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12 Steps To Relapse

you’re like, “I got this.”

By Cheryl Steinberg

As a sort of tongue-in-cheek exercise, a different version of the 12 Steps were written. These steps are basically a guideline of what not to do if you want to stay clean and sober, that is, if you continue to think in the following way, you’re well on your way to being miserable and most likely, to a relapse. Here are the 12 Steps to Relapse.

1. We admitted we were powerless over nothing and that we could manage our lives perfectly and those of anyone else who would allow us.

How many times have you heard people admit that it was them trying to things their own way that got them to seek recovery in the rooms?

2. Came to believe there was no power greater than ourselves and the rest of the world was insane.

Actually, it was we who were insane. And damn, how egotistical is it to think that there is nothing greater than ourselves out there? Not only that, it’s a pretty lonely way to be.

3. Made a decision to have our loved ones and friends turn their wills and lives over to our care, even though they couldn’t understand us at all.

Wow, we couldn’t take care of ourselves, let alone anyone else. In fact, it was usually our loved ones who were constantly cleaning up our messes, until they finally got fed up with us.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of everyone we knew.

Well, let’s be honest, even in recovery we do this from time-to-time. It’s human’s social nature to do so. But, if we’re going to recover successfully, we must let go of judging others and trying to control things that are outside of our sphere of influence.

5. Admitted to the whole world at large the exact nature of everyone else’s wrongs.

Again, it’s not our place to call out anyone else. In fact, I do believe that’s called ‘being a jerk,’ with “jerk” being a euphemism for a much harsher word.

6. Were entirely ready to make others straighten up and do right.

Much easier to do than take a good, hard look at ourselves, amirite?

7. Demanded others to either “shape up or ship out.”

I think we all know that this is the total opposite of what needed to happen.

8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed us and became willing to go to any lengths to get even with them.

In other words, a sh!t list. We all have had one at one time, whether actually written down on paper or kept as a mental note. The problem with that is these become resentments, which are basically one of the main factors that precipitate a relapse.

9. Got direct revenge wherever possible, except when to do so would cost us our own lives or a least a jail sentence.

Ah, revenge. Sweet, sweet revenge. As the Old Testament says, “an eye for an eye,” but what the rest of that saying is “…leaves the whole world blind.”

10. Continued to take inventory of others and when they were wrong promptly and repeatedly told them about it.

I’m sure that goes over really well with your friends and loved ones. Often times, too, it’s a whole pot-calling-the-kettle-black thing, where the things you dislike about others is also the stuff you hate about yourself.

11. Sought through bitching, complaining, and nagging to improve our relations with others as we couldn’t understand them at all, asking only that they knuckle under and do things our way.

Living as a tyrant, throwing your weight around…you sound like fun to be around (sarcasm). You’ve probably heard the expression, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

12. Having had a complete physical, emotional, and spiritual breakdown as a result of these steps, we tried to blame others and to get sympathy and pity in all our affairs.

And that’s just it. Most people will be your friend out of pity or worse – obligation. Who wants to be such an energy-suck like that? I certainly don’t want to be. Plus, what a miserable existence that must be, feeling broken in pretty much all senses of the word. That’s how we felt when we turned to the last door on the block. Why continue to feel that way, when you don’t have to?

The 12 Steps are a guideline, or blueprint, to how to live life as a better person than we were yesterday. In fact, anyone and everyone could benefit from working a program like this, even if they don’t have a problem with alcohol or other drugs; it’s just about being a positive contribution to the community and the world at-large. If you are struggling with your program or have recently relapsed and are looking for direction on what to do next, call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We’re here to help, 24/7.

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