The 12 steps of AA is an addiction treatment program that alcoholics and addicts use to get sober and stay sober. The 12-step programs help people understand their addiction, change the way they think about it, make amends with those they have hurt while using and work on living an honest life. Many people who come to Alcoholics Anonymous for help find this recovery system very helpful in their journey.
This post takes you through all you need to know about the 12 step program along the way towards recovery.
What is Alcoholics Anonymous?
AA is made up of several small support groups, frequently referred to as “meetings,” and are held almost every day of the week. At these meetings, people with substance abuse can come along to share their stories with others who have been through similar experiences – this support network helps them stay on track by encouraging when it’s needed most! Twelve-step programs have been shown time and again to help people get their lives back on track by improving self-esteem, confidence levels, and general well-being. The 12 steps have helped millions to recover from alcoholism across the world since its conception in 1935!
The 12 steps themselves form a roadmap for recovery that has helped countless addicts get clean over the years – they include guidance on how to tackle cravings head-on without giving in to temptation while also encouraging some serious self-reflection at the same time! By working through each step carefully, one after another, individuals will learn how to overcome the problems they face as a result of alcohol dependence. Alcoholism and addiction can be life-damaging conditions if not treated correctly, but 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous have been shown to work repeatedly.
AA Meetings During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many 12-step groups are located in churches, synagogues, schools, community centers, and other spaces that can accommodate large gatherings of people.
During the coronavirus pandemic, 12 step meetings were often held in any public space with a TV set. It was possible to watch streaming videos from 12 step meetings being held elsewhere. This helped more alcoholics access meetings even if they did not have regular transportation or could not leave their homes for fear of exposure to coronavirus infections.
Meetings also served as a place for people to discuss their concerns and fears about the pandemic, coping with the loss of loved ones, and planning for what may come.
How do the 12 Steps of AA Work?
As with all things in life, success depends on hard work – it can be challenging to understand how 12 steps work when you are in the thick of addiction. However, once you have recovered from alcohol or drug addiction and live a life free of substances, it becomes easier to see why 12 step programs do work.
Programs help individuals to get rid of their guilt, shame, and regret surrounding addiction. By taking personal responsibility for past actions, programs encourage people not to make excuses but rather focus on the future – which is vital to move forward! AA also teaches us that there are many things we cannot do alone; this is why working with others who have been through similar experiences (and can therefore relate) help addicts overcome alcoholics anonymous more quickly than they would if they were doing it themselves. The steps aim to change your way of thinking about yourself while giving you some practical tools alongside social support from other members.
The 12 Steps
Here’s what happens at each one of those 12 stepping stones along your journey towards recovery:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
When you accept that your life is powerless over alcohol, everything changes. You can then take a look at what happened and decide for yourself whether or not it was something worth doing again.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
We have all had moments where we feel like the world is against us, and we can do nothing about it. We need someone or something more powerful than ourselves to bring order back into our lives so that sanity prevails again!
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Many come to understand that our lives are in the hands of God. We decided to turn them over, trusting he would care for us as we needed it and protect what is precious about ourselves through these difficult times.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Moral Inventory is an exercise in self-reflection that forces one to be introspective, aware of their flaws as well as those around them—in this way, they can make changes when necessary for the betterment of not only themselves but also other people who depend on you.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
A confession is an admission that one has done something wrong that they are ashamed or embarrassed about but feel it would be better if we brought these things out. Hence, everyone knows what kind of person you are, deep down inside, are not trying hard enough for change within themselves rather than waiting on others’ expectations. This will never happen until we take responsibility.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
All these character flaws are only temporary. We’re wholly, unconditionally ready to remove them all and replace them with beauty – traits of humility, kindness, compassion, wisdom self-control.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Forgiveness is a choice, and we can choose to have humility. We humbly ask not to let our shortcomings get in the way of becoming better people.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
We learned how to take personal responsibility for our actions and decided that we were willing, finally, make amends with all those who we had wronged; it doesn’t matter if they are forgiven or not.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when would injure them or others.
Do not shrink from admitting guilt or taking responsibility when appropriate; make your amends, then move forward but remember what happened, so it doesn’t happen again!
10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
We recognized the importance of personal inventory and made sure to take one every quarter. We admitted our mistakes quickly when we were wrong so others could benefit as well.
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.
In our search for knowledge, a prayer is a powerful tool. It can help us connect with God and His will in ways that others may not understand.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
A spiritual awakening led us down a path where these steps would take on great meaning, with each step impacting how one handles themselves or others around them. This insight has helped bring balance back into everything.
You may be struggling with alcohol addiction and not know where to turn for help. There are many treatment options, but it can feel overwhelming when you don’t know what’s the best fit for your needs. Rest assured that recovery is possible if you have a desire to change. Call Opus Health at 855-953-1345, so we can get started on finding the right fit for you!