Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) came into existence in 1935 as a fellowship of a group of alcoholics who were determined to fight their addiction. They succeeded and then they worked towards helping others do the same. For 80 years now, the fellowship is still alive and kicking.
Back then, the members had created 12 steps of AA. They served as a “blueprint for recovery.” These steps are relevant even today.
Purpose of 12 steps
According to the AA fellowship, following these steps helps you overcome the obsession to drink. They help you become happy in sobriety. The steps, in a way, become a way of life.
The chief purposes of the step are to:
- Come out of the compulsive behavior to drink
- Get more control of your behavior
- Bring back discipline and organization in your life
- Discover the real reason for your drinking behavior
How the 12-step process works
The 12-step process is a salient feature of all AA meetings. The 12-step therapy is a tried-and-tested method to fight addiction. If this weren’t true, then why would these steps be still relevant after 80 years?
Under this process, you are encouraged to introspect. You must be completely honest with yourselves. After that, you must destroy your ego that triggers your addictive behavior and rebuild your self-esteem that promotes sobriety. This requires patience. The process of “ego reconstruction” takes time.
Under the 12-step program, you learn or maybe re-learn virtues like:
These virtues pave the way to spiritual growth, emotional wellness, and positive change in behavior. These, ultimately, lead you to success in whatever you do in life.
The 12 traditions
Some people are confused with the 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps. Are they the same thing?
They aren’t the same thing, but the 12 traditions are related to the 12 steps. The difference is that the steps are guidelines for individuals, whereas the traditions are guidelines for the fellowship as a whole.
I am not religious. Can I still follow the 12 steps?
The 12 steps follow no particular religion. Earlier, the word “God” was used; it still is used by many, but many others prefer to replace the word with “Higher Power.” You can use any word that suits you to define the Almighty or the Divine or Supreme Power or Higher Intelligence. It depends on your faith. It is not mandatory to use the word “God.”
Suppose you are a Hindu. You can use the name of any God or Goddess you worship. Muslims can use “Allah.”
The ultimate idea is to connect with the Higher Power, submit ourselves to Him (or Her, if you are worshipping a Goddess), and ask the Power to give you strength. The choice of word or the belief in a Higher Power is a personal thing. So, you can adjust the word accordingly.
The 12 steps, along with the Sobriety Calculator, help you recover successfully. Moreover, there isn’t any fixed time to complete the steps. Take your time. But please do not skip any steps or do them in a haste. Some people even make these 12 steps a part of their life.
For more information, visit https://www.aa-meetings.com.