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As with any new practice, consistent participation in 12-step programs gradually and methodically builds new neural networks.Every sober foray into a situation you used to get high for — first date, party, being alone and lonely — strengthens your capacity to do so again.If you have good insurance it might cover a stint in one of them.
I like to keep an open mind, and I thought this essay was so good that it’s worth giving the Steppers another think. In the thirty-four years since I cleaned up, paths to sobriety have proliferated in tandem with rates of addiction.
At last count there were some 14,000 treatment facilities in the US alone.
Because I love to turn everything into a lesson, there is an almost endless supply here.
If the word “manifest” didn’t make me gag, I’d tell you all about how vision boards actually work (they do!
Which is unfortunate because although 12-step is not the only way to get sober, it is one way, and it’s been effective for millions of people over the past 80 years.
I certainly had a lot of judgments when I first started going to AA, but in my state of utter ruin I was in no position to be picky.This may come as a surprise to those who think that the program is all about ‘turning it over.’ Countless people do precisely that, but sobriety doesn’t happen in the absence of a tremendous amount of real-world footwork.And footwork, be it psychotherapy or working the steps, is what changes your brain and paves the way from addiction to freedom.In February 2014, I wrote a piece that ended up going “viral” in my own circles; overnight every person in my life read about the depths of my sickness, my recovery, my addiction, and overnight I understood that I had no real choice but to start building out Tempest and Tempest Sobriety School.The validation started to trickle in; when I set up a new blog (THIS BLOG) in late 2014 and debuted a company called Hip Sobriety, a lot of people started reading my work.For everyone else, it mostly comes down to white knuckling it or AA.But in recent years 12-step programs have been attacked on many fronts, charged with being too religious, dogmatic, disempowering, cultish. There’ve been times during the life of this blog that the Great 12-Step Snowball Fight has erupted — as is typical for any blog, podcast, or article on addiction.I’m not a fan of AA, but I’m not a 12-step basher either.Thanks to your malleable brain, the more you do something sober the easier it becomes. The generous support of other human beings carries us when we cannot carry ourselves.But you may need to muddle through a thousand situations sober before it comes as naturally as it did when you were drunk. I was thrilled to discover, through Marc’s books and others, that my theory about how we get sober is corroborated by science.