The Sober Lawyer’s Personal 12 Steps

by Dick on January 26, 2013 · 25 comments

in 12 Steps, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Alcoholism, Recovery

12steps800My therapist told me to craft my own version of the Twelve (12) Steps since I am always pointing out the illogic in several of the Steps. I’m not trying to replace AA’s 12 Steps, but rather, formulate my own personal set of steps or guidelines for my own recovery. Each person has a unique recovery program, or at least they should, in my opinion.

  1. Don’t drink! Yes, my program is one of abstinence. A few people in recovery believe they can drink in moderation or controlled, but I’ve already tested out that theory, and it doesn’t work for me.
  2. Work on and achieve acceptance. Accept your disease, but recognize that it’s ok not be happy about it and that you did not aspire to become an alcoholic. It’s ok to hate that word, alcoholic.
  3. Actively participate in AA. Embrace those steps which you believe in, and the fellowship. Discard the rest. Stop analyzing and pointing out deficiencies with AA program. It does no good. Consider reconnecting with your religion (mine is Judaism) to achieve some kind of spiritual foundation, whatever that may be.
  4. Go to private therapy as outlined by your therapist.
  5. Exercise, take care of my body, and eat healthy.
  6. Stay in frequent touch with your sponsor.
  7. Do Steps 4 and 5 of the AA program the way it’s laid out. It’s important to take that personal inventory and clean out all the “baggage.”
  8. Stay away from trigger locations, including bars, certain restaurants, parties and gatherings until I feel 100% confident I can deal with the situation without drinking or craving a drink.
  9. Do the making amends steps 8 and 9 of AA the way it’s laid out. It’s equally important to say your sorry to all the people you have hurt. But you can only do this once you have a solid foundation for recovery or else it’s just words.
  10. Seek rewards and gratification for a job well done and successes through healthy choices and inner confidence.
  11. Forgive yourself of all your past mistakes and focus on the future and the joy and happiness a sober you will bring to yourself and your family.
  12. Try to limit acting like a lawyer in recovery by over-analyzing everything and trying to “out-smart” the disease. Keep it simple. Again, if you don’t drink, you’ve done a good job for the day.
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  • TKan

    Love this! I struggled with staying in AA too. I am not powerless, I do not believe in a god to surrender to, I do not have a “disease” from which I’ll be “in recovery” for the rest of my life. Most of all, I’m alarmed by the old-timers who seem to never graduate into living in the real world. I had a moment of clarity at a meeting, during the Promises, which state in part “If you want what we have…” and I realized I really don’t. I have a life to lead: a sober, joyful, healthy life outside of The Program. I have a lot of “normie” friends who support my decision not to drink and are great role models for me. I’ll stick with that, thanks. If and when I need an alcohol support program in the future, it won’t be AA. I can see why you want to stay and derive what good you can from the fellowship though. I was certainly glad they were there when I first needed a soft landing after realizing I had developed an alcohol problem.

  • TKan

    Dick – I can’t believe my photo is showing up with my entry, which I wanted to post anonymously. I’m very disappointed. Please delete this comment and prevent it from showing up on your site to preserve my privacy?

  • dick

    TKan, I deleted your comment. The photo auto-generates from the Disqus commenting system. Please repost by using a dummy email address and name. Thanks, Dick

  • TKan

    Thanks DIck: I lost the text of my original comment, but the gist was: I LOVE that you’re writing your own 12 steps. I had a revelation the other night talking to a 4-years-sober AA friend. I don’t want to be in AA. I don’t believe I am powerless, I don’t believe I have a disease from which I have to be in recovery for the rest of my life, I don’t want to be still going to 3+ meetings a week for the rest of my life. I don’t believe AA is the only answer for me. The Promises say “If you want what we have…” and to be honest – I don’t – I’m not interested in going to more meetings and talking to AA people every day. Most of the AA people I’m in contact with ONLY socialize with other AAs. I’ve been criticized for not going to enough meetings, not giving up drinking friends (in fact I did give up the worst drinkers and only hang with moderate drinking friends now, who support my decision to abstain). I’m not even sure complete abstinence is absolutely required or I will progressively get worse and die. Abstinence is fine for me today, tomorrow and probably the day after that too. I never want to have a blackout or a hangover again. If it means abstinence, I’m fine with that. I’m happy with my sober life, it’s much better than the life I had before drinking. But AA is frankly creeping me out, and as a matter of fact obsessing about drinking by talking about it all the time is not helping me at all. I don’t want my not drinking to be a big deal. It’s becoming just another part of my identity, whereas AA was taking over my life. No thanks. I can understand why you would want to stay though, and I think it’s great that you’re able to take the best parts of it and not let the crazy parts get to you. Best of luck, it sounds like you’re doing great.

