12 Steps of Recovery

The 12 Steps

Since its introduction in the 1930s, the 12 Step Program has been helping individuals experience recovery and healing from all forms of addiction. The steps were first published in 1939 in the book originally titled “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism” and have not been changed since.

Life doesn’t need to be suffered through. Pain, heartache, depression, self-abandonment, and worthlessness are all feelings that people who use substances in excess of social norms experience. Feelings are not permanent. By understanding and living twelve simple steps, known by many as the 12 Step Program, you can experience untold freedom. Life will not be easier, but you’ll be better at it. The steps, though powerful, are not a cure; they are a pathway to recovery.

Step 1

Admit Powerlessness

Step 2

Find Hope

Step 3

Surrender

Step 4

Take Inventory

Step 5

Share My Inventory

Step 6

Become Ready

Step 7

Ask God

Step 8

Make List of Amends

Step 9

Make Amends

Step 10

Continue My Inventory

Step 11

Pray and Meditate

Step 12

Help Others

Understanding the 12 Steps

The twelve steps can be understood by grouping them into four separate categories, each consisting of three steps:

Step 1

Establish a relationship with a Higher Power of your understanding and come to a place of humility.
step one of the 12 step program

Admitting you are powerless, your behavior is insane, and that a power greater than yourself can and will care for you takes courage and strength. Decide to turn your life over to your Higher Power. As you study and live these first three steps you will experience restorative power and it will aid you in further examination.

Step 2

Make a moral inventory of the patterns of behavior that exist in your life and ready yourself to be changed by your Higher Power.
step two of the twelve step program

As you carefully detail each event in your life you’ll recognize what motivates your behavior. Admit your wrongs to yourself and to your Higher Power and ask this power to remove your character flaws. Understanding these motivators, and preparing yourself to be changed will prepare you to repair existing relationships that have been damaged, continue healthy relationships, and form new life-changing bonds.

Step 3

Seriously consider your relationships with other human beings and ask your Higher Power to make you more whole.
Step 3 of the twelve step program

Asking a Higher Power to remove your shortcomings will humble you further. Make an inventory of people you’ve harmed with your actions, make amends to them, and continue to strengthen your bond with your Higher Power.

Step 4

Further your relationship with your Higher Power through direct communication and by helping others.
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Continuous admission of wrong-doing, making of amends, communication with your Higher Power through prayer and meditation, and constant service conclude working the steps.

The steps should be studied and lived under the guidance of someone who has worked them and is currently practicing them. Find someone who may be willing to sponsor you; people who work the steps can be found in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, and many others. Once you’ve worked all twelve steps, work them again. Sincerely working the twelve steps should become a lifetime pursuit, one that will enrich and give greater fulfilment to your life.

Find help, hope and strength as you begin down the road toward recovery and a sober way of living. You should find fulfillment on this journey, and those around you and close to you will also discover a happier and more fulfilling way of being. Welcome to a new way of life. 

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