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What Are The 12-Steps?

What Are The 12-Steps?

In 1935 two professional gentlemen founded Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson came upon Dr. Bob Smith by happenstance. After years of struggling with alcoholism, Bill had finally found reprieve by way of a spiritual experience. His renewed faith inspired him to complete a series of six steps created by the Oxford Group. All six of these steps would be incorporated into the twelve steps later on. Months into his sobriety, Bill was on a business trip, having regained his career as a salesman. At a hotel in Ohio, Bill found himself pacing back and forth across the entryway to the lobby bar, shocked by the sudden onset of cravings he was experiencing. He knew only one kind of man could understand the insanity of this moment- a fellow alcoholic. By way of a church, he was connected to Dr. Bob Smith, a doctor who suffered terribly from alcoholism and an addiction to office drugs. The pair sat and talked for hours about their experiences with alcoholism, moments of sobriety, and solutions they had found. When Bill told Bob of the six steps he had taken, Bob set out to do the same. Having a spiritual experience changed Bob’ life. Together, the men realized the power of two alcoholics talking, helping one another, and completing the process of these steps. That night, in Akron, Ohio, Alcoholics Anonymous was born. A few years later, Alcoholics Anonymous, also referred to as “The Big Book” would be published, introducing the world to the revolutionary 12-steps program.

The 12 steps are called a program for living, a guide, and a set of tools. Overall, the purpose of the 12 steps is to lead the individual taking them to having the “vital spiritual experience” necessary for recovery. These are the 12-steps as written by Alcoholics Anonymous.

  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 a 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 Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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