Originally used by recovering alcoholics, this program can be practiced by anyone. Following such program for overcoming addiction can change one's life. Read about the steps in this program.
The twelve-step program was originally created by the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous. It helped people recover from their addiction
. Over the years, this program has been modified to help people deal with other problems and can even be used as a general set of guidelines. Here are the twelve steps.
I am powerless over my addiction and my life has become unmanageable
The first step to solving any problem is admitting that you have one. Any problem can become an addiction and take over your life or a part of it. You genuinely want to stop but you just cannot seem to do it. Once you accept this, you understand that you need help.
I believe that a power greater than me can restore my sanity
This step is based on hope and faith. In spite of all the disappointments, mistakes, failures, etc. in your life, you believe it can and will get better. This is because there is a power greater than yourself, which will help you in your quest for recovery. You have faith in whichever god or spiritual
being you believe in.
I will turn over my life to God's care
In step 3, you make the decision to allow God to help you recover. You agree to allow God into your life. You put your trust in him and know that He will show you the right path so that you may heal your spirit, mind, and therefore, your body. In effect, you put God in charge of your life.
I make a fearless moral inventory of my life
Step 4 involves you actually seeing your problems as they are rather than how you think about them. Take an honest look at your life so far. Who have you been and what have you done because of your addiction? This is an important part of accepting your follies and seeing their harmful effects on your life.
I share my inventory with God, myself, and another human being
Having made a list of your problems, you are now ready to share them. Sharing them with God is the act of making an honest confession about your issues. Telling yourself and another person the exact nature of your wrongdoings drives home their harmful effects and strips away all the lies you have been living. It is the key to a fresh start to relationships
based on truth.
I am ready to have God remove character defects
In this step, you prepare to begin the actual recovery. It involves reflecting on whatever is responsible for your addictions and willing to let them go completely. You should be ready to make any necessary sacrifices.
I humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings
This step is a more advanced form of step 3. You are aware of your problems and the influences on them. By asking God to remove your defects of character, you acknowledge that it is He who gives you strength. You also agree to contribute to this process by making the right decisions.
I make a list of people I have harmed and I am willing to make amends to
Your inventory tells you about your behaviour. Using the inventory, examine how your acts have affected other people. Make a list of people you have wronged and whom you want to seek forgiveness from. Write down how you can atone for your behaviour.
I make direct amends to people, except when it involves injury to them or others
This is a continuation of the previous step. You now make amends for your misdeeds. It could range from paying back money and writing letters to fixing doors. However, be careful in your apologies. If your confession is going to do more harm than good, it is better left unsaid.
I continue to take inventory and admit when I am wrong
Step 10 is an understanding that you may still make mistakes. By catching your mistakes and fixing them soon, you minimise your chances of a relapse. It also helps you to remain connected to your goals.
I will continue to remain in conscious contact with God
Step 11 encourages you to continue to pray and meditate
. It is a reality check to remind you that your achievements are because of God's will. Accepting this allows you to remain at peace with yourself.
I will take this message to other addicts
In the final step of the program, you experience the joy of helping other people. By your example, you encourage other addicts to also take steps towards combating their addictions.