13th Step???

My take on the 13th step is that there isn’t one. There are only 12 steps. The idea that a sober person (who has found a solution for their problem) shouldn’t begin an intimate relationship with someone who is stuck in the problem, is not part of the program. It can’t be found in the book. In fact, the book says that “we do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct.” (p.69) 
Before men start slathering on the Axe body spray and the women start painting their faces, consider that we are trying to develop a New Way of Life. I catch myself rolling my eyes when I hear a share about how those in recovery are the greatest people on the face of the earth. The rooms are filled with sick people who don’t know how to live. The majority of the people do not work steps. Many may be sober, but sadly, the spiritual malady is alive and well. We must be careful what “herds” we run with. In the wild, entire herds of animals will follow one another right off a cliff. I must remember I am surrounded by people who are just as sick as me. 
There are some people who are practicing a new way of life. It becomes incumbent upon those who have found the solution to be an example of something Greater in the lives of others. We have a responsibility to those who are still sick. 
People who have found a solution know- we do not put personal desire before the needs of the Whole. We do not place ourselves in a position to be anyone’s  savior. We carry a message of hope. We have examined past relationships and found the things that have blocked us from intimacy. We have done our best to right our wrongs. We balance the scales we have thrown out of balance. We possess a sound ideal that someone without a solution could never live up to. We don’t make others dependent on us for their recovery. We are compassionate, kind and helpful. We carry the message. We are a channel for our Higher Power. 
We pray for others, not prey on them.


6 thoughts on “13th Step???

  1. Good post. In my experience, watching others come & go in the Rooms, the 2 things that are quite often at the bottom of a relapse are romances and finances. Of course being warned of the potentially devastating results of Newly Sober Relationship doesn’t do much to prevent a great number of folks from finding a hook-up. It’s familiar, right?
    There’s a saying about us & relationships: we don’t have relationships, we take hostages. Prior to much work, that does tend to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree.
      I think the common “suggestion” is to not get in a relationship in the 1st year, there are very valid reasons why one shouldn’t but it isn’t a rule and it certainly isn’t in the Big Book or the Basic Text.
      I got in a relationship in my 1st 30 days, had a good but tough relationship for 5 years and I am still sober with almost 9 years.
      I remind sponsees to be careful getting in a relationship too fast regardless of how much time they have. Besides that it’s not really my business. They will do what they do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I certainly had “bed buddies” within the 1st year. Most if not all of them relapsed, and I did not.
        The Big Book says “we know but a little” and “more will be revealed”, and the wisdom of treading CAREFULLY in the 1st year or 2 is good.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We try to gently remind those in early recovery that their focus should be on their own healing spiritually, emotionally and medically. To step into a relationship with another tends to place their focus on someone other than themselves. I dislike intensely the way people refer to it all as a 13th step. There are 12. Those 12 are hard enough to live by without adding more. I have 41 years, nine days now and look back at my first year and think it really doesn’t get any easier with time, the hardships just change. The tools I gained the first year though are easily modified to fit all the individual problems. Had I been in a relationship I would have focussed not on learning what tools assist me in my recovery but on the object of my desires.

    Liked by 1 person

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