Having written about addiction treatment, centred on my experience of 12 step programs as an alcoholic – now nearly 20 years clean – and having made one of the main characters in my novel, Trader Bob, an alcoholic … the question occurred to me: what can we learn from real & fictional alcoholism? By the way Trader Bob has a website, www.traderbobnovel.com My fictional alkie in Trader Bob was constructed from the most common traits we all seem to share which would be: no conscience around acquiring drink by any means; moral compass lacking in other areas, too, when under the influence and that could be pretty much all of the time; the insanity of believing our own lies and failing to predict that we’d get the same bad results from our drinking most times; and not liking being told what to do. But there are differences
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First, the original 12 steps of AA spawned many fellowships to tackle other types of addiction. These groups were less inclined to adopt the Christian interpretation of the program that the traditional AA groups upheld and they tended to a non-religious stance, even though the wording of the steps – with god implied or mentioned in half of them – was treated as sacrosanct. More recently the original 12 steps of AA have been supplemented with optional secular alternatives such as in my latest book: Everyone’s an Addict. See more at www.everyonesanaddict.com It should be understood that the 12 steps of AA are the 12 step program. There is more to the program than that, but no more to the twelve steps. They are a concise expression of the program. However over the years it has become permissible for addicts to rewrite the twelve steps to express