**please note that all matter stated here is that of an independent writer and does not represent the River Source trying to re-define the promises, this is simply a look at how treatment uses the 12 promises and helps people achieve them. In support of that purpose, only a synopsis of each promise will be included every month. For a list of the 12 promises and the accurate/official definitions please contact AA world services or obtain a copy of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous”.**
January 2013- The 10th Promise
If you have been following this article series from its inception, you will recall we have covered treatment’s relationship with the 12 steps and the 12 principles. This year we will examine the 12 “promises” of recovery or what the recovering person and to an extent family, “wins” as a result of sobriety. These articles are independent of the previous year’s so no worries if you are just coming on board.
Thanks for baring with us for the holiday season articles. This month we get back to the promises and look forward to finishing the series at the end of March! The tenth “promise”(in quotations simply because that is not an official recovery term, rather an term of endearment used by the recovery community)discusses a recovering person’s fear of people and of economic instability or insecurity leaving them. This may be the most sought after of all the promises because it deals directly with some of the largest obstacles to achieving peace, serenity, and sobriety. Most people, after all, have fear of other people and have sometimes large amounts of financial insecurity. As with most thing in the emotional or physical world, addicts and alcoholics seem to experience these emotions ten fold. The key, then, is experiencing a relief from these “conditions” that will allow addicts/alcoholics the ability to live in harmony amongst their fellow peers.
Let’s examine these fears one at a time. First, the fear of people. Understand that when I say fear of people I really am not talking about fear of the physical nature of someone. Trust me, many addict/alcoholics are more than happy, especially when intoxicated, to engage in people physically. I mean in an emotional sense of the word. Fear of opening up to people, fear of being real with others, fear of trust, fear of intimacy, fear of love. See what I mean? These fears are far greater than any physical threat. Secondly, economic insecurity. Well this one is pretty straight up. Financial or economic insecurity is what it is. Addicts/alcoholics however seem to obsess on money they way they do drugs or alcohol. This makes sense if you look at the fact that for most people, money is needed to obtain their drug of choice. So the “promise” here is that if you engage and work a recovery program you will learn how to open up, how to trust, how to love and even how to be loved. You will no longer fear the world but embrace it and it’s possibilities. As for economic insecurity? Well, being sober doesn’t mean you will rich, it just means you won’t care as much. Your economic insecurity will be reduced to a normal size, if you will. You will learn to place value in life experiences and relationships, things that money may be able to buy, but can never help you connect with. In recovery you will learn to embrace life and except it’s challenges and learn to love the ride the whole way. What a great way to live life!
How does treatment help with this “promise”? By helping newly sober people begin to look at themselves and to trust others. The connection to others in treatment is life changing and often for the first time, newcomers to recovery are “forced” to open up and to connect with people in vulnerable ways they never previously would have. The excluded nature of a recovery treatment environment is one in which money or things holds no value, so people learn to rely on each other and their own internal justice system to build relationships and let go of fears and angers. Treatment is the best way to begin your life in recovery and your road to the promised goods!
Be well and we will see you next month!