What about those 12 steps?

If you are thinking about getting assistance for harmful substance abuse or behavior, do you believe that the 12 steps is the only way out? Will you go, if that is your only choice?

Here are the frightening facts; only about 25%, that’s 1 in 4, people will get and stay substance abuse or behavior free by engaging in a 12-step program. What is even more frightening, are the enormous amount of people that don’t even try to change, because they believe that AA, NA, OA (all the A’s) are their only option. These people are dying or living in misery because they don’t know that they have choices.

Are you one of those people?

It’s pretty likely you are, or you know someone that is grappling with an unwanted behavior or experience of substance abuse.

There are a million reasons and theories as to why one experiences addiction. The dis-ease model (all the A’s), the disconnection and trauma theory, the physical addiction model, the coping mechanism theory; it seems that all of these models contain a piece of the puzzle, yet they don’t produce a completed picture. None of them are fail safe and fool proof. For example, not every person that ever tried any drug becomes addicted. Not every person that had a shitty childhood uses deviant behavior and drugs to cope.

So what happens when we find ourselves stuck in the middle of an addiction nightmare; the person staring out from the mirror is definitely not who we wanted to grow to be?

We are told that we are worthless, unmanageable and can’t make good choices. I know that I believed all of these things and more about myself. We are told that we have huge egos and character defects. We are told that we are diseased and that complete and total abstinence is the only way out.

Ugh! No wonder no one wants to stop, this is not at all enticing and keeps many a person engaged in the exact behavior they want to quit.

What if there really is another way? What if there are several other ways and you get to choose. What if you really are powerful and your life has meaning and purpose, you just haven’t quite been able to get clear on your mission? Yet.

The first thing I believe you have to do, is make a decision that you are finished with this particular way of living.

Next, reach out for support. It really is out there, you may have to look a bit, but hey, you’ve worked much harder for that next fix, haven’t you? Call your friends, family, a shelter, teacher or church member. Look for others that have what you want.

I found my true footing on my journey when I discovered the unique blend of yoga and learning powerful tools of communication with my body, emotions and soul. I learned how to question my own thoughts. I help my clients build solid, safe foundations before they can soar.

For some of you, your journey will be supported through a purpose at work, or education that you always wanted.

Spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation and/or yoga really, really work for many people, but they are not completely necessary. You can look back at some of the things that you loved to do as a child (swimming, art, sports, running, working out,animals) and find a renewed passion for your new life.

True Recovery is unique to each individual. Maybe you do find it in a 12-step program and that is wonderful. There is much good to be gleaned from these groups and friends to be made. I just want people to know that it’s not the only way and miss the boat because it appears to be the only one leaving the harbor. It’s not.

Maybe, your safe harbor will be found by climbing the mountain behind you.

If you are looking for support or just have questions, please call or email, Dr. Layne Linebaugh. My Personal Power sessions last about an hour and are always free.