Twelve-step recovery is based on the original twelve-step group, Alcoholics Anonymous. Formed in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of those who wish to recover from alcoholism. Meetings are held in many countries across the world in many different languages. Twelve-step recovery has become popular in more than 500 different groups, from Narcotics Anonymous to Al-Anon, and Emotional Health Anonymous to Clutterers Anonymous.
The basis for twelve-step recovery is the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Originally published in 1939, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is the basic text for the program. The first 164 pages have remain virtually untouched, and contain a basic outline of the program. The second half of the book is full of stories from individuals who are in recovery through the program.
The program is worked by individuals going through the twelve steps. The twelve steps are the foundation of every twelve-step program. Click on a step to read about my experience with it:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – 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.
5. Admitted to God, ourselves, and 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 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 carried this message to other alcoholics, and practiced these principles in all our affairs.