    • Dick

      Tkan, interesting comments demonstrating your issues with AA. Where are you from?

      My idea of powerlessness is that I’m powerless over the disease of addiction, like a cancer patient is powerless over the disease of cancer. I’m at that stage with my disease. I’ve relapse a bunch of times, and each time I’ve wound up at the same place, binge drinking and making stupid decisions and becoming unhealthy. Doesn’t matter that I could go weeks without a drink or leave a half beer at the bar. Same end result. Conversely, each time I would go on an extended run of sobriety = better health, financial success, better marriage and relationships, better self-esteem, etc. Early sobriety sucked of course. Very irritable which is really low grade agitated depression. See my earlier post on Hijacking the Brain book.

      The thing about recovery is there are a lot of different options that work. I susbscribe to the “cross-training” method, where I take pieces from AA, SMART, therapy, blogging, exercise, diet and put it all together in a program that works for me. Whatever works best for you is what works!

      The only caveat I will give you is make sure your negative feelings about AA don’t come from a place of denial or over-confidence. AA can trigger a lot of powerful emotions surrounding drinking and that’s something you should not avoid as part of your recovery, IMHO. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable sometimes. Recovery is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I would rather re-take the bar exam 100 times than go through this shit.

      Best of luck and stay in touch!


      • TKan

        Hi Dick: I like your “crosstraining” approach – sounds great to me! I’m from an urban area on the west coast. Luckily there are a lot of options available and alternatives to AA. I think my feelings of creepiness with AA have to do with the fact that it’s much like a religion and comes out of the religious experiences of its founders. I find it very “old school” in its theological outlook and I am uncomfortable with AAs who are “fundamentalists.” I left the church – a very liberal church by the way – because I was unable to commit to the creed, even though I loved and respected the people in the church. My AA sponsor is a lovely, accepting person who is not a “fundamentalist” by any stretch, but I’m afraid that for me, it’s the same for AA as for the church. Those first three steps? – Nah, I just can’t do it. I’m an atheist through and through, and the cognitive dissonance is bothering me. AA is just not me. I understand how it helps for you and other addicts to conceive of addiction as a disease, but there is no solid body of empirical research that would support that label. For many, framing addiction as a disease like diabetes or an allergy helps. For many others (like me) it’s inadequate and disempowering. Dr. Gabor Mate characterizes addiction as more of a brain injury – a misfiring of the neurons caused by childhood trauma. Finally, I’m certainly not overconfident of my ability to keep sober. I remember how awful I felt when I last drank, I’m not going back to the person I was and I’ll get help before I get close to picking up a drink again. You’re right, getting sober was hard, but it’s only as difficult as we make it.

        • Dick

          TKan, the disease model has been accepted by the American Medical Ass’n, the American Psychological Assn, American Hospital Association, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American College of Physicians and National Institutes of Health. But what do they know?

          You call it a brain injury? Same thing. It’s all semantics. You want and seek control over the addiction. But that may well be illusory. You certain have control over what choices you make in your recovery, but your afflication, disease or brain injury will do what it wants. You can control a brain injury? You’d be the first then.

          I had zero childhood trauma, and very good upbringing in an upper middle class home. Excelled at everything. High school all scholastic athlete, captain of the soccer team, etc. No family history of addiction. No one really drank in my house, aside from my dad having a scotch maybe a few times a year after a hard days work. Yet, I have it. Who the hell knows how this disease works….


