Addiction is a nasty bug and once it gets its hooks in you it refuses to let go. Add in the ego which thrives on weakness, and you have a lethal dose of insanity. As the genius Albert Einstein reminded us many moons ago, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Many people have the misconception that ego is full of confidence and direction but it is quite the contrary. Ego is an insecure little child who wants what he wants and will stop at nothing to claim the attention that he craves. Often, attention one never received in his formative years. This starvation reaches toward outer avenues to feed the hunger. The mind trains itself (fostered by ego) to think that if I take that drink, or have sex, or eat that hot fudge sundae, or purge, all my problems will go away. Any of you stuck in this cycle know that it is, once again, a trick of the mind and a temporary fix that only gets worse and more chaotic down the road. When you wake up from your inflicted numbing your problems are still there and you’ve only created more problems feeding your addiction. How much energy does it take to cover your tracks? How much chaos have you created along the way? How many loved ones have you hurt keeping up with your craving? How much hurt have you inflicted upon yourself? There is hope. All this energy put into feeding this monster can be redirected and geared toward healthy choices in your life.
It has been said that you remain stagnate at the age you were when you first started using your “drug.” Growth cannot, and will not, occur until you get clean and mature with the tools you need to recover and claim a healthier lifestyle. The first step is admitting you have a problem. That is when humility steps up and pushes ego aside. The second step is reaching out and asking for help. There are many rehabilitation facilities and programs to assist you in staying on your course to sobriety. The third step is staying on your course, one day at a time. There is a better life for you if you take these steps and stay with it. This I can promise you. Allow Spirit to guide you, step outside of yourself, have faith, and your hope will not be lost.
Below are the 12 steps followed by many programs dealing with addiction. The steps were developed by Sam Shoemaker and Bill Wilson, originally printed in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, back in 1939. It has saved more lives than can be counted.
The 12 Steps
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
- Step 8 – Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Step 9 – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
- Step 11 – Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
- Step 12 – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs