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Attending 12-Step As A Professional

Attending 12-Step As A Professional

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded with anonymity for a reason. In the 1920s and 1930s, it was becoming obvious to men, women, their spouses, their families, bosses, and close acquaintances that there was a severe issue with alcohol taking place. Men and women were losing control of their drinking, making choices which seemed to be irrational and illogical, and were losing their jobs as a result. These men and women were business people, doctors, lawyers, executives, sales people, husbands, wives, teachers, and more. The threat of being ousted by their problematic drinking seemed greater than the problematic drinking itself. For years, shame and guilt fueled the complicated equation of alcoholism, for which there seemed no solution.

Finally, Bill Wilson, a sales and business man, found a set of steps brought to him by a former comrade and drinking partner, which cured him of his obsession to continue drinking. After years of struggles and jobs lost, Bill got his life on track. Six months into his sobriety, while on a business trip, Bill was wrecked with the desire to drink. Knowing better, but needing support, he took to the hotel lobby phone book to see if he could find another person suffering from a problem with alcohol. That night, in Akron, Ohio, Bill Wilson met Dr. Bob Smith- a medical doctor with an addiction to his own medications and an addiction to alcohol. The foundation for Alcoholics Anonymous was laid. Feeling tremendous relief, support, and understanding, the men realized more people are in need of such solidarity. The steps which had been given to Bill, Bill then gave to Bob, which transformed Bob’s life.

Anonymity is a tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous to protect the lives, careers, and family members of recovering alcoholics. Professionals who are struggling with addiction or who have already sought recovery in their lives are sometimes hesitant to attend 12-step meetings for fear of exposure. Anonymity in 12-step groups does not come with a written contract, but a spiritual and verbal contract when the secretary of a meeting says something like “What is heard here, stays here”.

As long as you have the physical means to get to a meeting, you can, of course, attend a meeting as a professional. Alternative resources do exist, like phone call meetings and online meetings. In our next question and answer, we’ll offer suggestions for attending 12-step meetings as a professional.

Call the Center For Professional Recovery today for information on our specially designed treatment programs for professionals: 855-422-4129

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