Unwelcome situations and uncomfortable moments have been the bane of my existence for years. For some ghastly amount of time, I have created senseless difficulties in my life time and time again. Not that I personally enjoy encountering said issues, but because I never took a step back to identify the problems in my life that were reoccurring. “They” say that’s the definition of insanity right? Repeating something over and over again and expecting a different result to transpire. I’m absolutely guilty in that aspect. Unfortunately, many addicts like myself can’t just be told the stove is hot and to not touch it. My personal experience has always been scalding the palms of my hands countless times. Stubborn is an understatement for people like myself.Nothing was really going to change, until eventually I was shoved in the direction of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps therein and introduced to beginning of the end. A solution if you will, and it started with me.
Understanding the Roots
The 12 steps presented themselves with confusion and clarity if that possibly makes any sense. They are a guideline, an outline, a means to an end. It’s almost like a code that alcoholics and addicts of all sorts can live by. Really all that it came down to was that these were recommended and that if a drastic change in the manner of living was wanted, then applying these common “laws” would do so measurably. When the facts were broken down, my life was completely unmanageable and I was miserable.
As with most anything, you start with the beginning of the beginning. The first couple steps really break down into admitting there is an issue, identifying it, and implementing action. Then as you slowly start progressing through, it becomes more about learning to accept our daily tribulations and taking life on life’s terms. Submission. We are all the star actors in our own movie script- it’s just simply human nature. We want to be the deciders of what is to unfold in our plans for life. To our dismay, we must keep in mind that life rarely follows the blueprints we have laid out in advance. To be prepared and okay with life’s events as they come is truly a gift. Every single day of our lives, we will continue to come across situations that we have little to no control over. Matters that will affect us in one way or another, but we have no say as to the final result. Everybody and their mother experiences this at some point or another. The straightforward view is that either we can change our perspectives and acknowledge everything as it is delivered, or we can complain while we throw temper tantrums- hoping that our incessant yammering will make things better.
Usually this part of the 12 steps involves obtaining a higher power or a “God of your understanding” to help with the learning of acceptance. This is a very controversial subject for many but can be left up to interpretation. Without diving deep into this realm, just know that it is highly advised to have a spiritual connection of some sort. Having some entity or another to fall back on when we start preaching about how “unfair” life is. This is troubling for many. The actuality of it is that although this can be off putting, since it’s worked for so many others in recovery, the idea is to be open minded and give new things an opportunity. What’s the worst that can happen?
A New Way of Life Through the 12 Steps
Once we have actively started progressing on this new pathway, all these changes will start presenting themselves. We will begin to feel differently about ourselves and others. Our standpoint on life will embark positively in a way we would’ve never imagined. Things will become increasingly better. The objective things that haven’t changed, well, our newfound perspective on things will lessen the blows.
This feeling of ecstasy and “riding the pink cloud” will overcome. As these new emotions and joys start to overtake, we will continue to persevere onward with our course of action. After the first few parts, it becomes about rectifying our pasts. Nobody and no thing is ever too far gone to come back from. This having been said, we start to recognize the value of our lives and the ones we’ve touched. We start paying all our failures forward and righting our wrongs. Esteemable acts take hold, and being a giver rather than a taker becomes a new passion. Restitution, once in the right frame of mind, does wonders for others and for personal self-esteem. A feeling of not being completely hopeless takes hold. Let the butterflies dancing in our stomachs commence.
Having made it this far through our recovery guidelines, the only things left to do is to maintain and pass along the message. The last several stages are about recognizing the transformation and preserving the growth that one has worked so diligently to attain. It becomes a process of just keeping yourself in check and then delivering the message learned to somebody who is currently in the hopeless shoes you once were in. This plays into the esteemable acts and will continue to make us feel giddy from constantly helping others. Think of this whole circumstance as almost being reborn. We’re taking our old way of life, tossing it out the window and pretty much starting from scratch.
Putting the Breakdown into Play
This whole synopsis is fine and dandy, yes, but sometimes it can take a lot of courage to rise from the deepest depths of our souls and make a substantial change. This having been said, keep in mind that you are never alone. There are loads of kindred spirits who have struggled themselves and are here to help break things down even further. You can visit us at www.guardianiop.com to see the message more thoroughly and see what were about. Do not hesitate to call us at 855-517-1871 to have some questions answered and possibly start turning the wheels in the right direction.
Anna earned her Masters of Social Work at Barry University in Miami, FL in 2017 and completed her internship in co-occurring disorders. Anna has a Bachelors of Art in Religious Studies from Naropa University and is a certified yoga and meditation instructor. Anna has received specialized training in somatic counseling with an emphasis on body-centered psychotherapy.
Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery Network team.
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