The 12 Steps of AA

The 12 Steps of AA are the actions an alcoholic must take in order to get sober. These actions are taken under the guidance of a sponsor, another alcoholic.

What are the 12 steps of AA?

The following are the official 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Do not confuse the 12 steps and 12 traditions, they are two separate works of writings.

12 Steps of AA List

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

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. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcoming.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would 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 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.

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.

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12 Steps of AA Explained

The 12 steps of AA are found in Chapter 5 of the Big Book on page 59.

One can not simply read the 12 steps and be done with them. In order to have a spiritual awakening, an alcoholic must do the 12 steps with another alcoholic. The alcoholic must learn to be vulnerable with other people again, as most alcoholics that are well into their disease live life in an isolated fashion, based out of fear.

The 12 steps are the instruction manual for the alcoholic to stay sober. Most of those new to AA (newcomers as they call them) are unaware of the importance of doing the 12 steps. When going to an AA meeting, the importance of doing the 12 steps is not communicated with urgency. They will recommend to get a sponsor but give no specific reasons as to why getting a sponsor is so important.

Typically at the beginning or end of every AA meeting, there will be a show of hands for those that are able to sponsor. If you need a sponsor, go up to one of the people who raised their hand after the meeting is over. Ask if they could be your sponsor. Your new sponsor will then give you a copy of the Big Book (if you don’t already have one) and will ask you to meet once per week in order for the both of you to read it together. By reading the Big Book together, you will naturally start to begin doing the 12 steps of AA as you progress through the Big Book.

Where to find the steps in the Big Book?

Step 1 – (pages xxv – 30)

Step 2 – (pages 44-57)

Step 3 – (pages 60-30)

Step 4 – (pages 63-71)

Step 5 – (pages 72-75)

Step 6 – (pages 75-76)

Step 7 – (page 76)

Step 8 – (page 76)

Step 9 – (pages 76-84)

Step 10 – (pages 84-85)

Step 11 – (pages 85-88)

Step 12 – (pages 89-103)