It is hard to give a picture of 12-Step programs that is both concise and informative. The difference between talking about it and being in it is very great. I will repeat the 12 steps and talk about the "9th step promises" of AA.
1. We admitted we were powerless over ________*--that our lives had become unmanagable.-
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of charaacter.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so wouild injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve ourt conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to _______**
and to practice these principles in all our affairs
-- Alcohoics Anonymous, 1976, pp.59-60.
* alcohal, or the group's shared addiction or difficulty.
** alcoholics, or those who share our addiction or difficulty.
There are eleven promises listed, but there are actually twelve. The first, overlooked, promise is: "If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amaze4d before we are halfway through." We will be amazed (awed) that the other eleven promises have come true. We will be awed that Ghandi's aphorism "be the change you want to see" is literally true. The world seems different because i am different. Because of my chabged begavuir and attitute the good is better than it seemed before, and the bad is less bad, or less important than i once thought.
The other ekeven promises are:
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the meaning of the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self seejubg will skuf away.
Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves."
--Alcoholics Anonymous, 1976. pp.83-84