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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Time to Celebrate!

Alcohol was a “thorn in our side” is an idiom we have heard around the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and is just one of many colorful descriptions used to illustrate the pain caused by our drinking and the escapades that followed.

The thorn reference was most recently quoted by our friend Darren who visited to discuss Celebrate Recovery (CR), a solid AA alternative for those looking for an inspiring and structured 12-step program that focuses on the God of the Bible.

In that book (The Bible), we read of a healer named Jesus, who, among other things, miraculously restored the sick and lame. The stories recount that as he was led to his crucifixion, he was forced to wear a woven crown of thorns to mock his claim to authority.

This writer finds the irony in that it was the thorn that hurt us, and the one that wore the thorns ultimately healed us.

Now that statement can turn some off and leave them wondering what that has to do with recovery. For those, however, that understand the significance of the spiritual aspect of 12-step healing AND have a preexisting relationship with that deity, it could represent a lifeline.

Our path led us to the rooms of AA, and it was in those rooms that, by thoroughly following the program as laid out that we have, to date, found healing.

We acknowledge, however, that AA is not for everybody, and we have consistently said that other programs could be the answer. To that end, we have featured as many as we could identify. (links can be found in our resource room for further investigation) Bottom line: we are PRO-SOBRIETY!

We have found through thousands of personal testimonies, including our own, that self cannot heal self of the ravages of true alcoholism. You can't fix the problem with the same brain that created it, and creating one’s recovery program seldom works. So we needed to find a program that we could surrender to, a program with a track record of success. We found that with AA.

For many AA newcomers, however, the program is “too spiritual” for our guest Darren; it was not spiritual enough; “something didn't click.” While seeking to align sobriety with his core beliefs, he found comfort and the transforming power in a program that incorporates a God as he understands him.

This brings us back to Celebrate Recovery. Though statistics are not readily available, we can attest that countless others have found healing results in the churches in which Celebrate Recovery meets. CR meets in over 35,000 sanctuaries, or worship centers, in the U.S. and follows the basic tenants of the 12-step process integrating Biblical references that support each step and program principle.

The program “celebrates” recovery from many sorts of hurts, habits, and hang-ups, including alcohol and drug addiction, anger, codependency, eating disorder, sexual addiction, gambling addiction how much childhood dysfunction, grief, and more. As a matter of record, only one out of three people to Celebrate Recovery come to recover from drugs or alcohol, supporting our belief that 12-step recovery can be used to improve ANY life scenario.

In a good recovery program, we find that it is not the source of the addiction that needs attention but the one addiction that requires change. Alcohol itself is harmless until consumed. A pill has no power until it is swallowed. Guns don't kill people; people kill people.

The concept of the 12 steps is understanding where we come from and where we are going, Acknowledging the past while focusing on the future. The group ingredient teaches us that we are not alone in our struggles. Instead of sponsorship (like in AA), the steps in CR are gone through in groups in “step studies,” where members find support and accountability.

Some would say CR is more structured than AA in that they methodically walk through the 12 steps annually, tackling one step per month.

In conclusion, if you have a healthy relationship with the God of the Bible, then Celebrate Recovery could be a great alternative in your quest to remove damaging behaviors to find the elusive peace and serenity.

Some people click with one program, and others click with another.

We pray that you find your click…


Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a bonus drop podcast titled #108 ProSobriety Series: - AA Alternative(s) Part 6 -Celebrate Recovery The podcast dropped on 4/19/2021. Click here to hear the podcast.


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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