          • TKan

            Hi Dick:
            I realize what you mean when you say “you want and seek control over the addiction.” It’s Program speak, I get it. You think I’m headed for relapse with my self-centred attitude. You may be right, I may be deluding myself, and I need to guard against relapse. But the fact is that I reject that I have a disease, and do not believe in a God to give my will over to. I agree it’s semantics as to whether it’s a “disease” or a “brain injury,” or something else, but there are many addicts who have gotten over their addictions completely on their own, many of whom are (years later) either still abstainers or able to drink moderately. I know several myself. If this is a “progressive disease,” then why have researchers found that 75% of problem drinkers quit or moderate without any medical intervention? Is it because they weren’t “real addicts” in the first place? Then why does AA label them forever as “dry drunks?” or deny they were “real alcoholics?” It seems to me that’s circular reasoning. I too think we have a lot to learn about how addiction works. I also think it is a medical problem, not a moral or legal one, but I have to wonder (along with Stanton Peele) whether the “disease model” is really all that useful, or if it is preventing valuable research that could help even more people for whom the 12 Steps are inadequate. Otherwise – why would you, Dick the Sober Lawyer, have to come up with your own version of them? :-)
            Respectfully yours (and still sober),

          • Dick

            Tkan, we can debate all this stuff for hours, which would be fun for me since I do
            this for a living! You should read the Hijacking the Brain book. It’s filled with data and studies.

            What study can you cite for the assertion that 75% of problem drinkers quit or moderate w/o any medical intervention? What is the definition in those studies of “problem” drinkers v. alcoholics? I haven’t been able to find any such studies or data. Just curious.

            I don’t think you are self-centered. You have an analytical mind like me. Just be careful. I’ve used the moderation management theory as justification to drink, and ultimately I was not able to successfully moderate. But all the power to you, if you are able to drink again without any negative repercussions. You are obviously a smart gal, so you should be able to figure this stuff out….best of luck to you!


          • TKan

            Thanks Dick – best of luck to you too. The reference is from a paper by Stanton Peele that I found on his web site as follows (sorry I don’t have a link, it’s a PDF download):

            “In a massive study carried out by the government’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in which 43,000 Americans were interviewed, only one in ten alcoholics entered AA or rehab.1 Yet three-quarters of people who were ever alcoholic had achieved stable recovery. The bottom line: three-quarters of those in recovery achieved this state on their own, or at least without some official recovery agency carrying them over the finish line.” – National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions—whose results were announced by Dr. Mark Willenbring, a psychiatrist and director of the NIAAA division that conducted NESARC, published at the agency’s website under the title, “Alcoholism Isn’t What It Used to Be.”

  • Dick

    Tkan, check out this article from The Fix:

    How timely!


    • TKan

      HaHa! I had just finished reading that article when I came over here to check out your site! Great minds think alike. I do see a lot of myself in that writer, and I hope that doesn’t turn into my story. After 7 months I’m pretty fiercely protective of my sobriety, and I’m still debating with myself whether I can ever again be a moderate drinker. So far, I cannot with any honesty say yes, I can drink responsibly – so it’s abstinence for me. The fact that I’m even having that debate with myself is my big red flag not to pick up a drink. I’ll promise you this: if I do end up relapsing into misery, blackouts and hangovers, I’ll get help – maybe even from AA. :)

      • Dick

        Good for you. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @soberlawyer if you want to talk offline.

  • Joanne J

    I left a comment on your post from March 11, 2012 entitled …
    “On Being A Jewish Alcoholic: My Spiritual Journey Continues”

    … after finding it doing a google search. But I thought I’d post to a more recent post of yours as more people may read this one.

    In the earlier post of yours you spoke about how so few Jewish people attended AA even though it was located in an area with a decent size Jewish population … and that you felt like a minority because of that. And you also spoke of the stigma attached to being an alcoholic in Jewish circles.

    I was surfing the web because i am trying to see if there is a link between gluten alllergies and alcoholism … although I don’t really see much of any talk on the internet about this I believe there is a link.

    I am not an alcoholic BUT I have an allergy to gluten … a gluten allergy is rarer in the Jewish community than other ethnic communities in the US. That may be why there is a stigma in the Jewish community. IF there is a link between the two (gluten and alcoholism) then people who are not suffering with gluten intolerance would not have a tough time drinking alcohol in moderation. If most Jewish people do not have a problem with gluten then they would have no problem controlling themselves around alcohol. And because they cannot put themselves in another persons shoes would tend to see an alcohol problem as merely a weakness. An with so few within the community be effected by the problem cannot really relate to it. It is hard for humans to understand and put themselves in other people shoes when they are not dealing with the same thing themselves … this is not unique to the Jewish community. I am just trying to point out why you feel alone in your journey away from a life that included alcohol. IF there is a connection between gluten and alcoholism … then a group of people that is less likely to be allergic to gluten because of their genes are also less likely to be alcoholics.

