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Family and Friends of Alcoholics and Addicts This forum is for families and friends whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking and/or drug abuse.

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Old 11-19-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default Introduction to the Al-Anon 12 Steps

Introduction to the Twelve Steps.

What do you think living is for?

In Al-Anon we believe life is for growth, both mental and spiritual. That growth began, for most of us, when we accepted the fact that compulsive drinking was not a weakness but the result of a disease. We began to grow when we looked within ourselves and found weakness there - weakness in the way we had refused to meet our problems, in the way we had attributed all faults to the alcoholic, and in prolonged self-pity.

The Twelve Steps, for us, have been steps to a higher plane. From them we have learned we are less than perfect ourselves and are likely to remain so unless we learn to do something about it. In following the Steps, we can gain courage and serenity. Gradually, we leave weakness behind and learn that growth, though painful, is worth Seeking.


We admited we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Many of us deliberately closed our eyes to excessive drinking, deluding ourselves with ideas such as: "When he has a home of his own, he'll stop," or "She'll stop because she loves me," Many were the tries we made, but all we accomplished was to add chaos to confusion. If anything more is needed to push alcoholics deeper into dirnk, it is well-meant but ill-advised attempts to stop the. The net result is defeat for everyone. Life really becomes unmanageable for the whole family.

The First Step is bedrock beneath our feet. From it, we can go forward to the peace and comfort and spiritual growth to be gained from the rest of the program. With full acceptance that we are powerless over the disease of alcoholism, there comes a feeling of release, and hope returns. We can turn our full attention to managing our own lives and bring them into some sort of order. When one member is thinking sanely, the whole family situation improves


Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Before we had help from Al-Anon we reached a point where we were no longer reacting normally. Once it became clear that we could no longer depend on ourselves for calm, dispassionate, wise, judgment, we looked about to see how others, in similar difficulties, had attained their serenity.

Here the "Power greater than ourselves" came to our help: if we could find no help within ourselves, we must naturally turn to somehting outside. If htose about us have been led to acceptance by some Higher Power, if they once lived in disordered lives as ours and are now serene, we, too, may attempt to draw upon the same source and try to attain the same result.

We had lived too long with wild fear and insane dread to be in command of ourselves; panic ruled us. No longer able to depend upon ourselves, we had to return to a Higher Power for emotinal stability.


Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

It is one thing to believe a Higher Power created the universe and quite another to put our lives in the care of that Power. Al-Anon offers us a way. It had been there all the time, but as long as we relied on our own will, we could not see it. This had led us into quicksand and we were lost.

Following the will of God does not mean drifting with the current - it means conscious, whole-hearted bending and merging of all our energies with His will. It means directing everything we do in orderly progression instead of in chaotic confusion.

It would be convenient if we could make this decision once and for all, but it does not work that way. The turning over of our will must be constantly reaffirmed and renewed until it becomes so much a part of our nature that the temptation to act impulsively gradually disappears.


Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

One difficulty in applying this Step is the inability to be honest with ourselves. The greates fault of all is to be conscious of non. IN the past we have, perhaps, lived with the conviction that were always right. Our tendency to self-justification may step from that. this situation may become complicated if we habitually hold our troubles inside where they will ferment and explode.

Perhaps we hold grudges. Ill-will and resentment can make us very sick. When we find ourselves induldging in this unhealthy activity, we should do soemthing about it quickly. The longer we harbor a grudge, the harder it becomes to lose it.

If we get hurt easily, we are a problem to ourselves as well as to others. We should honestl analyze our feelings to see if we are at fault ourselves. we can forgive other people, pray for them - and the hurt will gradually disappear.

We should examine our motives for selfishness, too. This is an inventory! We make a list of our positive and negative characteristics, remembering that self-honesty is all-important. We don't rationalize, excuse ourselves or list hurts we received. We make it a "searching and fearless inventory."


Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

It may be difficult to admit our faults to God, even though we know He willnot be shocked. It is even more difficult to admit our faults to another person, but int his way we are on record, and it can help us overcome things which are holding us back.

This Step is a definite movement in the direction of a healthy sharing attitude toward life.

Steps 6-9 are the healing Steps for what you find in doing Steps 4-5.

Love always,


I share because I care.

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