Breaking Down the Serenity Prayer

We recently broke down the AA Preamble into separate parts, noting that it was important to understand the text which begins every AA meeting. But the Preamble doesn’t technically begin every meeting. Both AA and NA meetings generally start with the Serenity Prayer. Much like the Preamble, some just say the Serenity Prayer without really…

Reading Guide for ‘We Agnostics’

The target audience for “We Agnostics” is relatively easy to define. (aga7ta/Shutterstock) Groups such as AA and NA have many detractors, people who believe that they are religious organizations or even cults. This misconception extends to 12-based treatment centers, who are accused of brainwashing their patients rather than treating a disease. Those who make such…

Embracing the Eleventh Tradition

In this series, we’ve been trying to accomplish three things. First, we wanted to introduce newly recovering addicts and alcoholics to the Twelve Traditions. As for any readers with a bit of time under their belts, we wanted to provide them with a chance to reflect on these traditions and what they mean. This carried…

Embracing the Tenth Tradition

Many of the Twelve Traditions require a bit of metaphor in order to apply them in our everyday lives. This is because, unlike the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions pertain more to AA and NA groups than to the individuals who comprise their membership. But some of the Twelve Traditions, such as Tradition One, can…

The Twelve Concepts for World Service: Concept VIII

Throughout this series on AA’s Twelve Concepts for World Service, we often use metaphorical interpretation to explain how these concepts apply to our personal recovery. Sometimes, this requires a bit of outside-the-box thinking. In the case of Concept VIII, however, it’s actually quite easy. The metaphor is still there, as is the case with all…

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…

Tapping Into Your Emotions In Addiction Recovery

They say the good thing about sobriety is that you get your feelings back. Of course, the bad thing about sobriety is that you get your feelings back. Emotions are not bad in and of themselves, but they can be difficult to manage. This becomes even harder after years of self-medicating. We numb ourselves using…

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…

The Imaginary Stigma of Entering Recovery

The first time somebody suggests that we may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, we tend to get angry. We don’t like the suggestion that we might not be able to control our substance abuse. When people tell us that addiction is a disease, we might get even angrier. After all, who is anybody…