    Why do I think there is a connection when no one else seems to see it … because the symptoms when trying to eliminate gluten from the diet are much like trying to kick an alcohol addiction. And the emotional reaction many people who are gluten intolerant go through when they are eating a diet that INCLUDES gluten are similar to the emotions that alcoholics use alcohol to escape from.

    So … I have always wondered if many alcoholics really have an underling allergy to gluten which is causing their problem of controlling alcohol consumption. Those reading this who are alcoholics … what is your alcohol of choice … is it a grain based alcohol??? Might there be a connection?

    A gluten allergy is an allergy to a protein in certain grains like wheat, rye, barley and some others. If beer is your choice of alcohol … what is beer but a barley based drink AND people allergic to gluten must stay away from barley. Is your choice of alcohol gin, vodka, scotch whisky or rye whiskey ??? … these are made from the fermentation of wheat, barley or rye … all of which are a problem when on a gluten free diet.

    Here is a link telling what living with a gluten allergy is like …
    does it sound something like the things you suffer with as an alcoholic …

    So … if you are/were addicted to alcohol that is made from grains you might want to surf the web and read up on gluten (and celiac disease). I have a theory that to deal with the temptation and addictive qualities of alcohol you may also have to eliminate GLUTEN from the diet (and not just the alcohol you are trying to avoid). Because the cravings for grain based alcohol may always be there if gluten is still in your diet. But even more importantly … the emotional feelings you are struggling with may never fully go away if there is gluten in your diet. Gluten effects mood … if you have trouble dealing with the struggles of life and feel like turning to alcohol to help … eliminating gluten entirely from your diet may mean that you can emotionally handle life’s stresses better. What I’m trying to say is even though no one seems to see the connection but me … Your real may not be alcohol it may be GLUTEN. Eliminate the gluten and the alcohol problem will take care of itself. You will feel healthy physically and emotionally for the first time in your life and will have no need for alcohol any longer.

    I do not see discussions about this theory of mine on the web … but if someone wants to try eliminating gluten from their diet to see if they have an easier time staying away from alcohol after a bit of time has passed (without eating any gluten and the cravings for gluten have left the body) … if you want to try a gluten free diet for a month or so … what have you got to loose. It will either work or it will not work. Most people who have a gluten allergy go their whole lives without being diagnosed. And the medical tests do not look for all types of gluten protiens only the most common one so so having the test done and coming back negative … well that doesn’t mean you do not have a gluten allergy so … it is possible to even be tested and still not know for sure if you are allergic or not. The best way to TEST is to eliminate gluten for a few weeks and see if your mood and other things improve. If they do … BINGO … you have a gluten allergy. (It is believed that less than 10 percent of those with the gluten allergy ever know they have it).

    Yes … it is an effort to keeping on a gluten free diet. Gluten is in so many boxed, canned even frozen foods. It means reading labels and changing your shopping habits and staying away from many things other people are eating. BUT you will feel much better after the first several days (you feel worse at the beginning because of cravings and withdrawl). Anxiety, low self esteem, depresion and so many things can be caused by gluten in the diet. If staying off alcohol is not eliminating these things … then maybe you need to get to the ROOT of the problem.

    It is my guess avoiding alcohol will become easier if you avoid ALL gluten in your diet and not just alcohol … and you will feel so much better. You will know what healthy and happy really feels like for the first time in your life.

    If anyone wants to try this suggestion do a search of ‘gluten’ and/or ‘ Celiac Disease ‘ there is plenty of information on how to modify your diet and live a gluten free life. Try it and if it helps please post your experience with it for others to hear about.

    …Just a thought that has been returning to my mind again and again. The theory makes sense to me … as long as there is any gluten in your diet you will have cravings for alcohol … eliminate ALL gluten and after a little while no more alcohol cravings … and a healthy and happy new you.

    If it makes sense to you too … try it.

    … Joanne J

    • Joanne J

      If you are Jewish … even though gluten allergy is rare in the Jewish community those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from eastern or central Europe) have a higher rate of gluten intolerance than other Jews. What is your background Dick … any Ashkenazi on your mother or fathers side?

  • Joanne J

    I found this comment by someone who noticed a connection with gluten in the diet

    and their alcohol problems …

    I thought I was an alcoholic because everyone told me I was an alcoholic.
    I stopped drinking the same time I went off gluten and I had an easy 90 day.
    I soon saw a patern that I only wanted to drink when I got glutenated and
    the alcohol took away the anxiety and depression I get from gluten.
    I hope we could get some proof on this and help other.

    and …

    All the siblings in my family (including me) seem to be allergic either to
    gluten or to cow/dairy – or both…
    I mention this because we suspect that our issues come from the
    paternal side of the family. No one else on the maternal side experiences
    these problems. What interests me most is that there is alcoholism in my family,
    but it seems to be limited to the paternal side.

