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.
"The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for "reaching" and helping an uncontrolled drinker.
In simplest form, the A.A. program operates when a recovered alcoholic passes along the story of his or her own problem drinking, describes the sobriety he or she has found in A.A., and invites the newcomer to join the informal Fellowship.
Newcomers are not asked to accept or follow these Twelve Steps in their entirety if they feel unwilling or unable to do so.
They will usually be asked to keep an open mind, to attend meetings at which recovered alcoholics describe their personal experiences in achieving sobriety, and to read A.A. literature describing and interpreting the A.A. program.
A.A. members will usually emphasize to newcomers that only problem drinkers themselves, individually, can determine whether or not they are in fact alcoholics.
At the same time, it will be pointed out that all available medical testimony indicates that alcoholism is a progressive illness, that it cannot be cured in the ordinary sense of the term, but that it can be arrested through total abstinence from alcohol in any form."
The above information is from
http://www.getfreereports.com/rep/1health/aa12steps.htm Having only attended one Al-Anon meeting, I don’t have much personal information to add. I did learn, however, that participants in Al-Anon Family Groups also follow the twelve steps, and each person will have a sponsor, just like in AA. The only difference in the twelve steps of Al-Anon is the wording of step 12, where they say “carry this message to others” rather than “to alcoholics.”
Notice that the twelve steps are in the past tense; the point here is that there are many, many people who have already successfully worked through the steps, and reclaimed their lives.
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.1
1 Alcoholics Anonymous, First Edition, pages 59-60; quoted on http://www.ramsjb.com/talamasca/avatar/12steplist.html , 2/18/03.
The official website for Alcoholics Anonymous is http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/
The official website for Al Anon Family Groups is http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
There are principles that go with each of the steps; they are as follows:
Personal commentary: step one |
step two |
step three |
step four |
step five |
step six |
step seven |
step eight |
step nine |
step ten |
more to be added later...