbors will see us passed out on the porch because we were too wasted to remember how our house keys work. They don’t…

The Concept of Admission

When we take the First Step in AA or NA, there is usually a feeling of relief that follows. We come to realize that our former lives are full of moments in which we could have taken the right path, yet chose to discredit any that did not agree with us. This is often unacceptable…