Step Work?

Old 11-06-2008, 01:22 PM
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Step Work?

What does it mean with someone in AA says they are going to do some "Step Work"?
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:36 PM
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more info...

my friend has been in AA for 5 years. He hit a rough patch (don't know details) and was spending some time doing "step work.". I was wondering what that might mean. Are there steps that are revisted during certain times? or all the time?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-06-2008, 06:07 PM
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We can work the steps in AlAnon too!

Here's a link to the 12 steps - step study forum here on SR

My father said working the steps is what really, finally, got him through the worst of changing from an active alcoholic in the throes of addiction to a recovered alcoholic who had truly changed himself and his life. He was sober/recovered, with the help of AA, almost 20 yrs when he died.

Ideally I think you internalize the steps as a way of living life on life's terms...I know sponsors suggest re-visiting certain steps when an alcoholic hits a bump in the road (any bump in life's road- not necessarily relapse)...

You could post your question on the alcoholic's forum - I bet you'd get a range of answers since step work is very personal.

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Old 11-06-2008, 06:53 PM
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The steps are what Alcoholics do to "recover"

A "recovered" alcoholic is one who has "worked the steps" in a "fearless and thorough manner" with another alcoholic.

Some choose the words "in recovery" or that could refer to someone just working their steps.

An alcoholic who hasn't worked his steps thoroughly, or just "admitted powerlessness" then gone straight to "carrying the message" is often referred to as a "dry drunk"

They are easy to spot, they blame everybody for everything, even a "recovered" alcoholic can have a "dry spell" and that's not considered a compliment.

We view Alcohol as but a symptom, the "ISM" is an "illness" of mind and body

The "body" part is if we put even one drink in our system we lose control of our drinking at some point, maybe not right then, it's different for different people, but just one drink and we are in trouble, that's what makes us "alcoholics"

For the "mind" part, which "the disease" is centered in, "working the steps" gives us a "daily reprieve" from alcoholism, which is referred to as a "spiritual awakening" the definition of which is "the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism".

Initially we work the first 9 steps, which has admission of powerlessness, house cleaning, confession, restitution, etc then the next three steps, which are considered "maintenance steps" in which we "continue to take personal inventory, admit our wrongs, restitution, try to improve our conscious contact with a power greater then ourselves, then we "carry this message to other alcoholics" and "try to practice these principals in all our affairs"

We tend to "miss stuff" or quite often as it's referred to "more will be revealed" in that the longer we stay sober, the deeper we get into our "recovery" whether it be "issues" with our parents, difficulty in relationships, we refer to that as "peeling layers off the onion (which makes you cry don't forget) so, in order to discover our character defects that are bothering us, Many alcoholics do a formal "working of the steps" every six months, every year, every few years OR if we have a difficult and a recurring problem "we work the steps around it" or if "something comes up" ie; fired from work, divorce etc.

My personal opinion is I can run about 99% of my "problems" through the steps and walk away with an answer that "makes me feel better" quite often we are "looking for our part" in order to free us of resentments and so we can "clear up our side of the street" so we can be "happy, joyous, and free"

some of the ways alcoholism works after we quit drinking "in my opinion" are to make me so unhappy and miserable, that the idea of a drink seems like a good idea, another thing is an alcoholic mind will literally "lie to you" to convince you to pick up a drink, known as "denial". The steps alleviate that behavior, make you feel better and don't allow you to lie to yourself.

Also many times we think we have a problem here, and it turns out to be "over there" one story a guy tells is he was afraid of dogs, he went back through his life, and he remembered he was bit by a dog when he was six...he was still afraid of dogs so he felt he hadn't "fully tackled the issue" so he kept digging, he finally remembered he was chasing a little girl when the dog bit him, so his problem wasn't dogs, it was chasing girls.

That's a funny story, but very true to life.

People hurt us seemingly without provocation, but we have found is we have made a decision based on self that placed us in a position to be hurt.

The steps uncover "that decision based on self"

It's known as a "spiritual solution" and one theory is that's all alcoholics are looking for any a bottle (called strangely enough, spirits) is a "timeless time" which by many definitions is the quintessential "spiritual experience" which is why we like to make love, eat chocolate, watch a good movie, surf, ski, etc. all of these are "timeless times" which is precisely why they "feel so good"

Alcoholism has been called "the most clumsy of all spiritual longings" which in turn becomes a "spiritual sickness", which turns to emotional sickness, then last physical illness follows.

Anyway, he's trying to "fix his brain" or "wash his brain" or "solve a problem" and hopes to "see his part" and "make restitution" so ultimately he can be "comfortable in his own skin" and thus "feel better"

All this is off the top of my head and I'm in a hurry, so please look up "The big book online" or feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

bb quotes 1st edition et al
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:56 PM
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I love the steps. I do mini 4ths all the time. I try to do the 12th every day.
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:31 AM
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It's my belief that to be involved with a recovery program, one never stops working the steps.

There are others out there who feel one only needs to work through the steps once (or certain steps).

In my experience, I've never met or heard of anyone who has relapsed while actively working the steps with a sponsor. When I do hear of someone relapsing, I like to ask what step they were working on when the relapse ocurred. The answer is always the same. They weren't.

But to answer your question, the 12 steps are the foundation of recovery. They are a simple list of... oh what to call them... exercises? That are a suggested program of recovery.

It's not unlike a physical excercise program. You have a list of certain, specific excersies you do on a regular basis. When working with a sponsor, it's not unlike having a trainer working with you. As you continue with regular exercise, you get stronger. The 12 steps are like emotional/spiritual exercise.
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