Following The 12-Steps
A common misconception about the 12-steps is that they must be followed in a specific order. This isn’t true: they are designed to be effective when utilized in any order, meaning you may be able to make the 10th step before the 2nd. However, most people find that following this order helps give their life a focus and order that addiction eliminated. These steps include:
- We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable: In this step, you face the reality of your addiction and come to terms with the fact that your life is out of control. You are preparing yourself to receive the help you need.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity: In many ways, this is one of the most important steps: you are surrendering your fate to a Higher Power in order to help restore your life to stability. For many people, giving up this control will be a major challenge.
- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him: Giving yourself over to the God of your choice and asking Him for help is a beautiful moment and one that will give you the strength to succeed.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves: Total honesty is a must in this step. You need to grasp the ways that your addiction has changed your behavior and caused you to behave in harmful ways. However, you also need to identify your positive traits and work towards strengthening them: balance cannot be achieved without positive and negative traits.
- We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs: Here, you come to the realization of where your moral failings originated during your addiction. Were you abusing drugs to punish yourself? Were you rebelling against your true self and your faith in God? Whatever the reason, you identify it here and work to eliminate it from your life.
- We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character: This is a huge moment, as you are officially inviting your God to cleanse your life and help you make the changes you need to create a drug-free life.
- We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings: During this step, the power of your belief allows you to ask God to remove your flaws and give you the strength to overcome addiction.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all: During your addiction, there is a chance you’ve hurt others. Honestly assess the loved ones in your life, consider the pain you may have caused, and create a list of ways you will try to make things right.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others: Making amends with hurt loved ones will be incredibly difficult: some will accept you right away, while others will reject your overtures. As a result, you need to approach this step with honesty, humility, and the understanding that you might need help from either your sponsor or God.
- We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it: Once you’ve learned about the poor habits and behaviors that influenced your addiction, you must make a lifetime commitment watch out for and eliminate them from your behavior.
- 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: Personal reflection is a vital part of the 12-step process, and in this step you dedicate yourself to prayer and meditation. This process allows you to reach out to your God for help and guidance through a continually difficult process.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs: After you have earned the confidence and skills to live a drug-free life, you can help spread the word by sharing your journey of recovery with others who suffer from an addiction.