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12 Days/12-Steps of Gratitude Part 3

Treatment and recovery are two of the greatest gifts we could give our children and that our children could give themselves. Throughout the month of December, we can count with every step of the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the things we are grateful for because our child is in recovery.


Parents don't like to imagine the worst of their child, yet it is those very thoughts that keep us up at night when our child is struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. What are they doing out late at night with their friends? What trouble are they getting into, what damage are they causing to themselves or others? We also ask ourselves what happened. Did something happen to them that we don't know about? Was it something we did? Something we said? Something from their siblings? Did a family member abuse them? What are we missing? Why are they so sad, angry, depressed, anxious, traumatized? The fifth step asked our child to share with themselves, another trusted human being, and the Higher Power of their understanding the darkest secrets of their past, which they outlined in the fourth step. We may not be the trusted person they share with and we may never know every line of their fourth step. However, the fact that our child has found someone they can trust, as well as a Higher Power they can believe in, and that they are able to let go of all the skeletons in their closet, is something we can be grateful for.

Letting it Out:

The fourth step is one of the most important and often one of the most dreaded steps in the twelve steps because it asked our child to reveal their ‘moral inventory'. A fourth step is an inventory of all of the resentments, harms done, and fears our child has held for many, many years. All of the things which they felt ‘caused' them to drink or do drugs, the things they have been holding onto without being able to let go, are put on this list. For years we've asked ourselves what it is our child is holding onto and why they cannot let it go. Doing this takes great courage. The results are immediate. This is something we can be grateful for.


Having a Higher Power in our life, which many of us choose to call God, got us through those most difficult moments as we watched our child struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. We turned to our Higher Power for comfort, guidance, and strength. Our children may or may not have had a Higher Power in their life. A God they may have once known was gone. They may have felt angry, betrayed, or been in questioning. The third step asked our child to turn their will and their lives over to the Higher Power of their understanding. To watch our child reconnect with God or a Higher Power of their understanding and have hope for their rest of their recovery is something we can be grateful for.

Treatment during the holidays is a challenge because families want to be together. Addiction tears families apart. Now is the best time to set you and your family on course for total recovery. Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center offers long-term residential treatment programs for adolescent and teenage boys. Building positive foundations through life cleansing therapies, boys graduate from our program ready to take on life. Call us today for information: 662-598-4214