Tag: AA

Is Drug Addiction Recovery Possible Without God?

Does Drug Addiction Recovery Require God?


So here is the thing. I just wrote a post giving atheists tips for recovery. So you might be suspecting that I, in fact, don’t believe that God needs to be involved in drug addiction recovery. Well, you would be wrong. I’ve just learned not to fight with atheists. The truth is if you work the steps of drug addiction recovery you will eventually believe in God. This is my experience and the experience of countless others.

Drug Abuse Can Only Be Solved Through a Spiritual Connection

Since AA first launched it was described as a spiritual approach to alcoholism and drug addiction recovery. It has proven time and time to be effective. People seeking drug addiction recovery have seen their lives blossom to incredible heights, many higher than if they never suffered from drug abuse in the first place. Many of these people did not believe in God or were not sure about God having a part in their drug addiction recovery. The gifts of this incredible program became so tremendous that the non-believers in drug addiction recovery looked back thought, “Wow there must be a God because this is amazing”.

Recovered Drug Abusers Who Don’t Believe in God Have an Ego Problem

Once your life has flipped turned upside down and is so amazing you are screaming from the roof tops, you will believe there is a God. If you don’t you are lying to yourself or you have the biggest ego on the planet and you need further help. Your drug addiction recovery program has produced the happiness you never dreamed you could find but you are such a control freak that you can’t admit maybe just maybe God had something to do with it? Your drug abuse was killing you and your family and today you have your own business, a wife a family and tons of money, but you really, really don’t think there is a God? At this point the non-believers are simply saying God had nothing to do with my drug addiction recovery, just to maintain their “Image”. If we could look inside their brain we would find God.

All Drug Addicts believe in God, They Just Don’t Know It Yet.

I believe that God has a plan for all of us and I did not believe this until I found the 12 steps of a drug addiction recovery program. His plan involves taking the drug abuse folks, taking the alcoholic peeps and using them to help others with their example. He uses us in this way whether we believe in him or not. So the non-believers actually do believe, they just don’t know it yet. But over time if they continue to work a program of drug addiction recovery God will seep in and eventually turn them on to him. They may never admit it or maybe they will. One chronic drug abuser named Jim T believed in Aliens, not god. Then one day after finally enough fantastic things occurred he finally agreed that God is real. So the answer after a long tirade is no, you don’t have to believe in God for drug addiction recovery to be possible, because he believes in you.

Drug Addiction Is a Family Disease

Drug Addiction Impacts the Entire Family

There’s no way around the fact that drug addiction is a family disease. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it affects more than just the addict alone. It’s often that people hear about what addiction does to the person abusing drugs or alcohol, such as how it affects their body, mind, and life. But how often does anyone really hear about just how much drug addiction impacts the people that are closest to that person?

Addiction is a family disease because it deeply affects all of the people closest to the person with the addiction. For this reason, it is incredibly important for parents, spouses, children, and anyone else who is close to get help and counseling for the addiction, and to be a part of the addict’s recovery treatment.

Understanding Drug Addiction as a Family Disease

Treating drug addiction as the family disease that it is plays a critical role in the recovery of the individual who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. When an individual goes into treatment for drug addiction, they should be able to work on each of the underlying issues that pushed them to initially abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place.

Part of working on the underlying issues of addiction involves taking a look at the family. Did any trauma occur? Is there any tension between the family? How has addiction impacted the family and altered the family dynamic? These are the types of questions that will be discussed with the individual who is receiving treatment as well as the family during family sessions.

Family sessions are offered by the best drug rehab centers. Individuals receiving treatment for drug addiction are typically encouraged to share with their family about their treatment and invite them to a family session where they can work together on any underlying problems that may exist with a team of addiction professionals. Family members are also encouraged to be part of the recovery process and support their loved one – but not enable them.

Getting Involved in Your Loved One’s Addiction Treatment

Most rehabilitation facilities like Lighthouse offer these family programs. These programs are designed to help families cope with the trauma that comes along with addiction. We always encourage family members to be a part of the addicts drug addiction treatment. It is strongly recommended that the family participate on family days in-person or via skype if a personal visit isn’t possible and that they seek their own support system through programs like Al Anon or through a family psychologist.

