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After starting in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped millions of people become and stay sober. The 12 steps of AA are designed to help individuals recover from compulsive behaviors and live a normal life. By using these steps, individuals can begin a healthy, long-term sobriety.
The first of the 12 steps of AA is to admit that there is a problem. It means rejecting denial and recognizing that an addiction is beyond the individual’s control. The individual must realize the negative impact that the addiction has and recognize that they are powerless in regulating their consumption.
In the next of the 12 steps of AA, the individual recognizes that a higher power can restore them to a normal life. This entire step is focused on hope for the future. The individual realizes that recovery is possible.
In the 12 step approach, individuals turn their lives over to god as they understand it. They turn to whoever they believe is the higher power and step back.
After accepting that some aspects of life are out of their control, individuals are next encouraged to take a moral inventory. In this self-examination, they take an honest inventory of the things they have done that caused embarrassment, regret, anger or guilt.
Many people are embarrassed about the things they did during their addiction. In this step, individuals share their past wrongs with a sponsor, who is like a mentor in AA. This step is all about admitting past mistakes so that the individual can move on.
This step is based on baring your soul to your higher power and your sponsor and letting go of the resentments you may have harbored during addiction and beyond. This frees an individual to start fresh with life as well as sobriety.
In the next of the 12 steps of AA, the individual asks their higher power for help in removing their character defects. These defects could be things like anger, impatience or apathy. No one is strong enough to change alone.
Now, the individual lists all of the people they have harmed through their addiction. This could be anything from stealing to arguments with a loved one.
With the list from the last step, the individual is now ready to make direct amends. They work with their sponsor to find ways to make amends like writing a letter or apologizing. The only exemption in this step is if making amends would injure someone.
Next, the individual must commit to the AA process. They have to monitor their behavior for anything that could harm someone else. If they make a mistake, the individual must be willing to admit when they are wrong.
In the next of the 12 steps of AA, the individual commits to some type of spiritual practice. This could be reading spiritual books, praying or meditating. The main goal is to increase the individual’s contact with the higher power they have found.
After awakening spiritually during the 12 steps, the next goal is to carry this message to other people who need it. The individual should also continue to use these principles in their daily life.
The 12 steps can be an important tool in addiction recovery but actually getting sober and staying that way requires detox and rehab. Handling an addiction is not always easy. At a professional treatment center, patients can get help through options such as:
No one deserves to live with the pain of an addiction. With the right treatment and support, even a non-12 step approach, patients can go on to live a healthy, happy life. To find out how addiction treatment options can help you, call Beaches Recovery at 866-605-0532 today.