Alcoholics Anonymous

Your Life and It's New Meaning, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my final entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 12:  “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 all our affairs.”
 
Step 12 is found in Chapter 7 (Working With Others), page 89 through page 103 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking (relapsing into addiction) as intensive work with other alcoholics (others with like addictions).  This is our 12th suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics!  You can help when no one else can.  You can secure their confidence when others fail.  Life will take on new meaning.  To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you – to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss.  We know you will not want to miss it.  Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”

Love and Tolerance of Others, by guest blogger, David Saffold

The following is my tenth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 10:  “Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.”
 
Step 10 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action), page 84, third paragraph through page 85, third paragraph of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I will let the literature do most of the talking here. “Step 10 suggests we continue to take personal inventory and set right any new mistakes as we go along.  We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past.  We have entered the world of the Spirit.  Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.  This is not an overnight matter.  It should continue for our lifetime.  Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.  When they crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.  We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone… Love and tolerance of others is our code.

Admitting Our Wrongs, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my fifth entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

Step 5:  “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

Step 5 is found in Chapter 6 (Into Action) page 72 through page 75 of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  In step 4 we discovered the deeper causes in our nature that were creating our problems.  Now we need to start the process of healing by telling them to another person.  We have to stop hiding from life and others, we have to finally find the courage to remove our mask and be entirely honest with another person.  The book gives the reason why this is so important on page 73; “More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life.  They are very much the actor.  To the outer world they present a stage character.  This is the one they want others to see.”  This mask or “stage character” is the lie that is presented to the world and the alcoholic is terrified that the lie will be discovered.  This makes for a life of constant fear and tension which empowers the addictive behavior.

That First Big Step, by guest blogger David Saffold

The following is my first entry in a series about the 12-step spiritual program of recovery.

In my opinion, alcohol is a drug.  Just as cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth is a drug.  The 12 step program will work for any drug of addiction.  However, since I am referring to the 12 step program defined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, I keep the wording of each step found therein.  Please, feel free to replace the word "alcohol" in this issue with whatever suits your situation.