12-step groups have evolved beyond treating addictions. If you can think of a problem, there’s likely a 12-step group out there to cure it.
It seems that things have been a little rough lately. What was once a bad habit has, over time, turned into a much bigger problem, and now you need support. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Believe me, I understand that type of thing more than most people. You need to do something, but what? Maybe you should try finding a 12-step group to help you get past this. Can’t hurt, right?
While some people feel that AA and 12-step programs are not the best way to recover from addiction, many others disagree. There is no shortage of adherents of 12-step programs. And if imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then AA has a lot of admirers out there.
Twelve-step programs that are based on the original tenets of AA are everywhere these days. Of course, we all know about Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, as well as the different 12-step programs out there for sex addicts, nicotine addicts, and food addicts. But it doesn’t stop there. There are 12-step programs for everyone, it seems, even if some of them don’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
Don’t get me wrong. I applaud anyone for seeking help for their problems, I truly do. But some of these 12-step programs are just a tad bizarre — others are so obscure that one wonders about the need for them. But who am I to judge? Here are six 12-step groups you may not have heard of. If you go, tell them I sent you.
1. Liars Anonymous
I get this one. Lying is obviously ridiculously effective in the short term, and once you start lying, it is hard to stop. Want to have sex with someone? Tell them what they want to hear and you are well on your way. Your wife has been on you about your drinking? Tell her you just had two drinks and came straight home. You’ve spent the last three weeks at work messing around on Facebook and going out to your car every half an hour for a smoke? Tell your boss the report is almost done and there are no worries at all! Of course, sooner or later it all blows up, which is why Liars Anonymous exists.
All the meetings are done online, which is probably a good thing. The temptation to lie at an in-person meeting would be intense.
2. On-Line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA)
Being addicted to gaming might seem kind of silly, but as someone who played World of Warcraft for years, I still have a nasty PVP rogue — I can tell you this struggle is very real. OLGA exists to help people “recover and heal from problems caused by excessive game playing, whether it be computer, video, console, or on-line.”
To many people who are gamers, the online aspect becomes everything. The games are usually designed to be never-ending, and addicts form strong interpersonal relationships with other players. Before you know it, you haven’t showered in a week and wish your name actually was Mjölnir instead of Joe Smith.
3. Clutterers Anonymous
Clutter is all the rage these days. Back in the day, a “clutterer” was either considered a slob or just the crazy person on the block who never threw anything away. But then came the TV show “Hoarders,” and now being a clutterer is a thing.
It says on the CLA website that “clutter is anything we don’t need, want, or use that takes our time, energy or space, and destroys our serenity. It can be outgrown clothes, obsolete papers, broken toys, disliked gifts, meaningless activity, ancient resentments, or unsatisfying relationships.” Well… I guess that pretty much covers everything.
4. Homosexuals Anonymous
No…seriously, just no. This group regards homosexuality as “sexual brokenness” that can be healed through faith in Christ. Homosexuals Anonymous exists to serve “the recovery needs of men and women who struggle with unwanted same sex attraction.”
As ridiculous and horrible as this concept is, I still would absolutely love to attend a meeting. “Hi, I am Brian and I am not a homosexual.”
“Well things are going pretty good. I haven’t been gay for 12 days now.”
The whole thing just sounds amazing, albeit in a truly horrible way.
5. Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous (CASA)
Most people say “kleptomaniac” and not “cleptomaniac,” but then the acronym would not spell out “CASA,” which is another name for home, which is a place you get to live if you don’t get thrown in jail for stealing. So it all makes sense.
The CASA website hasn’t been updated for a while now, and appears that it may be a front for a therapist’s business. Which would be too bad, since stealing is wrong.
6. Recovering Couples Anonymous
While most addiction programs try and help you not be codependent, Recovering Couples Anonymous attempts to help you become codependent. On its website it says, “If we are honest about our commitment and painstaking about working the Twelve Steps together, we will quickly be amazed at how soon our love returns.” Basically, you and your partner are getting sober together, whether you like it or not.
This is from their literature: “A successful formula of RCA is: my individual recovery plus your individual recovery plus our couple recovery equals a healthy recovering coupleship.“ Hey, people with control issues need a place to go get help too, because being an addict by yourself is not fun at all.
For more surprising 12-step recovery groups you’ve probably never heard of visit the original feature article, Ten 12-Step Groups You’ve Never Heard Of, over at The Fix.