This weekend I was reading the “Forward” to AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and two sections got my attention:
"AA's Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole." (12&12, pg 15)
(2) "The basic principles of AA, as they are known today, were borrowed mainly from the fields of religion and medicine, though some ideas on which success finally depended were the result of noting the behavior and needs of the Fellowship itself." (12&12, pg 16)
For me, I practice SA sobriety as a way of life. It's not a part of my life; it IS my life. It's not something I can put on the back burner when other things require my attention. I don't leave it at home when I take a vacation. It's more than a set of suggestions that I can make use of whenever I feel like doing so. It's not a “pick and choose what I like” cafeteria-style program. It's an all in, “willing to go to any lengths to stay sober” program. I must immerse myself in the principles of the Twelve Steps as a way of life in order to recover. Half-measures get me nowhere. A sponsor used to say that if I wanted to stop lusting and be sexually sober, I would have to wake up every day as an untreated sexaholic. Every day, I must do what is necessary to stay sober: grasp, develop, maintain, and grow in understanding of this spiritual design for living on a daily basis
The second quote is meaningful to me because it tells me that even though the basis of the Twelve Step program came from religion and medicine, something more has developed within the Twelve Step fellowships. To me that something more is the unique power of the Program. It is the experience, strength, and hope we share with one another. It's the special bond between one sexaholic helping another sexaholic. It's that feeling of "If it can work for him or her maybe it can work for me." It's the energy that finally got me over the hump of the "I'll never change; I'm hopeless" feeling. It's all the wonderful stories that inspire me in meetings. It's also that wonderful unexplainable knowledge that God is doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.