12 Steps Are Suggestions, Not Laws, Commands, or Demands
- Garbage Rules will prod you to face your self-defeating thinking that’s keeping you addicted.
- Ego will help you to understand and overcome the underlying problem in your addiction.
AA’s “suggested program of recovery”
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Quotations from Various Sources
“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” —Luke 12:22
“Believe in recovery, redemption, and rehabilitation especially when the world wants to punish you instead of to help you.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Correct it or accept it.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Detach with love.” —Al-Anon
“Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.” —Jean Kerr
“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.” —Chuang-Tzu
“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” —Anonymous
“Guilt is really the reverse side of the coin of pride. Guilt aims at self-destruction, and pride aims at the destruction of others.” —Bill W., As Bill Sees It, p. 140
“I didn’t cause it. I can’t change it. I can’t control it.” —Al-Anon
“I’ve developed a new philosophy–I only dread one day at a time.” —Charlie Brown
“Recovery does not take care of itself no matter how old it is.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Recovery is the process of recovering who you were as a child.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Recovery requires conquering the seven-headed dragon: physical, mental, emotional, social, motivational, renewal, spiritual.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.” —Matthew Arnold
“Suffering isn’t ennobling, recovery is.” —Christian Barnard
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” —Matthew 6:34
“The AA program can be summed up in two words: acceptance and surrender.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
“The attitude of unconditional self-acceptance is probably the most important variable in their long-term recovery.” —Albert Ellis, Rational-Emotive Therapy with Alcoholics and Substance Abusers, p. 71
“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.” —Mark Twain
“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” —Matthew 6:25
“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” —Buddha
“You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.” —Eleanor Roosevelt