Putting Program First

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated June 9, 2014


Putting your program first is all about being able to put your recovery first. Sometimes life gets so busy that I’ll still take some time to myself and go to AA meetings, but I’m not really there. I might be there physically, but mentally I am off wondering about what I need to get done that day or what’s going on at work that week. I go through the motions, but from time to time, I see that my program is not in line, and I need to call myself out to make some changes.

As you can see from my past few blogs, I have been trying to strike a solid balance with my recovery program again. So, I decided I would go on a retreat in Arizona to help myself get centered again. I invited Dave A., our Alumni Coordinator, to come with me. He and I have always been close, and we deal with a lot of the same issues in our recovery. He’s leaned on me and vice versa, and he’s really been a great help and source of support for me.

So, in a few days, Dave and I will pack up the car and drive out to Scottsdale to go to The Twelve Principles Retreat. We are both looking forward to just unplugging (literally and figuratively) so we can focus on renewing our focus on the 12 Steps. The retreat will go over each step in depth, which I am excited for because I think it will help me get back to my program. My whole goal is to do a re-up of my program through this retreat, as well as by doing more AA based things and taking more time for myself.

It can be so easy to overdo it. Sometimes, I might not recognize that I am overdoing it and in turn, put my program in jeopardy. That’s what was happening with me recently, and so I decided to do something about it. There is no sense in going through the motions of my program and only giving 50% of myself to it, because it doesn’t work that way. Like I said, putting my program first means that I have to put my recovery first — no matter what.

I am looking forward to going to The Twelve Principles Retreat and spending some quality time there. I think it will be the perfect place for me to get my program back on track, and I can’t wait to fill you guys in on my experience!

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.