It is at these meetings that addicts who are victims of various addictions meet, fellowship, and talk about their experiences in addiction and recovery in a forum called a meeting. This method works by employing a support system for one another. Rather than trying to get others who do not struggle with addiction to try to understand where they have been in their lives, and the difficulties they have with managing a life free of drugs, they find individuals who are dealing with similar life circumstances in recovery.
In 12-step programs, one of the first things an addict needs to do is obtain a sponsor. This is done by locating someone in the program who possesses characteristics that one also wishes to have. The sponsor will guide the addict through the program, and walk the addict through the twelve steps. A sponsor is not a therapist; however, they should be someone with enough life experience in recovery that they can give advice and suggestions to handle the adversity that arises in their sponsee’s life.
The 12-steps are a set of actions designed to help the addict grow and change in recovery. They require determining a higher power that the addict can pray to and draw strength from. A higher power does not have to be a religious figure, it just needs to be something that one can put faith in. A higher power is a source of strength that can instill hope in one’s life wherever one is.
After a higher power has been chosen, and the addict has faith in that higher power, another feature in the 12-steps is similar to purging of all wrongs they have committed by creating an inventory. They share that list with their sponsor. Next, they make a list of all people who they have done wrong to and have hurt in the process of their addiction; and with the guidance of a sponsor make amends to those people, being sure not to cause additional harm to themselves or others. They learn to be accountable for their daily actions in the tenth step, and in the eleventh step they improve their relationship with the higher power. The twelfth step is all about is mostly about spreading and giving back the recovery that has so freely been given to them.
This is just a brief overview of the 12-steps. The 12-steps are a thorough and spiritual journey that when executed properly can change the way a person thinks and feels about the world they live in. Some addicts claim that the 12-steps are a “magical” experience after completing just one set of steps. The 12-steps can transform one from being a broken addict into being a recovering addict with dignity and self-respect.
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