This is one of those things ( this topic ) I didn't understand how they ( our founders ) took the steps in one day, until I got a sponsor who not only told me to read the book, stay out of the stories ( until I had done the steps), and read from the first page to page to 103 ( not page one, but from the first page with writing on it ) but also read most of 58-88 with me ( or had me read it out loud) while we went through steps 4-12.
I got sober on Jun 12, 2007 and had a little trouble with step one and two. I got to step 3 about 4 times and would go back to one and two, because this alcoholics likes to make things complicated. About the end of June I knew I had done step 1,2 and 3 with out question, so I started on my sponsor, when are we going to do 4? today? today? today?
then I got "we will start on 4 Monday and should be finished by Thursday" Aug 1, 2007) Just two days to do my 4th, It has to take longer than that, I have screwed up a lot in my life 'no, finish all the steps by Thursday" I was told
OH WHAT AN ORDER!!!!! but at 51 days sober I did go through with it, and I cant tell you how great it is today. On that Wednesday and Thursday that I will remember for the rest of my life, my heart opened up and I "let God back in" ( he was there all along I just didn't want to see him ) I saw things about myself that I never had, I trusted God more than I did when I gave up on him 11 years ago, I saw the world in a different way than I ever had, I told another human being things I had told no one and they didn't laugh or judge and I became free, in a way that I don't know how to but into words, a very profound feeling of calm, happiness, freedom, no pain, no fear. I could go on and on, but if you have done your steps I bet you know ( I hope ) and if you haven't, do them and you
How long should they take? For me there is two questions you could ask yourself. One, do you believe what the Big Book says is true? if yes, than I have to assume you would believe, One Day is how long. That is what our founders did, and it seem to work for them. Two, How much pain are you in? Me? I wasn't spiritually sick I was spiritually dead, I needed a spiritual awakening and I needed to help someone else, to keep my spirit alive, and the book tells me in step 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' now how would I do any of that if I hadn't taken the 12 steps? I didn't want to sit in meetings, or anyplace else for that matter, being spiritually dead inside for another day, month, year or God forbid longer than that. I was in pain and needed help, wanted help.
The book makes some serious promises on page 83 when you do step 9, and I, for one, did not want to hang out for any longer than I had to for those promises to start happening in my life, and once again I do believe what the book says and it says if I do step 9 Painstakingly, then I will be amaze before I am half way though, and once again I can say that the book keep its word.
That is my experience, Strength and Hope on this topic. I can say without question taking those steps changed me in a way that I couldn't even hope for, let alone imagine.
Thanks for letting me take up so much space