The Steps

Almost all treatment programs have something to say about the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most are big fans of that path to recovery, while others offer alternatives. For our son, he struggled to accept the references to God or Higher Power, but we did not. We understood that he was going to have to find something stronger than he was to be able to recover, but we also came believe that we weren’t going to be it! WE couldn’t be his Higher Power. WE couldn’t restore him to sanity. WE couldn’t do for him what he could not do for himself. We had proven that to ourselves over and over and over.

In time, we also began to recognize that the Al-Anon 12 Steps might have value for us too. That concept was as hard for us to embrace as the Higher Power concept was for our son! But honestly, the first time someone suggested that we change the word “alcohol” to “our son,” it all made sense. “We came to believe that we are powerless over our son and that our lives had become unmanageable.” Well…yeah.

That was the beginning of an important transformation for us as parents. We began to recognize that we could benefit from working the steps and show our son that we were willing to take a look at OUR unmanageable lives, our insanity, the exact nature of our own wrongs (not his) and our own character defects. I have to admit that it hasn’t been easy, but it’s become an invaluable part of our own healing and our own recovery.

Today’s Reminder:  I will remind myself that, if I really expect my son to be able and willing to get over HIS pre-conceived notions that allow him to reject a 12-step approach to recovery, I have to be willing to do the same. I had to get willing to model for him by doing for myself what I wanted him to do. And surprise, surprise, it ended up really helping me AND him in our journey towards recovery.

You can listen to an audio of this devotional at our podcast A Dose of Hope.


You do not have to walk this path alone. Parenting Through Addiction offers courses to teach you about what YOU can do to help your child as they begin their own path to recovery. We also offer various membership options so you can connect with other parents who are on their own journey to find serenity in the face of their child’s addiction. To learn more click here!