Hospitals and Institutions: Your Introduction to 12 Step Programs

Life is an unpredictable ride that can catch anybody off guard at any time. It seems more often than not that our plans change at the last moment and a wrench is thrown into the gears turning this whole machine we call the human body. Time and time again, the rough draft that was created for our future gets eaten by the dog and we haven’t a clue where to step next. Some of us get back up and hop on the horse as if nothing had happened. Then there are those of us that have to literally touch that hot stove twenty times and the blisters on our hands are still not indicating enough what it is we are doing wrong. These individuals, like me, end up bouncing around from various establishments for some extended period of time while they try to figure out the root cause of their problems. It’s hard to be the type of person that willingly admits their faults and starts going to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Some of us need to be picked up and hauled into a variety of hospitals and institutions to have somebody teach us the way.

Sometimes this is the Best Route

The 12 steps presented themselves with confusion and clarity if that makes any sense. They are a guideline, an outline, a means to an end. It’s almost like a code that alcoholics and addicts of all sorts can live by. Really all that it came down to was that these were recommended and that if a drastic change in this manner of living was wanted, that applying these common “laws” would do so measurably. When the facts were broken down, my life was completely unmanageable and I was miserable. It took being in a treatment facility and having the steps and knowledge conditioned in front of my face on a daily basis. Outside of treatment, the concept of non-active addiction and alcoholism was one I was not willing to attempt.

As with most anything, you start with the beginning of the beginning. The first couple steps really break down into admitting there is an issue, identifying it, and implementing action. Most hospitals and institutions will make the addict or alcoholic attend Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings where this is all thoroughly explained. Then as you slowly start progressing through, it becomes more about learning to accept our daily troubles and taking life on life’s terms. It’s submission to ourselves in a sense and to a higher power in another. We are all the star actors in our own movie script- it’s just simply human nature. We want to be the deciders of what is to unfold in our plans for life.  To our dismay, we must keep in mind that life rarely follows the blueprints we have laid out in advance. To be prepared and okay with life’s events as they come is truly a gift. Every single day of our lives, we will continue to come across situations that we have little to no control over. Matters that will affect us in one way or another, but we have no say as to the final result. Everybody and their mother experiences this at some point or another. The straightforward view is that either we can change our perspectives and acknowledge everything as it is delivered or we can complain while we throw temper tantrums- hoping that our incessant yammering will make things better. It won’t.

group meeting

Once we have actively started progressing on this new pathway, all these changes will start presenting themselves. We will begin to feel differently about ourselves and others. Our standpoint on life will embark positively in a way we would’ve never imagined. Things will become increasingly better. The objective things that haven’t changed, well, our newfound perspective on things will lessen the blows.

For far too long, we fought the help attempting to be delivered to us. We thought that we knew what was best for ourselves and everybody else was delusional. Oh, how the tables turned on us. Spending a predetermined amount of time in hospitals and institutions can give us the proper grace period to clear our minds. I know from personal experience that it is of much difficulty to work the 12 steps and really focus on ourselves with outside distractions occurring all around us. Most people in nature don’t want to look at their wrongs and character defects. We want to do what is easiest and most convenient for ourselves- that’s just human nature. Being pushed into a position of discomfort can be one of the most eye-opening experiences for the afflicted addict or alcoholic. Once we are brought to this place of unease- that is when the building and self-awareness can truly begin.

Having made it this far through our recovery guidelines, the only thing left to do is to maintain and continue practicing what we learned outside of said establishments. The last several stages are about recognizing the transformation and preserving the growth that one has worked so diligently to attain. It becomes a process of just keeping yourself in check and then delivering the message learned to somebody who is currently in the hopeless shoes you once were in. This plays into the esteemable acts and will continue to make us feel giddy from constantly helping others. Think of this whole circumstance as almost being reborn. We’re taking our old way of life, tossing it out the window and pretty much starting from scratch. For some of us, none of this would be possible without the silencing of the outside world.

In Need of Help?

It can be intimidating to know that addiction and alcoholism are always right around the corner. Sometimes getting that little push and having medical guidance can be what it takes. Relapse and active addiction/alcoholism are only as preventable as much as we value the sobriety we hold in our hands. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-877-978-3125 or visit Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life in a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

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