Asking God To Remove Shortcomings
Humility is the key to Step 7, as individuals are asked to seek Gods will in how their life is to be lived and asking Him to remove shortcomings like the ones outlined in the 12-step program.6
A key realization in Step 7 is when an individual finds that they must place the Higher Power first in their life, rather than only calling upon it when they need helpthat humility neednt always be something that is learned as the result of suffering or failure, but that it is something to be strived for voluntarily.6
Meditation is often useful during Step 7 as a method of self-introspection and learning how to apply humility to ones life.6
Sponsorship In The 12
Your spiritual awakening can be religious in nature like Pastor Bill Wilson intended or more about aspiring for loftier goals and self-improvement as you lead others to the same place of sobriety that youve achieved by the end of the 12-step programme for addiction rehab. Regardless, you wont get far unless youre in the hands of a sponsor, which usually is a former member of the programme whos now volunteering to help out other addicts like him as part of his rehabilitation.
A sponsor in the context of 12-step programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous is a person under the recovery programme who guides the less-experienced aspirants or sponsee through the programmes multiple steps. Many affordable luxury rehab centres follow the same 12-step modus operandi of using graduates of the system as new sponsors for incoming students. New members are encouraged to develop relationships with experienced members as part of the programme.
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We Made A Searching And Fearless Moral Inventory Of Ourselves
Step Four is a time of soul-searching. At the core of our inability to intimately know ourselves is denial, the act of ignoring our negative aspects and pretending they dont exist because confronting them is terrifying on so many levels. Denial enables us to justify or rationalize our harmful thoughts and behaviors to make ourselves feel better about them.
The moral inventory is a comprehensive, brutally honest written list of all of the wrongs you perpetrated while mired in your addiction. Its undertaken fearlessly because in Step Three, you turned your life over to your higher power, which is eternally compassionate and forgiving. During Step Three, you withhold self-judgment and, for now, accept your failings as a part of your past and regard them with impartiality.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stresses that knowing exactly where youve come from is essential for finding your way to where you want to go.5 In extracting the unfortunate deeds youve done, these can now be replaced by an indelible lightness of being. You exist in the present, and you now have the power to make choices that will preclude you from making the same mistakes again.
Ten We Continued To Take Personal Inventory And When We Were Wrong We Promptly Admitted It
This is a maintenance step for steps eight and nine. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. This step is about making sure these mistakes dont continue to feed guilt and generate anxiety but are instead addressed and let go. This step is part of a positive coping strategy. It allows us to face those things that we might have found too scary to address in the past.
Three We Made A Decision To Turn Our Will And Our Lives Over To The Care Of God As We Understand Him
The third step may also be interpreted to mean a literal higher power for the program, and again the idea is one of surrendering to something more powerful than our individuality. If we think of step two as the way to seek out a treatment plan, step three would apply to the act of entering rehabilitation.
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What Are The 12 Steps In A 12 Step Program For Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 steps of recovery are used to treat alcoholism along with other types of drug addictions today. The main form of 12 steps of recovery are those for Alcoholics Anonymous though. This is because the creators of the 12 steps, Bill and Dr. Bob, originally suffered from alcoholism.
When asked what are the 12 steps in a 12 step program for Alcoholics Anonymous the answer is:
Six: Letting Go Of The Old
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
The Big Book describes step six as the best possible attitude a person can have when on their journey to recovery from alcohol addiction.
This is a stage of release when a person readies themselves to be rid of all defects of character.
To reap the benefits of the program, an individual in recovery needs to be ready to let go of old patterns and embrace newer, healthier ways of life.
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Surrender Is About Empowering Yourself
We here at Little Creek Lodge also understand that men tend to struggle more with opening up and revealing their emotions. Thats why we specialize in music therapy to provide our male residents with an avenue to express themselves and more easily connect with their emotions.
Something else that we here at Little Creek know that men struggle with more often is asking for help. Thats why our primary objective is to get our male residents to accept their diagnosis while managing their daily recovery. That way they understand that they can ask for help when they need it. By teaching our male residents how to engage with others through asking for help, its helping to further develop their emotional coping skills.
The 12 Steps Core Concepts
Clinicians are able to use the core concepts of the 12 step methodology to create a program for their patients. They may use a treatment plan that follows the following four steps:
- Program introduction
- Encouraging their patients acceptance of their addiction
- Helping patients surrender to the reality of their situation
- Becoming a member of their addiction recovery community
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Looking For A Place To Start
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Here are the 12 traditions:
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Nine We Made Direct Amends To Such People Wherever Possible Except When To Do So Would Injure Them Or Others
This step is about making contact with those you have wronged in some way, whether big or small and attempting to make amends or to repay your debt, as able. When starting on this list, it can feel like an insurmountable task, but begin with something that is easier and youll soon find yourself reconnecting with friends, family, and acquaintances. Not everyone will welcome you with open arms, but it isnt about the response you get its that you make the effort.
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Defining Your Own Higher Power
The 12-step program was written for everyone and it does not require that you believe in a God. If you do not have any religious beliefs or convictions, you have the freedom to define your own higher power. Your higher power should be anything that gives you the resolve and strength to continue fighting for your own wellness and recovery.
For some, a higher power may be the strength that comes from the community group. For others, it could be the force of nature or some other spiritual entity that cant be contained by a religion or church. Your understanding of a higher power is up to you. The key takeaway from the 12 steps is that whatever higher power you choose is bigger than both you and your addiction.
