The 12 Steps
The 12 steps to recovery are found in many different groups or fellowships. The steps have been around for years and have worked for many people. The beauty of this program is it can be applied to many different addictions, not just drugs and alcohol. Sometimes these other afflictions are forgotten, ignored or placed in a different category because they are not about drugs and alcohol.
There are many forms of addictive behavior some taboo such as sex addiction, some more accepted such as gambling. Whichever addiction behavior a person is afflicted by they all have one thing in common, the disease of addiction. whatever the addiction is, whatever the behaviors are, the fact remains that the addict has a progressive, deadly disease of addiction.
Fortunately there is a proven method to treat the disease, not cure it. There is no known cure for addiction but there is a treatment. There are many different treatments, only one seems to have the most success and that is the 12 steps of recovery. No matter which 12 step group the addict finds to seek help and learn the 12 steps they all have a common theme, the 12 steps are a way of life, not a checklist of tasks accomplished.
Step 1:”We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Step 2:”We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Step 3:”We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Step 4:”We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Step 5:”We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Step 6:”We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
Step 7:”We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
Step 8:”We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step 9:”We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Step 10:”We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Step 11:”We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our concious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Step 12:”Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our daily affairs.”
Once the addict admits defeat and seeks help they begin to learn how to live a new way of life. The only way to do this is by connecting with other recovering addicts they can identify with. This is difficult, the addict must have some level of trust in another recovering addict and in the group to be able to share and express their needs in order for those needs to be met.
Once the journey begins, the addict then can start to learn about the 12 steps. There has to be a basic understanding that the steps are a way of life though. All this comes with time, it is not a race, it is a journey and the steps are the guidelines in which we learn how to live in this new life.
Addicts want what they want when they want it and it just does not work that way. Recovery is a process and learning to live in the moment, just for today is a starting point. None of it is easy but with the help and love of other recovering addicts it is possible to find that new way of life. It is also possible to attain the ultimate goal, freedom from the stigma of addiction, freedom from the chains of addiction, freedom from the old way of thinking and living and a gift of a new way of life, of love and of happiness.