It is important to be involved in your loved-one’s treatment so that you can keep tabs on their progress and know what issues are coming up while they are in rehab. You will have the opportunity to speak to their counselor individually and as a group with the patient. As difficult as it may be, it is important to listen to what is going on, be patient, and always be supportive of the addict’s progress.

Seeking Your Own Support

You will need to realize that you have a long path of healing and repair in front of you, so use the time that the addict is in treatment as a time to focus on you. Al Anon and Nar Anon meetings are a great way for loved ones of alcoholics and addicts to get support. These programs are similar to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings except that they cater strictly to the people dealing with loved ones who are alcoholics and addicts.

This may even be a great time for you to begin visiting a therapist as well. They will be able to give you tools to cope with any trauma from the past and anxiety for the future. Remember, the stronger you can make yourself, the stronger you can be for the addict, but you always need to take care of you.

Addiction is a Family Disease But Recovery Can Bring Families Together

When recovery is tackled as a team, it can bring families closer together than they ever were prior to addiction.

While no one wants to go through addiction and everything that goes along with it, if there is any silver lining its that with the right support, intervention, and a caring professional team, families can all walk away from treatment knowing much more about one another, and most importantly how they can all help each other live the best drug and alcohol free lives they can.

Do you have a loved one in need of treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism? Now is the time to advocate for your loved one and get them the help they need to recovery. Call Lighthouse today at 1-866-308-2090.


Rebuilding from Addiction

Rebuilding After TreatmentRebuilding Addiction

With addiction comes loss. This loss can take shape in many ways – divorce, getting fired, losing custody of children, homelessness, and loss of self-worth, just to name a few. The first step in rebuilding from addiction is getting back on the right track is going to a treatment facility like Lighthouse Recovery Institute where you can detox in a supervised environment, focus on yourself, and learn how to live your life without depending on substances.

Inpatient rehab is a wonderful starting point, but there is still a lot that needs to be done after your stay is complete and you are ready to re-integrate into the real world. Chances are high that a path of destruction was left in your wake prior to rehab. Now is the time to make amends, fix what you can, and move on.

Start in Treatment

As addicts, we tend to have a very short-term way of thinking. Try to use the down time in rehab to start figuring out what your plan is once you are out. Most rehab centers offer assistance with legal matters, for example, so if you are dealing with anything such as a DUI or beyond, make sure the correct person knows and you can begin working on making things right as soon as possible. The same person can also help you to find doctors to follow up with upon leaving treatment, and sober living housing if that is an option for you.

Another important thing to make a firm decision on is where you will live once you leave treatment. If you are in a situation where you need to return to where you lived previously, then meeting with your therapist to discuss coping skills to prevent relapse is a good idea. If you can move, it is strongly suggested to live in a sober living environment to keep building up the strength of your sobriety. A change of scenery is always recommended, because if you go right back to where you were getting drunk or high chances are that you will begin engaging in those behaviors again

Build Your Army

After rehab, it is important to start building up your support system immediately. Speak to loved ones about your boundaries and how they can help you. If AA/NA meetings help you, go to a meeting the day you leave rehab and start building connections and finding a sponsor. The more sober, positive people you have in your life the more protected your sobriety will be. Cut ties with the people you used to drink and drug with, or at least keep them at arm’s length until you have all the tools you need to face them and say no if they offer alcohol or drugs to you.

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Rebuilding After AddictionGet Working!

Many people leave rehab jobless, and it is important to get back into the swing of things as soon as possible. Begin by putting yourself out there as soon as you can. Some rehabs will even let you hop on the computer in a supervised environment and begin job searching before you leave. Polish up your resume, get on job sites like Indeed.com and Careerbuilder.com and start going to local businesses in person to aggressively find work. Even if you are an ex-marketing exec handing their resume in at the local McDonald’s, remember that something is better than nothing, you need to re-start somewhere, and bigger and better jobs will come. With work comes responsibility and accountability, two things that are key in early sobriety to keep you on track.

The weeks and even months right out of rehab are an incredibly humbling time. Embrace it, learn from it and take it as a life lesson not to take things for granted. You have gone months, years, or decades getting through life with the crutch of your drug of choice, and no you are re-entering the world sober. Whatever comes your way, take it on with clear eyes, a calm heart, and the knowledge that you will be in a better place than you ever thought you could be.


