Suffering from a life issue? THERE'S A WAY OUT.
A lot of us have suffered from a life issue (like an addiction, an emotional problem, or codependency) AND SOME OF US HAVE GOTTEN A LOT BETTER. (And there's hope for even more improvement.)
I'm talking about "big" issues, and also "little" issues too. For all kinds of personal problems, there is a solution -- one that lasts.
One man named Jerry wrote: "For about seven years, I used and abused prescription tranquilizers, taking up to seven a day, sometimes even trying to wash them down with beer.... I thought suicide was my answer.... In my experience with the Twelve Steps, I found a new way of life...."
Miriam wrote: "The basic need for love and affection still remained unaddressed and unmet. I was a slave to that need; I did everything I could to meet it. Money, sex, and power, and, of course, food were my favorite outlets, but the satisfaction was fleeting.... I was crazy from unaccepted and inappropriate emotions.... I never exploded, though; instead of exploding, I was imploding.... Through months and months of working the Twelve Steps of EA, I have gained a serenity never before imagined. My broken heart is no longer hollow.... Today, I still encounter problems, and I'm still discovering me.... Just for today, I am working the Twelve Steps...."
And finally, Ron wrote: "I wanted my life to be better but had absolutely no idea of how to achieve it.... What I found with EA has quite literally helped me not only to survive but to improve emotionally over these past five and a half years.... Working the steps has been important to my emotional progress."
(These personal stories are from the book Emotions Anonymous by EA International.)
"Someone who repeats with their mouth just a few of the teacher's lessons, but who lives by the Principles -- that person walks away from what the flesh wants, and walks away from bad feelings toward others, and walks away from sick thinking. That person has awareness, and a mind that's free."
"The truth will set you free."
I'm a guy who has struggled with food addiction and it's gotten way better for me, and stayed better for years now. Part of my continued healing is that I share with others the solution. I'll go into a little more detail. I suffered from a little-known eating disorder called Binge Eating Disorder (or B.E.D.), and also I suffered from other personal problems like addictions, emotional problems and codependency, and a bunch of it has gone away. And I have hope for even more progress.
The short version:
1) being sorry, and
2) forgiving people for true wrongs
These two principles were spoken about 2,000 years ago by Jesus of Nazareth. And I'm not the only one who has experienced healing like this, by putting these principles into practice.
So, the short version perhaps is nice, but really, HOW? To be more specific:
Okay, the first step on our way to healing was: Honesty. We admitted we have little or no control when it comes to our issue. After we took this simple step, admitting powerlessness over a life issue (or a bunch of life issues), we were ready to take the next simple step.
This one was all about HOPE. We realized we needed something bigger than us, more powerful than us, to finally fix us, to do what doesn't seem possible, to make a miracle happen for us. This was any idea of God, or WHATEVER we thought exists that could do for us what we couldn't do for ourselves: change our feelings, thoughts and behaviors so we were finally really living life. Once we got to that place, realizing there's some greater power than can restore us, then we took the next step.
Here are all 12 Steps:
The 12 Steps of Recovery
1. We admitted we were powerless over a life issue (like our addictions, or our emotions, or work, or other people) -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove all our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
--- An additional principle: We offered forgiveness to those who had hurt us.
This stuff has worked for lots of people, including me. Why am I sharing this? Part of my continued healing is that I share with others the solution. So thanks for reading this. Note: Lately I have been taking anti-depressant medications prescribed by a doctor, which has helped with my depression. But I've also been living the Life Solution, and it has helped with PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING ELSE, like anxiety, anger, addictions and codependency. A LOT OF FREEDOM.
Okay. So, to live the Life Solution and recover from a life issue, the first step to take is...
Step 1: "We admitted we were powerless over a life issue (like our addictions, or our emotions, or work, or other people) -- that our lives had become unmanageable."
Lots of us have struggled with addictions, for example drugs, alcohol, food, sexual, pornography, gambling, video gaming, etc. Lots of us have struggled with emotional problems, for example anxiety, depression, anger, bipolar, etc. Lots of us have struggled with work addiction (or work avoidance). And lots of us have struggled with how we relate with other people, or in other words, codependency (trying to make others happy and please them, or trying to control others, or trying to fix others, or trying to keep others away, or trying to keep others close, etc.). Most of our issues came down to addictions, emotional problems, and codependency.
For me with my issues, I eventually took the first step toward getting way better. I said out loud something like, "I'm powerless over my addictions." And I also said out loud something like, "I'm powerless over my emotions." I have also said out loud, "I'm powerless over other people," and also, "I'm powerless over work."
We have suffered. I invite you to admit, to your inner-most self, that you're powerless over an issue you have. If it would be helpful, I invite you to read again the info above on Step 1, and say out loud, "I'm powerless over [_____]."
When we'd gotten honest like this, then we took the next step.
Here are The Next Steps.
Here are The Next Steps.