7- Recovery Promises
The 12 Steps first of all provide us with a program of recovery from our addiction. But beyond that they offer tools to live a life exceeding our wildest dreams, a life in harmony with ourselves, others, and a God of our understanding. The Steps are often referred to as “a design for living that works”. Here is an overview of some of the recovery promises that can come true for us if we work this program of action.
We will accept our disease
We will not regret that we fell prey to the disease of addiction, but accept it for it led us to recovery through the 12 Steps – and a new and spiritual way of life. As our journey in recovery continues, we will see our relationship with our Higher Power grow richer and more rewarding. We will see that he has a plan for us that exceed all our expectations.
Neither will we want to forget that we suffered from addiction, for it will serve as a reminder of the miserable life we had — and be grateful for how much we have achieved through the grace of this program.
Our obsessions will be lifted
If we work the Steps to the best of our ability and are thorough and diligent about them, the results will amaze us. The compulsion to use drugs – even the desire to use them – will be lifted forever, a day at a time. Working Steps 1 and 2 makes this possible. In Step 1 we surrender and admit we have no power over our addiction, that we cannot think our way out of our problem – that we need a Power greater than ourselves to show us the way. In Step 2 we come to believe in our God who helps remove our obsession with drugs.
We will find recovery
Our disease will stay in remission on a daily basis and will recover from a diseased state of mind and body. As a result we will experience a new life free from our addiction.
We will no longer be slaves to drugs, doing things we never thought we’d ever do or becoming people we never thought we’d be. Nor do we need ever again find ourselves at the mercy of drugs, having them dictate how we live — and degrading ourselves to get them.
We will be free from the shackles of our addiction and be able to enjoy mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. We can finally become the people we were meant to be.
We will experience a new freedom
We will experience a new sense of security and freedom as old habits die away. We will not be obsessed with finding money to feed our drug habit, and we will not be running away from life or people. We have made amends to those we have harmed, made restitution to them, and can now hold our head up high. We become secure in the knowledge that no matter what life throws at us, we have the tools of the 12 Steps to help deal with it. All we need to do is apply their principles. Our thinking is improved and we once again can trust our instincts in deciding how to proceed, in any situation. Life is easier and we walk with a lighter step, knowing that we will never be given more than we can handle.
We will not feel less than or fear being labeled as addicts. We have a program today that helps us accept our reality and to value ourselves. Where once we spent whole days in isolation using drugs, now we suddenly find ourselves yearning for life – working towards that degree we wanted, working the job we liked, being the parent or the son we were meant to be. There’s money to pay for the bills because we haven’t spent it on drugs. People around us are happier because they don’t need to worry about where we are or whether we have stolen from them. We start to mature. We take responsibility and become confident. We are able to accept others and ourselves.
We will live a purpose driven life
Though work on the 12 Steps starts with an admission of powerlessness, we then gain an incredible power over our lives. We discover inner resources made possible through our conscious contact with our God, which help us deal with life calmly. Miracles start happening. We find ourselves capable of doing things others shy away from. We become determined. Having come close to throwing away our lives, we now live life with purpose and confidence. We find ourselves willing to carry the message of recovery to other addicts, wherever they may be – in prisons, in hospitals, and in other facilities. We no longer are afraid of going out in the world. In place of fear is a willingness to be of use to others.
We will no longer sit in self-pity, dreaming of how life could have been and bemoaning how unfairly fate has treated us. Instead, we will become useful members of our community. Each day our esteem for ourselves will grow as we reflect on the great changes in our life made possible by this program. We will be able to give ourselves credit for having the willingness and courage to break away from this disease, for facing reality, and for having the humility and diligence to work this rigorous spiritual program.
As we work the Steps and lose our obsession with drugs, we find ourselves interested in life again, interested in becoming part of humanity and re-joining the community of our fellows. We leave behind that destructive selfishness that made us do anything and forsake everyone to feed our addiction. This freedom enables us to experience life in its fullest and realize what it has to offer.
To our amazement, we find ourselves willing to join with others as equals – neither better than nor less than. We realize the world is not all about us. We are no longer greedy or selfish people, blind to the needs of others. We realize we are far from perfect, but instead are a work in progress, trying our best to move in the right direction – a day at a time.
We will forgive others and ourselves
We will learn how to forgive ourselves by accepting that our shameful behavior was the result of a disease over which we had no power. But now that we have taken responsibility and worked the Steps to right the wrongs we did, we are relieved of the guilt and shame that afflicted us. We will no longer be running away from others or ourselves.
We will be useful to others
Ironically, we will see how our horrific experience with this disease can benefit others. Seldom do normal people, or even professionals, understand why addicts behave the way they do. But in recovery, our experience of having been lost and then finding the way out can be a great help and inspiration to others suffering from addiction. The surest way to help a suffering addict is through our story of victory over our disease.
We will be in conscious contact with our God
Slowly, as we work this program, our trust in our Higher Power grows. We become secure in the knowledge that he is present and looking after us. We come to see that our God has always loved us and helped us, even more so during the days we were incapable of loving or caring for ourselves.
We feel serene and at peace in the knowledge that there is no problem too difficult to tackle, that our God will never give us more than we can handle. We will experience miracles as we journey in our recovery. The God of our understanding remains a real and active presence in our lives.