In the beginning, many of us entered AA or NA or AA with the desire to stop using our drug of choice. That in and of itself was a tall order. We were suddenly committing to putting down a substance that we had often used for years or even decades. Initially, we faced the trials of physical withdrawal. Once our cravings had dissipated, we still had to deal with our emotional addiction to our substance. Over time, the emotional obsession to use declined as well. At that point, we found that we were really only at the beginning of our journey. All of our character defects now found space to inhabit our lives. In the past many of them had been crowded out by the more immediate issue of drugs, alcohol or food. Once we became physically sober, issues like resentment, fear, anger, jealousy, shame and lust confronted us head on. It’s not that these were new problems. They had preceded our drinking or drugging. We just had never had a way to effectively deal with any of them. In the program, we began to learn about a system of living that would help us address all of these human frailties. That system was known as the twelve steps. As we practiced those principles, even our neural pathways began to change.
Personal Reflection: What parts of my brain still need recalibration?