Over the years I got in the habit of asking certain questions when speaking with a client who had relapsed.
Have you been attending meetings?
Have you been working with a sponsor?
How many of the 12 Steps have you worked?
It never failed to amaze me how many times the answers were the same.
I haven’t been to a meeting in a while.
I never did find a sponsor.
4 or 5.
Over and over again I would hear the same (or very nearly the same) answers. There is no doubt in my mind, quality sobriety requires “working the program.” That is a phrase many people seemed confused by but I think it’s very simple—working the program is doing what the program says to do. By program I mean AA program as described in the Big Book (or other 12 Step Support Group). The key to healthy sobriety is attending meetings, working with a sponsor, and working the 12 Steps.
My question to you is have you worked all the 12 Steps? If you haven’t, I encourage you to get with your sponsor (you do have a sponsor don’t you?) and start working them right away. The 12 Steps are the path to healing. You can’t afford to avoid working them since you chance of relapse is much greater if you don’t work the 12 Steps.
One last word about the steps. They are not a magic formula that instantly give sobriety. You will have to work very hard for sobriety, but, the 12 Steps will help you work through resentments, character defects, and making amends to those you have hurt.