Recovery Beyond The Twelve Steps

I would like to hear other peoples experiences with recovery and how it has unfolded for them. I will tell you a little bit about my own. Today I do drink on occassion and I still do consider myself to be in recovery, although I do not use any drugs anymore. My clean birthday was in, 2003 and I remained abstinent from all illicit drugs and alcohol for just over six and a half years. My fellowship of choice was Narcotics Anonymous although I did attend AA meetings as well. I will always be grateful for the NA fellowship for allowing me to discover who I am and helping me to find my new life, even if I do not wholeheartedly believe with twelve step philosophy of addiction today.

I started studying addictions at university after being clean for over three years. The first two years of my study I focused a lot on twelve step recovery and I was attending meetings faithfully during those two years. At the start of my third year, I continued my studies at a different school and was exposed to some different takes on life. I really became interested in the eastern traditions and their take on life. And I started to see the label of "addict" as hindrance, rather than as helping me in life. At meetings, I would stop announcing myself as an addict and started to say my name and that today I choose not to use. This was not viewed as acceptable my many of the members. After a while, I decided to stop going to meetings for around four months and then eventually started going again for about two months when I made the decison to have a few drinks. Some people will say that it was my disease that made choose to drink again and that I am doomed to destroy my life with alcohol and drugs in the future. To date, I still have drinks occassionally and am happy with my life. The reason I decided to drink again was to kill the twelve step part of my life. I no longer felt genuine when I sat in the meetings and shared. It did not feel real to me so I drank to leave that part of my life behind and continue on with my own journey.

Today I work as an addictions counsellor and suggest that many of the people I work with attend meetings that they not use any drugs or alcohol. In the beginning, I still believe that the twelve steps are amongst the best programs availible to people wanting to make changes in their life. At the same time; they are not for everybody and there is no "one" way to recovery. I never forsaw myself leaving meetings, but that is how my story goes, and it does not mean that this is how anyone elses recovery should progress. I am happy with how my life is unfolding and I hope that people reading this are happy with their own lives as well. In passing, I would just like to say be true to yourself and seek your own truth. Peace and respect to everyone.
lifeisanillusion lifeisanillusion
31-35, M
1 Response Nov 7, 2010

I am actually going back to the twelve step fellowships. Peace and respect all.