Treatment and the 12 Promises:
**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”.**
September 2013- The 9th 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 extended 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.
The ninth “promise” (in quotations simply because that is not an official recovery term, rather a term of endearment used by the recovery community) discusses a recovering person’s attitude, affect, and outlook on their life and the lives of others, completely changing for the better. This may represent the most comprehensive of the promises because our attitude and outlook changing are what sets us up to live life on life’s terms and achieve success mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If you consider that an addict or alcoholic spends most of their time when using or drinking stuck in a constant state of the victim and self-centered thinking, an attitude shift is paramount to achieving not only success in recovery but in all areas of life as well. A person’s attitude and outlook drastically change how they see the world and sets their mind to the course of action they will take to respond to what they see. For an addict or alcoholic, this change is necessary to be able to get on board with how the rest of the world lives and functions.
Understand this, an addict or alcoholic sees the world through a distorted telescope. Everything that happens wrong in their lives is a terrible fate bestowed on them by a wicked parent, spouse, or police officer. Every achievement is an entitled certainty that more people should bestow upon them anyway. Every open door an opportunity for a free item, every smile threw their way an invitation to romance (or whatever you would call it). The addict or alcoholic in his or her addiction just does not see the world in the same work for reward, earn your keep, accept your consequences, and make a better life for yourself and others lens that most normal people do. This is a direct reflection on their attitude and outlook. Through recovery and a 12 step program, people begin to change. They begin to see things in the world through “God covered glasses” and don’t assume everything in the world is done to or for them. They see how important it is to find the positive in every situation and more importantly, see how they can help. You will be hard pressed to find a more helpful person than a recovering addict or alcoholic. They experience what we call a psychic change, and everything else changes as well.
How does treatment help with this “promise”? By teaching early recovering persons how to look for the positives in every situation. The development of a positive attitude and outlook can be taught, and by stressing the importance in looking for ways to help and to find their own part, people in early recovery can and will learn how to view the world differently. This, in turn, will lead to recovering people continuing to seek out better ways of thinking, seeing and doing on their own. A truly different attitude and outlook indeed!
Enjoy the fall weather and we will see you next month!