Back to Life!
It's probably a recreational Universe!
The goal of every 12
Step Program, whether it's Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or
one of the newer groups dealing with emotions and behaviors, is first to
stop practicing the addiction. Implicit in the Program, however, is also
a return to living a full life - a life where you can pursue your dreams
and make a contribution.
Taking steps to get
back into life can seem tricky and confusing in the beginning. It should
go without saying that you don't want to go back to the type of
activities that supported your addiction. If you're like many, this
means you don't yet know what you like to do or what you're good at.
Exploration is the key.
Life is everywhere
Every newspaper lists
local clubs and associations; so do the Yellow pages. Take a look and
see what sparks an interest. Volunteer opportunities, both within the 12
Step context and elsewhere abound in every community. Local colleges and
educational institutions offer an amazing variety of classes and many of
them cost little. Entertainment listings often include lectures.
Look at as many of
these listings as you can find. If you feel a spark of interest, try it.
Going once to a club meeting doesn't commit you to joining; doing a
volunteer stint isn't a life-time commitment. Often you can visit a
class once or twice before you actually sign up.
Don't be surprised if
you don't like some of the things you try - that's progress! You're
learning about yourself. Keep experimenting and widening your interests.
Maybe it will be a reading group or a dance class.
Don't go overboard
It's also a good idea
to limit your exploration to once a week in the beginning. Keep going to
meetings - your experiences in the larger world will give you stories to
Before long you'll find
out what you like and you'll be getting back in the world, just as the
Love, peace and