Before I describe my recovery in CPA’s worldwide spiritual fellowship, let me review its textbook, Recipe for Recovery – A Guide to the Twelve Steps of Chronic Pain Anonymous (2015). It has also become the manual for my terminal illness, Interstitial Lung Disease with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

With years of recovery in AA, I sensed I’d have some inkling of what I would find upon its pages, or so I thought. Thanks to daily study with my sponsor, its differences began to flower pinkness: there was recovery within my end time and I would have it. My practice of CPA’s 12 Steps gentled changes within my motives, thinking, and actions, slowly replacing ineffective ones that had kept me miserable in my diseases. It was about finding a new Higher Power.

To simplify this process, the anonymous authors of our text, also disabled, adopted a cookbook format, its words spare and succinct; only the essentials presented for its members, with low-to-no- energy. Like a succulent dish, each Step is presented with the following components: Ingredients list psychological, emotional, and spiritual aspects that best go into working that Step; Description speaks of what that Step teaches; Directions reflect members’ spirited language with that Step; Working the Step contains questions pertinent to deepening the process; and What It Looks Like includes members’ stories related to working that Step. Like rungs on a ladder, each Step builds on preceding ones.

Since last November, Recipe for Recovery – A Guide to the Twelve Steps of Chronic Pain Anonymous has supported my one-day-at-a-time-living with terminal illness. Despite occasional setbacks—grist for more spiritual growth—I continue learning and I am content.