When someone attends a 12 Step Recovery Group, one of the things we do is go around and introduce ourselves, “Hi, I’m Voni and I’m a recovering addict.” It doesn’t matter how long it’s been or that you’ve been in a state of recovery for 25+ years without any problems. This is what we say. This can be really confusing to those who aren’t familiar with the program, as it suggests that an individual is currently struggling even when they are in a state of recovery.
I would like to mention a couple things on recovery versus sobriety to help you understand just how important joining a 12 step program really is.
Sobriety is the act of quitting an addiction without going through a recovery program. You quit the addiction, however the behavior remains the same and so healing really never takes place. The reason the behavior doesn’t change is because the addiction is usually replaced with another addiction or a form of numbing. Numbing can take place in the form of food, gaming, social media, overworking, hobbies, and television. I’m certain there are other ways to numb too. Without getting proper help and going through a 12 step program, chances are far greater and probable for relapse.
In order to get to a place of recovery, it is necessary to go through the twelve step program. There’s a powerful spiritual element that can change a person in a way that only God and the Savior can do for us. The more I study the program, the more I know this to be true. It isn’t enough to go through the program and casually toss it aside during the week. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and complete the daily assignments. In order for a mighty change to take place in the heart, activity in the program must be done because one desires to change, not because a spouse or parent drags us there. Until then, we’re in a state of sobriety or relapse.
It’s also very important to have a mentor, counselor, or friend you can confide in as you work through the steps other than a spouse. It’s helpful to find someone who has been through the process, someone who will not hold judgement, can listen and holds space for empathy. Remember addiction thrives in secrecy.
Even with all the healing and continued healing that has taken place in my life, going through the 12 Step Program has continued to mend things I didn’t realize needed mending until going through the steps myself. I know the reason I came to a state of recovery with my sexual type addictions in my teenage years, without going through the program that is now available, was because of my continuous love and study of the gospel doctrines, the study of The Miracle of Forgiveness and getting help from others. Remember a study of the gospel will change behavior quicker than a study of the behavior will.
I would like to invite anyone who is in the state of sobriety to take the initiative to experience the incredible healing that takes place when one goes through the 12 step program. Pray for the desire to put your whole heart into it and allow God to make something more of your life. With the daily, continual help of the Savior, miracles will happen.