**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”.**
April 2014- Epilogue and Wrap Up
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.
Today our journey at looking at the promises of recovery comes to an end. If you have been with us for the whole year, or really more like 15 months, I hope you have learned from this series that recovery is not just something to be sought after out of necessity but rather a lifestyle that has much to offer in terms of a healthy and happy way of life along with escape from a sure death or life of misery. I thought it appropriate to wrap up the promises series with a quoted line from the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled Alcoholics Anonymous (the term “big book” is a pet name given to the basic AA text. The nickname pays homage to the bible which has long been referred to as the “big book”). The AA text states “Are these extravagant promises? We think not! They are being fulfilled amongst us. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, they will always materialize if we work for them.” What a great statement! My summary of this statement to follow will be just the opinion of one person and should not be confused as an official definition or description.
Extravagant. What a great word. It means exceeding what is reasonable, or, absurd. So the questions is asked and answered. Are these promises beyond reasonable? Well, contrary to what the average alcoholic or addict may think, not only are they not absurd but they are achieved by many in recovery every day! Hence, “we think not!”. These promises are being fulfilled in the lives of not only addicts and alcoholics but their family members as well. There is no timetable on the promises of recovery, they cannot be measured in a traditional sense and one cannot be told things like “after 6 months of sobriety or once this happens, you will achieve the promises”. People in recovery make mention of the promises ringing true after one completes their 8th step but the line “sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly” pokes holes in this theory. The one thing everyone can agree on is that this gifts will be received and these goals will be achieved if, and only if, the people in recovery are willing to do the work (12 steps, recovery principles) to achieve them. Once this happens a life of freedom and joy can be had by all!
How does treatment help with this subject? In two ways. First off, treatment exposes people to hands on, up close and personal ability to learn and work the 12 steps (provided it is a 12 step based program, of course) and therefore be on track to achieve these promises and treatment puts newly recovering people in constant contact with others who have been clean and who live these promises every day. What a great way to see what recovery has in store!
Be well and we will see you next month for the beginning of a new series.