The Most Priceless Possession | Palm Beach Institute
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The Most Priceless Possession

I have had the privilege and honor of working in recovery for quite a long while. So many alcoholics and addicts come into treatment or the rooms of A.A, N.A. & C.A. in terrible condition. Many with health issues, difficult life situations, perception problems, and emotionally destroyed. Countless people experience a horrific state of hopelessness and a horrendous lack of self worth. The primary objective is to offer those people a proven solution and do our best to lift them up.

When looking at perception and how it effects the alcoholic/addicts self worth, I hear a recurring theme. “I’m not good enough- I’m useless- I’m a failure” etc. For many of those same people I hear what they perceive to be a solution to get them to a better place regarding their own self worth. Common examples are “ I’ll be a success if I get a good job- I’ll be a success if I get a new car- I’ll be a success if I make a lot of money- I’ll be a success if I get a new girlfriend/boyfriend-  I’ll be a success if I get that promotion” etc. For the vast majority of these people the belief that they are not good enough was put into their minds at some point by someone else. For whatever reason they have accepted that to be true, yet my experience with these individuals is that it is not true.

Step One of the twelve step programs addresses powerlessness. Clearly those who are addicted eventually experience a lack of power over consumption, rational thought, and rational action. As a result alcoholic/addicts do things during their addiction, which is contrary to their true nature. When these people come into recovery, things that they have done during active addiction tend to increase their poor self worth. The solution is to earnestly work a twelve step program with a good sponsor. One of the positive results of that is a healthy human being emerges and starts to thrive. We then see that person as they really are. Their character is no longer under attack as a result of addiction. They have also worked on the underlying causes and conditions. The need for external things to validate or improve their self worth diminishes.

I have been blessed to watch thousands go through this process. Freed from false perception and terrible low self worth, I witness these human beings do incredible things. I would like to share a few of those. Many years ago one of my brothers was in a Boston hospital for brain surgery, my Mother had come up from Florida to be with him for some time. I was living about sixty miles away, had a new job, and was unable to go to Boston every day. One of my best friends who had been in recovery for two years went to Boston every day to see my brother and take my Mom out for lunch. When my father passed away over one hundred people who are in recovery drove approximately forty miles away to attend his services. I recently went on a trip to Boston and New Hampshire. Sadly my Mom is now terminally ill, and I live with her. Three young men whom I sponsor told me that they were going to check on my Mom every day that I was away, and were going to cook for her. Some of my current clients know that my Mom isn’t well. They ask me every day how she’s doing and state that they are praying for her. I could easily share with you more than a hundred more similar events. These selfless acts of kindness have been bestowed upon me and my family by people who at one time had horrible self worth. I will be forever grateful to all of them. I see the real human beings and how remarkable they truly are. Their self worth, keeping humility up front should be very high at this time. The new car, job, house, watch etc. has nothing to do with the value of the human being. “The most priceless possession” a human being can have is content of character. All of those mentioned above, and countless other alcoholic/addicts have just that.


Bill Niemi

Alumni Coordinator

Palm Beach Institute

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