Wednesday, January 2, 2013

More than one way to recover

I was recently asked by Passages Malibu if I would consider sponsorship from their company and maybe to allow guest writers of theirs to use my blog space to explain what they do.

At first, I was super flattered. I mean, they want to use THIS to promote their recovery centers?   They have all of those commercials during Intervention on A&E. They were most likely going to PAY me!

That lasted about 30 seconds. I then remembered a commercial that they did.  A line from that commercial was something like, "this isn't the 12-steps, this WORKS."

I am not one of those 12-stepper people that believes that the ONLY way to recover is by using the 12 steps. But implying that the 12-steps don't work, is just bullshit.

I do believe that people can be in recovery, or even get "cured" as this treatment center claims, using many different ways. It is all about ones perception and what's meaningful to them. But it makes no sense to me to EVER put down any other path to recovery.  What clicks and works for one person, doesn't work for everyone.  This is a disease that kills people.  Never put down something that works for even one person.  And let's face it, the 12-steps have helped millions achieve long-term sobriety.

I also know that addiction is a disease. And there are more and more studies of the brain that prove this. They don't buy the disease model. But again, if people need to stop using, and use their center to do so, and it works, than I am all about it.

I am sure Passages has helped many people too.  It doesn't matter how you stop.  As long as you don't die from drugs and alcohol.  Or live being miserable because you can't use drugs and alcohol.  Being in recovery, or "cured" means that you have found a life that is livable and meaningful without the use of drugs and alcohol.

I noticed that they have dropped that line out of their TV commercial to just say "this isn't a 12-step program" which makes me feel better. But I can't forget that it wasn't that long ago, they went after the 12-steps like that. I get that they need to sell treatment beds. I hope they have a good success rate in their cure. But I think I will stick to just talking about what works for me and my own experiences.

People quit using drugs and alcohol on their own just as much as people do with some kind of program.  But for me, I couldn't do it alone.  And I have a whole crew of people who feel the same way.  Thank goodness for that.

Looks like I just plugged them for free...


  1. When I was in high school I had to drive my mom to 12 step meetiings twice a week as a condition for having a car. (And a job so I could pay for the car, insurance, and gas.) She drank, a lot. The last time she slapped me was when I found her pased out in the bathroom, covered in vodka flavoured vomit. 2 hours after getting home from a 12 step meeting. She slapped me because I said I was going to tell Dad that I wasn't going to sit in a cold car doing my homework anymore. She died when she crashed into a telephpole a .42bac. When the shadows in my head start talking too loudly, I wonder what would have happened if I would have told.

    1. That is a super sad story. I can't imagine what my own shadows would say about that. You didn't cause, couldn't control and couldn't cure it. Many, many people keep drinking while going to meetings. Some get it eventually, some don't. I am so very sorry you lost your mom like that. Mine died when I was 16 of cancer. Like alcoholism, I couldn't do anything about that disease either. I am sorry you were put in that position. You did what you thought was the right thing. And so it was the right thing. I hope you do have peace when the shadows shut up.

    2. And thank you, by the way, for sharing this.

    3. Some day maybe I'll win against the shadows, probably not. I think everyone has them, brave people face them. Most days I'm brave, you're very brave. I think in some ways it was an inoculation against the disease. I am able to drink a glass of sangria on my birthday, or a glass of champagne at a wedding and be happy. Or maybe I just caught a variant. I have terrible sleeping issues and am perhaps too reliant on ambian or lunesta. Especially if I've just handled a shooting, or a trauma death because it brings up all the ones before it. Those can cause me to stay awake for days at a time, no stimulants, just me and my shadows.

      I was only 16 too, 17 when she died. I shouldn't have been making any decisions.

  2. Betsey- seriously i wished i could reach thru the web and high five you!!! I am soooo proud of you for sticking to what you believe in. It is very flattering that they reached out to you and wanted to use your blog. You do stil have that!
    I agree with you that no other company should put down another to get business.