12 Steps of AA
1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Powerlessness over alcohol/drugs does not always mean daily or constant drinking. It means that using has become one of the most important things in our lives. Unmanageability simply means that we have done or said things that we would not have if alcohol/drugs were not a part of our lives. Abstinence is not a matter of willpower or intelligence. If it were, relapses would never happen and programs like this would not be necessary. In order to stay sober, WE MUST ADOPT NEW ATTITUDES AND TAKE NEW ACTIONS! Your bottom is defined by you. It is up to you to make this your bottom. If you relapse, it can always get worse. Remember, our best thinking got us here.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step two can be viewed as having two aspects. The first aspect concerns the beginning of our spiritual development, which is the foundation of the AA/NA/CA program. Since we recognize that our lives are unmanageable (and will continue to be), we must now come to grips with a new manager, as the old one (the thinking mind) led us into the depths of deep despair, self-centeredness, loneliness, and separation from ourselves. We found that the thinking mind could not solve our problems. Thus, the conclusion that we must start to find a new manager of our lives (a power greater than ourselves) is paramount if we want to become happy, positive, and loving as we would like to be.
We came to believe that a power exists which is greater than ourselves—and this belief is absolutely necessary if we are to be honest and complete in working the remaining ten steps. At this point, all that is necessary is a truly open mind.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
The first requirement in doing step three is that we become convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. Obviously, the first two steps show, in no uncertain terms, the confusion caused by using self-will. Self-centeredness is the root of our troubles. So our troubles are basically of our own making. Above everything, we alcoholics/addicts must be rid of this selfishness. We must or it will kill us. We found that we could not reduce the self-centeredness much by wishing or relying on our own power. Thus we had to quit playing God. It did not work.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. We 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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
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