A.A. Myths: The Myth of “Don’t make any major decisions for the first year in recovery”
I hear this advice being given to the newcomer all the time. In most cases, if they be real alcoholics or addicts, they die with this kind of counsel. "Easy does it" is a variation of this theme. If you want to kill newcomers, if that is your intention, then by all means, go on using it, but if you're here to be helpful, STOP USING IT, it's not what our program is about.
Our program is comprised of 12 Steps, ALL OF WHICH ARE MAJOR DECISIONS!
Step 1: Admit I'm powerless and my life is unmanageable? This was a MAJOR point of awareness and realization to me and one of the most important decisions I made in my life.
Step 2: Coming to the realization that only a spiritual power can restore me to sanity seems to me like another MAJOR realization. No middle of the road solution, either I go on to the bitter end or I accept spiritual help.
Step 3: Turn my will and life over to God, as I understand it! Sounds like a MAJOR decision to me.
Step 4 and 5: Made a fearless moral inventory, looked at my part and confessed my defects to another person! That was a MAJOR move in my life!
Step 8 and 9: Made amends, restitution, and set right the wrongs I had made in my life where ever possible - This was a huge decision and undertaking in my life and IT SAVED MY LIFE!
Step 10 and 11: Every day for the rest of my life, continue to take inventory, confess defects, set right wrongs and pray and meditate -- Another MAJOR decision!
Step 12: Practice the principles of the program in all my affairs and to carry the message to the seemingly hopeless. To give unselfishly of myself to alcoholics and addicts and show them the way out - WOW, this was the BIGGEST decision I ever made and it continues to work in my life everyday.
If I follow the advice of "no major decisions in the first year of recovery", then working the 12 Steps of the program are out and for me NOT to work the 12 Steps everyday in my life is to die.
"Meeting Makers Make It", "Keep coming back", "Wait for the Miracle to happen", "No major decisions in the first year", these mottos or slogans, in my experience, are not only, NOT part of our program, they actually harm others, deluding the newcomer into easier softer ways.
What does our Big Book tell us? There's a great article entitled: "That Ain't In the Big Book". It's a great guide to sorting out what our Big Book program of recovery tells us to do versus the rhetoric, and advice-mongering we get in the rooms. Check it out, it just my save your life or the newcomer's life.