The Resilience 12 Steps

Don’t take this wrong way but have you ever thought about going to AA? No summer forecast for 10 years, don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it. Not being an alcoholic doesn’t exactly let you off the hook. I’m talking here about self-destruction, whether it’s through booze, fags, drugs, depression, over-work or just food. Whatever your drug of choice, they are essentially the same thing.


If you don’t believe me put a cup of coffee, a naked person (consenting) or a smart phone, whatever your drug of choice, right down in front of you and look at it. Do it when you really think you need it. Don’t touch. Just look at it. Thoughts?


I cant get through the day without it….I cant stop myself….I have to do this otherwise I’ll……I cant……I cant……I cant…….


OK, the consequences of having this panicked conversation over an app are different from those of crack but it’s the same script. Without the drug you are nothing. No surprise then that these addictions are so hard to break, because they first ruin your self-confidence by convincing you that you can’t live without them and then they tell you that if you challenge this logic you will literally die. Double dip or what. The only way out is to take the drug and hey presto, you defy the reality of your heinous state and possibly even death itself. No more frustration or going without and life turns into just one long warm bath.


Until the next time. Your relationship with your drug of choice is just a series of blackmails. If you challenge the dependency then you risk losing everything, or at least that’s how it feels. It’s very hard in this situation to pipe up with the counterargument that you’re fine without it.  Your voice goes all thin and you start to lose inches. It feels like an internal argument that you don’t dare win.


I’m a big fan of AA  because it’s got some rules and sometimes I need a good talking to. The delinquent loon that lives inside me does not rationalize, no nice parental calm explanatory stuff here. Its vocabulary is more limited than a chimp’s and some days it has to be met with a firm hand. And that’s why the 12 steps seem to work, because they speak directly and clearly to the crazed adolescent inside intent on going for that 7th double expresso at 10am. The 12 steps are actually based on some sound and profound understandings of emancipation from self-destruction, so I’ve excluded God and had a bash at the 12 steps to resilience.


Step one: start where you are. Really where you really are in life rather than where you’d like to be.

Step two: find somewhere safe and then get really really angry. Go nuts, smash something, just let it rip. Do not miss this step. You need the anger to move on.

Step three: swallow the fact that you can’t do these steps on your own. Don’t bother fighting against the entire history of human experience on this, it’s a fact.

Step four: acknowledge there are some familiar patterns in your life that you would not put on your CV and that you might have something to do with them.

Step five:  try not to beat yourself up about it not being entirely someone else’s fault.

Step six: have a good cry, really big howler. It’s called remorse.

Step seven: say sorry to yourself for anything that you think you could have done differently.

Step eight: say sorry to the people that matter to you for anything that you think you could have done differently.

Step nine: ask for help from someone that you think will understand. If you skip this step you may as well give up now.

Step ten: Don’t hate yourself or other people if the person you ask is not your parent/lover/friend/sibling.

Step eleven: Put your drug of choice down. Put it down right now and walk away. Then mark the occasion with another good cry.

Step twelve: start your daily campaign to stick up for yourself and anyone else you care about, damn it.


Download the 12 Steps here