Diet & Weight Magazine

Acceptance: Is There Acceptance in Recovery?

By Sobrfit3

Written by: Cathy Shuba

I was a member of a 12-step program when I first became sober. I was naive, scared and intimidated by others who were there before me or had many years of sobriety. I knew of no other recovery program except for the one I attended. Why do we not know of any other recovery programs? Why is the 12-step programs the only one advertised, promoted and talked about,…”Hey wait, I thought that was against their traditions to do so such a thing.    The 12-step programs are the only ones mentioned/promoted in Treatment centers, courtrooms, movies and made to make others think they are the  only way to become clean and sober? Why is 12-step programs the only options we are given or told about? Who chose that way of thinking? Who made us all feel it was the only way? All I can think of is MONEY that helps this happen.  Yet, no one will admit this because what will others think?  Yes, some of you die-hards will say it is because of the recovery ratio that proves that a 12-step program is better than any other,…yet there is no proof!  Where is the proof?  When asked about the proof no one can give it, not even the 12-step group’s main head quarters/offices.  Therefore, if you are offended by what I am saying maybe it is because you do not have a clue yourself but feel the need to defend the 12-steps regardless.  Ask yourself why you are defending something you have no clue or proof to show.  I feel it is the same behavior we demonstrated when we abused alcohol and drugs—denying your addiction and then defending it.  Recovery should not be an addiction, it should be a new way of life.

Why is it that majority of 12-step members become so defensive, rude, and obnoxious and out of line when someone who has a different opinion about how another becomes abstinent, sober, clean or whatever you want to call your recovery?   I thought the 12-steps taught tolerance, acceptance, self-confidence, compassion, love, understanding and everything else under the beautiful rainbow yet, 12-step members today become wolves with others who do not agree with the 12-step program thinking.  If more people practiced more of the positive energy that is suppose to be learned in a 12-step program,  I think there would be less defensiveness and more open-mindedness and acceptance.  When did we learn or told not to have our own views?  How does that happen, what causes us to loose sight of us and our thinking and our needs?  Why are we not allowed to have an opinion or feel the way we feel?  Well, I should say we are allowed—but if actually expressed what we see or feel about the program, we are thrown the words that demean, ridicule and condemn our thinking.  We are told we are not working the program, we are doomed, and in so many words but not directly—we are not good.  Where is the acceptance?  I do not see it.

Over the years while attending the 12-step programs, I have seen more control than sobriety.  I have seen more drunken logs than sober logs.  I have seen the 12-step program become more of a cult than a place to recover from an addiction.  I have seen more codependency of one another.  I see more fear.  I see more anger.  I see no serenity.  If I do see serenity it is those that feel like me but do not dare to admit their feelings about the 12 step program.  I see what I see because I choose to have my own mind without the 12-step claws holding me down.  The never-ending attempts of throwing slogans at me in order to see it their way or the highway type mentality.  Yes, slogans are wonderful only if used in a proper way and not with control or wrong motives to feed your own ego.  Too many times I have seen that happen to others and felt to myself if only they saw what I see they would put more energy in their own problems than with other people’s problems.  The old passive aggressive behavior comes out of the woodwork.  Where is the acceptance?  Why is it like this?  If a program teaches acceptance then why do they not practice it?  Why is there such a need to defend something that there is no proof anywhere they are better!  Ah, I think I just figured it out!  Could it be Superiority?  But, again isn’t that ego?  I do not see acceptance from 12-step members when they hear or know you are not part of their program thinking.  Who knows—all I know is that I attended a 12-step program in order to have sobriety but in the end of awareness to the program, I found my sobriety needed more and that is why I wrote my book “Drunk to Sober” for others to know there is MORE to have in one’s sobriety. I wrote in my book “Drunk to Sober” about the truth of what worked for me and then what no longer worked for me. After years of attending the 12-step programs and for those of you who are on the edge of leaving the 12-step program because I know so many today feel forced to attended either by law or family members take comfort and seek my book to learn more about how I have maintained my sobriety today. I have MORE because of it!

If the 12-step program works for you I think that is great!  I just needed more in my recovery.  Furthermore, I know after some who read this post today will become turned off, not buy my book and even talk behind my back or just simply think I am JEOPARDIZING a newcomer or CAUSE someone to loose their sobriety because of what I wrote.  I will reassure you I do not HAVE that much CONTROL over anyone’s choices or decisions on what they do in their recovery.  The truth is, if someone really wants to stay sober they will regardless of what is said to them or what they read.  I know I am proof of that today.

Today I will run knowing in my heart that I have allowed myself to be free from controlled thinking by writing this post and to let others know I no longer care if they accept me or not.  I am free, I am honest and I am sober!
Question is, are you willing to accept the way I feel or will I be corrected the way you think I should feel or think?

Here is two articles that are worth reading…

Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t work for everyone — and that’s OK

AA Dogma and why Rehabs fail…

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