The 12 STEPS of RECOVERY – "Free Floating"


 

The First Three Steps are Your Own Doing

Never Alone Again for You have travelled … Beyond the Light !!!

 

Twelve Step programs are well known for their use in treating addictive and dysfunctional behaviors. The first 12 step program began with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.)in the 1930s and has since grown to be the most widely used approach in dealing not only with recovery from alcoholism, but also from drug abuse and various other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors.

The 12 Steps

1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11: 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.
12: 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.

 

In this day and age the Serenity Prayer is common knowledge to many

 

Beyond religion it is an inspiration for those who have been through or focus on 12 step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Al — Anon to recover from an alcohol or drug addiction. The prayer is used as a concluding attempt to allow peace and serenity to come into their lives by the “Grace of God” or what they may comprehend as a “Higher Power”.

A true act of Faith!

 

“God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

Though you are familiar with prayer, do you know the real meaning of it?
 
GOD, GRANT ME THE SERENITY

The meaning of “serenity” is tranquility and peace both in the flesh and spiritually in everybody’s life. Without it we face a lot of problems in our life. Physically we might become more frustrated or even anxious and also catch up with other problems like heart disease, liver disease or cancer. And emotionally depression will set in or they might get addicted to alcohol or drug, eating disorders and also compulsive overeating amongst others.

 
TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE

A majority of people believe that there is a power greater than ourselves which has control and there are things which we have no control. We should clearly accept the fact and act consequently. For example even if we desire that the sun should not rise the next daybreak it will surely be in the sky.

Coming to terms with the fact that you are not going to change anyone leads you to a place of realization that brings acceptance. From there you are quite able to work on yourself and prevent further problems in your own future. It is a win, win scenario as not only do you not make others feel bad about themselves but you are a better person for it.

 
THE COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN

So if we can’t change anything then what else we can change or what is in our control that we can handle? It is nothing but “Ourselves” whom we got the control to make positive changes.

For that we have to find the behavior which is causing the problem and resolve it by changing ourselves. But it is not very easy to change on our own and we need courage and faith to allow it to happen. This surrendering is the basis of 12 step programs and the “Serenity Prayer” is a foundation for growth.

 
AND THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

This important line of the prayer tells us about distinguishing between what we can control and what not. This will eventually lessen the burden in us as we truly accept the fact that we are not in control of certain things and let it happen and correspondingly those things in our control are within us which need a change will happen with patience in due time. Thus if you ever hear or recite the serenity prayer do identify with and follow its true meaning in life to accomplish peace which is “GOD”.

The first book written to cover the 12 step program was titled “Alcoholics Anonymous”, affectionately known as the Big Book by program members.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international mutual aid movement which was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith (Bill W. and Dr. Bob) in Akron, Ohio. AA says its “primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety”.

With other early members, Wilson and Smith developed AA’s Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development. AA’s Twelve Traditions were introduced in 1946 to help AA stabilize and grow. The Traditions recommend that members and groups remain anonymous in public media, altruistically help other alcoholics and include all who wish to stop drinking. The Traditions also recommend that AA members acting on behalf of the fellowship steer clear of dogma, governing hierarchies and involvement in public issues. Subsequent fellowships such as Narcotics Anonymous have adopted and adapted the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions to their respective primary purposes.

Following the subsequent extensive growth of twelve step programs for other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors, many additional books were written and recordings and videos were produced. These cover the steps in greater detail and how people have specifically applied the steps in their lives.

The twelve steps of the program are listed above in generic form. Other groups who have adopted the 12 steps to address their own particular addictive or dysfunctional behavior have similar ideas, usually with only minor variations. These steps are meant to be worked sequentially as a process of getting rid of addictive behaviors and growing in freedom and happiness, as laid out in the Twelve Promises. The general governing approach for A.A. groups was originally laid out in the Twelve Traditions, and they remain the guiding principles for most 12 step groups today.
 

The Twelve Promises

Page 83 and 84 of the Big Book

  • We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  • We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  • We will comprehend the word serenity.
  • We will know peace.
  • No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  • The feelings of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  • We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  • Self-seeking will slip away.
  • Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.
  • Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.
  • We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us
  • We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
  • “Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are beingfulfilled amongus — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
  • They will always materialize if we work for them.”

From the A. A. Big Book

The Twelve Rewards

  • Hope instead of desperation.
  • Faith instead of despair.
  • Courage instead of fear.
  • Peace of mind instead of confusion.
  • Self-respect instead of self-contempt.
  • Self-confidence instead of helplessness.
  • The respect of others instead of their pity and contempt.
  • A clean conscience instead of a sense of guilt.
  • Real friendships instead of loneliness.
  • A clean pattern of life instead of a purposeless existence.
  • The love and understanding of our families instead of their doubts and fears.
  • The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

There is a wealth of further information about 12 Step programs in Wikipedia, including a list of 12 step groups, and also from the numerous links in our directory of recovery related websites. Al – Anon If someone else’s drinking troubles you, attending Al-Anon/Alateen Family Group meetings can help.

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