Kurt Swensen

Online Recovery Support – 503.407.6903


Online Recovery Support – Episode 76

This week Kurt talks about the 12 steps “3.0” He adds some helpful tools to go along with the incredible power of the original steps from 1938. This show talks about the same steps but with a 2010 feel, and applies to all addictive substances and behaviors. The show posts at 2:00 Pacific, or download from ITunes!

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admin • October 27, 2010

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  • Laura

    Dear Kurt,

    I don’t know why I never found you before, but there is a reason I am doing so now.

    I have battled…BATTLED with recovery for about 5 years now. I am 29 years old, and I can look back on my journals and I have written the same thing over and over for 5 years…even before I was using as a teen, I had the same deep seated hatred, and the sense that I was different and didn’t belong. I tried so hard that I came something of a social chameleon, changing my behaviours to match those that I hung out with. I kept up the charade for a long time, but it took its toll. And here I am.

    I have been on this rollercoaster for so long, there is a voice that tells me I’m the one who will never get off…but then…but then I hear people like you.

    You have resonated with me more than anyone I have spoken with/ heard on this journey. Perhaps it’s good I can’t put a face to a name, the comparisons won’t come, and I’ll be left just to listen and learn.

    I love what you did in personifying the steps in our current day. Sometimes what turns me off about AA is the almost cult like insistent that these are the rules and any modification is a type of Bill Wilson blasphemy and you are doomed to fail…I feel like there is something that continues to tell me I’m not worth it, but it’s as if it is a war inside of me.

    Kurt, I’m afraid even tho I’m not the biggest fan of AA, if I don’t go I’ll continue to isolate and I won’t have that fellowship that this introvert needs to keep out of my own head…I can’t afford therapy, so I’m a bit stuck, when I did have 6 months of sobriety, I did it with AA, and that was the happiest I can remember being in a long, long time.

    I have been 4 days sober.I wanted to drink so bad today (I am a binger_about every 4-5 days), I had the plan…I would tell my boss I was not feeling well, and just go to the bar. But something calmed, and I remembered this website from yesterday and I listened to you and felt an immediate peace.

    Kurt, I am scared. I’ve become so isolated and alone, there is yet another voice that asks me what’s the point? No spouse, partner, kids…not even a pet. I’ve created “my” world thinking I had everyone beat because I don’t have to shuttle the kids off to soccer, or cook dinner…but it’s only me I’m fooling…

    I’m blabbing…part of this feels so good to get out. If you have any advice, anything, I trust you and welcome it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to listen and thank God for finding this site.


    • kurt

      Hey Laura, glad you found us. Check your email, I just sent you something.


  • i have 30 days sober i also go to alcohol meetings i have a daughter whom wants to come home.what should i do?

  • Corniss

    Dear Kurt,

    I found your show on i-tunes a few days ago, and I really like it. My husband started the 90 days with AA 6 weeks ago. We have a close, healthy relationship, and as he is relatively high-bottom, thanj God, I never really suffered from it.

    At about the same time, I had hit a crisis at work (I’m a hospital nurse), and had hit my own “rock bottom” with the stress and demands and hours. I examined my situation and my experiences and realized that I have had a problem for some time saying “no” to exploitive work situations and to work situations that did not suit me. I generally dealt with this by ignoring the problems and throwing myself into my work, basically until I collapsed.

    Now I have taken an indefinite sick leave, and am exploring the pssibility of getting Disability, as well as changing my medication, doing lots of yoga both at home and in a group, and spending 2-3 hours a day walking my dog. I realize had I never hit my own crisis, I would never had the time to help support my husband in dealing with his recovery.

    We have both been readina and listening to a lot of 12-step stuff, particularly AA. It is helping my husband a lot, and I can see value in it. My husband thinks that “anyone” could benefit from doing a 12-step program, but I am not so sure. AlAnon is not for me as his alcoholism, thank heaven, never developed into a big drain on me, and so I don’t think Ilapsed into a true co-dependency. Nevertheless, I realize that AA will be a part of my life forever now, and I am trying to adjust.

    I like your 12-Step 3.0. I don’t find it appropriate for me to say “We realized we had no control over Fill-In-The-Blank…”, because I don’t have that kind of relationship with alcohol or other substances, and that my depression and emotions are not out of control either, since I knew it was time to restore the balance and what I had to do. I do have a problem with walking into, and staying in, exploitative and even abusive situations at work, but I can’t honestly say I am “powerless” over that either, though I have a tendency to slip into “default” mode.

    Many sources in AA strike me as overly rigid and dogmatic-except for the part about not drinking again–that seems prudent. I find myself put off by the constant quoting of Bill Wilson as though his work were holy writ; it was solid advice and well-stated, but it didn’t fix everything even for Wilson himself (See Susan Cheever’s excellent “My Name Is Bill Wilson”).

    Your take on the 12 steps was very helpful, and I think it retains the essence of the idea while putting aside some of the chaff. Meanwhile, we continue together on the path to recovery and balance, and continue to enjoy your program.