Tag Archives: 12-steps

About Alcoholics Anonymous

A.A., then and now:  After 75 Years, We Don’t Know How It Works.  David Brooks weighs in here.

In a culture that thinks of itself as individualistic, A.A. relies on fellowship. The general idea is that people aren’t really captains of their own ship. Successful members become deeply intertwined with one another — learning, sharing, suffering and mentoring one another. Individual repair is a social effort.

Also on this site, a list of 12-step programs in L.A. Whether you’re aiming at recovery or not, if you’ve never been to a 12-step meeting, they’re well worth checking out.  (Make sure it’s an open meeting–outsiders welcome.)

Chronic Pain Anonymous

Added to the resources page here, Chronic Pain Anonymous.  New and not huge, you’re more likely to find online or phone meetings than one nearby.  From the site:

How do I know if I may benefit from Chronic Pain Anonymous?

If your life is managed around your experience of pain and if you make choices in activities, careers, entertainment, or any other actions depending upon how much pain you are experiencing, than you may just be experiencing chronic pain. If you can answer the following statement with an unequivocal yes:

• I admit that I am powerless over my pain-and my life has become unmanageable.

… then you may benefit from Chronic Pain Anonymous

Workaholism and Chronic Pain

Take a look at the Workaholics Anonymous Brief Guide (pdf). In addition to the 12-steps (pretty much the same as A.A.’s, with “work” replacing “alcohol”) and a quiz (“How Do I Know if I’m a Workaholic?”), there’s Tools of Recovery list.  What’s especially striking about them to this reader is how completely they sync up with suggested approaches to undoing stress-related chronic pain.  Here’s a sampling:

Substituting We do not add a new activity without eliminating from our schedule one that demands equivalent time and energy.

Underscheduling We allow more time than we think we need for a task or trip, allowing a comfortable margin to accommodate the unexpected.

Playing We schedule time for play, refusing to let ourselves work non-stop. We do not make our play into a work project.

Concentrating We try to do one thing at a time.

Pacing We work at a comfortable pace and rest before we get tired. To remind ourselves, we check our level of energy before proceeding to our next activity.We do not get “wound up” in our work, so we don’t have to unwind.

Relaxing We do not yield to pressure from others or attempt to pressure others. We remain alert to the people and situations that trigger feelings of pressure in us. We become aware of our own actions, words, body sensations and feelings that tell us we are responding with pressure. When we feel energy building up, we stop; we reconnect with our Higher Power and others around us.

Accepting We accept the outcomes of our endeavors, whatever the results, whatever the timing. We know that impatience, rushing and insisting on perfect results only slow down our recovery. We are gentle with our efforts, knowing that our new way of living requires much practice.

Balancing We balance our involvement in work with our efforts to develop personal relationships, spiritual growth, creativity and playful attitudes.

A pretty good set of principles–workaholic, chronic pain-sufferer, or not.

12-Step Meetings in Los Angeles

Building a list of 12-step groups, with websites and phone numbers, on the resources page.  Another bigger–but possibly outdated–list is here.  See something crucial missing? Please let me know.  Here, in the meantime, are the biggies:

Alcoholics Anonymous: (323) 936-4343

Cocaine Anonymous: (310) 216-4444

Narcotics Anonymous: (818) 773-9999

Al-Anon: (818) 760-7122