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Comment Social beings engage in social methods. (Score 3, Insightful) 330

I am a strong advocate of whatever works.

It doesn't matter who is right or if its the best way or stupid or God or placebo effect. I think the issue is that human beings effect one another and that people with problems of any kind do have an affect on the people around them. These problems may be the result of their experience of the people around them. Whether or not addiction is a choice or a disease or a spiritual or a social disorder really does not matter. What matters is that those who may be afflicted with this dilemma attempt to engage with society in a way that will help to resolve behavior that is inevitably harmful to the self and to the people around them. I don't mean to judge others, each individual can make that determination for themselves. But if it seems that there is wreckage and damage to themselves and to others, and if it is difficult to ascertain how to get a handle on the situation, then its a pretty good bet that engaging with other human beings might be a good starting place.

While it is also true that 12 step programs derive from a spiritual, albeit even Christian flavored template, that in no way limits an individuals personal approach or beliefs. Its just a social venue in which to engage with fellow addicts. And yes there are all kinds of people out there, from the weird to the mundane. Some with "fight club" agendas and some working on a date for Saturday night. Many are addicted to 12 step groups and some are stoned and court mandated to attend. Whatever. It doesn't matter. Its like the rest of the world - there are all kinds. But if you try to do SOMETHING, try to engage with others in a way conducive to new behavior, or another perspective, then its a good place to start.

Why a 12 step? Because its all around, in pretty much every town in the western world. It is anonymous. It is inclusive of anyone who can just be present and listen. It costs nothing. You can leave at any time. If you don't like the kooks or freaks or holy rollers or drunks then just go and find a group that is normal like you. Or blow it off. Nobody will stand in your way. Just know that it is available to you, even if its not particularly useful or interesting to you, it remains an option. And the possibilities are as varied as the human beings that comprise our world. Some are even Scientologists lurking in narc-anon.

Like most things you get out of it what you put into it. If you spend more time drinking you'll spend more time dealing with those consequences, whatever they are. For some, it just means better wine, for others its a DUI or health concerns or anything else you can imagine. If you spend a lot of times doing something else instead, then you will get other results. It may not make you happy or solve your problems, but it will take time away from drinking or gambling or eating a gallon of ice cream or it doesn't matter what else.

My point is perhaps best stated by the immortal Tom Leher. He once said,

"Life is like a sewer.... What you get out of it depends on what you put into it"

And as with most things that goes for the 12 or 13 steps as well. Let the farce be with you.

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