Author: Gary Jackson

12 Steps of AA What Are the Principles of AA?

Many people suffering from alcoholism continue to find success in recovery by participating in AA’s program. First published as Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in 1953, the 12-step framework has helped countless alcoholics and addicts achieve and maintain sobriety since Alcoholics Anonymous’ founding in 1935. Though the original Twelve Steps of AA have been adapted over time, the premise of each step remains the same for all recovery programs that use a 12-step model. Attend meetings for loved ones of those recovering from an addiction as a way of supporting yourself and connecting with others who can relate. Bear in mind the person recovering from an addiction will need real-time to go through these big steps (not just a few days or a month).

The 12 steps are challenging for every anyone struggling with a substance use problem, no matter what their addiction. Going through the ways your addiction has taken away from your life and how it has impacted others may be painful. While working with a sponsor is expected during the steps, the best chance of recovery comes from a combination of efforts. Bear in mind that recovery is a lifelong process (but it does get easier!). It’s up to each individual to decide when to begin “working the steps,” and when to approach a sponsor.

Effectiveness of 12-Step Recovery Programs

These 12 steps are outlined in Chapter 5, “How It Works,” of the Big Book. The 12 Steps helped each of the co-founders of AA in their own recovery from alcohol misuse and have continued to help countless others battle their alcohol addictions. With AA, not everyone has the ability to understand what it means to keep all of the steps in mind after completing them. The 12 spiritual principles package these steps into digestible virtues and provide a road map to lifelong health and sobriety.

The 12 Steps were written as reflections on how founding AA members coped with and overcame their struggles with alcohol. These reflections have since turned into a working methodology for alcoholics to use as they work toward recovery. The purpose of the 12 traditions is to help provide guidelines about the relationships between the group and the community as well as between individual members of the group.

What Is the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous believes that recovery is a lifelong process, so the AA Big Book is a continual companion in a recovering person’s life. Practicing your sobriety with the principle of love means that you’re not just existing for yourself but in service to the people you care about. Love is empathy and compassion, and Step 8 asks you to make a list of everyone you’ve wronged in your journey to where you are now. You also have to be willing to make amends, which shows that you truly care for the people on your list. Humility is one of the simplest principles to understand because it’s straightforward. When you’re humble, you’re cognizant of the fact that you’re not a major part of the bigger picture.

You’ll also find study groups for those working through the AA 12 Steps. Other meetings center on a given topic, with members reflecting and sharing personal stories around that topic. Believing in this higher power may help someone find meaning in their life outside of addiction. For instance, they may find a greater sense of community by joining a spiritual or religious group. These can be healthy coping mechanisms someone turns to as they progress through recovery. The backbone of the AA program is that people connect with a higher power of their choosing to help them through the process of working the 12 Steps of recovery.