I think most people who have a loved one or friend with an addiction problem are familiar with The Twelve Step Program.

But I was thinking about how recovering addicts lives are like taking one flight of steps after another, never knowing when the climbing is going to end.


My experience has been that the first flight of steps in recovery is actually easy.  Once the person has done the hard work of committing to sobriety and joins a program, they are buoyed by the excitement of making the decision and the help that comes out of the woodwork to help support them in their decision.

The next flight of steps lead the person in recovery to living in the world again and becomes more difficult.  They usually need to find jobs and a sponsor in the program.  But to a certain extent their fragility is still recognized and they are given a lot of help at this juncture.

The third flight of steps usually leads to dealing with all the fundamental difficulties of living in the world and accepting responsibility for reclaiming your life.  This third flight of steps is usually where my loved one fails.  The stress of living in the real world seems to be too much and relapse occurs.

I am celebrating this weekend that my family member seems to have the strength to go onto the fourth flight of steps.

Life for all of us is a continual set of steps always leading upward toward God.  For most of us, as we climb, we gain the strength to continue climbing and develop strategies to deal with the difficulties that we encounter as we climb.  I am celebrating that he seems to be positively navigating the third flight of steps. I am praying that he will develop the strength and endurance to keep on climbing.

Wishing you strength and endurance,


About Bernadette

I live in the small town of Haddonfield, NJ. I am at an age in my life when I seem to spend time thinking and musing about life. These musings are usually stimulated by my walks through Haddonfield, my reading of books and fellow bloggers, and my interaction with my group of fabulous family and friends.

7 Responses

  1. In my bedroom is a picture of a curved set of steps, leading up a hill, with a landing part-way up that has a light post on it It used to hang in my office. I bought it years ago as a representation of the 12 Steps. Your post made me look at it and look up the Steps, again. I haven’t looked at them in a long time. I have always thought there was an incredible wisdom in them, and that they were not only a guide to a better life, but also a pathway to God. None of them is easy. We want to do things under our own power, which can be the greatest stumbling block to the first three steps. We all seem to think we must go it alone. Knowing our powerlessness, is knowing we all need help from others and help from God. Four to seven are equally hard for all of us. To genuinely look at our defects and moral failings and to admit those to God and to another person can be as painful as it is liberating. Eight and nine lead to facing where our failures have caused pain and making amends…why do we human beings so want to avoid asking for forgiveness? And of course the last steps are about continuing our climb and reaching out a helping hand to others as they struggle on the path. Such a metaphor for our journey through life!

    One thing I love about my picture is that landing. When I was working as a social worker, I used to tell people that we can find resting points along our way. We don’t have to race up the stairs, or climb a mountain instantly. We can stop and catch our breath and celebrate how far we have come while we prepare for the next steps in our journey. Any task, any learning, can seem impossible if we think we have to master it all at the beginning. God is infinitely patient and resting points can be where we let Him carry us.

    I pray your loved one is compassionate toward him or her self and relies on a sponsor as well as their Higher Power to face the next steps and to take time to be kind to themselves in the process. Prayers for you as well. Thank you for the reminder that all problems in life are best faced one day at a time, one step at a time, and that we are never alone when we face them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More than 1 of my siblings had an addiction to alcohol… One of them was able to take that final set of steps and lived the last few years free from his addiction. It was so wonderful to see him enjoy life once again… I pray your loved one has the will and strength to keep going till they are well once again too.. Diane


  3. This is very wonderful Bernadette! Thanks for this post it is a wonderful sense of what goes on and helps us to understand better! I just lost yes another relative due to alcohol. So happy to hear your relative has made it to the next step!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.