Should I Choose A 12-Step Program, Therapy Or God To Help Me Recover From Addiction?

In church we are told that God can do all things. He is our creator, our source, our power and everything we need. In the 12-step rooms we are told that we simply need to work the program and trust God. Some people have stayed sober for years in AA while never attending church. Some people have therapists in addition to working the program. But what’s the best route?

Should I Choose A 12-Step Program, Therapy Or God For My Recovery?

Choose for my Recovery-12-Step Program, Therapy, God-ChristianRehabWhere should we go to seek recovery? Where is the solution for us?

The answer is: all of the above. As addicts, we’re very black-and-white people. We want one formula to follow and we want it to work for all people in all circumstances and with all backgrounds.

While there are many universal principles of recovery, what works for an addict and the way in which that person finds a fulfilling life of sobriety will, to some degree, vary by individual. Let’s look at each—the 12-step program, therapy and God—and how they can promote recovery.

The 12-Step Program

The 12-step program is the basis for our sobriety because it takes us through the process of going from desperate addicts to sober, healing and recovering individuals. Far from being an alternative to God, it is a means by which we come to know God and depend on Him. We learn how to have a relationship with our creator and how to live a life that doesn’t depend upon drugs, alcohol or other addictive behaviors.

The 12 steps are not only profoundly spiritual, but also highly practical. By following them we learn how to be in relationship with God, ourselves and other people. We learn to cope with life and to successfully navigate the world without an addictive crutch. Within the program we find great support from other addicts and we learn, through practice, what it means to live a life of purpose and meaning.

Therapy

Therapy, while it doesn’t take the place of the 12-step program, can be highly beneficial to any recovering addict working through the steps. We all drank for a reason. As we work through the steps and get some sobriety under our belts, we will begin to find out what those reasons were. The steps will help us to heal and move on.

However, for some, the pain, the trauma and the dysfunction will need more focused attention. After years or decades in addiction, some will need individual assistance in learning to live and think in a new way. Therapy can be especially helpful in these circumstances as a complement to one’s recovery, and it shouldn’t be avoided. Therapy is a resource that is available to us and one that can deeply enhance our 12-step work.

God

There is no recovery apart from God. God is not an alternative to explore; He is the very basis for all that we do. However, let’s look at it from the perspective of Christianity and the church. We often hear that God can do all things and in Him is all of our sufficiency. We need nothing else. And God is that all-powerful being, but that doesn’t mean He won’t provide resources on Earth that can help us to deal with the problems we face. If we read our Bibles and attend church, we should have all we need to live healthy, adjusted, sin-free lives. However, this is often not the case.

Many will pray and pray to God for relief but do not find recovery until they start working a 12-step program. Does that mean God doesn’t work or the church doesn’t work or Christianity isn’t true? No! It means God has a path for you that includes a practical program such as the 12 steps. And He may also provide you with a personal helper, in the form of a therapist, to speak wisdom into your life and help you work out some of the deeper tangles. It doesn’t mean we are sidestepping God or the church, but that we are using the resources available to us to deal with our personal struggles.

As recovering addicts, we can be grateful for the resources we have in the 12 steps, the church and in therapy. As we trust in God to lead us in sobriety and in wisdom, we can make use of these entities as we seek to live a life of abundant recovery.

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