Principles of Recovery from Addictions

  1. Addiction is a brain disease of thinking and feeling that drives our behavior and severely disrupts our emotional stability. It can also have a very powerful physical component.
  2. Addictive behavior is used to seek change, or relief, from our thinking and feeling.
  3. For the person with addiction, the problem is their thinking, not the world's behavior.
  4. The treatment (solution) for addiction is two-fold: abstain from the addictive behavior and learn to recognize the addictive thinking that promotes that behavior and not fall prey to it.
  5. Abstention from addictive behavior begins daily with a deep, personal commitment to not "use", no matter what.
  6. Since we commit to not "using", we must learn new ways to get relief (or change) through other people who have already learned to do it successfully.
  7. We learn to recognize addictive thinking by attending and participating in 12-Step meetings, having a meaningful and honest relationship with our sponsor and working the 12-Steps to acquire self-awareness.
  8. A relationship, especially when intimate, can effect us like an invisible drug.
  9. Some addictions and their co-occuring disorders can greatly benefit from the proper use of talk therapy and/or the use of medications.
  10. All aspects of my life are related to my Recovery, just as all aspects of my life were related to my addiction.
  11. Recovery is 100% voluntary. No one can make me do anything.
  12. Acceptance of a situation does not mean I agree with it.
  13. We are either in the solution (treatment), or in the problem (addiction thinking, behavior).
  14. I am the only one responsible for my Recovery.
  15. I am the only one who can choose my quality of life.
  16. We cannot change the past but we can change its' effect on us.
  17. When I enter Recovery I am immediately beginning "living amends" and a new way of life.
  18. Learn to be patient; time to heal takes time.