Introduction to Big Book of AA 12-Step
Alcoholism is a tragic and lonely disease!
Like other forms of addiction, as people they become more dependent on alcohol, they isolate themselves, cutting themselves off from family, friends and activities they used to enjoy. Even when they want to come out of that world, they think they can or must do it alone.
The last thing a person needs at the very beginning of recovery is to be alone. The alcoholic will say, “I’ll cut back,” or “I just have to have the will power to stop doing drugs.”
One alcoholic told me that the only way for him to get clean was for him to do all of the work, there was no other way. What he was not considering is that as human beings, we are not wired that way. We are wired for relationship. We are not meant for isolation. Moreover, what if I told you that you can’t do it all on your own strength, that you need something from somebody else? The Big Book of AA 12-Step process for recovery was first created in the 1930’s, by Big Book of AA, but over the last 70 plus years, over 250 self-help groups have adopted these steps.
Why? Because they work!
In my group discussions at a residential drug and alcohol rehab center, we discuss how people are body, mind and spirit. Granted, our spirits can be strong and our determination staunch, but the greater power is outside of us. That is the power that only God can provide.
Big Book of AA 12-Step -- What is it like?
Imagine yourself in the kitchen to make a piece of toast. You have everything you need. But when you push down the lever to lower the bread into the toaster, nothing happens. You have done every correctly, so you double check -- bread, butter, jam, knife, plate – and you see that everything is in place. But there is one item missing. You have no power to make the toaster work. After a brief “ah ha” moment you plug the toaster in and shortly thereafter enjoy your toast.
The 12-Step process is similar to making toast in one respect, you have to plug into a power source, and when you do, everything can start to work. We believe that people are not meant to be alone, to handle the everyday challenges of life. It follows that people are certainly not meant to be alone during the very hard times. Whatever the power source, it is vital to the process.
Big Book of AA 12-Step History
To appreciate the roots of the Big Book of AA 12-Step program we need to spend a moment to look into the personal history of Big Book of AA founder Bill Wilson.
Click here for History of the AA 12-Step program
Please consider using the Big Book of AA 12-Step program
There are an abundance of web sites and books written about the alcohol programs, and we’ll share a few of them with you to give you a broader base of understanding and point you to a few excellence resources. The 12-Step program is steeped in tradition and firmly supported by spiritual truth, give us all a model of humanity that points us to a better life, a stronger relationship with our neighbors, and an eternal loving relationship with the one who made us.
As you look through this program, think of them as a process. Like a path you walk on to go from A to Z, only you must take all of the steps and go through each in order, otherwise the path does not lead to your final destination. You go at your own pace and move forward as you see fit. Along the way, remember that these steps were written by people just like you, who needed help and had the courage to accept the help. Regardless of your Alcoholism, 12-Step offers improvement for the human condition. Enjoy your reading. Maybe you like Rev. Buchman and Bill Wilson will go through a spiritual experience of your own. If you do, please share it with us.
The 12-Step Program
Please review each step and try to either begin following them yourself or enroll in a local program. Let’s take a look at the steps. You will see quickly that the process includes others and that we are not meant to go through this alone.
We admitted that 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.
Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand 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 whenever 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 our affairs.