Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The whole world needs a 12 step program

Have you ever noticed how things just slow down and chill out when you finally "get it" about recovery? All the things that used to burn my fuse seem so insignificant and distant to me now. I'm actually surprised when I encounter something that seems to burn someone else's fuse. Traffic and driving is a good example. I have a 5 speed car so I shift into neutral at a stop light. It may take, say, 2 seconds to shift into first from neutral but you would be surprised at the number of people who will beep or shake their head or fist while I shift. It's as if they are already having a bad day and it's only 8 AM.

My friend D. has an old car but it has a good engine. He's a gear head and can put a car engine together just for fun. I know that he used to drive fast and be a hell-raiser before he decided that he would rather live than die from alcohol at 28. When we're driving in his car on a street and someone is tail gating him, he'll say, "Well, I think I'll give Mr. SUV some room and let him pass on by. He's obviously in too big a hurry to enjoy the day." Then, he'll pull over to the side of the road. D. has that live and let live philosophy from being in AA for many years.

What I think is that the world needs to be in a 12 step program. I can't think of many people that I know who wouldn't benefit from a little of the Live and Let Live, Easy Does It, First Things First, and How Important Is It philosophy. When someone at work starts taking themselves too seriously, I think "How important is it?". When someone starts going off on another person, I think, " Easy does it". When I have a bunch of choices to make about the things that I'm asked to commit to, I think "First Things First". And when I see someone making an ass of themselves at a social function, I think, "Live and let live".

There aren't many times in a day that the teachings of Al-Anon and AA don't pop into my head. They provide a means by which I now live my life. I've been to church and read the Bible but nothing has touched me as much as reading the BB and the Al-Anon literature. There's such a sense of peace that I get from meetings. It would be great if all those people who are rushing about to get nowhere would be infused with some of the 12 step ideology.


  1. It would be wonderful if everyone would get some kind of program - where they could slow down, not only on speed, but on judgment and anger. But thank God we have a program and we can do that!

  2. You know Syd I believe it is the reassurance in the program that everyone desereves serenity and anyone can gain it by learning to trust the entire process of life , when we put our minds to it.
    That isn't the kind of thing our culture teaches us.Not at all.
    And when we do get it..it is easy to have a ripple effect on those around us just by being more chilled.You know what I mean?
    I hear so many mixed versions of the Twelve Step programs from people so scared to use the G word.
    God.We all have our visions of what god is..and in the program ..we are free to reach for a god of our understanding.Mine is in that rainbow..others may find it in a church..perhaps if more people weren't afraid to find a god or higher power they can feel connected to..the wouldn't be so judgemental or afraid to just ..
    believe..in something..just for them...then they can say...ahhh haa..I get it!

  3. I always think of all the wasted energy I expended because things weren't happening on my terms. I remember hearing someone say that anger is what we feel when life isn't happening the way we want it to, well that sure applied to me. Now that I'm learning, I ask myself the question "How important is it", and 9 times out of 10 it isn't worth my energy or time (or should I say it isn't worth my "freak out")

  4. Nothing has ever moved me or touched me in the way the BB does either, Syd.
    Great post once again.


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