Jamie Moon helps us take inventory in our journey along the 12 steps.In the Forth Step is a life story sufficient? Between the Big Book and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions it is suggested that until we have told someone else our entire life story we would not be free. But, that is not where it stops it further goes into resentments, fears, sex, work/money and harm to others. And, there have been fellowships built out of each one of these. Since I first came to the program in 1968 I have seen thousands of people NOT work the program on sex, work/money and a few that have.
I mean really, how many of us have done, in actual fact thorough inventories? Now the few that have had reasonable recovery in those areas have done truly painstaking inventories. Those that have not have either ended up drunk, using or else continuing smoking or eating themselves into an early grave. There are those of course that have either started another program around those areas like sex, work/money. Otherwise, we now have thousands flocking to another fellowship that has already been established. All of them, looking for the magic program that resolves the “core problem” and fixes it.
When really all any of us need to do—again and again—is a thorough inventory. Oh, and of course I forgot, one, or is it two? Psychology and psychiatry is gone to because we have “deeper issues” to work on. Well all I know is I have done each and every one of the above since 1968 and what I have truly learned is all addictions are the same. I saw that, as was said in the article on the First Step, the addiction is not the underlying problem. This is NOT new thinking. The Big Book says, “Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.”
To treat our addiction as the problem is to miss the point of the Twelve Steps. It is not! Yes, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, co-dependence, compulsive overeating, smoking causes problems. But they are not the problem. Yet, there is this constant focus on them as the problem. That is great for newcomers meetings, as long as they are weaned off that belief through a process in that meeting.
And, what is this rush back to the “good ole’ days” when folks were taken through the Steps in a matter of days? I mean that is great and will bring a person immediate relief as I have experienced it. However, if there is not a deeper look at the true problem of our thinking, our beliefs, and our emotions there will be a need to do as I have done. That would be program hopping—looking for a solution—when it has always been there in the Steps. Don’t get me wrong I think their expansion of how to look at the Steps is a great contribution. But that is what they are. Not a new found answer to the problem, it remains the same—as does the solution.