“Smart Recovery is a 4 point system for people with all addictions, and related behaviors. All types of addiction can be, and are addressed. That is whether it is illicit drug abuse, gambling, alcohol, prescription drug, or sex addiction. Also addressed are general problem areas caused by the addictions, and related activities. Other behaviors can also be taken care of, like OCD behaviors. For example, over working out, over dieting, normally healthy activities, that then turn to become unhealthy, because they begin to consume your entire life, just like our addictions once did.”
The Smart Recovery is an alternative to the traditional 12 step programs of AA and NA. They are similar in a lot of ways.
I personally, have never really been a fan of AA, NA, or 12 steps. And truth be told, athough some 12 step fanatics will swear on a stack of bibles that not only does AA, NA, and 12 steps work, but it is the ONLY way to Sobriety, and if you don’t follow it, then you are 100% doomed. Okay, first, wrong, and second, no you aren’t doomed. 12 Step programs do work wonders for millions of Recovering Addicts. However, there is no reason that it must be the “Gold Standard” or the “Exclusive Standard.” As controversial as those last statements will probably be to many, I still stand by my opinion. Just like others can stand by their OPINIONS. It just does not work for me. I believe, if someone is Sober, well WHATEVER way they got there, then they, themselves have found their own personal Gold Standard. Each of us should find our own Gold Standard, and not judge or lecture others in a Cult like way.
As vague as a lot of this “Smart Recovery” idea is to me, so far my research, and attendance of some Smart Recovery meetings have caught my attention, and with my mind OPEN, I will continue to look into these more modern day ideas a bit more.
I have had a theory for a long time, that our Sober Network does not even need to be just a bunch of people who are recovering addicts and alcoholics, living in Sobriety., with no one else permitted into the circle. My best friends, and close family is my Sober Network, and they are not Recovering Addicts living in Sobriety. Do some of them drink socially? Sure they do, after all for the most part, they are all normal. BUT, they support me, and my sobriety. And most importantly, they hold me accountable. It is not always up to family and friends to change. It is not our job to change anyone except ourselves. I am the one with the problem. The responsibility to change is on me. And I most certainly, have no right to play alcoholic beverage policeman at events like weddings, or holiday parties. There is no reason my closest people can’t have social drinks around me. If that type of thing would keep bothering me, then I would certainly consider that I am only in the “High School” of Sobriety, and Recovery.
So, I have a few Gold Standards, My family, my friends, and the program of Smart Recovery. Another Gold Standard of mine is now simply telling truth. Honesty with others, and honesty with myself. There are still many horrific demons that I will speak of in the coming months. There is still so much pain, so many stories of sadness, and death to speak of. So many sounds of Gun shots still in my head. I promise to the world, that they will know the evil of Drug Addiction, and Street crimes, in one of the hardest cities in America. And to think, it is still for the most part America’s little hidden secret.
12 Steps Isn’t For Everybody was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.