In AA or NA, What Does it Mean to Work Your Program?

Substance abuse can ravage your life. If you’re mired in the misery of addiction, life can seem hopeless. However, there is hope. That hope is in recovery. Millions have recovered from an apparently hopeless condition of mind and body. You may wonder how.

A common bond between those recovering from a substance abuse disorder is recovery fellowships. AA and NA are two of the most well-known. Both AA and NA have similar 12-step programs to help you recover from an addiction. So, what does it mean to work your program in AA and NA?

The Program

It won’t take many meetings to hear this topic discussed. Working the program in AA and NA is a strongly suggested pathway to follow. While it might not be the only pathway, the basic AA and NA programs have helped millions. Each program is based on the 12-step approach.

Both NA and AA have a textbook that lays out a series of suggestions to follow. There are no rules. There are no mandates. Both AA and NA programs insist that each guide is but a suggestion. It was discovered very early in the formation of the initial AA 12-step design that alcoholics and addicts do not do well with mandates.

There seems to be an inherent aversion to being told what to do. However, when guides to sobriety are presented as suggestions built on experience, the model seems to work. Each of the 12-steps in AA and NA is laid out in such a fashion.

Working the Program

When you hear someone mention that they’re working the AA or NA program, what does this mean. We have to stress that working the program is an individual experience. Sure, the suggestions and the steps are the same for everyone.

However, no two people work their AA or NA programs exactly the same. That doesn’t mean you can follow your own path, picking and choosing what to do and what not to do. While you have that freedom, many a relapse has befallen those who try to cut corners.

That’s one important aspect of what it means to work an AA or NA program. This is somewhat of a suggestion what not to do, as opposed to something you must do. Trying to find and easier and softer way to work the program can produce poor results.

When your life may be on the line, trying to cut corners, or find an easier way to work a program, could cost you dearly. So when you hear working the program, keep in mind this one important reminder. Do not cut corners.

The rest of the idea behind what it means to work the program involves following the suggestions. Again, these are only suggestions. However, it’s also a widely accepted suggestion that you pull the cord on a parachute to save your life.

The same principle applies here. While the actual way you work your own AA or NA program may be unique to your personal needs, the following are recommendations to use as guides. These guides will help you meet the one ultimate goal, staying clean and sober.

  • Stay in the Present – Staying sober for a lifetime can seem impossible, especially at the earliest stages in recovery. Staying in the present is critical. AA and NA fellowship members stress that you only have to stay clean and sober for 24-hours. Each sober day is a success.
  • Get Involved – This is another aspect of working with the AA or NA programs that give you an opportunity for diversity. Every AA or NA fellowship thrives on participation. Someone may be well-suited to act as a representative for the group’s conscience. Another person may be great at making fresh, tasty coffee. Everyone can find a calling in the fellowship. The key is to get involved.
  • Stay Connected – This is another aspect of working with the AA and NA programs that can be adapted to your personality. You do not have to suddenly be a huge people person. However, there is a need to connect to other people.

That first connection maybe with someone as a friend to help during your early sobriety. Eventually, AA and NA encourage you to secure the friendship of someone that acts as a guide through the 12-steps. These individuals are referred to as sponsors.

The key to successfully working in an AA or NA program is to get connected and stay connected. As you continue to add 24-hour blocks of clean and sober time to your own count, you will also benefit from helping others. The connections you foster in AA and NA are rewarding and can last a lifetime.

AA and NA each have a strong history of success when it comes to helping addicts and alcoholics stay clean and sober. However, it isn’t magic. Both programs require an effort on your part. Working the program isn’t like a job. It should be fun. The end result may surprise you.

If you feel that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, there is hope. That hope begins with recovery. One helpful part of recovery for you may be involved with AA or NA. They both can provide a tremendous amount of benefit.

Whatever you do, if you haven’t reached out for help for your substance abuse do so today. All it takes is one phone call to launch an exciting new journey in your life. You do not have to continue to suffer. Reach out for help today, at 954-523-1167.