“The only thing I can bear witness to is the truth of my own experience. Because that’s what I want to hear from others. I want to see and feel the real truth about someone’s inner life and behavior that I can identify with. I don’t want to be told or preached at. Knowing the truth about religion or the program didn’t do it for me. Coming to see and acknowledge the truth about myself is what got me through the door into this new way of life. It’s the truth about myself-the imperfect truth–that attracts others; not all the preaching in the world.” (SA WB pg. 144)
This is one of the greatest things about the 12 Step Program(s)
It’s been my experience that since I’ve been coming to Alcoholics Anonymous since 1992 and Sexaholics Anonymous since 1995 that “addicts” hate being told what to do. However, this is very tricky state of mind because it takes the same level of surrender to be willing to follow directions in order to recover. Often we are told to “go to meetings, work the steps, pray, get a sponsor, etc.”. In fact, there are 103 MUSTS in the AA Big Book.
I personally have given my 5th Step to a priest and thank God for all the wonderful things I’ve learned from clergy members. In addition they say, “sometimes you have to seek professional help” and reach out to the mental health profession. I also have witnessed tremendous benefit talking to psychiatrists and psychologists over the past 20 years or more. However, there is no comparison how POWERFUL the level of honesty and transparent sharing that takes place when one addicts talks to another.