Since this is going to be a blog about the place where recovery meets the road, as it were, and since that -- as far as I'm concerned -- is in the rooms and halls of the 12-Step programs, I'm going to remain reasonably anonymous here.
A few words about me, however. I am a recovering alcoholic. I drank for about 25-30 years, depending on how you count (first drink, first drug, first binge, full-blown addiction) and have been clean and sober for 19. I have worked as a cop, putting drunks and addicts in jail, and in the addiction treatment field trying to keep them out of it. The second is more satisfying.
I'm no expert. Frankly, I don't think anyone is, when it comes to addiction. Addiction and alcoholism (the same thing -- don't let anyone kid you) are such complex conditions that it would be impossible for anyone to have more than a fairly comprehensive overview. Experts in specific areas, sure. Overall, we're talking neurology, psychology, psychopharmacology, endocrinology, immunology, relationships, law, and the care and feeding of the human spirit, just to name a few areas affected by addictive disease.
As the 12-Step groups say, it's physical, psychological and spiritual. I know a little bit about all three areas, and I'll try to fill you in as I can.
A couple of remarks about the variety of programs available to help with recovery, and then I'll let you go for this time. There are a number of programs out there that are successful to one degree or another. The only ones with which I have extensive experience are the ones based on the 12 steps as first presented by Bill Wilson in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Taken together, they are the most successful so far. Since I try not to shoot off my mouth (or fingers) about things I know little about, that is where my focus will lie in this blog and any other areas around the site in which I'm involved. Your mileage may vary.
The fellowships are made up of people, and people vary in their knowledge, motives, ability to communicate, and their own levels of recovery. No individual is perfect, and the same is true of recovery groups as a whole. Try to keep that in mind before you write to me and tell me how AA is a cult, or how you don't need God in your program (even though you don't, really.) Let's make this a dialogue, not an argument.