Sponsors Now as Protected as Doctors in The Court of Law

New Law Protects Sponsors and Addicts

Anonymity is truly the cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without this time-honored convention, many addicts and alcoholics would not seek the treatment they so desperately need, for fear of social repercussions or discrimination from peers and employers. Let’s face it – addiction is still a highly stigmatized disease. Those who lack firsthand experience tend to condemn addicts and alcoholics as weak-willed delinquents, without truly attempting to understand the psychological and physical implications of the disease. However, the recent opiate epidemic that has absolutely confounded the nation has lead to an increased awareness, resulting in a more widespread understanding of the non-discriminatory and life-shattering nature of addiction. Perhaps this newfound cognizance has contributed to the development of a new law which gives AA sponsors the same protection as doctors and attorneys when it comes to testifying in civil court.

Anonymity is Protected – By Law

A new Washington state law aims to protect the anonymity of individuals who are in addiction recovery, hoping that taking anonymity more seriously will help provoke more struggling addicts to seek treatment. The bill passed the House with a total of 94 votes, receiving unanimous support from the Senate. While it was originally vetoed by Governor Jay Inslee, the legislature voted to override the veto and officially made SB 6498 into law. The main goal of this law is to protect men and women who are in recovery as well as their program sponsors, meaning that neither party can be called on in court to testify in civil proceedings. And while this law does not apply to criminal proceedings, it is certainly a big step in the direction of improved confidentiality for those involved in 12-step programs. The addict-sponsor relationship is finally being taken seriously, in other words.

sponsors and the law

Sponsors Now Protected in Court of Law

The confidentiality law previously covered doctors and their patients, as well as counselors, journalists, and attorneys and spouses. Now addicts and their sponsors are covered as well. What is a sponsor?

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The bill specifically defines the term ‘sponsor’ as “an individual who acts as a sponsor providing guidance, emotional support, and counseling in an individualized manner to a person participating in an alcohol or drug addiction recovery fellowship.” It is believed that eliminating pre-existing barriers to treatment, such as fear of exposure, will help more addicts and alcoholics to begin seeking the help they need. This bill will help those in recovery to speak openly with peer supports and designated sponsors, without fear of facing consequences.

There is much truth to the old AA adage, “secrets keep us sick”, and eliminating the risk of facing prosecution after the spilling the beans to a trusted mentor may help many more addicts maintain the long0term and fulfilled sobriety they deserve. There are many benefits to this law; above all else it represents one more great stride towards the national understanding of addiction as a faultless disease. For more information, please feel free to contact us at Lighthouse Recovery Institute today!

‘One Day at a Time’ – And Other Helpful Cliches

If you have ever been exposed to any 12-step program of addiction recovery, you have likely had the pleasure of hearing quite a few favored clichés. Long-time members of Alcoholics Anonymous readily share classics like “one day at a time”, “it works if you work it”, and “keep coming back” – but what do all of these sayings truly mean? Because we tend to hear these well-worn and incessantly recurring mottos on a near-daily basis, we sometimes brush them off, rarely taking the time to sit and consider how valuable they truly are. Let’s take a look at a few of the most commonly recalled adages, and try to identify the indispensable message of recovery in each.

Common and Meaningful AA Clichés

“One Day at a Time”

In early recovery (and frequently later down the line), the concept of a lifetime of total abstinence can seem a little overwhelming. For this reason, it is highly suggested that recovering alcoholics stay exclusively focused on maintaining sobriety ‘just for today’. Upon waking, it is suggested that we get on our knees and pray to God to help keep us sober over the course of the next 24 hours. Considering we have all of the tools necessary to make it through a 24-hour period unscathed, this amount of time seems entirely manageable. Old-timers also like to say, “Just drink tomorrow.” If we tell ourselves each day that we can drink tomorrow, tomorrow will never come. And eventually, as a greater amount of sober time is accumulated and the program is thoroughly worked, the desire to drink will dissipate entirely.

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

Self-deception is relatively common amongst addicts and alcoholics. We convince ourselves, while early on in our active addictions, that we have everything under control – that we can stop whenever we want, that we don’t really have a problem (if everyone else would just stop being so dramatic). We almost constantly go against our gut instinct, shutting out the moral and integral voice in our heads and our hearts that tells us what is right and what is wrong. One of the most beautiful gifts of sobriety is the self-awareness we begin to foster. We become more in-touch with our genuine selves than ever before, and we begin the rewarding and fulfilling process of authentic self-discovery. ‘To Thine Own Self Means’ true simply means trust your gut instinct – set boundaries, protect your own sobriety, and have fun learning to love who you are.

