The other night I had the wonderful experience of helping one of our group members do his 5th Step. Step 5 is where you share the contents of your “Fearless written moral inventory” from Step 4. Step 4 is daunting and isn’t called “Fearless” for nothing. But it can be done and has been done by millions of people. I’ve done it. It was hard but totally worth it. Then comes Step 5 where you share that inventory with another addict who has done their 12 steps and will understand. I was super nervous to do my own and I was also nervous to do my first with another sponsee a number of years ago. But since then I’ve grown to absolutely love doing them!! They truly highlight God’s power to transform people — sometimes in an instant. It is a real life miracle right before your eyes.
I’ve always wondered what would happen and what I would do if I ever relapsed. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I can now answer that question. When I first went through the 12 steps almost 2 years ago I had such a miraculous spiritual transformation I was convinced I would never struggle again. And then I quickly realized that struggle was part of the human experience but as long as I stayed true to the maintenance steps I would struggle but with the help of God, not fall. I read that half of addicts struggle to gain full sobriety off and on for a number of years before finally finding recovery and staying recovered the rest of their lives. I was so thankful that wasn’t going to be me, or so I thought. Continue reading
One of the most important things I stress to new people who come to our 12 step program for the first time is to join our support group afterwards — you’ll make friends, you’ll be able to ask questions and get answers, you’ll get contact info, and be able to text or call each other throughout the week. Most importantly though, you’ll stop feeling alone because you’ll no longer be alone! Having our support group has made all of the difference in the world for each one of us. Continue reading
Last week was a difficult week for me. I was struggling with stress from work, the time I was spending with my recovery groups, time with family, time with church obligations, and on top of that I felt like I was not giving enough attention and effort to my relationship with my wife. I felt like I was crumbling underneath it all and not doing well in any one of them. I was beginning to feel self-pity, resentment, fear, and anger. I ignored it for a few days, but finally I found the humility to admit that I was once again powerless over this struggle and needed to reach out to someone immediately. Continue reading