If Step 1 isn't thoroughly owned by a prospect, he/she will become one of the statistics that "prove" "I did AA and it didn't work for me".
It shows that they were one of the statistics that "prove" that "A.A. didn't work for them -- because they didn't work A.A." Alcoholics Anonymous IS the 12 Steps.
What some of us on this site are concerned with... is the perception that the newcomer gets... that "going to a meeting and taking a chair -- is doing AA." Recovery doesnt take place from occupying a chair.... no matter how long they sit in the chair.
What's the hurry with taking the 12 Steps? The newcomer has not "worked" A.A. until they have taken the 12 Steps.
What's the hurry with taking the 12 Steps? The 12 Steps IS the AA Treatment for Alcoholism. The 12 Steps are taken to remove the obsession to drink... to deal with the alcoholic insanity of the next first drink and to free the alcoholic of alcoholic insanity.
Why the hurry with taking the 12 Steps? The alcoholic does not have a defense against the next first drink... that's the alcoholic insanity.
Why the hurry with taking the 12 Steps? The hurry is... we don't want the alcoholic to go back out and drink and die.
Why the hurry with taking the 12 Steps? The sooner the insanity and the obsession to drink are removed -- the alcoholic is in a much better position -- to being using the 12 Steps as a Design for Living.
If you don't stop the bleeding... and the bleeding is killing the alcoholic... why waste time trying to show them a Design for Healthy Living?
The first Nine Steps prepare the alcoholic with the foundation that they need so that they can stay sober -- for sober living. That's what the hurry is.
Without the foundation of the first Nine Steps, and then the completion of all 12 Steps... the alcoholic, in A.A. terms, is "white knuckling it"... they're "on the water and coffee wagon."
In AA, Recovery takes place as a "result" of taking the 12 Steps... not from sitting around in meetings, sitting in a chair talking about your problems. Talking about your problems... will only give you more "Self-Knowledge"... which is what this Topic is about...
Why the hurry?
1. If you are having a heart-attack and it was going to kill you... do you have a desire to not be having the heart-attack? Yes/No.
2. If you are having a heart-attack and it's going to kill you...
Do you want to get to the hospital immediately so that, hopefully, they can do something to save your life? Yes/No.
If you answer Yes to both questions... dial 911 and pray that the ambulance get's there in time!
1. If you're having a heart-attack and it is going to kill you... do you want to think about it for a while before dialing 911? Yes/No
2. If your answer to number 1 is Yes... all you need to decide from that point is how long you want to think about it.... until you become convinced that you are having a heart-attack and it's going to kill you.
Alcoholism and heart-attacks are equally fatal. Grave conditions. They will kill you.
So, we don't ask them, when they come in... "do you want to admit you're alcoholic... and start the Steps"?
We ask... "Do you want to get over your drinking problem?"
When they first come in, most often... it's because of a "drinking problem" and not alcoholism... It doesn't mean that they are or are not an alcoholic.
If the question is: "Do you think it's got you licked?" (i.e. the drinking game is "it's" )... if the answer is No... and they do not desire to stop drinking... they are not ready to take the Steps.
If the answer is "Yes. I think the drinking has me licked... and I desire to stay sober"... then they are ready to "start" taking the Steps.
To start "taking the Steps" does not start with Step 2.... To start the Steps it starts with Step 1.
Can we help them take Step 1? Sure we can. That's what a 12 Step call is all about. (Or.. in treatment lingo: Intervention?)
While we can't take any of the Steps for them... we can help them with each of the Steps... and most importantly with Step 1. This is what "12th Stepping them" is all about.... if they allow us to do this.
Unfortunately, the idea flowing around in AA that is so commonly popular... is that "treatment of alcoholism begins with the treatment center.".... and the treatment center does the work for them, and AA is simply a "support system." Meetings and a Fellowship to get support to re-enforce the activities of a treatment center.
This popular idea causes more problems for more alcoholic and for Alcoholics Anonymous... than trying to assist someone in "taking the Steps too soon!