“Keep Coming Back”

The majority of long-standing AA members did not ‘get it right the first time’. You will hear many members admit that they were not “one white chip wonders” – meaning that relapse is a part of their stories. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is designed to be a safe place for those who are struggling to come and share and be greeted with nothing but support and understanding. It is important that you continue coming back to meetings when you stumble and fall – the compassionate fellowship members will pick you right back up, loving you until you learn to love yourself.

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“It Works If You Work It”

Essentially, this axiom simply means, “If you work the program of Alcoholics Anonymous thoroughly and honestly, it will undeniably, absolutely, without fail, work for you.” When people refer to ‘the program’ they are not necessarily only referring to the completion of the 12 steps. It is important to work the whole inclusive package – fellowship as much as possible, stay involved in service work, and begin to take others through the steps as soon as you’re able.

“Stick with the Winners”

Don’t hang out with the people who sit in the back of the meeting playing Candy Crush, laughing at the speaker and glamorizing their using days. Spend time with those who have prolonged and quality sobriety – those who have worked the steps with a sponsor, attend meetings on a regular basis, partake in service work, and are taking other men or women through the steps themselves. ‘Stick with the winners’ simply means spend your time with individuals you respect and admire – men and women with time, who are consistently doing the next right thing.

Don’t brush off these clichés next time you hear them – take into consideration the fact that each bears a meaningful message, and that they have survived the decades for a reason! Please feel free to share your favorite recovery cliché below… we look forward to reading your contribution!

A Social Worker Asked Why Gratitude Helps Alcoholics Stay Sober…What She Found is Amazing!

Active Gratitude = A Better Recovery

Dr. Amy Krentzman is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. She’s also fascinated with addiction recovery – so much so that she’s dedicated her professional life to studying it.

gratitude in addiction recovery

Before Dr. Krentzman joined the University of Minnesota and was interviewed in places like BBC News, she received a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. While there, she became enamored with the idea of positive psychology.

She even went as far as running a study to figure out how and why gratitude, as a form of positive psychology, worked so well for recovering alcoholics. Her reasoning?

“Recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous has always involved gratitude…substance abuse counselors also report encouraging gratitude and positive social engagement for their clients. But no one has done the research to back up the belief that these kinds of practices work” (The Minnesota Post).

Learn what positive psychology is, what she found out, and why gratitude helps people in recovery thrive below!

What is Positive Psychology?

Without going into an incredibly detailed and scientific explanation of positive psychology, it’s basically the study of positive mental health rather than negative mental health.

In her interview with The Minnesota Post, Dr. Krentzman uses the example of how more traditional psychology – “a focus on pathology” – can help someone move from a negative mental state to a neutral one. She goes on to explain that once someone is in this neutral mental state, positive psychology can be used to move into an upbeat and healthy mental state.

Makes sense to me!

Although the term positive psychology dates back to the 1950s, its practical application began in 1998. This was when Martin Seligman became President of the American Psychological Association and started a widespread movement to focus on positive mental health.

It’s important to note that positive psychology isn’t limited to gratitude or recovery from substance abuse. It’s an entire field of study that spans multiple areas.

Dr. Krentzman settled on gratitude because of her own interest in recovery. She notes in her Minnesota Post interview that, “Gratitude is a frequent topic in recovery circles and appears as a theme in Alcoholics Anonymous literature.”

So began her pilot study to learn why and how gratitude works for alcoholics.

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Why Does Gratitude Help Those in Recovery?

While Dr. Krentzman was getting her doctorate at the University of Michigan, she conducted a pretty interesting experiment to learn about gratitude in early recovery.

She took a group of people in treatment for alcoholism and divided them into two groups – the gratitude group and the normal group. She had members of the gratitude group do something called “the three good things” for two weeks. She had the normal group answer six “unrelated open-ended questions.”

The three good things is a positive psychology exercise where participants think of, predictably, three good things that have happened to them that day. They then reflect on why these things happened.

women smiling

So, what did she find? Well, those in the gratitude group “felt more calm, serene, peaceful, and at ease…[they] were less irritated, angry or upset. They reported a significant decrease in negative mood” (Minnesota Post).

