Alcoholism is an insidious, generational disease. My son was swept away not only through his love of alcohol but prescription drugs as well. He was approximately three years clean and sober and seemed to be on a very good path. With alcoholism you never know when it might rear its ugly head. He relapsed a year ago but he is plugged into going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with a good sponsor. Leading up to his recovery four years ago was a very difficult time. He almost died a couple of times, was hospitalized several times, went through a twenty-eight days in-patient treatment twice, and along the way lost his marriage. He has since found and married a wonderful lady also in the AA program. God has had His hand on my son’s life. He has brought him from the brink many times and set his feet on dry ground. “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.” Psalm 40:2 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Recently, another family member had a short but catastrophic relapse. He had been sober for 29 months. Got drunk one night, totaled his car, got a DUI, and got his license taken away. All because of one bad decision. If you know of anyone that appears like they may have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs, please, please, please, find some help. For you especially. You cannot force the other person to get help until they’re ready. If they are a loved one, you may also need to reach out for support. If you are not familiar with the 12 step program, I have listed the 12 steps below. Actually, there really good for anybody!
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered recovery program which I also recommend. It is for anyone who has difficulties with a hurt, hang up, or habit. I was trained as a leader, but never had the opportunity to use the training. They are typically offered by local churches.
Because recovery is a lifelong process, there’s no wrong way to approach the 12 Steps as the participant tries to figure out what works best for their individual needs. In fact, most participants find that they will need to revisit some steps or even tackle more than one of the steps at a time.
Here are the 12 Steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
- Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.