Who knows the path out of addiction merely takes 12 Steps?
Well, it’s not really as easy as it sounds, as many recovering addicts will tell you. 12 Steps is actually a program that helps people recovering from various kinds of addiction though 12 guiding principles that outline a course of action or mindset for dealing with addiction and getting into the path of recovery. Let’s take a look at each of these steps:
12 Steps of Addiction Recovery
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Once you become addicted, you surrender your life and your will to your compulsion–to use drugs or drink alcohol. However, using these substances may have just began with mere curiosity or a search for an escape. Who would have thought, right? The thing is, many people with addiction will not admit to being addicted. They are in denial. They lie, cheat, manipulate, fight, deceive, isolate, and minimize in order to deny the seriousness of their condition and avoid the consequences. By being honest with yourself, you start the process of healing and recovery. You begin to admit to yourself that you have a problem and this needs to be addressed.
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
You need to look to something greater than yourself to help you with your substance abuse problem. By being honest and humble, you open yourself up to the possibility of finally being able to break free from your addiction and therefore recover. This step isn’t confined to religion, and you are free to choose whatever higher power works for you.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
You have to consciously and decidedly choose to turn yourself over to this higher power to help you in your journey to recovery. You acknowledge that you can’t change just by yourself.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
You now turn inside yourself for self-examination. While this can make you uncomfortable, you know that you have to look within you in order to know what needs to change and what attitudes or behaviors you need to let go of. This is crucial for your growth. Also, identify areas of past regret, embarrassment, guilt, resentment, or anger.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
You have to let all of these out. Whether by talking to your counselor, sponsor, peers, family, and trusted friends, the important thing is that you are now brave and responsible enough to admit your mistakes in front of others and take accountability for your actions.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Now that you have admitted your shortcomings, you have to be prepared to get rid of them. You can only move on, grow, and transcend your condition by releasing these shortcomings as burdens.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
No one is perfect, and sooner or later, you are bound to make mistakes or have shortcomings. However, this doesn’t mean you are left scot-free. You have to make a decision to get rid of these defects, whether they are impatience, anger, aggression, criticism, laziness, or negativity. You can only do this by surrendering to your higher power.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
During your time of active addiction, you may have done many things that you wouldn’t otherwise do. You may have broken relationships with friends and family, as well as created enemies. Write down all the people you know you have wronged or harmed because of your addiction. From the smallest indiscretions to the biggest deceits, you have to list it all down.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Work with your sponsor or counselor about how to directly make amends with the people you have wronged. You can do this in many ways, such as writing a letter or talking to them personally.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Since recovery is a continuous process, you have to again and again take personal inventory as well as when we were wrong and promptly admitted it. This allows you to have a habit of self-reflection that results to action.
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.
Once you have acknowledged that higher power, you have to maintain close contact with that so that you will be guided as you make your decisions and go through life, this time without any mind-altering drug.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
You can’t keep it unless you give it away. So this steps help you maintain your own sobriety and practice the 12-steps by sharing what you know to others.