A great place to find online support groups, believe it or not, is Facebook. Usually these groups are closed or secret, which means that only group members can view anything posted there. The group’s postings will show up in your news feed, but it is only visible to you and the members of the group, not by anyone on your friend’s list (unless, of course, they are also in the group).
How do you become a member? Another member already in the group must add you, so your best bet is to post a message that asks your friends to please add you to any recovery groups they are involved in. If that does not work, you may send me a friend request (Cindy Clark Riemersma), I will accept and will add you to any group I am in, once you let me know you would like to be added. I belong to about 10 or 12 of these recovery groups. By the way, I also belong to a group called Breaking the Cycle that is for survivors of abuse, if anyone is interested.
One of the groups I am a member of, and in my personal opinion, one of the best of the bunch, is called Relapse Prevention. There is a lot of good recovery there and a little joking around for fun. There are also many documents regarding recovery that the founder, Mike Vedovat, has posted. One such document contained the 12 steps in a simplified form. I originally thought that Mike had written this version and wanted to get his okay to post it on my blog before I did so. I have recently learned that he did not write these simplified steps and that he does not know who did, but Mike strongly encouraged me to post them for all to see.
If you are in recovery and follow a 12 step program, then you may get a kick out of this. If you are not, but always wondered what the 12 steps are and how they could possibly help someone in the razor-sharp grip of the talons of addiction, this just may clear it up for you. Believe me, these steps are crucial to the healing and growing process that we gain within our recovery. They take time and they take hard work. And every step is important.
Step One—There’s a power that will kill me.
Step Two—There’s a power that wants me to live.
Step Three—Which do I want? (If you want to die, stop here. If you want to live, go on.)
Step Four—Using examples from your own life, understand that selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear control your actions.
Step Five—Tell all your private, embarrassing secrets to another person.
Step Six—Decide whether or not you want to live that way anymore.
Step Seven—If you want your life to change, ask a power greater than yourself to change it for you. (If you could have changed it yourself, you would have long ago.)
Step Eight—Figure out how to make right all the things you did wrong.
Step Nine—Fix what you can without causing more trouble in the process.
Step Ten—Understand that making mistakes is part of being human (When you make a mistake, fix it, immediately if you can.)
Step Eleven—Ask for help to treat yourself and others the way you want your higher power to treat you.
Step Twelve—Don’t stop doing 1 through 11, and Pass It On!!
As you can see in step 12, once you have made it through each one, you are not done, you are not cured, and you do not graduate. You continue working the steps, pass them on to others who are recovering, and understand that where drugs/alcohol/gambling/eating/etc. were your way of life, now recovery is your way of life. You must follow this program for the rest of your life. It is, what addicts like to call, a solution. The solution. And for those who stick with it, recovery is ongoing and so much can and will be restored to you.
It is not just our minds and bodies that have been wrecked. It is our relationships with family and friends; it is our financial history, credit history, criminal history, and over all reputation that is part of the damage. During active addiction, we have proven to be untrustworthy, unreliable, and unwanted for things such as jobs, apartments, and bank accounts. It is through the work of the steps that we begin to cut out our self-inflicted cancer and begin to build all things healthy. The steps for us, are literally the ladder out of our hole.
My hope in posting this is that those who are in recovery can see how simple the steps really are, and those who know people in recovery may gain a new level of respect for the work that goes into our solution.
- Reflections of a Recovering Addict, #9 (onemindmanydetours.wordpress.com)
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