Addiction is real. Surely many of you reading this are aware of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ ongoing efforts to help people overcome addictions, whether related to pornography, drugs, sex, food, alcohol, or any other vice.
For many years, the Church has employed a 12-step program for those who wish to join a support group and battle addiction. I’ve known individuals who have sought help in this arena and found it. I’ve known individuals who have moderated these recovery groups and seen the love in their heart for the afflicted around them.
So often we focus on the physical maladies of life and forget that for many of us, the malaise is psychological and emotional.
In recognition of National Addiction Recovery Month in September, the Mormon Channel, the LDS Church’s media outlet, is releasing a new web series entitled “12 Steps to Change,” a docudrama illustrating the pains of addiction and the road to healing. The trailer can be seen below.
The format, however, will not be episodic in the sense that it will feature 12 stories that run from point A to B. Rather, while each video will feature one person, it will show that person engaged in one of the 12 steps in the addiction recovery program.
Todd Daley, head of the Mormon Channel, explains:
“We understand there are tough challenges that families face when dealing with addiction, and we wanted to make sure we shared real stories of hope and recovery. Change is possible. These stories will inspire you no matter your circumstance.”
The most important part in all of this is not just to watch the videos, but to get people talking about addiction and feel like they have a support network, says Daley.
And if I can editorialize a smidge, that right there is at the crux of all of this. Sometimes I worry that in our quest as Latter-day Saints to perfect ourselves in Christ, we bury our pains and frailties and don’t seek the help we need for fear of appearing tarnished, weak, or unworthy. While outing one’s struggles in the middle of a Sunday school class might be inappropriate for the setting, seeking the help of loved ones and finding a support network through the 12-step program is a path toward peace with ourselves, our families, and the Lord.
The first video in the series will be released on September 1st via the Mormon Channel’s at mormonchannel.org/12steps, followed by a new video each day for the next 11 days thereafter.
The hashtag #12StepstoChange is, of course, being employed. We’ve become quite hashtag-happy of late.
As a personal plea, if you or someone you know struggles, don’t be afraid to get help and conquer your demons. We’re human. Fallibility comes as part of this mortal probation. Self-castigation, however, is unnecessary and in line with the adversary’s desires.
I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes, and hats off to the production crews that work with the Church. They have really stepped up their game over the past five years.