It seems that there is a 12 step recovery or support program for just about anything these days. I searched online, my trusty “google” search bar and found much more than I bargained for. 12 steps aren’t just for friends of Bill W. anymore. Emotions, food, sex, debts, gambling, co-dependents…. the list seemed endless at first.
- AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
- ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics
- Al-Anon/Alateen, for friends and families of alcoholics
- CA – Cocaine Anonymous
- CLA – Clutterers Anonymous
- CMA – Crystal Meth Anonymous
- Co-Anon, for friends and family of addicts
- CoDA – Co-Dependents Anonymous, for people working to end patterns of dysfunctional relationships and develop functional and healthy relationships
- COSA – formerly Codependents of Sex Addicts
- COSLAA – CoSex and Love Addicts Anonymous
- DA – Debtors Anonymous
- EA – Emotions Anonymous, for recovery from mental and emotional illness
- FA – Families Anonymous, for relatives and friends of addicts
- FA – Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
- FAA – Food Addicts Anonymous
- GA – Gamblers Anonymous
- Gam-Anon/Gam-A-Teen, for friends and family members of problem gamblers
- HA – Heroin Anonymous
- MA – Marijuana Anonymous
- NA – Narcotics Anonymous
- NAIL – Neurotics Anonymous, for recovery from mental and emotional illness
- Nar-Anon, for friends and family members of addicts
- NicA – Nicotine Anonymous
- OA – Overeaters Anonymous
- OLGA – Online Gamers Anonymous
- PA – Pills Anonymous, for recovery from prescription pill addiction.
- SA – Sexaholics Anonymous
- SA – Smokers Anonymous
- SAA – Sex Addicts Anonymous
- SCA – Sexual Compulsives Anonymous
- SIA – Survivors of Incest Anonymous
- SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
- UA – Underearners Anonymous
- WA – Workaholics Anonymous
But, after reviewing it to confirm my personal favorite was missing, (CelebrateRecovery.com) I also noticed that the 12 step process that I have been trying to customize to my marriage is also not addressed in any of the online links to help. I don’t know if that is a good or bad sign… maybe you can’t recovery a marriage in only 12 steps? At the rate we are going at our process, it could take a couple baker’s dozens of steps! Just kidding – just a little brag report, my own marriage recovery process is proceeding. Maybe not as fast as I had originally thought it would, but I am recognizing that it is really proceeding at the proper pace and with God in control.
So, as for my own 12 step Marriage Recovery, here are the steps as I see them so far:
1 – I can’t. (we admitted we were powerless over our marriage and it was unmanageable)
2 – God can. ( came to believe that only God could restore our marriage)
3 – Let God. (Made a decision to turn our wills, our marriage and our lives over to the care of God)
4 – Look within. (Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and our marriage)
5 – Admit wrongs. (Admitted to God, to ourselves, to our marriage counselor or other trusted friend, and to our spouse the exact nature of our wrongs.)
6 – Ready self for change. (were entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character)
7 – Seek God’s help. (humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings)
8 – Become willing. (made a list of persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all – especially ourselves and each other)
9 – Make amends.( made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.)
10 – Daily inventory. (continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it)
11 – Pray and meditate. (sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and our marriage and the power to carry that out.)
12 – Give it away. (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)
**13 Repeat as necessary.
Back to my own marriage recovery 12 steps. So far, we seem to be surfing around these steps on our journey. We’ve done some inventory, some amends, some prayer, some surrender to God’s help, some more prayer, some more getting ready for change, looking within, and then back to the inventory, prayer, meditation, and seeking God’s will for our ways. The other awesome revelation I have realized is that our journey seems to only be moving forward without much stumbling or detours. The speed has fluctuated dependent on the issues, amends, inventory, or God’s will at any given time, but the direction still remains steadfast. Towards HIM and pulling us closer together each step of the way.
God is so good.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (second edition) states:
1606 Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. This disorder can manifest itself more or less acutely, and can be more or less overcome according to the circumstances of cultures, eras, and individuals, but it does seem to have a universal character.
1607 According to faith the disorder we notice so painfully does not stem from the nature of man and woman, nor from the nature of their relations, but from sin. As a break with God, the first sin had for its first consequence the rupture of the original communion between man and woman. Their relations were distorted by mutual recriminations;96 their mutual attraction, the Creator’s own gift, changed into a relationship of domination and lust;97 and the beautiful vocation of man and woman to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth was burdened by the pain of childbirth and the toil of work.98
1608 Nevertheless, the order of creation persists, though seriously disturbed. To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them.99 Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them “in the beginning.”
So very true that all things are possible with HIS help. Thank you God for your mercy, your forgiveness, your love and your grace. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen, Amen, Amen! 🙂