    Also … the Irish have one of the highest incidents of gluten intolerance and …

    Ireland continues to rank among the highest consumers of alcohol in the
    26 countries in the enlarged EU. We drink about 20% more than the average European

    Alcohol problems and gluten problems … Might there be a connection?

  • Joanne J

    OK …

    … because I was new to this comments forum I posted here because it was the most recent posting and not because what I had to say was most relevent to the topic of Dick’s original post.

    So to make up for that I will post about the 12 Steps …

    Dick, since you say you agree with some and not all of the twelve steps and since AA is seen as an organization originally founded on Christian principles I thought I’d post part of a foward to a Jewish book on the Twelve Step Recovery here. The book is entitled “100 Blessings Every Day (Daily Twelve Step Recovery Affirmations, Exercises and Personal Growth & Renewal Reflecting Seasons of the Jewish Year)” the publisher is (a great source of all kinds of Jewish theme books but several relating to AA might be of interest to you and other readers of your website so I will put a link to that page at their site …

    Rabbi Neil Gillman of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in NYC, NY writes in a section of the forward …
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    ” … First, the very notion of teshuvah, as elaborated by our tradition, captures precisely the type of character transformation that the Twelve Steps strive to achieve. Teshuvah is much more than repentance; it is nothing less than an experience of rebirth, the creation of a new human being, the total transformation of a life experience. It represents Judaism’s most powerful affirmation of confidence in the potentialities of the human being, its infinite hope inour ability to redirect our lives. At the same time, itrefects a totally hardheaded understanding of human character. Teshuvah is not quick and easy, not simply a matter of making an inner decision, but neither is it impossible and beyond reach. It is a day-long, year-long and life-long struggle. We can do effective teshuvah on the day of our death, but since we never know which day will be our last, we must do it daily. All of this is part of the implicit ideology of the Twelve Steps.

    One of the more detailed elaborations of the process of teshuvah has been extracted from Moses Maimonides’ Hilchot Teshuvah (Laws of Teshuvah) in his compendium of Jewish law called Mishneh Torah (chapter two). Here too we speak of “steps” (five in number, although they are not explicitly listed this way), which can easily be matched with some of the Twelve Steps. Maimonides’ first step is to recognize, openly and explicitly, that we have sinned (corresponding to Steps One and Four of the Twelve Steps). The second step is to feel regret for our behavior (Step Three). The third is to articulate our sin in words (Steps Five and Ten). Note here that this vidui (oral confession) is carried out through our liturgy which, as you recall, is always formulated in the plural. We share both our responsibilities and our resources in our community, as does the addicted person with his or her fellowship. Maimonides’ fourth step is to inwardly resolve to act differently in the future (Steps Three and Twelve). But our tesuvah is not complete until we have encountered the same situation in which we sinned once again, and this time meet it successfully (Step Twelve).

    Note also that Steps Eight and Nine insist that when our sins have led us to injure another person, we must make a direct personal approach to such people and ask for forgiveness, corresponding to the classical jewish teaching that the fast of the Day of Atonement relieves us only of sins against God. Sins against other human beings must be dealt with by approaching the person we have wronged.

    The image of God in the Twelve Steps undergoes a fascinating transformation. At the outset, God emerges as a “Power greater than ourselves” — appropriately for someone who feels totally bereft of power. This power is “as we understand Him” … or … open to infinite characterizations. (For some, this “Power greater than ourselves” is precisely A.A.)

    But from Step Three on, this Power has become a God Who cares, Who listens to prayers and meditations, Who has a will for us, and Who lends us power to carry out God’s will for us. This transformation in the image of God is striking. From a “Power” God has emerged as “fully personal” with infinite “pathos” — to use Abraham Joshua Heschel’s term — filled with care and concern for the human beings, very much the God of the Bible and of the rabbinic tradition. And the decision “To turn our will and our lives over to the care of God” sounds very much like the biblical characterization of faith as emunah — not simply an intellectual “belief that” but something much to “belief in” or trust, loyalty and total dependency on God.

