12 Steps

STEP FIVE: "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

At first glance, you may feel absolutely resistant when you look at this step.   How can I let someone find out about me?  You may feel fear, dread, anticipation of rejection and humiliation if anyone knows of your past or “secrets”.  Perhaps you may feel knots and tangles in your body with no vision or understanding as to how to “untangle” those knots.  “Fearlessly” writing an inventory takes enough energy, and trips your trigger wires badly enough – now you have to actually share this with someone.  When I got ready to share my inventory with my beloved therapist, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this process became the validation I had always longed for. 

STEP ONE: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable."

Step One is your guide on how to process and heal from trauma.  It will also serve as your guide to personal growth, which is applicable for anyone, not just for trauma survivors. Why is processing trauma, and personal growth, important for you?  You may wonder of the necessity of going through such a process, especially if you are high functioning and successful in life.  After all, growing pains are indeed painful, and we humans are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure.   You also have a responsibility to take care of yourself, and although some pain can be avoided, there is the pain that cannot be avoided, and requires processing.   

FORWARD to Trauma and Transformation: A 12-Step Guide

Rivka Edery is a social worker who is dedicated to helping survivors of trauma to recover healthy lives.  Her book explains the invisible cord underlying the problems resulting from unresolved trauma which dramatically hinder a person trying to live a satisfying life.  She clearly illustrates the therapeutic value of incorporating spirituality as part of a survivor’s recovery process.  This discussion is useful to both the survivor and the mental health professional.