what can the 12-steps do for me?

People stop drinking and drugging for any number of reasons. Some even manage to stay stopped. In my opinion, the best way to gain continuous sobriety is to work the 12-steps.

But the steps didn’t help with my depression. I can’t say why, maybe because they weren’t designed to. Right now I’m taking medication for my depression. I wish I didn’t have to. Sometimes none of the options life presents us are very pleasant.

What I believe working the steps can do for me is keep me sober despite my depression. If I had $20 million bucks in the bank, maybe I could afford to do drugs to cope. (I think a huge windfall would do more to get me loaded, today, than any calamity could.) I have no resources to speak of though. If I ever hope to change that, I’ve got to stay sober. Maybe my depression will cooperate.

Either way, inebriation is a terrible choice for me and I’ve proven it repeatedly in my life.  As long as I remember that, I’ve got a chance.


2 Responses to “what can the 12-steps do for me?”

  1. 1 Ned February 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    I used to thank God for lottery tickets that didn’t win because if I had become a millionaire while I was out there, I’d be dead right now.

    You sound up-beat today. Maybe I should write more inflammatory posts ;)

    That wasn’t my intention, by the way. That just proves I’m not in charge.

    At least someone is reading my blog :D

  2. 2 Rob N. February 14, 2008 at 8:25 pm


    Success can be hard to handle for sure. Way back in the ’80s I went on a bender because I made the President’s List at school. Obviously, I thought, I was too smart to be an alcoholic!

    I think what you said is important. There are lots of people, smart people, hanging “around the program” that can’t stay sober for very long. Now me, when I’m using, I don’t want to be anywhere near a meeting or a step or anything else. But as we both know a lot of folks hang around, hoping I guess, to get it by osmosis. There are worse plans.

    I’ve left a lot of meetings pissed off. Mad at the members, mad at the program, mad at God, just plain mad. I can’t say for sure, because it’s been a lot of years now, but I was probably out of sorts when I got there. Meeting have never really been my thing. Whether that reflects my lack of (total) success over the years, I can’t say.

    I think what I really wanted to convey is that the meetings aren’t the program. There’s no “my” program and “your” program. There’s only “the program” and that’s the 12-steps – nothing less and nothing more. If someone doesn’t get “the spiritual part of the program” then they don’t get any of it because the entire program is spiritual. It’s all right there in the book.

    You’re a good writer and you’ve got a lot too say. I’ll always read you. I might not (always) agree with you, but that’s not important. It’s the ideas, the dialog that make this worth doing. It’s pretty cool.

    And yes, I feel much better today. One of my sponsors thought I was some kind of rapid-cycling bipolar. All I know is I’m nutty as a fruit cake. As long as I know that, I have a chance.

    Take care buddy …


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If you're interested in reading a fairly detailed account of addiction and depression, Cracked Head Memoirs might be for you. It basically tells how it was and what happened. Writing it helped me go from active addiction to recovery yet again.

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