    The Jewish character of the Twelve Steps then is beyond question. That they should appear to some Jews as non-Jewish is as much a commentary on the dimensions of Judaism with which these Jews identify, as it is a commentary on the Twelve Steps themselves. Fortunately for all of us, Judaism is rich and multi-faceted enough to accommodate us all. ”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    But speaking for myself and not from any book …

    I think that humbling oneself can become difficult if the individual has had bad experiences with human authority figures (or other people in his life) who used ‘our weakness and humility’ to laud it over us and control us in damaging ways that were just power plays for their own emotional or ego pleasures … a sort of emotional power vampire. If you have been a victim of that in the past (or present) than making yourself humble can feel like making yourself a victim. And because of that you cannot deal with that part of the Twelve Step process. But that is only a misunderstanding of what humility should mean. We are humbling ourselves before God not others who will use our humility against us in damaging ways. God does not use our humility to puff himself up and injure us in his grandisement of Himself. But human beings who are less than perfect can use our humility to injure us if we do not understand what true humility is.

    Here are some links defining the Jewish understanding of HUMILITY …

    …” God alone knows the true worth of a man and the extent to which he faces life’s challenge with the gifts, or lack of them, that are his fate. The religious basis for humility is that only God knows the true worth of each human being.
    On the deeper level, the notion is found, especially in Hasidism, that humility is not the mere absence of pride. Rather it consists not so much in thinking little of oneself as in not thinking of oneself at all. When the Hasidim and other Jewish mystics speak of annihilation of selfhood, they are not thinking of a conscious effort of the will. To try to nullify the self by calling attention to it is bound to end in failure. Instead, the mystics tend to suggest, the mind should be encouraged to overlook entirely all considerations of both inferiority and superiority.”

    If anyone reading this has trouble with humility and feels the root problem may be fear that others will use it to control and overpower us in an unhealthy way you might want to try some hypnosis designed to help you deal with difficult people better. If you build up your skills in dealing with difficult people doing some of the steps may be easier without risking injury to yourself. If alcohol has been a sort of armor to escape from others harming you … you have to find the tools to replace the alcohol so you can leave it behind and be ready for battle in life without that in your tool belt. Before making amends and saying your ‘I’m sorry’s to people who you are afraid might use your words against you (guilt trippers, perfectionists, etc) beef up on your skills dealing with those types and say I’m sorry to people who are easier to deal with at first…

    And two that I think help us become more humble …
    Stop Comparing Yourself to Others …
    Stop Being a Control Freak …

    … I think these two seem to help develop a healthy humility

    Well that’s all for tonight …
    … Joanne J

    • Dick

      Thanks Joanne. My favorite book on Jewish alcoholism is the Twelve Jewish Steps to Recovery.

      Interestingly, the first edition of the Big Book in 1937 or whenever made reference to consulting with one’s rabbi, which was quite an enlightened view back then.

      The AA program is easily translatable into Jewish principles, and of course, the Steps are merely suggestions as pointed out in the Big Book. I don’t have an issue with AA being overly Christian.


      • Catholic Alcoholic

        This thread is so very interesting to me! I love how y’all (I’m from Georgia) compared the similarities of the 12 steps and Judaism I have gone through a long process and similar transformation of my understanding of the steps as in fact not at all contrary to catholic teaching. At first I thought it was but over time I see more the symbiotic relationship. Love your lawyer twelve steps!! I once wrote a catholic version of the 12 steps but didn’t promote because I feared AA people (of which I count myself!) would accuse me of trying to reinvent the wheel or exclude people. Anyways great post and comments.

  • Kristen

    What a great idea! The program that keeps you active and interested in your recovery sounds like the best choice to me.

  • Andrew

    I find your website incredibly illuminating. You seem like a smart person. My father is currently in Hazelden, due for release in about two weeks. He seems to be having a similar experience to you, and I would LOVE to show him this website. Should I send it to him now, or show it to him when he’s released? Thank you!

    • Dick

      Well, I don’t think you can use the Internet at Hazelden, so show him when he gets back. Best of luck to you and your dad. Give him lots of support and praise on a job well done!

  • Steve

    I needed this I am always : Try to limit acting like a lawyer in recovery by over-analyzing everything and trying to “out-smart” the disease.
    I also need to honestly tackle [your] step 5.

  • RMV

    I love this…especially number 12

  • Jonathan

    Nice article. Thanks for sharing 12 steps. It will really help us a lot – Twelve steps aa store

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