Alcoholics Anonymous has over 2 million members worldwide. It is one of the best-known organizations for substance abuse. Following their 12 Step Program has helped many on their path to sobriety. The program is a very spiritual experience, a fact that is attributed to the program’s success. The focus on a higher power brings your life into perspective. There are, of course, options for those who want an entirely secular experience. AA Meetings vary considerably regarding the amount of emphasis on a higher power. Finding the one for you, based on your beliefs, is an important part of your recovery. Search “find AA Meeting near me” that match your comfort levels.
Though the 12 Step Program is a spiritual approach to treatment, you don’t have to be religious per se. Higher power can be seen simply as forces beyond our control. Being accountable to a higher power and finding a sense of peace and enlightenment goes a long way in your recovery. Here’s a quick rundown of the 12-Steps, and their benefits.
Admitting you have a problem
This one is the most obvious, but you can’t begin recovery until you accept that your drinking is a problem you must change.
Look to something greater than yourself; a higher power
This step is one of the ones that encourages you to begin your spiritual journey. Many people have turned their life around by finding their God.
Turn yourself over to your God
This step is the part where you become willing to embrace your Higher Power and turn yourself over completely so that you may be made anew.
Identify past regret, embarrassment, guilt or anger that has plagued your life. You cannot heal and move on from your alcoholism until you have determined what caused you to become an alcoholic in the first place.
Admitting to past behaviors and taking responsibility
To heal, you must accept responsibility for your wrongdoings. If you don’t, you will be continuing to run away from the hardships in your life that caused you to drink.
Higher power remove their wrongs
Be ready and willing to accept forgiveness from your Higher Power. Only once you feel worthy of forgiveness can you seek it out in others.
Overcome your defects
The path to recovery is full of changes. Actively try to be a better person.
Make a list of those you have harmed, and be willing to make amends
Determine who you have hurt on your path to alcoholism, and be willing to make amends with them.
Make those amends
Actively make those amends to the loved ones you have hurt.
Monitor yourself for any detrimental behaviors
Always watch yourself and have others watch you for behaviors, actions, or triggers to ensure you don’t turn back to alcohol.
Find an inner peace and continue to practice it
Whether this is praying, or meditation, find a practice that suits you and brings you peace.
Only once your other needs are met can you look to help others. This step encourages you to help others as others have helped you, continuing the cycle.