Alcoholics Anonymous is the world’s longest-running support group for recovering alcohol abusers, operating continuously in countries around the globe for more than 80 years. If you find the 12 steps of AA resonate with you, you’ll want to integrate the program’s teachings into various facets of your life. Often, people who enjoy the supportive nature of 12-step communities continue participating in meetings for many years after getting sober. Since the program emphasizes helping others, you may also choose to pay it forward by sponsoring a fellow group member.
Because the 12 steps are so well-known and have helped thousands of people achieve lasting sobriety, many treatment facilities have integrated 12-step programming into their curricula, alongside evidence-based approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy. After your discharge from a long-term inpatient rehab program, you may want to revisit the 12 steps periodically and keep attending your recovery group meetings several times a week to reinforce what you’ve learned. Here are four reasons to keep making the 12 steps of AA part of your ongoing recovery.
1. The 12 Steps Provide a Foundation of Emotional Honesty
Following the 12 steps of AA will require you to take personal responsibility and admit when you’re wrong. In many ways, this mindset is the antithesis of the secrecy and dishonesty that characterize addiction. Instead of relying on alcohol to forget about your problems, you will need to confront them head-on and find healthy solutions.
2. Your Recovery Group Keeps You Accountable
When you attend 12-step meetings, it reminds you that you’re never alone on your journey. Hearing other people’s stories will motivate you. You can use these lessons to deal with adversity in your life. Learning about other group members’ problems can also help you hone your sense of empathy, making you a more compassionate person. Working with a sponsor who is further along in their recovery journey than you are will give you a role model and someone you can rely on for help if you find yourself struggling.
3. You’ll Actively Work to Repair Damaged Relationships
Since the 12 steps of AA emphasize reaching out to people you’ve hurt and apologizing for your mistakes, you can start rebuilding any bridges you burned with your self-destructive actions. If you end up needing to sever ties with anyone who refuses to respect your boundaries or doesn’t support your goals, you can make new friends among the members of your 12-step group.
4. You Will Uplift and Support Others
Most AA members are not professional therapists or substance abuse counselors. However, they are living proof that it’s possible to reclaim your mental, physical and emotional health after years of living with an active addiction. That’s why the final step involves spreading the word to others who may still be caught in the cycle of addiction by encouraging them to seek help.
A Personalized Addiction Aftercare Program That Works
Since we began offering our structured sober living in 2012, our clients have benefited from Segue Recovery Support’s services, which can help you achieve long-term success in sobriety. Anyone who needs help bridging the gap between a formal addiction treatment program and a return to their everyday life can learn more about moving into our recovery residences by reaching out to us today.