Before and After Steps down into Addiction vs. Steps up in Recovery Before: A Living Hell Life before entering a 12-step programme is often a living hell. After: The Promises Life living a 12-step programme is full of promise. Addiction is a Progressive Disease Active addiction always gets worse, never better. You have a choice Addiction is a progressive disease that leads to despair. You can choose to stop your slide into addiction at any point and begin the process of recovery. The first step that you must take, to beginning your recovery, is to make the decision that you need help. Are you going down or up?