I both love and hate the 12 Steps.
After quitting the fellowship yesterday (“for good, this time!”), I went to another meeting tonight (again). And it was great, I loved it.
But there’s so much of the dogma and culture which I fucking hate. There are certain things I simply will not subscribe to, certain things I cannot bring myself to say.
I’m not going to mould myself into a starry-eyed 12 Step believer. I can’t fool myself into doing that.
But here’s what I love:
12 Steps is a community of (fucking crazy) people with a common problem, coming together to support and help each other.
And THAT is fucking golden. I just need to find ways of dealing with the rest of the 12 Steps annoying bollocks.
[Note: forgive my swearing, I’ve been fasting today and recently had a strong coffee. It’s having approximately triple the usual effect.]
Things I HATE About the 12 Steps
No, I will not admit I was powerless over my addiction. Tomorrow I won’t have used for 90 days – how the fuck is that powerless?
There is no God or Higher Power. It’s all me, baby. Call me arrogant or conceited, I don’t give a fuck. I got myself to this point, not God.
No, I’m not going to “surrender” or “have faith”. That’s an abdication of my intellectual capabilities. I can and will figure this stuff out, for myself. I will find my own idiosyncratic take on the 12 Steps which works for me. I don’t need to swallow someone else’s generic version, no matter how well-intended.
Most of the “stepwork” involved in the 12 Steps strikes me as mere busy-work. It’s something for addicts to aim towards which will give them a feeling of purpose in their lives.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of value to be extracted from doing the 12 Steps – it makes you into a better person. But it’s not the only way to get a feeling of meaning and purpose in one’s life. And it frustrates the fuck out of me that 12 Steps acts like some kind of religion or cult in this regard.
No, my disease doesn’t talk to me and it doesn’t want me dead. Diseases don’t have personalities.
I don’t even think it’s scientifically accurate to consider addiction as a disease (like 12 Steps insists). I’m certainly not broken. I’m just someone with a drug problem which got out of control. I can and will learn how to get it under control.
I don’t even think I’m an addict. Yes, I’ve done some fucked up shit that’s related to drugs. But I can also go months at a time without using. And most of the time when I used, I fucking loved it – it made my life better. That puts me a fair distance away from the heroin junkies who used every day, against their will, and didn’t even fucking like it.
Anyway, I kinda feel like I’m running out of steam now. The caffeine is wearing off.
There are plenty of other things I dislike about the 12 Steps. But for now, I’m prepared to simply ignore them.
I get a lot out of the social aspects of 12 Steps. It’s helping me to become a better person.
I just don’t need to swallow everything 12 Steps proclaims.