12 steps

Old 11-18-2009, 12:16 PM
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12 steps

I am pretty new to recovery....

Can anyone explain to me how the 12 step program works if I would like to follow it?

I mean I have read the steps and sort of understand them but how do I apply them?

Do I do it on my own or with the help of AA??

Also do I need to find a sponsor first?

Any info would be greatlly appreciated
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:53 PM
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Hi and Welcome,

I'm not an AA person, but others will be along to explain this to you.

I'm glad you found us.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:58 PM
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I don't use a 12 step program in my recovery either.. but several folks here do. I know there will be a few of them around here shortly to help

There is also a 12 step forum on this board, you may want to go read around there too!

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:13 PM
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Welcome dan!

Yes, if you'd like to take the 12 Steps please reach out to AA and get a sponsor. It is possible to take them alone, not something I'd recommend though, and why try it yourself when there are plenty of qualified, sober, recovered individuals who'd be willing to help you along on your journey?

Also, if you don't have the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) please get a copy and start reading it, especially the first 164 pages. This will explain how the program works. Then read the recovery stories too.

I'll look forward to hearing more from you. Glad you're here.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:15 PM
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As so many have said here, I would call the local AA number in your phone book. You can find a meeting and someone to meet/go with you.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:35 PM
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I'm at step 2.
Step 1 is for those who recognise in themselves an allergy to alcohol or another substance or addictive behaviour, setting up not only an immediate craving for some days but also a longer term obsession concerning the habit. This is a specific type of alcoholic/addict, AA for one has explicitly said it does not aim to corner the alcoholic recovery sphere.
My drinking was in binges of 1-2 days. It was never social, ever.
step 2 is deciding one needs help
step 3 is deciding to get help
steps 4-9 are finding out how to get help
steps 10-12 are carrying on getting help (I think - too far ahead for me to grasp anything at all)
Sponsors do and should vary a great deal, but should be humourous and polite at least.
Some of the steps are microsteps. But a shrewd sponsor should see how much you will benefit from talking it over. Mulling over the background can be most productive. Being sponsored is not about subservience.
Some of the steps are done in written form.
When reading the 'Big Book' a pencil and eraser to record insights gained while discussing it are useful. One day someone else may need you to sponsor them.
All of the steps are relational.
They are designed to be taken and retaken over and over lifelong.
AA has a core and in some places there are add-ons and it is useful to learn what are non-essentials that can safely be ignored or if possible avoided.
AA also has traditions that have enabled it to survive. Some institutions which have borrowed 5 or more of the steps don't have AA traditions. True AA doesn't speak for situations where outside institutions have the say in members attending or not. Members are considered to be self-referred.
What is called 'spiritual' is about choice, decision, evolution, responsibility.
What is called 'program' I often like to call journey.
Other named groups, programs, methods, journeys etc cover most of the same ground but with the elements often considerably reshaped and renamed.
It would be in a good AA spirit not to be over-precise about how others communicate with us in person. Our journey is up to us to pursue with what help we come to realise we need.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:49 PM
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I always sort of "got" the steps.... sort of.... until I really started working them with the help of others... here and AA.

There is so much more to them than what I got with just reading them through.

Welcome to SR!!

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Old 11-19-2009, 04:31 AM
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Thanks guys for all the info... Ill get down to AA and talk to a few people there. There is a meeting this evening so its a start.

thanks for taking the time to respond and guide me
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dan5555 View Post
Thanks guys for all the info... Ill get down to AA and talk to a few people there. There is a meeting this evening so its a start.

thanks for taking the time to respond and guide me
dan: that is what i would do.. check out at least a few different meetings and be patient finding a good sponsor! it takes time..
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:28 AM
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Based on stubborn personal experiences I would not recommend working the 12 steps alone. Anything much past steps 3 or 4 alone is a suicide attempt. Just my $.02
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