How to use the 12 Steps to deal with difficult bosses and stay sober.

In sobriety I had a manager who was extremely hostile, and working under her suppressive thumb was very, very difficult.

I recently left, and now I’m working in an environment that is exactly the opposite — supportive, encouraging, kind, professional. It’s awesome, and I can’t believe I stayed at my previous job as long as I did.

Having said that…

Here are some of the principles we learn through the 12 steps:

- we admit powerlessness

- we practice genuine humility

- we let go of self-centeredness and self-seeking motives

- we surrender continually to a Power greater than ourselves

- we deal with resentments as soon as possible

- we keep our side of the street clean

- we practice self-honesty, honesty with others, and honesty with God.

- we take responsibility

- we let go of character defects

- we make amends

- we pray for those who harm us

- we practice patience and tolerance and we avoid contention

- we pray throughout the day and ask God to help us and guide us.

- we right our wrongs as soon as possible, every day

- we focus on helping others

I never had to drink while I worked for Ms. Hostility, because the power to not drink comes from God. Some days, the serenity prayer got me through the day. Some days I went home in tears and cried myself to sleep — but I didn’t drink, no matter what. I did a lot of writing while I worked for her, and I discussed my difficulties with my sponsor constantly. (She’s SO happy I don’t work there any more!)

She taught me how to apply the principles of the 12-steps to my relationship with this horrible supervisor. I paid close attention to my resentments because I knew they would hurt me more than they would hurt her.

A person cannot “drive us to drink” because God is more powerful than that person.

I hope there’s something I’ve written that will be helpful to you.


Related Reading:

Women, Race, & Class
The Life Recovery Workbook: A Biblical Guide through the Twelve Steps
12 Steps: A Spiritual Journey (Tools for Recovery)
The Woman
Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism/Third Edition