In a word, yes. Does that mean there aren’t programs that succeed without the twelve steps? Sure, but no other comes close to the success of the twelve steps. In looking over all twelve of the steps, even if you only look at the first two or three words, you get the picture that it paints. Admit, believe, decide, search, humbly, amend, sought, awakening.
Wow. (The complete twelve steps are listed at the end of this post.)
As these steps are worked, really worked, you start to work. Being able to admit that you are powerless is empowering. It’s a start, a beginning. Without a beginning, there is nowhere you can get to go.
You start out believing in a power greater than yourself. That isn’t so difficult, now, is it? But for those of you that might think it is difficult, won’t you consider that the order of nature makes a really compelling suggestion that there is something going on here greater than ourselves?
The twelve steps are being lived by millions of people and counting. People who had hit the bottom and people who had nowhere else to turn turned here. The amazing thing is that no matter where you are, you can find a twelve-step meeting. Every city, every town, every village has meetings, day and night. That is really mind-boggling. Think about it: this incredible success with no funding, no advertising, no political affiliation, and everyone is anonymous! Just people giving help to each other. Yours for the taking. No membership requirement, no dues to be paid, no feeling of maybe not fitting in. Welcomed, one and all. If you need help, go to a meeting and get it.
The twelve steps are meant to be shared. That is why you do them with a sponsor, and then you in turn, one day, share them with someone else. Once you become a sponsor yourself, the feeling is glorious. You’ve been there, so you can help guide and give back to someone their life for the life that was given back to you. Magnificent.
So do you need them? You do, and they are yours, just waiting for you, no matter how long it may take you to go for them. No expiration date, no “out of stock,” no “only a certain quantity and then they are gone.” Go for your twelve steps, whenever you want, wherever you want, day or night. Go for the rest of a good life, go for the new community, go for the friendship, the help, the understanding, and oh yeah, there’s always coffee!
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (drugs)-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 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 addicts) and to practice these principals in all our affairs.