Recovery & The 12 Steps

  • What brought you here?
  • What is your primary problem?
  • Do you need help?

Definition of a disease: “That which interferes with the normal functioning of an organism, is caused by the environmental agents or internal deficits or issues of the individual organism, or any combination of an organism or any of its parts.”

  • Chemical dependency is a terminal but treatable disease.
  • The progression of untreated chemical dependency always leads to one conclusion: DEATH
  • Addicts either stop using chemicals or keep using. For the ones who stop using mood-altering chemicals, the most successful proven method is A.A. or N.A.
  • Once the addict has stopped using, he or she has a choice. He or she can choose to live clean and sober and to be happy without the use of chemicals.
  • Recovery is a process, not an event. It took us a long time to get messed up, it will take a while to get straightened out. Misery is optional today. The 12 promises of recovery in A.A. are in pages 83-84 in the Big Book.
  • There are 12 steps in recovery. They are in order for a reason. Though you can take them cafeteria style: a little prayer, a little inventory, reliance upon an A.A./N.A. group for direction & support. Accept you have a problem.- 1st step, work the 10th step daily, work the 12th step by showing up & sharing at meetings.
  • The first part of the 1st step is the only place that the steps mention alcohol. The rest of steps is about living sober. The first three steps are spiritual in nature: I came; I came to; I came to believe.
  • Make the 12 steps portable and carry them in your pocket. Remember where you came from so you don’t have to go back.
  • Insure your sobriety by working the steps in your lives daily.

Step 1 – Awareness of our problem & seeking help to deal with it.
Step 2 – Summarizing our track record to see what it is we need to do about it.
Step 3- Moving away from self-will, turning our welfare over to something other than ourselves and become willing to practice these steps in recovery.
Step 4 – A willingness to allow a profound change in our behavior and our attitudes.
Step 5 – Sharing our inventory with someone else, promptly.
Step 6 – Beginning the process of changing our old behavior & attitudes.
Step 7 – We ask for the freedom from our old behavior & attitudes in prayer.
Step 8 – Now we begin to make peace with the people we have hurt.
Step 9 – Now we repair the damage we have done by making amends.
Step 10 – Creates an awareness of what is going on in our lives, today.
Step 11 – Build a relationship with the God of our understanding.
Step 12 – This step encompasses all of the steps, because we practice recovering behavior in all areas of our lives & carry the message to others.

The 12-Step Recovery Program is full of paradoxes:

  • Through surrender we win.
  • Turn our life over to God, because we are helpless.
  • Through powerlessness we gain strength.
  • By admitting our mistakes we become free.
  • Self-reliance got us sick; reliance upon a higher power will get us well.