Rehab facilities back the 12 steps of AA because they can work. However, they only work if a person has the honesty, open-mindedness and willingness to stick with the program. If you have never gone to a meeting or have misconceptions, read on to understand the steps.
Step One is the Most Important
Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs all agree that the first step is vital. It’s all about surrendering to the fact that you suffer from addiction and that your life has become unmanageable. Without accepting that you have an addiction, there isn’t much that the other steps will do for you. If you had cancer but didn’t believe you had cancer, you most likely wouldn’t seek the necessary treatments.
The Spiritual Steps of AA
Steps two and three in the 12 steps of AA relate to finding a relationship with a power greater than yourself. Many people turn away from the program because they believe this implies religion, but in reality, that higher power can be anything. The main idea behind these steps is acknowledging that your current way of thinking and actions don’t work. These steps are about having the willingness to take guidance from someone or something else.
People sometimes hear horror stories about it, but step four in the 12 steps of AA is important. This step involves looking at your resentments, because in many cases they’re a major reason for your alcohol abuse. It’s best to work this step with separate columns to help you gain clarity of your situation and different patterns. In the end, you turn back to the lists that you made and see if you are at fault in any way.
Columns of the fourth step often include:
- Resentments: people, places and institutions
- How the resentments affected different your emotions (pride, security, self-esteem, etc.)
- “Fears” inventory: how you play a role in these situations
The Freedom of Steps Five Through Nine
Immediately after your fourth step, you work with a sponsor to learn how to let go of the past. You begin to see your own character defects because these are the root of your addiction. From here, you make a list of those you harm in your addiction and then make an amends to them. This is an experience that truly frees you and takes a huge weight of your shoulders.
Looking at the 10–12 Steps of AA
These remaining steps relate to how you’ll continue to stay sober, and they’re all about maintaining your mind and spirit. You’ll continue to take a personal inventory to avoid creating more problems that may lead back to drinking. From here, you’ll stay on the path to recovery while also participating in an incredible experience. The final step involves taking your gift of sobriety and sharing it with others who are struggling with an alcohol addiction.
As part of our addiction treatment programs, Ashley Addiction Treatment provides several 12-step meetings per week to help individuals along their recovery journeys. To get started on yours, call 866-313-6307 today.