THE 12 STEPS
It is currently estimated that there are over 2 million alcoholics are in AA today. And, there are over 300 other 12 Step Recovery Communities and Organizations using these same 12 Steps as a program of recovery for drug addiction, pill addiction, prescription addiction, eating disorders, behavioral abnormalities, gambling, emotions, spending, debting, shopping, sex addictions, family support groups, children, teens, etcetera.
If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning
point. We asked His protection and care with complete
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a
program of recovery:
Here are the Steps took . . .
- 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that
our lives had become unmanageable.
- 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity.
- 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over
to the care of God as we understood Him.
- 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of
- 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human
being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these
defects of character.
- 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became
willing to make amends to them all.
- 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.
- 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we
were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve
our conscious contact with God as we understood
Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us
and the power to carry that out.
- 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of
these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics,
and to practice these principles in all our
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints.
The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual
progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic,
and our personal adventures before and after make
clear three pertinent ideas:
- (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our
- (b) That probably no human power could have relieved
- (c) That God could and would if He were sought.
In 1939, when the Big Book, was first published, on the title page, it was written:
"WE, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one
hundred men and women who have recovered from
a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show
other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the
main purpose of this book."
Today, a conservative estimate is that there is well over two million members of AA.
This number does not include the many thousands of recoveries in NA, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, OA, GA, DA, MA, CA, and nearly 300 other 12 Step Organizations and and Recovery Communities -- that have recovered, or are recovering -- using the same 12 Steps, that were first published by Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1939.
"Recovery takes place as a result of following the directions in the book Alcoholics Anonymous -- which will take the alcoholic through the 12 Steps of Recovery -- and enable them to discover a Power Greater than Their Self -- that can and will do for them -- what they have been powerless and unable to do for themselves -- and to assist them to help other alcoholics to recover (which is a requirement for recovery)." ~Dallas B.
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