Our 12 Steps

Addiction is an intense confrontation, a prolonged struggle. It is up and down and every way around battle of wit and stamina to stand up to addiction. No matter how one has entered this diabolic space, it is critical to recognize that the real game of choice starts now. For some, the choice of the past was done in the fog of ignorance and foolishness. So, it was not a real choice but a self-entrapment. For others, it was misfortune brought on by treacherous, heartless circumstance. This disease does not work itself out following a fever or two, no antibiotic leaves a mark, no vaccination would have preempted it, and no Ayurvedic, Homeopathic, or Allopathic intervention, except sometimes as emergency response, will make much of a lasting dent.

A once-for-all addiction relief lies in exploring what is best out there that never took root or has gone missing for a long time in ourselves: our spirit infused with and lifted by a Greater Spirit as well as ethics, morality, inclusiveness and mercy emanating from that One Source. The modern existential options that have led us so far have miserably failed us. For a unified, unfailing meaning of life, we truly need to closely connect ourselves with the ever-present, fully aware, latent, as yet unrecognized, unexplored, ignored, disrespected Higher Being. For this end, as a matter of broader principle, the mind must intend to escape the jailhouse and we must be willing to take little steps changing our choices and behaviors on a consistent basis until we can pick up pace. Early on, one has to admit being stuck out of one’s own folly and that help is badly needed.

Gathering together whatever bits of energy is left to turn a new page is not easy. It feels heavy. It appears impossible. Giving up seems to be the only practical response. But no one knows until one’s back is against the wall that even in a spent condition how incredible a storehouse one is of residual spirit, common sense and physical strength. It is an awesome blessing that should fill us with happiness that not all is lost. Led into a blind alley of darkness and maze in a blinding storm, this residual can easily tide us over. Surely, every flame begins with a daring spark followed by a hopeful flicker. The roar and the crackle are but a couple of huffs and puffs and a few twigs and logs away.

What are the 12 steps to Alcoholics Anonymous et al?

The Twelve Steps are a set of guiding principles in addiction treatment that outline a course of action for tackling problems including alcoholism, drug addiction and compulsion1.

Their 12 Steps

  • Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than us could restore us to sanity.
  • Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  • Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  • Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  • Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Step 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.
  • 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.

Where did their 12 steps originate?

“Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the two men behind AA, drew their inspiration for the Twelve Steps from the Oxford Group who advocated that all problems rooted in fear and selfishness could be changed through the power of God by following the "Four Absolutes," a moral inventory of "absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love," and through public sharing/confession. The Oxford Group also believed in the work of American psychologist William James, particularly his philosophy of pragmatism and "The Will to Believe" doctrine (by changing the inner attitudes of the mind, we can change the outer aspect of life), and William Silkworth, MD, one of the first medical professionals to characterize alcoholism as a disease.”

“When AA was founded in 1935 by Bill W. and Dr. Bob as a fellowship of alcoholics working together to overcome their drinking problems, the 12 Steps acted as a set of guidelines for spiritual and character development—a blueprint for recovery. The Twelve Steps serve the same purpose today. As described by Alcoholics Anonymous, following these guidelines "as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole."”

Now, programs promoting relief from Drug Addiction2, Gambling Addiction3 and Sex Addiction4 also produce the same 12 Steps. That makes sense. After all, the psycho-social ground, the moral ground and the spiritual ground are common in these afflictions. Further, the 12 Steps above is content hollow from spiritual and moral points of view thereby allowing an individual recovering addict to plug in however much he knows about his faith and however intensely he interacts with it. As a result, the outcomes are uneven. Different addicts from different religions and with different levels of studiousness and religiosity are likely to attain different outcomes. Incidentally, the 12 Steps has been adopted by secular groups who gutted the concept of God from their version5.

You Don't Have To Be An Addict Forever. Get Help!


A Brief Explanation Of Our 12 Steps

Needless-to-say, tptChoice’s moral and spiritual bases are very thorough and well-tested. They are not the product of any subsequent scholars through the ages. They are directly from original sources. There is no known controversy. The objective and the game plan are crystal clear.

In writing up a 12 Step approach from tptChoice’s point of view, we incorporated a known therapeutic step as the first point and lowered the traditional Step 1 to Step 2. Also, since my community’s experience has been holistic, we make the point at the outset that such a model is for all forms of addiction. So, the recovery foreseen here is in the spirit of entering submission completely or wholeheartedly.

The Steps 1, 2 and 3 above are replaced below, accordingly, by Steps 2, 3, and 4, 5 and 6. Again, the Steps 4 and 5 correspond, consecutively, with the Steps 7 and 8. Steps 8, 9 and 10 are replaced in our version with Step 9. As for Steps 6 and 7, they are replaced, respectively, by Steps 10 and 11. In Steps 8, 9 and 10, one will notice a combination of “Seeking Forgiveness” and “Turning toward God”. After all, a genuine repentance needs both of them. Also, in Step 8, we make clear that any mandated confession is to God alone, and not to any other human being. The original form carries a Christian (Catholic) confessional element. However, a voluntary admission to a trustable, concerned, involved person has values other than that of expiation.

In Step 11, we felt that the relationship with God had to be fleshed out with how to achieve the highest station of faith, ‘Innate Goodness’ - the original, spiritual definition of mindfulness. The Step 12 is about finding something useful to do upon recovery that is likely to keep the former addict in recovery. Since addicts from our community have a reduced knowledge base and habit of practice, our version of 12 Steps seeks a spiritual reintroduction. Overall, in our rendition, while there are certain aspects of creed – directly, existence and uniqueness of God and the eventuality of Day of Reckoning, and indirectly, elected messengers of God, the presence of elements of character is significant.

Using the concept that “there is no compulsion in religion” and the knowledge that our community’s approach to living is holistic, our drafted version of 12 Steps is dubbed ‘Our 12 Steps’.

Source :
1 For greater clarity, language and phrasing slightly updated by the author
2 https://www.drugrehab.com/recovery/narcotics-anonymous/
3 https://www.choosehelp.com/topics/gambling-addiction/gamblers-anonymous-12-steps-of-recovery.html
4 https://www.recovery.org/support-groups/sexaholics-anonymous/
5 https://aaagnostica.org/alternative-12-steps/

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“Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.”
Nelson Mandela

“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”
Maya Angelou

“We are only as blind as we want to be.”
Maya Angelou

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Maya Angelou

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

O God, I realize Your presence having been blind before Failing none, to every supplicant You lend Your blessed ear I am turning to You now even if I cared not to do so before With hope and prayer, inside Your high walls I take refuge Afford me clemency, security, and in all my affairs, reliability! Amen

Below, some punch lines hustle and little poems create Easy and handy, like prayers be, for earthly use To dust off and see each day through royally Good luck, fair weather and Godspeed!

O God, Save me from the excessiveness, indignity and hindrance created by “the piece of flesh between the jaws and the piece of flesh between the legs”! Amen

Religiosity appears winded, narrow to some Just like a river, for one given to compare But the river eventually meets up with the sea Imagine with proper religiosity where one could be!

Who hasn’t seen it, can anyone anywhere deny it A storm as it gathers, as it bears down and batters Yet at the end, it must wither and completely disappear? So, surely as the pesky storm, my future is clear with fair weather!