Members of the normal group didn’t report doing negatively as a result of not practicing gratitude, but they certainly didn’t experience any of the positive results the gratitude group did.

Thanks to her study, Dr. Krentzman believe that gratitude helps keep alcoholics sober because it reinforces their sobriety. In fact, members of her gratitude group reported that practicing active gratitude reminded them they were on the right path.

While the exact scientific and biological reasons that positive psychology and gratitude help alcoholics stay sober remains unknown, you can’t argue that something very good happens when people – alcoholic or otherwise – practice gratitude. That’s something we can all celebrate!

Is AA the Only Way to Get Sober?

Is 12-Step Recovery Right For Me?

how to get sober

Although this question may seem simple, it isn’t. Trust me when I say entire books, entire libraries probably, have been written because of this seemingly innocuous question.

Is twelve-step recovery right for me? Is AA the only way to get sober? Do I have to believe in God? Is there another way? Why should I go to those meetings for the rest of my life?

There are literally hundreds more examples of these types of questions. I think you all get the point I’m trying to make though. It boils down to the age-old debate of “spiritual” recovery vs. “rational” recovery.

Fortunately for the entire world, I’ve figured out the answer! I kid, but with earnest intentions. As a man in long-term recovery from substance abuse, I do have some first-hand experience and insight to share.

So, join me as I breakdown the benefits and drawbacks of twelve-step recovery. Join me as I set out to answer, once and for all, whether AA is right for you!

SMART Recovery or AA – which is better?

Do I Have to Believe in Spiritual Principles?

The issue most people have with Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, et al. is their insistence that members rely on spiritual principles to live a sober life.

Introducing a Higher Power into the equation is a major sticking point for many people, addicted or not. When you take a hardheaded alcoholic or addict, though, and say they have to trust in God…well, naturally, tempers rise.

Based on my experience attempting to quit drinking and drugging, I can say with absolute confidence that a spiritual way of life isn’t hard to grasp. In fact, it’s been much simpler for me to implement and maintain spirituality than it has to keep a costly therapist or addiction specialist.

Now don’t get me wrong, therapy is a vital part of recovery from just about anything. What I’m saying is that the big deal most addicts make about a Higher Power is pretty out of proportion.

After all, it’s easier to say, “maybe there’s something out there that’ll help me” than it is to fight drugs and booze on our own. Speaking for myself, trying to stay sober on my own led to headaches, stress, angry outbursts, and back to the bottle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that AA, NA, and the like don’t require members to believe in anything. Don’t believe me? Google “atheist AA meetings” and see what comes up!

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Do I Have to Go to Meetings Forever?

Much like believing in a Higher Power, no one in a twelve-step fellowship will say you have to go to meetings forever. It’s suggested, but that’s it. A suggestion is just that – a suggestion and nothing more.

I’ve found that meetings become more valuable the longer I stay sober. They offer a safe haven from booze and drugs during early-sobriety, but down the road they offer something even greater. They offer me the chance to stay emotionally stable and on keel.

So, for me, meetings have become a source of serenity and healing. I’ll probably go to them forever because the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The benefits are seemingly endless. The drawbacks include having to drive all over and actually reach out to other human beings. When you think about it, those aren’t really even drawbacks!

The cool thing about twelve-step recovery is that you can go to meetings for awhile and then decide for yourself if you want to keep on going. There’s a saying in the rooms of recovery. It goes a little something like – take what you like and leave the rest. Maybe meetings are one of the things you’ll leave. I don’t recommend it, but hey, it’s 100% up to you.

Was this famous writer giving twelve-step advice?

Drawbacks of 12-Step Recovery

Okay, if believing in a Higher Power and going to meetings aren’t drawbacks (remember, they’re optional), then what are the drawbacks of twelve-step recovery?

Well, simply put, it’s uncomfortable. Being an active member of a twelve-step fellowship forces you to take a good long look at yourself. It forces you to challenge entrenched modes of thought and behavior that, quite frankly, are hard to change.

Twelve-step recovery is uncomfortable. It’s that simple. You have to reach out to another human being you don’t know (also known as getting a sponsor) and tell them your darkest secrets. It’s tough.

