Achieving sobriety is no easy feat, which is why you may be tempted to think that all of the work is done once you have stopped drinking or using. You may think when you are free and clean from drugs and alcohol and so you are cured. But the truth is that recovery is a long, ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight or the moment you complete treatment. Long-term, sustainable sobriety takes work. It also takes a strong support system.
12 Step can provide you with the support and guidance you need to actively engage in your recovery and rebuild your life. You may have heard things about the 12 Step program that may make you reluctant to try it. Some believe it is outdated or a religious meeting – but those are just common misconceptions. So, put all your doubts aside and give it a try. After all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The 12 Step Program
Simply put, it is a set of principles to strengthen your sobriety and guide you through your recovery process. The program was created over 70 years ago as part of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and countless people now credit their sobriety to working the steps.
The 12 Steps for a Lasting Recovery
- Acceptance – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Hope – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Willingness – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
- Personal Inventory – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Self-Disclosure – Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Reflection – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humility – Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Amends List – Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Make Amends – Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued Inventory – Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Spiritual Growth – 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.
- Giving Back – Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Some Benefits of the 12 Step Program
Sense of Belonging
Once you are back in the “real” world, you may sometimes feel as if you are the only one struggling to maintain your sobriety. 12 Step meetings allow you to meet others in similar situations who will reassure you that you are not alone as well as provide you with advice on how to get through obstacles that may challenge your recovery.
Encouragement and Support
Fellowship is a strong component of 12 Step. Participating in a 12 Step program will give you access to a group of people who want nothing more than to see you succeed. It also gives you the opportunity to get a sponsor who will be there for you whenever you need help.
Honesty and Growth
Working the steps means you are taking a deep, honest look at yourself and your choices. This will allow you to admit your faults and grow from them. It can also help you rebuild relationships that were once damaged by your addiction.
You can find 12 Step meetings virtually everywhere, which means that you can get the support you need whenever and wherever you need it. Meetings are also free, so there are no economic barriers stopping you from strengthening your recovery.