Sharing personal information brings people closer together. But how do you know when you’ve gone too far—or when someone else has ulterior motives?
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Unlike Dr. Peele, I don't have a polarized view on this issue. My experience with my patients and my own issues is that you have to meet a person where they are. From my own experience in a 12-step program, I have had abstinence and peace, and I've gone back out to do the experiment - to see if I could moderate my behavior. After years of failed experimentation, I was finally willing to do what was asked of me in the big book and my sponsor, etc. This decision, re-decided on a daily or hourly basis some days, has given me serenity and relief from the cravings and compulsion. I've always found that fellow 12 steppers, the ones who are further on the path of recovery, do not "tell" me what to do or judge me when I've struggled of left and come back in defeat. They share their experience and hope
and it's up to me and my higher power to discern if I am willing to work the program - or not.
What I object to in Dr. Peele's blog is the mocking of 12-steps programs and people who have experienced recovery through those programs, which leads him and others who responded in kind to take an adversarial position. I just recommended a moderation program to one of my patients the other day; he was not at all ready to consider an abstinence program as he is not desperate. Most people who end up in 12-step rooms (and stay) have tried everything else and feel desperate to be free of their addition (my experience). If someone has a negative experience at certain meetings-find another one! Look for meetings where there are members with long term recovery and sobriety who work the steps. Those are usually the strongest meetings, and those members are the least likely to try to act like anyone else's higher power by telling others what to do. They will share what worked for themselves and let you take or leave it.
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