Then, down the road, you have to sponsor other people. While this isn’t directly uncomfortable (in fact, it’s actually pretty awesome!), it does take up time and interfere with your personal life.

Benefits of 12-Step Recovery

Those drawbacks didn’t sound too bad, right? Okay, yeah, you’re right. They sounded pretty bad! Well, there’s good news too!

The major benefit of twelve-step recovery is just as simple as the major drawback. Twelve-step recovery, if practiced like it’s laid out in the Big Book or the Basic Text, guarantees sobriety.

It’s not an if, and, or but situation. Twelve-step recovery will 100% keep you sober. It’s that simple. It also guarantees that the obsession to use drugs or drink alcohol is removed. Again, this is only if its practiced like recovery literature lays out.

is aa right for me

The price of 100% guaranteed sobriety is, as mentioned above, doing some uncomfortable things. Twelve-step recovery takes us out of our comfort zone and transports us to something much, much better. Still, it requires a period of intense discomfort.

So, to get back to the original question, is AA (NA, etc.) the only way to get sober? No. It’s the best though. It’s the only one that offers guaranteed sobriety.

Is twelve-step recovery right for you? Well, it depends. If taking direct and uncomfortable action, which results in sobriety, is right for you, then twelve-step recovery is right for you. If you’re not ready for that, then twelve-step recovery isn’t right for you.

It really is that simple.

Learn about comprehensive addiction treatment – the most inclusive way to get sober!

Can I Get Sober on My Phone?

Recovery on Your Phone?

Everyone’s on their phone 24/7. It’s a part of life. The sky’s blue, grass is green, penguins are the cutest animals, and smartphones are surgically attached to our hands. Them’s the facts.

For addicts though, our phones can be helpful with recovery. Not only can we call anyone, anytime, but we can also go online and read twelve-step literature. We can attend online meetings. We can reach out to treatment centers and recovery organizations. We can…use sobriety apps?

sobriety apps

What’s a sobriety app? Which sobriety apps are good? Should I have to pay for a sobriety app? Learn the answers to these questions and more! Let’s find out how to get plugged in to sobriety resources on our phones!

Should you take antidepressants in sobriety?

What’s a Sobriety App?

Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. A sobriety app is any app that helps with your sobriety! There are a ton of these. In fact, a quick Google search turns up pages upon pages upon pages of sobriety apps!

There are twelve-step based apps. These sobriety apps show you how many years, months, weeks, days, and minutes since your last drink or drug. They have the Big Book and Basic Text available to read. They have local meeting and intergroup locations, numbers, and addresses.

There are religious based apps. These have scripture and verses pertaining to addiction and recovery. They have church, synagogue, and mosque directories.
There are self-help sobriety apps. These have tips and tricks to help in recovery. They have links and contact information for non-twelve-step based groups and organizations.

There are about one million more sobriety apps! With so many different choices, how can we make sense of them all? Which apps are good and which apps aren’t? Let’s find out.

Some Good Sobriety Apps

12 Steps AA Companion

This app has a running sobriety calculator, the Big Book, AA intergroup directories, and meeting times. It also allows you to highlight and save passage of the Big Book for easy access.

This is my favorite sobriety app, hands down. I’ll admit, I’m a little biased though, ‘cause I downloaded it when it was free! Today, it costs between $1.99 and $2.99, depending on your phone.

AA Big Book and More

For those who don’t want to pay, there’s this app. AA Big Book and More has the Big Book, a sobriety calculator, and delivers daily motivational message.

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Sponsor Support

This neat app makes sure you’re always able to reach your sponsor. You can call and email your sponsor through the app. You can journal. You can keep AA meeting info (location, time, etc.). You can even keep track of your therapists/councilors. Oh, and Sponsor Support’s free. That’s a pretty sweet deal!

Friends of Jimmy

This is an NA sobriety app that has a sobriety calculator. It also offers A TON of slogans and motivational messages with cute graphics. Friends of Jimmy isn’t yet ready for download, though the site claims it’ll be coming out any day now.

One Day at a Time

This app offers the Big Book. It also has a sobriety calculator, but unlike other apps, let’s you compare your sober-time to friends. Think of it as a reminder to do the next right thing! One Day at a Time costs $1.99.

