Do the 12 steps really work?
If so, how did they work for you?
I don't know what they are but I would wager they work for (some) people and not for others. There is no "one size fits all" method for everyone. That goes for diets, exercise, learning, or succeeding in business. We're all looking for something that resonates with (us). No one thing "clicks" with everyone.
Sometimes you have to try a variety of things in order to find what works for (you). Life is a personal journey.
Yes, they do really work for many people. That said, "many people" means about 10% long-term -- but it is the only type of program that really shows any long-term success rate.
As for how they work for me (still do), they've helped me let go of the things I can't control in life and focus on my own spiritual health. My own 12-step program is through Al-Anon, as I found myself just as miserable and diseased as the addicts around me due to my response to their addictions. It's hard to go into much detail on a short answer about all of the different aspects of life it has affected. I will say that I have learned to live healthy and with general well-being despite being unable to help people I truly care about. I've been working on this path for 5 years, and had my last fight about substance abuse over 3 years ago. My husband has since sobered up (just passed his 2-year, also with a 12-step program), but I would not have been able to still be here with him if I wasn't working my own program. Other family members are still suffering, some close to death, but I'm still able to live my life and accept that I simply can't change them and I can control how they affect my life.
Do 12-step programs work for everyone? No. Not even the majority. Addiction is a terrible, terrible disease that kills tens of thousands, and robs the lives of millions more even though they're still breathing. The important thing is that they do work for some -- in my experience, that's anyone who is truly able to "get it" and truly internalize and apply the concepts. It's not as easy as it sounds, and it's not a "one and done" sort of deal -- it's an ongoing process, just as all of life is.
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