It’s about wanting to START living our True Life Purpose.”
START - Spiritual Transformation Addiction Replacement Therapy
- START is a viable alternative to the accepted 12 step based programs.
- START is not just for “alcoholics and “addicts,” but for anyone who is truly unfulfilled and unhappy with their lives and is using “something” in an unhealthy manner in order to fill a void.
- START does not believe that “alcoholism” and “addiction” are “incurable diseases” that we are “powerless” over.
- START believes that the use of alcohol, drugs & destructive behaviors are only symptoms of the underlying condition that causes most chemical & behavioral dependencies. The underlying condition is the emptiness and void that exists in our lives from not yet discovering and following our “True Life Purpose.”
- START aims to empower us to cure this underlying condition, not just keep us abstinent from alcohol and drugs.
- START believes that once we stop the use of chemicals and/or destructive behaviors, we must at once replace them with proper diet and regular exercise or relapse is imminent.
- START believes that complete abstinence is not always mandatory.*
There have been many books written and programs advertised based on the subject of “alcoholism” and “addiction.” This is a book and a program based on a CURE for Chemical and Behavioral Dependency. This is not just another recovery program, but a real alternative to the traditional 12 step based programs and a TRUE CURE for the underlying condition that is responsible for most Chemical and Behavioral Dependencies. START represents a complete PARADIGN SHIFT in the fundamental philosophy of the recovery process as compared with the accepted 12 step based programs. There is a new movement that has been catching on recently, combining the fields of science, philosophy, psychology and spirituality, most notably portrayed in some of the best-selling spiritual books and movies and is proving applicable as a new approach to Chemical and Behavioral Dependency Treatment. We realize that this new approach may not sit too well with traditional Counselors, Therapists and 12 step loyalists, however we are convinced that this new philosophy will completely revolutionize the recover process.
WHO IS START FOR
There are several specific types of people that the 5 steps of START, and this book were developed for. The first being those of us who have found very limited, if any success at all with the typical 12 step programs like AA and NA and were searching for a viable alternative. We feel that START is that alternative, as it addresses some of the main, fundamental issues that we and many others have found with these programs. If you have found success with a 12 step, or any of the other programs out there, then keep it up and we wish you all the best of luck with your ongoing recovery. However, if you are like us and have found that there has to be a better way, we highly recommend that you follow the 5 steps of START.
The second type are those who are new in recovery and may or may not have had limited involvement with any of the traditional, or available alternative forms of treatment. This is a perfect time to become aquainted with the START 5 steps and overview of the START program. We feel that if you address your issues of dependency at an early stage and follow the START program you will have a greater chance of avoiding some of the pit-falls all too familiar with the 12 step programs such as habitual relapsing and multiple stays in rehabs, institutions, jail or even death.
The third type are those of us who may have never even been considered an alcoholic or an addict, or even think of ourselves as having a problem. But, if you are truly unhappy and unfulfilled in your life you may be using something to fill that feeling of emptiness. It may be food you are using; it may be shopping and overspending, gambling, sex, relationships or even people. There are so many of us out there who are using any one of a number of things without even knowing it to fill that certain void, or feeling of emptiness, like we’ve been searching for something that has been missing within us all of our lives, but could never quite seem to figure out what or where this missing element was. If this sounds like you then START may be that missing element you have been searching for all along.
ADDICTION REPLACEMENTSTART was first conceived around the concept of “addiction replacement” and was originally going to be named ART, or “Addiction Replacement Therapy.” One of the major fundamental issues that is overlooked by the existing programs is that once we take away the alcohol, the drugs & the destructive behaviors, we have to replace them with something new and better, or we will inevitably resort back to the same activities and behaviors that we are trying to avoid. It’s just the law of physics that once you take something away, you have to replace it with something else or you will leave a void. START recommends that we fill that void initially with healthy substances and activities such as a proper diet, and a regular exercise routine (to the best of your ability), which is imperative to the success of any recovery program. Most established counselors and therapists agree that alcoholism & addiction are conditions of the Mind, Body & Spirit, yet most 12 step based programs usually pay little or no attention to the body part. With START, the body part is just as important as the mind and spirit part. There may be nothing more important to a successful recovery program than a healthy diet and regular exercise routine.
THE UNDERLYING CONDITION
What START ultimately aims to accomplish, is to help us understand the underlying condition that leads to our use of alcohol, drugs and destructive behaviors. It is our strong opinion that in almost every case it is the emptiness, or void in our lives that we are trying to fill with something, usually alcohol, drugs or any one of a number of destructive behaviors, to make us feel good or whole. What causes that emptiness or void? We strongly believe that it is due to us not yet discovering and following our real Passion in life or our “True Life Purpose.”
The main goal of START’s 5 step process is to help us to discover our Passions and our True Life Purpose, thereby filling this void that we are currently trying to fill with alcohol, drugs and destructive behaviors. We strongly believe that once we start filling our lives with activities consistent with our True Life Purpose, the feeling of emptiness goes away, the void is filled, and the need to consume alcohol and drugs and participate in destructive behaviors disappears. This is the point where we START the process of Spiritual Transformation, which I believe is our ultimate goal as human beings. That’s how the name START - or Spiritual Transformation Addiction Replacement Therapy came about.
And now we get to the biggest problem with 12 step programs and the mainstream establishment. We along with many others do not subscribe to the accepted theory that alcoholism and addiction are “incurable diseases.” In fact, we believe that there is no such a thing as an incurable disease. Also, the first of the 12 steps of AA & NA is to “admit that we are powerless over alcohol and/or our addiction….” It begs to ask the question… “If alcoholism & addiction are incurable diseases that we are powerless over, how are we supposed to have any hope to recover from them?”
With START we are NOT “powerless” over alcohol and/or our addiction(s) like the 12 step programs say we are. START aims to empower us and to help us realize that we all have within us, the ultimate power and the strength to overcome anything in our lives that we truly want to and absolutely believe that we can… including alcoholism and addiction. We strongly believe that if you follow the 5 steps of START with your absolute best effort, you will be able to overcome any and all of your chemical and/or behavioral dependencies. We wish you the best of luck on your journey to recovery, to discovering your True Life Purpose and ultimately your quest towards Spiritual Transformation.
START - “SHARE” “TRACE” “ACCEPT” “REPLACE” “TRANSFORM”
The 5 step Cure for Chemical & Behavioral Dependencies
- STEP 1: “SHARE” Get honest with ourselves & share with others the fact that we have become dependent on the use of chemicals and/or destructive behaviors to the point where we desperately want to change, but have yet to find a way.
- STEP 2: “TRACE” Trace our past events in order to identify & heal the underlying conditions and/or unresolved issues that have contributed to our dependencies.
- STEP 3: “ACCEPT” Accept our current conditions & the fact that we must, can & will overcome our dependencies in order to change our lives for the better.
- STEP 4: “REPLACE” Replace our use of chemicals and/or destructive behaviors with healthy & constructive activities, a proper diet & regular exercise routine.
- STEP 5: “TRANSFORM” Begin our quest towards Spiritual Transformation by discovering & following our “True Life Purpose.”
* This does not apply in the case of illegal drug use, illegal gambling or other illegal activities. It only applies to legal consumption (in moderation), taking prescription medication, as prescribed and as needed, or other legal activities (also in moderation, where the activities do not harm or endanger anyone). In many or even most cases however, complete abstinence is the best option.
Copyright John Anthony Stahl 2011, All Rights Reserved