Handout #1 for the 12 Step Workshop

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Handout #1 for the 12 Step Workshop

Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:00 pm

Handout #1 for the 12 Step Workshop

The below post is the text from Handout #1, for the 12 Step Workshop.
It’s the same text that’s on the hand out page, and the same text that is on The web page at: www.step12.com/step-study-1.html - you can bet a copy of the Work sheets for Step 4, at: www.step12.com/step-4.html

Keep in mind that the text below is simply an outline... It's not intended to be exhaustive in explanation. That's what the workshops are for.

Hopefully, in the near future, I'll have a copy of the tapes that were made for the workshop. (The last set that I had were never returned to me, so if anyone out there has a copy, send them to me!) Until then, we'll have to wait until we do another workshop and have another set of new tapes made from it.

1. What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

It’s the 12 Steps. The 12 Steps is the Program of Recovery. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is the A.A. Members.

2. What are the 12 Steps?

Big Book, Page 25: " ... the simple kit of spiritual tools ..."
The 12 Steps are 12 Spiritual Principles, that members of A.A. use to recover from alcoholism.

3. What are Spiritual Principles?

Spiritual = "Life"

Principle = "A basic truth, rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes."

Spiritual Principles = "Basic truths, rules or laws concerning the functioning of life’s natural phenomena and mechanical processes."

4. When the 12 Steps are applied – and practiced, they will:

a. Remove the mental obsession with alcohol.

b. Eliminate the emotional compulsion to drink

c. Produce a personality change – necessary for recovery

d. Produce a new attitude and outlook on life

e. Assist me to maintain emotional balance

f. Assist me to achieve emotional security – a life without fear

g. Help me to gain and grow in emotional maturity

h. Assist me to lead a useful life with purpose

i. Help me clean up the wreckage of the past

j. Assist me to have and maintain healthy positive relationships in my life

k. Produce peace and serenity in my life

l. Provide a way for me to be happy and sober

m. Be a Daily Design For Living, so that I can stay happy and sober

n. And, much, much more.

5. Can the 12 Steps be applied to other problems?


Over 300 fellowships (Other than Alcoholics Anonymous) with unique problems have adopted the 12 Steps as an application and solution to their own unique problems.

Does an A.A. member need to join other fellowships to use the 12 Steps for other problems?

That would be a personal and individual choice of the A.A. member. I personally have not had to join any other fellowships, even though I may have qualified to join them – and I have successfully used the 12 Steps to address the other problems in my life.

For myself, I prefer to keep my recovery within A.A., and specifically in the Big Book. (My life depends upon it). The A.A. fellowship is large enough that I can always find someone in A.A. who can assist me, who had the same problem that I had, and they can share with me how they got to the other side of the problem -- through A.A.'s way.

I would be concerned that by going to another fellowship, other than A.A., that their solution may cause me a problem with my A.A. solution. Their application of the 12 Steps, as they understand them, may be directly opposite to what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous instructs me to do. (Example: to be a victim rather than to take responsibility and to discover my part in a situation, or to see what I could have done differently).

While it may not be appropriate to discuss my "other problems" in A.A. meetings... that doesn't prevent me from discussing the problem with my sponsor, and asking his direction and guidance, and it doesn't prevent me from discussing the problem with another A.A. member individually. If my sponsor did not have experience with the problem that I have, I'm sure he would know someone in A.A.'s fellowship who successfully solved the same problem using A.A.'s solution to solve the problem that I would need to solve.

I have heard people say "A.A.'s method is too shallow to solve all my problems."

Those people are often the same people who think that A.A.'s "solution" is about just going to AA meetings and hanging out with the AA Fellowship.

While meetings and the fellowship are important elements in recovery... they are not "the solution" and they are not "the recovery program of A.A."

Most often, I have heard the "AA is too shallow" from people who have never completely read the Big Book and have never completed the 12 Steps using the directions in the Big Book, nor, have they for any length of time "Practiced" the principles of the 12 Steps in their life or even attempted to apply them to their other problems.

The solution is the 12 Steps. The Recovery Program of A.A. is the application of the 12 Steps as described in the Big Book.

The AA meetings and the fellowship is to remind us of two things:

1. What the problem is (Powerless). and, 2. What the solution is (the 12 Steps).

Without the meetings and the fellowship, I'll begin to think that the problem is anything other than Powerless. And, I'll forget what the solution is... the 12 Steps... and come up with all sorts of solutions of my own. In A.A., we call that "stinking thinking" and as alcoholics, we cannot afford the luxury of "stinking thinking" because stinking thinking produces "stinking results."

As an alcoholic, it's vital that I find a way to be happy.... and sober, or I will drink again!!!! That's the purpose of the 12 Steps.

If you've been in or around A.A. for a while, and you are not happy, or if your results "stink".... YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!!

Remember, Principles work the same all the time, for anyone, at any time... regardless if it was 100 years ago, today, or 100 years into the future.

Principles always produce the same results.... IF they are applied the same way. That's what it means, when, at the end of some A.A. meetings, they say "It works if you work it." If you work the principles they will produce the same results for you... that they produced for me and countless thousands of others...... "A happy, useful, peaceful, contented, satisfying, purposeful, and successful life... without alcohol"!

6. What does it mean to apply the 12 Steps in all our affairs?

It means to "apply the 12 Steps in all areas of my life."

