What is this 12 steps?

I was told that the programme he was doing was going to be the 12 steps programme. I had very little understanding of it. So started to do a bit of digging. That was harder than I expected! I didn’t realise it was so closed! But what I was reading I didn’t like the sound of. Higher power? Wtf? Prayers giving your will over to God? No this wasnt going to work at all. No wonder I couldn’t have contact for 3 weeks! They wanted to brain wash him. I was fearful I would be left behind in this process. That I wouldn’t understand what he needed to do what was expected of him, how could I be good support if I couldn’t work with these people? Why wasn’t I allowed to have contact? The questions kept coming, and I couldn’t find answers. Then I found a web site , it was for family members of people living with or affected by someone else’s addiction. At last! There was a forum it was based in the States and called NAR-ANON. here would be the answers to my questions. I joined the forum and started reading posts. The language was alien to me. Phrases being repeated. Thank you for sharing, addicted significant other,  in recovery, qualifier, what did these things mean? I had my man doing the ’12 step programme’ I wanted to know what the 12 steps were. I wanted to know why I couldn’t have contact. I wanted to know how I could help him when he got out, I wanted to understand what he was learning about. But couldn’t get any answers, I asked was told it wasn’t about him it was about me! What the hell were these people talking about? No I don’t think you understand, my boyfriend is in rehab in England, he isn’t allowed contact with me, why? He is doing the 12 steps programme what will he be learning about, I want to help him? We are not here for the addict, we are here for you, keep coming back! Keep coming back??? Yes get to the groups on line groups. What at 2am when I have work in the morning, when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired you will will attend groups if you want to get better. No you don’t understand, it’s my boyfriend that is in rehab, I don’t need to attend groups, why do I need to attend groups. To discuss your issues how you can get better. Keep coming back.

No this wasn’t working for me, I needed answers. I needed to know what he was learning and what I needed to do to keep him safe in the future. There was nothing wrong with me, God knows  what those Americans were wittering on about! So I looked again there must be something in the UK? Surely? I knew there wasnt much services wise, I had asked the macclesfield drugs services if there was any support for me before, and was told not. So I went on looking. I found NAR-ANON UK. This would be more like it I was thinking , they would understand how services worked in the the UK. They would tell me what he was learning about and how I could help. There was an email address I sent an email. I explained I needed to know what was going on, I needed to know what I needed to learn about so I could help him when he got out. I got a reply within a few hours. I was asked if I wanted to chat on the phone. Yes I said I would. So I got a phone call. The lady I spoke to sounded quite young, but she was full of empathy and enthusiasium! She explained that it was normal for us not to have contact so they the one in rehab focused on what they had to do, but suggested I called them and see how he was getting on. Why didn’t I think of that!

I called and eventually got to speak to someone in the centre that K was in. The worker was a bit shady, he said he didn’t know K but would pass my message to his key worker who would call me back and let me know how he was getting on. 2 days passed no word. A lot of things were happening at the same time around now. I should also say that this was all in the first 3 or 4 days of him being there!

I was in the flat and my mobile rang. It was a mobile number but not one I knew. Hello? Hi! Omg I didn’t think you could call, I got a phone, what?? Are you mad? I thought you would be pleased, I thought you would be worried not being able to talk to me, yes of course love but if you get caught….I won’t get caught will I! He was really pissed off with  me for not being pleased he had got a phone, how did you get it? Bought it from the shop. How? Errr I went to the shop and bought it, how? All I could think of was how could he have gone to the shops with staff and managed to buy a phone, it didn’t make sense, he wasn’t making sense. I went to the shops on my way back from a group and bought it, no still didn’t make sense, don’t you have to be with staff? No, I am in a house we have to go to groups in Stockport and Manchester, it’s costing me a fortune in bus fares. This was worrying me, he was allowed to just wander about without staff?? What was going on here? I have to go…ok thanks for calling. I was shell shocked! What was going on? When he had been in Lancaster he had been allowed out but everything was done in the centre. They had their treatment food slept there everything. I was told I couldn’t have contact for 3 weeks but he was allowed to go out un supervised, in a area he used to live and score drugs really was this for real?

I was stressing about him having the phone, I was stressing about him being able to go out without supervision I was stressing about him being cross with me because I wasn’t pleased he had a phone! I was of course but I was starting to understand why they didn’t want them to have contact, it distracted from their programme ( what ever that was) plus I didn’t want him to get found with the phone he would be thrown out. I texted him and said I was pleased he had called but was worried of the consiquences if he got found out. He didn’t text back.

I didnt know how sick I was I still didn’t realise that this was as much about me as it was him. I still didn’t know that I was in need of the 12 steps programme as much as he was. But I was sick I was so sick I couldn’t even be happy that he had put himself and his future at risk to call me because he cared about me, all I could see was the negatives, I was starting to loose him and I couldn’t see it, whilst he was free of the substances that had fogged his brain, I couldn’t see he was getting better, all I could see was the bad. I couldn’t see how I was now pushing him away by not celebrating what he had achieved. All I thought was I was right, and because of my illness couldn’t accept that I might be wrong about any of it. After all I wasn’t  the addict was I? I knew what was right for him what he should do or shouldn’t do! Oh I was so ill. But sadly didn’t even know I was.


One thought on “What is this 12 steps?

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I was the same way the first time I ever heard about the steps. When I went to my first of many rehabs I thought it was brainwashing too. Now many years later I see how valuable the steps are and how important it is that I work them. I didn’t know too much about Nar anon. No one in my family cared enough to try to get me any help or find out anything about addiction. Keep sharing your story believe it or not it is very therapeutic and will help you move past this and keep moving.

    Liked by 1 person

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