What is the purpose of the 12 steps? It has been our experience that the 12 steps allow an individual who is suffering from over concentration upon ones self to move away from selfishness/self centeredness and begin to live in an unselfish way. The process of the 12 steps in recovery is very simple. So simple that it does not make sense that these 12 steps can lead an alcoholic/addict to finding a new solution to his/her problems. Many of us thought that alcohol/drugs, people, places, and other things were our very problems. When all along they were actually our solution. We were placing dependence upon alcohol/drugs and relying upon others to meet our needs. What happened? Why did the very thing that brought us peace, comfort, and happiness, suddenly begin to inflict pain, misery, and depression? We have fooled ourselves. The very things that we thought were our problems were actual our solution and a false one at that. The 12 steps of recovery enable us to wake up to the present moment. They ask us to accept our present circumstances and begin to depend on something that we can’t see, touch, or smell. They ask us to be willing, honest, and open minded. Willing to admit we are powerless and our lives have become unmanageable. Meaning we cannot muster the necessary will power ourselves to overcome what has defeated us. To be be honest. To look inwardly. To search fearlessly for a new way of living. To tell ourselves the truth about why we have self destructed. To be honest not only with ourselves but others as well. To have an open mind that we may not know what is helpful. To be open to believing that a Power Greater than ourselves is the only way. All 12 steps ask us to go contrary to what we think is best for ourselves and adopt a new attitude which focuses on giving rather than getting. To surrender and admit complete defeat rather than resisting and fighting. We get to be helpful to others and think of their needs instead of our own. The 12 steps allow us to become right sized. They allow us to not be less than or greater than others but equal. We finally can be apart of rather than apart from. We get to stand together instead of standing separately. The 12 steps have taken us from being once lost, to finding our true purpose in life. If you are new in recovery and feel hopeless, we feel your pain. We have struggled just as you have. We want you to know that recovery is possible. That life will get better. Reach out for help. Let us show you the way out. We look forward to meeting you soon. Until then, may God bless you and keep you safe.
Photo Provided by: Hank Edwards