12 Step

12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

When is comes to recovery, the most commonly thought of system are the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  These steps have been adopted by a myriad of recovery groups including Narcotics Anonymous, Alanon, and Alateen to name but a few.

The 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous is one guideline among many formulated over the years in a heartfelt attempt by many to get a handle on alcoholism and or addiction for themselves and/or a loved one.

  In my many years of experience with the program I have found the 12 step of alcoholics anonymous to be standard and precise.  This was comforting, but what was not so comforting was the many many ways of interpreting these steps, and the inclusion of doctrines that originally never appeared.  I suppose it is a condition of being human that we have a very hard time confronting and admitting of failures and transgressions.  This at times can lead to justifications and adopting of credo’s etc. that make us appear to be less responsible or not responsible at all for our condition.  Even the first step of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous talks of admitting powerlessness.  For me for a long time, and I fear for many others, this got interpreted to mean “not responsible”.  These two concepts are definitely not the same.

By way of example, it has become the fad of the times to consider alcoholism or drug addiction as a disease or a failure of brain chemistry over which one evidently can take no responsibility.    Full recovery comes from among other things, an acceptance of an unconditional full responsibility for the condition one is in.  A full and complete understanding and strict application of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous should lead in the direction of more not less responsibility on the part of the alcoholic or addict.

Blame by the way is NOT responsibility.  Responsibility is the ability to correctly observe and assign cause, and then take the actions necessary to remedy the situation regardless of the cause.  This of course sometimes entails taking responsibility for more than just your own condition.  Admittedly, this is a tough approach, but an approach that can truly lead to being recovered from alcoholism or addiction.  The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can and are valuable tools in this process as long as they are not diluted or explained away, but at the same time applied with compassion and understanding.

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have worked for hundreds and maybe thousands of people so don’t think that you can not be helped by turning to this method as a form of treatment. Addiction can be overcome and there are programs out there that can help you achieve full recovery.