12 Steps: A Design for Life

“EVERYONE should try doing a 12-Steps Program. The world would be a better place. More people would say sorry. Honesty and unselfishness would be more common.”

I am not in recovery, but I am familiar with the 12 Steps. People close to me have successfully achieved sobriety through AA, and working on the non-clinical side of Freedom Institute, I have learned that recovery, while different for everybody, usually involves a combination of evidenced-based methods as well as the 12 Steps. Essentially, the 12 Steps are about being your best self and living a good life, and as the mother of two teenagers, I find the insight of the 12 Steps incredibly helpful in dealing with life’s challenges.

As Noah Robb writes in his wonderful article, the 12 Steps are not just for people in recovery. They are a ‘design for life.’ Click here to read the whole article, but his premise is simple:

“The 12 Steps are not just about recovering from an addiction. In fact, alcohol is only mentioned once. They’re about living life the right way. They’re about being a decent person who builds self-esteem through honesty, dignity and reliability. They are about changing your life and the way you live it.

They’re about apologizing to your spouse when you snap at them, saying sorry to your parents for the way you treated them, being less controlling, and helping others.

And while God is mentioned throughout the 12 Steps, they are actually about accepting that YOU are not God. It’s hard enough running your own life, but it’s absolutely exhausting running the world around you. So Let Go!

So you may not be using alcohol and drugs on a daily basis to escape, but everyone has problems in relationships, suffers from insecurities, feels irritable and discontented, or prey to depressive feelings. Perhaps there are some steps you can take to alleviate the way you feel…”