Guide to Socializing at 12-Step Meetings

Socializing becomes rather difficult for some of us when we enter recovery. Perhaps we once excelled at making friends. But as substance abuse gradually took control over our lives, many of us lost touch with this particular skill set. We didn’t know how to meet people outside of bars. We shunned those in our lives…

How to Tell People You’re Entering Drug Treatment

When we first come to grips with alcoholism and addiction, we often find ourselves dreading the next step. We harbor many reservations about entering recovery, not all of them rational. Despite the ways in which our substance abuse caused us harm, it feels like a part of us. We may not yet feel ready to…

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…

Finding (and Using) Your Sponsor

When we enter recovery through AA or NA, everyone tells us the same thing—we need to find a sponsor. But finding a sponsor feels like a big deal. Where do we look? How do we know they’re right for us? What if we ask for their help and they turn us down? With all of…

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…

Reading Guide for ‘How It Works’

There are few chapters as important to Alcoholics Anonymous as the fifth chapter. Many of the chapters before it may lead to mixed interpretations, which have the potential to divide those who feel differently about them. But “How It Works” is often used in the context of recovery itself, and is even read in numerous…

Understanding and Practicing Step Six

It’s the first day of June, so it seems like the perfect time to continue our monthly tradition of covering each of the Twelve Steps. This month is naturally Step Six, a seemingly simple step that many people tend to misinterpret when not provided with the guidance of a decent sponsor. Step Six is a…

Undergoing a Spiritual Experience in Treatment

Every so often, you will see us make mention of a spiritual experience, or spiritual awakening. This is a phrase that you hear a lot in recovery. It shows up multiple times in AA literature, as well as in several of our articles. But while we have discussed its meaning on occasion (such as when…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 5

Our past articles on the Twelve Promises have not really tied into the Twelve Steps or Twelve Traditions for the assigned months. This month, however, is a little bit different. The Fifth Promise most certainly relates to the Fifth Tradition, and in a rather significant way. While Tradition Five is all about the need to…