The Twelve Steps

The Twelve Steps were invented by a man (with the help of his doctor) who believed at one point he was a hopeless addict. His symptom addiction was alcohol, but his “spiritual path to recovery” has been adapted to dozens, and perhaps scores, or different addictions. His Twelve Steps have save millions from “death, insanity or prison.”

Bill W’s story is told in the AA Big Book. Below is his ingenious solution to his own problem, and, perhaps, yours or someone you know.

Step One

We admitted we were helpless over the problem — that our lives have become unmanageable.

Step Two

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step Three

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.

Step Four

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step Five

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step Six

We were entirely ready to have God remove those defects of character.

Step Seven

We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

Step Eight

We made a list of all persons we have harmed, and became willing to make amends to all of them.

Step Nine

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Ten

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step Eleven

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step Twelve

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.