I appreciate what the AA 12 Step Program is trying to do. But I have severe objections to the religious dogma that plagues the program. I also take severe issue with the second step which is to surrender and turn yourself over to a higher power. It's too passive. The idea behind getting well is for your Better Self, the Self that wants to live, not die to see things through the end, and hopefully a really long life, is the sheer force of will that you have to engage to stop the drugs and drinking. You have the power all along. You have the ability to stop the screaming child within that just wants more and more and listen to the wise old man (or old lady) that is the body's natural endorphins that you generate in abundance. So here it is: (by the way, I am on step 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
Astor's 12 Step Program
1. I feel my life has spun out of control and I have had enough. I have been in a nightmare prison. A rabbit hole. The drugs and alcohol are making me sick. I want out. I want to live. I want to be free.
2. I honour the withdrawal. Emotions race, nerve endings fire up. I get uncomfortable but that is the body reawakening from it's stupour. It will balance out. It takes time. I must be patient. It will pass. I will honor the rush of emotions.
3. Acknowledge that pain is a signal. I am carrying psychic pain that is manifesting itself in my body. It might be guilt, shame, anger, fear. Something is eating away at my soul and it's manifesting itself in my body. I must find out what it is. The drugs and alcohol are just masking that pain and I won't get better until I soul search.
4. I have done my soul searching and found what it is that is causing my pain. I honour the strong emotions that come out.
5. I make amends to the people I have hurt while I was drugging and drinking. I acknowledge their anger at me while I was sick. I will heal where I can. If they are passed on, I will pray for their peace. Compassion and empathy is the way to live.
6. I forgive all of those who trespassed against me. I realize that "We all have chapters we would like to rewrite." They are also carrying their own burdens. Happy people are not mean. Mean people are unhappy. I have compassion for them.
7. I acknowledge that nobody's perfect. That means me. I forgive myself.
8. I dedicate my life to exercise. Motion is lotion. The human body was built to move. It wasn't THAT long ago that we were all hunters, trappers, gatherers and beasts of burden. Our bodies are built for that.
9. I find alternatives to drugs. I reach out. I find support. I try acupuncture. Old fashioned aspirin. A recent study by Times Magazine has said that the most effective pain medicine on the market is aspirin. There is no rabbit hole with aspirin! The stomach won't allow it.
10. I listen to music. Music stimulates the endorphins. Those cold chills that go up my spine when listening to Beethoven are those good old endorphins. I watch a funny movie. Laughter also stimulates endorphins.
11. I do service to others. Others suffer too and they need all the help they can get. I must find my passion. I must spread my positive energy where I can. I need to find something greater than myself.
12. I am free!!!!