Do I Need to Believe that Alcoholism is a Disease for the 12 Steps to Work For me?
Hey there. I’m just wondering about something. Do I need to believe in the concept that addiction/alcoholism is a disease if I want to work the 12 steps successfully? I go to AA a few times a week, and almost everyone I hear talking refers to it as a disease. This has me worried that if I don’t believe the same, I’m not going to get all that much from working the steps. I’ve got nothing against those that say it is a disease, and I understand why they say so, but in my mind I just can’t compare alcoholism or drug addiction to something like cancer.
Whether or not you believe alcoholism to be a disease is not going to be what determines your sobriety. Doing the right things – working the steps, surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, staying away from people and places that were part of your drinking days, owning up to and dealing with your ‘stuff’, committing each day to not picking up – are what really counts, because they are ultimately what determines your success in maintaining your sobriety.
Successful recovery is a process of ongoing action - not something passive that happens by sitting around. If the belief that alcoholism is a disease
helps you take that action, great - and if not believing it helps you do the work to stay sober, also great. The important part is the taking action, irrespective of your beliefs around the matter. So just keeping working at the steps, and I’m sure they'll work just as well for you as someone who believes addiction is a disease.