If you’ve made a decision to get clean and have found 12 step meetings to attend you might have heard the statement stick to the basics. This is the very best advice I could offer anyone who wants to get and stay clean.
What are the basics? Well in recovery there are no rules but there are a few suggestions that I was strongly advised to take if I wanted to stay clean. These are:
A) Get a sponsor
B) Find a home group
C) Work the steps with that sponsor
D) Build a support group among people who have sobriety
E) Read the literature of whatever 12 step recovery group you choose to go to.
F) Take a service commitment (coffee maker, greater, etc…)
I needed to build a strong foundation on which to build a sober clean life so I did them all.
Each of these things is so important to my sobriety and has always been. Finding a sponsor to guide me along the path to a clean life was important because I had no idea what I was doing. She worked the steps with me and showed me what she had done to stay clean. She also shared her experiences with me which showed me I wasn’t alone and that other people had done the same things I did and sometimes worse. I built a trust with her that I hadn’t had with anyone in a very long time. She also gave me different perspectives on events in my life that I could only see through my tunnel vision, that everything wasn’t everyone else’s fault. She showed me how I was responsible for my life, this allowed me to not be a victim anymore. I could take control of my life and with God’s help more toward a better clean life.
Finding a home group, joining it and taking on a commitment allowed me to become a “part of”. It gave me the opportunity to take an active role in my recovery and made me accountable to others every week. If I wasn’t there people would call to find out why. Accountability is huge in my life. It also taught me to be responsible and to show up every week as I said I would. It was my first acts of responsibility in years and years. It helped me to start growing up and becoming a woman of my word. If I said I would be there every week to greet or make coffee I was there every single week.
Reading the literature for the 12 step recovery fellowship I became a part of helped me to understand many many things … first and foremost that I was a sick person not a bad one and how to get and stay clean. Our literature is very simple but requires willingness to learn about who and what we are and what I can do to recover. It’s my text book on how to get clean. I stay in the literature and try to remain teachable always.
If I stick to the basics always I never have to go back to them … It works IF you work it.
Picture By kelsey_lovefusionphoto