Tag Archives: 16 Steps to Empowerment

Know What I Know, Feel What I Feel


I was in an AA meeting the other day and a woman was expressing how she’s relapsed twice:  once after the 4th step and once after the 9th.  Instead of questioning whether the steps were appropriate to her and her recovery, she, of course, questioned herself, berated herself for not doing them properly, and was getting a new sponsor to begin going through them once again.  I felt so badly for her because I’ve been there, too. 

It’s taken me over 15 years to finally realize that I was just practicing the wrong steps for me.  It’s taken years of involvement with people who use no steps at all and no higher power, but manage to obtain a full sobriety anyway.  It’s taken soul searching, relapses, trying different things, reading and re-reading Charlotte Kasl’s book to finally begin to trust my reality and daily affirm that I see what I see, know what I know and feel what I feel. 

Thank my creator, gods, goddesses, spirits and allies for Charlotte because I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out on my own.  It’s an especially hard road sometimes for those who have no affinity with the 12 steps, who are not ego-driven, but ego-broken, who always blame themselves anyway with absolutely no help from outside influences, who are not in denial just desperate. 

So glad to be here and be sober today.

Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.


Piecing Together a Personal Recovery Program


I’m 45 days clean and sober today because I’ve made up my mind that I’m not going to drink or use no matter what, one day at a time, for the rest of my life, however long that proves to be.

In order to make my sobriety as joyful and painless as possible, I’m employing a variety of techniques which I’ll be sharing on these pages.  My hope is that they prove helpful to someone else starting their sobriety journey or to those still struggling to make the best decision they will ever make for themselves.

Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. and author of many books including “Many Roads, One Journey” and “Women, Sex and Addiction” has had a profound effect on my life and the way I’m choosing to approach my recovery.  I’ve decided to use her 16-Steps to Empowerment model because it deeply resonates with me as a woman, an addict and a person who was emotionally repressed at a young age.

I appreciate the fact that her steps are not set in stone.  She recommends changing the wording, using them out of order or using some and not others as seems appropriate to the individual.

I attend AA meetings for group support and to be around other recovering addicts.  I do not subscribe to much of the AA program, but what I do believe in is the value of one addict helping another.  I also attend an aftercare group at a treatment center where I was a patient and it’s proving a valuable addition to my meeting schedule.  There’s no pressure to conform in this group and I’m able to be honest in a way I can’t in the AA meetings I attend.

I participate daily in an e-mail list through the Lifering Secular Recovery program.  I’ve been involved with this group for many years and find it an invaluable part of my recovery program.  I’m also using the Recovery by Choice workbook written by the founder of Lifering, Martin Nicolaus.  This workbook covers everything a recovering addict needs to think about and begin to address.  It’s an incredible piece of work.

I’ve created a weekly recovery inventory where I look back at the week and list what I’ve been doing, how it’s been helpful or not, and plan recovery meetings and activities for the coming week.

I express gratitude to my higher powers (I’m pagan so I get to have lots of them) on a daily basis and request guidance in my life and recovery.

I journal several times a week and read some type of recovery literature daily.

My program is flexible.  I fully expect it to change as I obtain longer sobriety and take on more challenges.  I’m very excited about my life and happy to still be alive to live it.

Thank you for visiting Eclectic Recovery.