Is Alcoholics Anonymous right for you?
Committing to an inpatient alcohol recovery program is truly only the very first step on what will hopefully be a lifelong journey of addiction recovery. The main objective of residential recovery is to uproot all underlying causes of addiction in a safe, supportive, and secure environment. Working through past traumatic experience, unaddressed emotional issues, and detrimental personal beliefs can be exceptionally painful – however, doing so is absolutely necessary to long-term sobriety. Inpatient care provides newly sober addicts and alcoholics with a sheltered environment in which to undergo serious emotional healing.
Once all underlying, contributing factors have been adequately addressed, an individual will transition into a sober living facility – more commonly known as a halfway house. This is the beginning of what is known as ‘aftercare’. Aftercare essentially lasts for an indefinite period of time, considering the fact that alcoholism is a chronic relapsing brain disease and requires continuous care in order to stay in remission. Of course, one is not expected to live in a halfway house forever. In fact, halfway will typically only last for between 6 and 9 months. What are the other components of aftercare – the ones that do last a lifetime? There are several, but amongst these, Alcoholics Anonymous often proves to be the most vital by far.
Many newly sober alcoholics express contempt for AA prior to adequate investigation, based solely off of the frequent use of the word ‘God’. It is not uncommon for alcoholics to lose whatever pre-existing sense of faith they possessed over the course of their active addictions, experiencing physical pain and emotional agony that no ‘higher power’ would possibly assign to one of its alleged ‘children’. No way.
If there was a God, he or she or it had abandoned you long ago. Not to mention, any religious organization was out of the question as far as personal involvement. You had been to church when you were younger – you had experienced the wrath of an unforgiving and hateful Czar of the Heavens. Why would you willingly go back to that? As it so turns out, Alcoholics Anonymous is far from a religious organization. The main goal of the program itself is to help you develop a sense of spirituality, and come to rely on a power greater than yourself to keep you sober (because clearly, you cannot keep yourself sober – that has been repeatedly proven). This higher power could be the men and women who help you get sober (GOD = Group of Drunks), the ocean, an oak tree, or the karmic universe. It doesn’t matter, so long as it isn’t you.
While this is one of the biggest myths surrounding the 12-step program, there are many more to be debunked. Sadly, many of these myths prevent men and women who desperately need the help of a 12-step program from ever seeking it. Some believe that Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult, while others believe that calling alcoholism a disease is a disgrace to the medical community. In any case, this specific program of recovery has saved innumerable lives over the course of the past 80 years. Millions of men and women have recovered from an utterly hopeless state of mind and body, going on to live fulfilled, substance-free lives.
We at Maui Recovery incorporate the 12-steps of addiction recovery into our overall residential recovery program, based on decades of accumulated evidence and our own personal experience. We introduce our clients to the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, transport them to outside meetings on a regular basis, and often bring meetings into the residential facility. If you would like more information on the role AA plays in our specific program of recovery, please feel free to give us a call today. More information on the program of Alcoholics Anonymous can be found at http://www.aa-intergroup.org/.