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How Alcoholics Anonymous Works
AA offers a supportive addiction recovery program to those who need it. The only requirement is that a new member has the desire to stop drinking thats it.
Meetings are free to attend and are held in most cities around the country. The best way to find one is to visit the AA site and locate the central office for your city. You can then either call to learn about meeting locations and times or browse the meeting listings on their site.
The backbone of the AA program is that alcoholics need to find a higher power to help them through the recovery process. AA has no rules on religion or spiritually what a higher power means to each person will vary.
AA also stresses that total abstinence is the only means to complete recovery. The program believes that alcoholics cannot moderate their drinking and need to stop altogether.
Finally, Alcoholics Anonymous believes that an alcoholic is never cured. Once someone has struggled with alcoholism, they will always be an alcoholic and therefore always need to be in recovery. Many members of AA have been in recovery for decades and continue to attend regular meetings to keep themselves on the path of sustained recovery.
Learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step programs:
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The History Of The 12
Wilson wrote his program in what has become known as the Big Book. As explained in historical information from the AA site itself, the steps were developed through synthesizing concepts from a few other teachings he had encountered, including a six-step program espoused by an organization called the Oxford Group.
In their original form, the 12 Steps came from a spiritual, Christian inspiration that sought help from a greater power as well as from peers suffering from the same addiction struggles.
The Big Book was originally written as a guide for people who couldnt attend AA fellowship meetings, but it soon became a model for the program in general. It has since been adopted as a model for a wide range of addiction peer-support and self-help programs designed to help drive behavioral change. In addition to the original Alcoholics Anonymous group, various offshoots now exist, such as Narcotics Anonymous , Heroin Anonymous , and Gamblers Anonymous .
Given the current isolation in the country due to COVID-19 we have launched Virtual Support Meetings to help you stay connected and a private Facebook Group please join to be kept up to date on future meetings and to connect with those in recovery.
Terminology For Your First Meeting
Heres a quick glossary of terms used in NA meetings, as listed in the NA official Intro to NA material.
- Addict. The term we use to refer to ourselves because we see addiction itself as the problem, rather than the use of a specific drug.
- Basic Text. The book that contains our core ideas, titled Narcotics Anonymous.
- Group. Members who hold one or more regularly scheduled NA meetings.
- Higher Power. Any loving force that helps a member stay clean and seek recovery.
- IPs. Information pamphlets about NA.
- Newcomers. New NA members.
- Relapse. When a lapse in recovery results in a brief or extended return to drug use.
- Sharing. Offering personal experience with addiction and recovery.
- Sponsor. Experienced member who offers guidance and support through the 12 Steps.
- Trusted Servants. Members who have service positions in NA.
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United States Court Rulings
United States courts have ruled that inmates, parolees, and probationers cannot be ordered to attend AA. Though AA itself was not deemed a religion, it was ruled that it contained enough religious components to make coerced attendance at AA meetings a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the constitution. In 2007, the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals stated that a parolee who was ordered to attend AA had standing to sue his parole office.
We Made A List Of All Persons We Had Harmed And Became Willing To Make Amends To Them All
In Step Eight, you work toward repairing the damage youve done to others, attaining forgiveness and restoring relationships whenever possible. Similar to the moral inventory, Step Eight requires first making a list of the people you hurt and recording thoughts about how you might make amends. Then, you work toward a willingness to make those amends.
Step Eight demands honesty about your relationships with others. Its the beginning of the process of forgiving people who have hurt you and being forgiven by those youve hurt, and it helps build an awareness of your new and changing attitudes about yourself and your relationships.
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What Is Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a global, community-based program that was created to help those struggling with problematic drinking get sober with the support of their peers through daily meetings and discussions surrounding addiction.1 AA gives men and women a place to come together and share their experiences, recover from alcoholism and maintain sobriety.1 Its concept revolves around that premise that alcoholism is an illness that can be managed, but not controlled.
AA was founded by Bill Wilson and his physician, Doctor Bob Smith in 1935 and eventually grew to include two more groups by 1939.2 That same year, Wilson published Alcoholics Anonymous, a text which explained its philosophy and methods.2 We know it today as the 12 Steps of recovery. Over the years, the 12 Steps have been adapted by other self-help and addiction recovery groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, to those struggling with other forms of addiction. Additionally, many groups have changed the explicitly Christian overtones of the original 12 Steps to reflect more secular or agnostic philosophies.3
Take A Moral Inventory
Once these first three steps have been completed, this next step is possible. When a person is looking to transform their life and behavior, it helps to take a good look at whats going on in the present. To do this, the person needs to analyze their behaviors to figure out just where things have gone wrong.
As explained on StepStudy.org, it can be challenging to know exactly what to analyze. However, the consensus is that the intent is to find out where the persons goals and aspirations have fallen and describe exactly what those personal defects are.
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Criticisms Of 12 Step Programs
Despite the benefits, 12 step programs provide for many, not all medical experts believe these programs are as beneficial as they claim to be. Some believe a one-size-fits-all approach isnt helpful and others raise concerns about the religious overtones of the 12 steps of AA.
Some note the high rate of people dropping out of 12 step programs after just a month or two. Some studies show more than 80 percent of first-time attendees stop going after just one month and only 10 percent attend for more than 90 days.
Most agree that despite the pitfalls, the effectiveness of 12 step programs are helpful to some people and can serve as a supplemental and long-term support option for those who are managing addiction.