Author: James Anderson

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous Alcoholics Anonymous

12 steps of aa

God or a higher power is mentioned several times throughout the 12 steps. In some steps, the term “God” is used directly, while in others, a more general term like “higher power” is used to allow for a broader range of beliefs and perspectives. The length of time it takes to complete the 12 steps of a recovery program can vary greatly depending on the individual and their circumstances. Some people may be able to work through the steps relatively quickly, while others may take months or even years to complete the process.

12 steps of aa

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. If you are thinking of quitting drinking and don’t want to do it alone, you use the AA directory to find a meeting near you. Your higher power is there to support you, but you are doing the work. Step seven is important because it requires you to actively participate in your recovery and be responsible for the things you do. You’ve changed and you continue to change, but it happens slowly. But as you grow more aware and take action, they do fade away.

Wilson, who was struggling with alcoholism, originally sought out help from a Christian organization, The Oxford Group. The process of candidly assessing a problem and applying the specific framework of acceptance and action easily translates to working through many problems. The focus on the overall health of the group ahead of any individual member or chapter reinforces the idea that addiction, while incredibly lonely, can be overcome with the help and support of others. While the 12 Steps of AA are designed for individuals working toward sobriety, the 12 Traditions of AA address Alcoholics Anonymous and its members as an entire body.

Get Help With Alcohol Addiction

The only requirement for membership in AA is a desire to remain clean and sober. There are many alcohol addiction treatment options today. After getting to know its principles, you may want to try the program, or include it as part of your post-rehab aftercare plan. To find out, it’s important to carefully explore the principles of AA. For Wilson and Smith, surrendering to a ‘higher power’ was an integral part of their plan’s development.

  1. These steps encourage you to rely on a higher power throughout your journey.
  2. Instead, you invite a higher power to guide you to a healthier place, with people who are meant to support you along the way.
  3. A complete answer to this question begins with a quick history of how these principles originated, who developed them, and why.
  4. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  5. You can also take this time to consult with your sponsor, who has been through Step 4 and has successfully completed a moral inventory of themself.
  6. This began when you admitted you were powerless to your addiction and that AUD is unmanageable.

Whatever past you must reflect on, whatever future amends you must make, you have given them over to fate, God, or whichever power you acknowledge so that you can focus on taking the next right action. This is because deciding to relinquish control over to a higher power is just that—a decision. Up next is the actual work to turn that decision into a plan of action, which then gets you out of the spiral of alcohol addiction. After all, you can decide to buy a new car, but that doesn’t mean your shiny new wheels magically appear in your driveway.

Step 9: Responsibility

Had you tried to make these different choices before moving through the previous steps it would have been tougher. Now, though, you’ve stripped away denial, self-centeredness, ego, and other defects. Practicing your sobriety with the principle of love means that you’re not just existing for yourself but in service to the people you care about. Here is a breakdown of the principles that match up with each step and how to practice them in a way that helps you create sustainable sobriety within the tenets of AA and NA.

12 steps of aa

AA is, of course, heavily focused on principles of Christianity, but many of today’s groups have modernized the tenets to reflect a more diverse audience. Even so, the 12 Principles of AA have remained its central guiding influence. Many people suffering from alcoholism continue to find success in recovery by participating in AA’s program. Step 3 asks you to turn your life over to “the care of” a higher power. When someone or something cares for you, they don’t automatically dictate your entire life for you.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ASL – Step Six

In step 8, you ask God, or another higher power, for forgiveness. In step 6, you have to prepare for your sins to be taken away by admitting to yourself that you’re fully ready to move past them. The way to carry this principle forward is to always remind yourself that you’re at the mercy of a higher power, and you don’t come first. Founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Robert Smith, Alcoholics Anonymous has grown to include worldwide chapters, each devoted to helping people end their dependence on alcohol.

Step seven gives you an opportunity to exercise your newfound freedom from addiction. You develop your assets, live without your defects, and make new choices that allow you to live soberly. Living with awareness means always paying attention to the higher power that guides you. Now you need to make amends to others so that you can start fresh with them as well. Step 4, which involves documenting every mistake you’ve ever made, is clearly tied to courage.

Some of your past will be painful, and you’ll likely have to face some of your biggest regrets. In Steps 1 and 2, AA instructs members to strip themselves bare of ego and power. Step 3 involves putting yourself at the mercy of this higher power and moving forward for “Him” — or whatever your higher power may be — over the selfishness of addiction. Step 2 is about finding faith in some higher power, and the accompanying principle of hope means that you should never give up that faith, even when you suffer a setback.

What Are the 12 Principles of AA?

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. You may have heard some myths about AA like you have to be religious or you’re required to get a sponsor, and these are fundamentally untrue. These AA myths are, unfortunately, what prevent some people from attending a meeting and giving it a shot. Some people make the mistake of thinking that asking a higher power to remove your defects means you step back and take a passive role while the higher power does all of the work. In step seven, you’re prepared to stop thinking about what you’ll get out of life, but instead, how you can contribute to others and the world around you. With the help of a power greater than yourself, you can move forward.

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Completing Step 3 of AA is critical to moving on to the rest of your 12-step journey. In fact, Alcoholics Anonymous says that the “effectiveness of the whole AA program will rest upon how well and earnestly” you embrace and work through this third step.

What makes Step 3 unique, though, is it requires a decisive commitment, rather than just acceptance. Step 1 asks you to admit your powerlessness over alcohol, and Step 2 introduces a belief in a higher power that can help you. Both of these steps are reflective; they ask you to observe and accept them to be true. No doubt it’s going to take courage to take a good hard look at yourself, but on the other side of that self-examination will be the ability to release your past and move forward into a happier, sober life. All of the AA steps after Step 4 are dependent upon approaching Step 4 with the intention of truly interrogating your character and behaviors. As hard as it is to admit a problem, accepting assistance can be even more difficult.