There are 12 steps In A.A. They are paramount to recovery. They consist of just 200 words in the AA’s Big Book on pages 59-60. When we arrive into AA, most of us wanted some relief from our drinking. We may not be ready to admit we are “alcoholics.” This simple program is not about getting our drinking under control, it is about living life fully without the need to have a drink or to use.
The program works on the real problem, being a broken human being; the solution is by utilizing a Power greater than ourselves.
It is a “we” program, not an “I” or “You” program. So the society and fellowship are important tenets to anyone desiring success. We cannot do this alone!
The word “alcohol” only appears once as the problem. References to deity (the solution) are mentioned nine times.
Step 1 – 13 words, 0 God
Step 2 – 14 words, 1 God
Step 3 – 20 words, 2 God
Step 4 – 9 words, 0 God
Step 5 – 16 words, 1 God
Step 6 – 12 words, 1 God
Step 7 – 7 words, 1 God
Step 8 – 18 words, 0 God
Step 9 – 18 words, 0 God
Step 10 – 13 words, 0 God
Step 11 – 32 words, 3 God
Step 12 – 28 words, 0 God
The heart of this suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.