12 – Step Program of Release from Addiction

by Bill Wilson (a summary by Pat Evert)

Step 1: Our powerlessness, When have you experienced being powerless in your everyday life? How much do you depend on your own strength and abilities? Name at least one area where you feel like you might be reaching “the limits of your own fuel supply.”

Step 2: Trust His power, Where do you instinctively make decisions–your head, heart, or gut? Which do you consider the most trustworthy? Imagine a dialogue with one of these three areas of your being. What would it tell you about your need to be more open?

Step 3: Surrender will always feel like dying, and yet it is the necessary path to liberation. Write about what the word surrender conjures in your mind and heart. How is this influenced by your personal experiences? How is it influenced by society’s perspective?

Step 4: Fearless moral inventory, What part of you do you not want to see? What are you afraid will happen if you’re honest with yourself? Can you begin to imagine being free of that fear?

Step 5: Confession, When did someone love you in spite of your actions? How did that make you feel? How did it make you want to be a better person?

Step 6: Ready for change, Are you more comfortable with acting or waiting? What happens if you approach a problem from a stance opposite the one you normally prefer?

Step 7: Removal, We humbly asked [God] to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Reflection, We made a list of all the persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Restitution, We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10: Admission, We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 11: Learn, We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood [God], praying only for the knowledge of [God’s] will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 12: Shine and share, Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.