Why do I need to work the 12 steps?

“We cannot put this strongly enough. Experience has shown us that we must be a part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender or see ourselves rightly… Without regular participation in a 12-step fellowship there seems to be no recovery.” — Sexaholics Anonymous White Book
 
“The first time that I went to a 12-step meeting I had some fear – fear that I might see someone I knew, fear that I wouldn’t know what to say, fear that I was going to be out of place. All of these feelings of anxiety pressed down hard on me, and caused me to ask, Do I really need to do this? But deep down I knew that I needed to go, and so I went…
 
That decision both to go and to participate has been one of the most significant actions that I have taken in my recovery.”  Steven Croshaw
 
 Many of us ask “why would it be so important to participate in 12-step?” The answer is found in listening to those who have truly worked the program. “For most of us, without associating in some way with other recovering individuals there is no lasting sobriety and none of the fringe benefits of recovery, growth, freedom, and joy” (Sexaholics Anonymous White Book). The best place to associate with others seeking recovery is in 12-step meetings. The measure of the commitment that I have to 12-step will be the measure of my sincere interest in lasting recovery.
 
12-step program provides a forum for openness which breaks the shame and secrecy surrounding the addiction. It provides specific rules and definitions of abstinence and sobriety that measure progress and recovery. It provides an environment of accountability where one can report on progress in the actions of recovery. It is an environment of support for others seeking recovery who share the same goals, openly express their own experience, strength, and hope which supports emotional and psychological needs. The basis of 12-step is recognizing that there is a power greater than myself that can and will help me if that is what I desire. The 12-step program can help to bring the individual to a greater understanding and closeness to such a higher power.
 
Most of all, “The program doesn’t tell [me] how to stop – [I] had done that a thousand and one times – it shows [me] how to keep from starting again. [I] had it backwards; before, [I] always wanted the therapist, spouse, or God to do the stopping for [me] – to fix [me]. Now [I] stop; and then in [my] surrender, the power of God becomes effective in [me].” — Sexaholics White Book
 
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