Sunday, May 16, 2010

Introduction to the Twelve Steps

Starting out on the Steps

To help us work the First Step in the most meaningful way, that is, to accept at the feeling level our powerlessness over people, places and things, and the unmanageability of our lives, we offer the following guide. We urge that it be used thoroughly by writing it down on paper, even though one may feel uncomfortable doing so. Unless we are willing to take an honest, detailed look at what our alcoholism(smoking)(Eating)(whatever) has done to our lives, there is no chance we can sustain a healthy, serene lifestyle. If we don't clearly see how bad the problem is, we don't feel the need to do anything about it.

Before beginning, it is important to understand that working the First Step is not a confession of character defects or faults; it is simply an honest look at how our alcoholism (or whatever) has harmed our lives and the lives of others. While writing out the First Step, we try to keep in mind the following points:

1. Being honest about the seriousness of our alcoholism (or whatever) and
being willing to follow the Twelve Steps will assure a good
chance of recovery.

2. We have a better chance of sustaining a healthy lifestyle if we
accept that we are powerless over alcohol (or whatever)(and over our
lives) without the help of the Twelve-Step Program.

3. Our drinking (or whatever) affects our lives and the lives of others.

4. Writing out the First Step will help us feel the need to do some
thing about our drinking (or whatever).

5. The First Step is simply an honest look at what our drinking (or whatever) has
done to us and others, not a confession of faults.
Answer all questions as thoroughly as possible, citing specific incidents and approximate dates or ages, etc.


"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or whatever)--
That our lives had become unmanageable".

1. Every "natural" instinct cries out against the idea of personal power-lessness. (Defects of the thinking mind)

2. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first step toward liberation and strength. (Making the admission that we are unmanageable by us!)

3. Until we so humble ourselves (accept the devastating weakness and all its consequences), our sobriety -- if any -- will be precarious.

4. The principle: We shall find no enduring strength until we first admit complete defeat. (That no human power could have relieved our alcoholism)

5. We are victims of a mental obsession -- thinking (drinking is only a symptom) so subtly powerful that no amount of human power could break it.

6. By going back in our drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it, we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression.

7. Few people will sincerely try to practice the A.A. program until they have hit their bottom through utter defeat.

8. In order to practice A.A.'s remaining eleven steps WE MUST ADOPT NEW ATTITUDES AND TAKE NEW ACTIONS.

9. We must become as open minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be.


1) Alcoholics Anonymous (big book), chapter 5 through ABC's on P.60.

2) Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step One.

We will start Step one tomorrow.

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