My 12-Step Journey

from Paul

I came to the 12-steps about a decade ago, as I helped an addicted loved one enter a year-long rehab program.  His addiction had been going on for several years, and (as I later learned), my co-dependence preceded the addiction by years before that.


What I thought was a plan to “support” my loved one in recovery because a journey of discovery for myself.  I came to understand that I had my own issues to confront.  In that first year, my addicted loved one and I walked on similar, but very different, paths.  We both worked the steps.  I even attended family sessions at his rehab facility.  But each of us had unique burdens we carried, unique weaknesses to have removed, unique amends to make as the time came.


I started at Step One, recognizing that I was powerless over addiction.  Simple enough, I thought at the time.  But over the course of several months I came to understand that my powerlessness was deeper than I realized, mostly because my own problems were far deeper than I realize.  My co-dependence led me to try to control everything around me, and to respond with anger when I could not.  (And, as Step 1 taught me, of course I could not control everything around me!)

 I can't, He can

A decade later, both my addicted loved one and I live in recovery.  And we both recognize that we do so one day at a time, grateful for where we are today.  I have come to rely on regular step work to keep me on the path of recovery from my addiction to control and the destruction that addiction caused in my family.  I’m amazed at the grace of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice that allows my life to be better today than it was a decade ago.


As I worked the first three steps, summarized simply and well by a friend:  “I can’t; He can; I think I’ll let Him,” I came to trust the Lord in ways I never knew I could.  I learned to pray to understand His will rather than to dictate my own.  I learned to “let go and let God” in matters I knew I could not (or should not) control.  


I began as an ARP group leader just over 8 years ago, and I have found a wonderful home in my ARP group, where I can continue to learn to live according to the principles of the 12 Steps, and enjoy the continuing blessings which the Savior offers through His atoning sacrifice.

Addiction Stories

The Deseret News is doing a series of stories on people suffering from addiction. This one tells the story of a school superintendent and LDS Bishop struggle to overcome an opiod addiction.

“I hope our society will someday see people suffering from drug addiction for who they truly are — not criminals, but human beings struggling to conquer an extremely strong foe,” says Bennett. “To win that fight, they need our empathy, understanding and support.”

Read the rest of the story at The Deseret News

Mike Bennett


There is Always Hope

I was having a rough day related to concerns with a loved one. I found myself crying frequently and hopelessness was becoming a constant companion. I was able to attend a Step 2 Healing Through Christ Family Support group meeting and the Spirit touched my heart deeply with a couple of thoughts that night.

The first one was related to a paragraph under Hope and Expectation that talks about Satan trying to remove hope, but he can’t because it is a lie. So having “no Hope” is a lie. That brought amazing peace and comfort to me. When I think I have lost hope I can remember that the statement is a lie. There is always hope because I believe in Christ. That is an absolute for me, thus I have some hope always and once there is some hope there can be more hope.

Hope in Christ

The second thought I had was related to President Uchtdorf’s quote, “[Hope] is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered.” Sometimes, like today, I struggle with what that really means. However, in the prior paragraph it talks about surrendering our desires to God’s timetable and trusting in His Plan for me and for my loved ones. All of my plans have to be eliminated, turned over, forgotten. My energy must go into asking for “confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance” in God’s plan.

I am praying for and searching for that “firmly grounded” feeling and trusting what God Can and Will do for me. Someone in our meeting said God’s only agenda each day is us. He does not have an agenda for himself. I want that agenda. I want to be on that team, not my own team with my own agenda.

So back to my rough day – I felt the spirit telling me I wasn’t a team player at home.  We were turning into competing teams and He wanted me to remember we were a family right now, despite its less than traditional nature.  I should be finding the good, not always criticizing and complaining.  I felt like He understood how I felt and His council to look for the good was to bring me happiness.  He knew the way up and He knew the way out.  He knew because He had already felt everything I was feeling but even more He knew a better way.