Alcoholic Anonymous’ 12 steps to recovery have been helping people recover from addiction for decades. The 12 steps were established by Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. They first appeared in “The Big Book” in 1939, which laid out the steps in detail.
Over the years, these steps have been modified to meet the needs of various groups, but the original message is still considered by many to be the heart of recovery: we are powerless on our own to manage our lives of addiction and need to rely on the support of a higher power and others.
The Message of the 12 Steps for Recovery
The 12 steps have been so effective because they encourage a person to reach out to others, to turn to a higher power, and to admit one’s own wrongs and shortcomings. All of this helps someone in recovery begin a new life – a renewed life without substance use. Those that accept the encouragement of others through https://aboveitalltreatment.com/ rehab, therapy, and support groups are much more likely to succeed in recovery than those who try to hide their problem and manage it on their own.
The 12 steps state that we:
- Admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, we promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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 affairs.
The 12 steps for sobriety can help a person long after their treatment has been completed. A person will continue to face stress, anxiety, and disappointments even after recovery, and if they are able to take a step back and analyze their lives according to the 12 steps, they will find encouragement there. The 12 steps can continue to offer healing and growth for someone wanting to maintain their sober lifestyle.