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May 07 • Is This Healthy?

Day 668

My discovery this week of the Green Book's explanation of the Fifth Tradition seems to have jolted my view and understanding of 12 Step fellowships for sexual addiction, and probably all of the programs based on the 12 Steps. That part of me that wants to be an isolationist, and to prove to the world that I can do this sobriety thing, almost resents the seeming emphasis on the group over the individual. But I also believe it is merely a backdoor approach of telling the addict that the individual is the critical reason we do this recovery thing, but since we can't do it as individuals, the group commitment is paramount. That also feels a little cultish, like we're being scared into this community of addicts for some unknown, probably alien-driven misdirection. But then I look around at other successful (meaning helpful) service organizations of value, and it just isn't that unusual. There is even a little — or a lot — of that in the Church, all the churches. While the message is about the individual's salvation or ticket to Paradise, how can the individual accomplish that without the greater body of the religious, and the leadership of the pious? For most organizations, there are significant distractions along the arc of their existence. Sometimes it's merely doctrine, and other times it's the need and desire for power and money. Twelve Step programs are less than a hundred years old in the current form, and sexually related programs aren't half as old. Time will tell whether outside temptations will become internal divisions, but for now, the collective and singular drive for sobriety is remarkable and remarkably effective. At least it has been for me. At least it is today.




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