The 12 Steps to Recovery: Exploring the Most Important Step

The 12 Steps to recovery is a program designed to help people suffering from addiction and alcoholism achieve lasting sobriety. The first step of the twelve steps is one of the most important, as it requires us to admit that we need help to change course. At Recreate Life Counseling, we place great emphasis on 12-step immersion and require that each of our clients participate in daily 12 Step meetings. We teach our clients about the importance of each step and how the principle behind each step will end up playing a vital role in their lives. The second step is about finding faith in a higher power, and the accompanying principle of hope means that you should never give up that faith, even when you suffer a setback.

Step 4 involves documenting all the mistakes you've made, which is linked to courage. Step 5 consists of taking the moral inventory made in step 4 and admitting first to God, to yourself and finally to another person. Step 6 requires you to prepare to have your sins taken away by admitting to yourself that you are fully ready to overcome them. Step 7 is about being willing to free yourself from your past.

Step 8 asks you to ask God for forgiveness, or another higher power. Step 10 refers very clearly to its own principle - discipline - which is needed to continue taking a personal inventory and admitting our mistakes throughout life. Step 11 tries to move forward without losing the notion of a higher power. Finally, Step 12 is about living with the principle of service, which means it is your responsibility to help others as they helped you when you started working on the 12 steps. At Recreate Life Counseling, we understand that not every moment will be positive in recovery, but if you keep that hope and faith alive, you will return to the other side. We encourage our clients to find a sponsor while they are undergoing treatment and start working on the 12 steps.

We also recognize that some may find this step difficult, as it requires us to admit that we have allowed our lives to reach a level that is now “unmanageable”.Today, some critics of the program find that aspect of AA problematic, arguing that self-empowerment is an effective way to control addiction and achieve lasting recovery. To find out if AA is right for you, it's important to carefully explore the principles of AA. Don't forget that recovery support groups such as AA, NA, and SMART Recovery are an important part of this step. By exploring the steps in depth and seeing how others have applied the principles in their lives, you can use them to gain insight into your own experiences and gain strength and hope in your own recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identifies many national groups that offer an alternative approach to the Twelve Steps. At Recreate Life Counseling, we fully embrace the 12 steps as an effective approach to ongoing recovery, especially when combined with other addiction treatment methodologies such as behavioral therapies, psychiatric care, and drug-assisted treatment (MAT) (where clinically appropriate).

Don't feel like you're ready to quit AA just because you've gone through the 12 steps of AA once - you will find yourself repeating them over and over again as a means to safeguard your sobriety.