Lift – Daily Motivation

This app keeps you motivated. It’s easy for us addicts to start something, but finishing it? Well, that’s a bit harder. Enter your goal and when you complete it, Lift throws you a smartphone party! Lift is free.

Mindfulness Meditation

This app offers at-home (or on the go!) meditations. It allows you to pick the length of meditation and offers soothing, guided instruction. It also lets you share your personal meditations through social media. Mindfulness Meditation offers a free lite version.

iPromises Recovery Companion

This app is like a recovery calendar. It reminds you of meetings, appointments, and personal goals. It also has an out-of-town AA meeting directory. iPromises Recovery Companion is free, so get it while it’s hot!

Biblical Encouragement – Alcohol Addiction

This app has the bible. It offers recovery related passages and lets you highlight and save favorite verses. You can even share them with your friends and family through social media. Biblical Encouragement – Alcohol Addiction is .99 cents.

Why is ORT called “fake sobriety?”

An Alcoholic Breaks His Anonymity

Did He Break a Tradition?

breaking anonymity

Earlier this month, the Huffington Post published an essay by a recovering alcoholic. In this moving piece of writing, the author talks about his personal journey to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. He also touches on the lessons he’s learned through his eighteen years of sobriety.

Sounds awesome, right? Well it is! The essay’s an announcement of experience, strength, and hope. It’s a beacon of truth that we can all recover! Until, of course, you consider the fact that the author violated a cardinal tradition.

I’m talking about the eleventh tradition, which states “Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films” (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions).

Let’s examine both angles and see if we can fully unpack what’s really going on in this essay.

Speaking of controversy, what’s up with ORT?

Experience, Strength & Hope

First things first, the author (who I’ve chosen not to name) wrote a beautiful meditation on what the road to recovery is like. He touches on the insidious and destructive nature of alcoholism in a way we can all relate to.

He writes passages like, “Every alcoholic is an unwitting player acting out his or her part not in a tragic comedy, but in a comic tragedy,” and “From the first drink to my last alcoholic binge, I was chasing a solution that never quite worked.”

A solution that never quite worked! That’s a wonderful way to describe what drugs and alcohol do for us addicts and alcoholics.

Finally, the author attends a meeting and finds some hope. The rest of the essay is a reflection on his eighteen plus years of sobriety. As I mentioned above, it serves as a beacon of hope for the still sick and suffering alcoholic. It’s a cut and dry message that not only is sobriety possible, but it’s within the grasp of everyone.

That’s a priceless message. It’s certainly what I try to convey in my articles here. To offer hope to those who have none, to try and help a lost soul, is the primary purpose of AA. It’s the first thing that recovering alcoholics think about in the morning and the last thought before their heads hit the pillow.

So, it could be argued that the author was really carrying a message of hope, sobriety, and serenity. It could also be argued that he violated one of the most important traditions. In fact, that very argument has been unfolding in a small portion of the recovery community.

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Personal Anonymity

Before I get into the controversy this essay’s stirred up, let’s look at why the eleventh tradition is around to begin with.

The eleventh tradition, and anonymity in AA, has little to nothing to do with individual alcoholics. Many people think it exists to save men and women from disclosing a potentially embarrassing part of their life to friends, family, and coworkers. This simply isn’t the case.

11th tradition

Rather, the eleventh tradition exists to protect AA itself. It’s a way for Alcoholics Anonymous to avoid being torn down in the media via an unreliable spokesperson. It’s a way to avoid any one member gaining influence, ego, and fame. It’s a way for a society of recovering individuals to protect the very house they found shelter in.

So, when someone breaks this tradition, well, members of AA are usually pretty upset. Understandably so! When someone breaks their personal anonymity in the media, they open AA to attack and misinformation.

Here we reach the center of this recent recovery controversy. Is the author of the Huffington Post essay doing his job as a member of AA or is he disregarding the policies that govern his fellowship? Why didn’t he write in general terms, saying things like “twelve-step fellowships” and “the rooms of recovery?” Why did he explicitly attach a name, face, and personality to Alcoholics Anonymous?

Ultimately, these questions don’t have one answer. It’d be nice if they did, but, as with most aspects of recovery, they don’t. The answer is different for each individual. Some will view the author as a hero, offering hope to those struggling with chemicals. Others will view him as a villain, someone who unwittingly jeopardized the very group he claims to love.

What do you think? Let us know on social media!

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