This is handout #1 for the
12 Step Workshop
This is handout #1 for the 12 Step Workshop
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 personal 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 meetings and the 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."
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 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.
-- Dallas B.
NOTE: The above information is not Official A.A. Literature and should not be interpreted to be an official view, suggestion, opinion, etcetera, 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 © 2012