Emotional ambitions = my sense of emotional well-being.

Social ambitions = community, world and personal relationships.

Material ambitions - " Pocketbook " = health, finances, material possessions, employment, job, business.

Spiritual ambitions = my understanding, relationship and conscious contact with my Higher Power.


NOTE: The above information is not Official A.A. Literature and should not be interpreted to be an official view, suggestion, opinion, etceteras, of Alcoholics Anonymous. The information is from an A.A. 12 Step Study Workshop, conducted by Dallas B. We hope to make more of the handouts available on this Website. Check back for updates. If you have questions, contact Dallas B.

Handout from "12 Step Workshop" with Dallas B. Copies available at www.Step12.com © 2004 - www.step12.com/step-study-1.html

Pick up the Step 4 worksheets and information at: www.step12.com/step-4.html

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Postby crickit » Tue Aug 02, 2005 8:25 pm

Does an A.A. member need to join other fellowships to use the 12 Steps for other problems?

That would be a personal and individual choice of the A.A. member. I personally have not had to join any other fellowships, even though I may have qualified to join them – and I have successfully used the 12 Steps to address the other problems in my life.

This is a really good question. During my recovery process I have discovered I have other addictions that I was probably always aware of but put aside in light of the big one, alcohol. Because I have MS I have been in constant pain, sometimes worse then other. When I quite drinking I replaced that with pain medication and medicinal marajuana. I refused to believe at first that I was addicted but a fellow member had me do a pain management journal and I soon realized that it has become another addiction. My female sponsor has had no experience with other addictions and so referred me to someone who has been were I am. I now have 2 sponsors. One male alcoholic/addict and one female alcoholic. Although the program works the same, the details are different. My two sponsors discuss my progress and they agree on my next move. My female sponsor is very supportive and my male sponsor is very cut and dry. I think together they make the perfect sponsor for me. I know this doesn't sound like the norm, but it's working really well for me. They are both more than capable of calling me on my BS even when it's unintentional. Now if I could just trust 100% the suggestions they give but I'm learning. Giving up complete control is not easy but I'm trying, one day at a time.


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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:17 pm

Postby new2this » Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:22 pm

Hi all----

As for the question of whether or not to join other 12 step programs or not...I can pass on what I've been taught.

When I came into the program, I was a little resistant at first. I didn't come in by choice and if I'd been given one, I don't know that I would have made it here at all. What was God thinking?!? :wink:

So anyway, something in me realized that this might be my last hope...even when I thought that I had already given up on hope.

I got a sponsor....well, I went through a few of them. But I ended up with one who could cut through my BS, both intentional and unintentional, like Cricket mentions. After listening to my crap for a while, it was pointed out to me that alcoholism wasn't my only problem. It was suggested that I get literature and tapes(Alanon, in my case). And I had to actually read and listen to them! :shock:

Well, I ignored all that "crap" for a while. Hey, I had admitted I was alcoholic and that my life had become unmanageble. I wasn't ready to admit that something else was wrong with me too!! I'm the kind of sponsee that probably every sponsor dreads. But after being repeatedly told "If you aren't going to follow direction, then you don't need a sponsor! Sponsor yourself!", I finally wised up.....kind of. :wink:

Bottom line is....I followed direction, got the info, and used the info. However, it was never, ever recommended that I join another Fellowship. In fact, other than possibly involving my children in a different group, it's been discouraged. I've been taught that the 12 steps can be applied to any part of my life and once I learned how to use the tools I had, it wouldn't be necessary to confuse myself bouncing from one Fellowship to another, because while I would have been busy bouncing, I wouldn't be focusing on taking the steps at all. 'First things first', ya know?

Oh and to Cricket....Two sponsors? You go, girl! Don't worry about it being "the norm". Not one of us got here by being norm, anyway! :lol:

Take Care all,


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Postby crickit » Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:50 pm

Thanks Cathy. I thought I was the sponsee everyone dreaded LOL, that's why I need two.

Whatever works right !!!



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Postby 918gma » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:52 pm

Alanon has been mentioned to me as well, but I can't seem to let go of an AA meeting to go to one.

I have the book, I just haven't done anything with it. I'm afraid the issues would get confussed. Can't I just stay with AA and learn what I need to know about the rest from there.

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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:17 pm


Postby new2this » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:17 am

Hey there, Gma!

How ya doin'? Hope all is well for you and your family!

Of course you can stay with only AA. That's kind of the point I was trying(in my long-winded way!) to make. I have always been discouraged from going to other Fellowship meetings. I was taught that I had a tool-kit (theTwelve Steps) and I needed to learn how to use the tools that I already had before I started taking on the world! :lol:

To this day, I have never attended a meeting outside of AA. Heck, until a couple of weeks ago, I had never listened to a tape that wasn't AA.....and it was an accident then. Maybe it was just time for me to hear it....I don't know. I think that maybe we learn what we need to learn when it's time for us to learn it..

Anyway.....stick with AA and keep coming back! Don't you dare 'let go'! One step at a time, girl!

And maybe even one book at a time, ya know? :wink:

You're doing great! And thanks for coming up with the new forum!

And it's so good to hear from you! :D :D :D

Take Care,


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Postby 918gma » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:20 pm

Thanks for reminding me. The program has all I need. Like I said there's books and people galore where I'm at that I could work through just about any thing with. No, Cathy, I think your right, I'm staying right here. Thanks again

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