The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been utilized by millions for over 70 years, and have proven to be the single most effective model for treating addiction. While we use many different methods at Renaissance Recovery Center, the 12 step model effectively addresses the psychological, emotional, and spiritual components of addiction. When used in concert with other interventions, sobriety outcomes are significantly higher. Simply put, we use the 12 steps because they work.
This all began with the Four Absolutes adopted by the Oxford Groups in the 1930s and was expanded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith to the current 12 Steps. Their chance meeting resulted in a sharing of experiences and ideas. They founded Alcoholics Anonymous on June 10, 1935 - Dr. Bob's first day of permanent sobriety.
The Twelve Steps of AA:
I. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
The first step is admitting and accepting that we've lost control over our addiction. Addiction is deceptive and individuals suffering from this affliction typically struggle with denial and delusion. When individuals believe that they are able to “control” their addictions they perpetuate the condition which led to addiction in the first place.
In order for people to make a lasting recovery, they must acknowledge the futility of their struggle, which is very difficult. Renaissance Recovery Center provides group therapy, counseling, and sponsorship services to assist individuals with this difficult step. You can learn more about our services by getting in touch with our professional staff.
II. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
The deceptive nature of addiction means that no individual can effectively manage their own recovery. Fortunately, no one is ever alone in any struggle because there is always a higher spiritual power that exists to guide us in the right direction. In this world, there are positives and negatives, there is darkness and light. If there exists a force as destructive as addiction, then there must also exist a healing force with equal vigor.
At Renaissance Recovery Center, we help individuals connect with this spiritual force. We do not judge or impose a specific view in this regard. Our focus is more on a positive force that exists to counteract the negative forces of addiction. Individuals are able to discern the source of that power for themselves. Get in contact with us to get back in contact with your spirituality. We'll work with you to develop your individuality, not force your hand.
III. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
After acknowledging that there is a higher power which exists in complete contrast to the darkness and negativity of addiction, the next step is to accept the authority of this power. This spiritual force is a guide which helps decipher and protect against the deceptive nature of addiction.
We’ve seen first hand how this spiritual force can lift the cloud that addiction uses to blind its victims and reveal the destructive energies of compulsion for what they are. This enlightenment is essential to the subsequent steps of recovery because they require individuals to make a brutally honest assessment of their life. We strive to create an environment where this spiritual energy can both serve and protect individuals as they progress.
IV. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is often one of the most difficult steps in recovery. As the veil of deception is lifted and individuals are able to see their past actions in a new light, reconciliation can become difficult. Sometimes, it can seem like accepting the responsibilities and consequences for the actions of a completely different human being.
Connecting with others that share the same affliction can alleviate some of the duress associated with this stage of recovery. Renaissance Recovery Center helps individuals connect with others that have been through these stages of the twelve step program. We also provide group therapy sessions and encourage healthy interactions with accepting family members and friends. Learn more about how we reach out to whole families that have been affected by addiction by getting a hold of us right away.
V. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This step is about accountability. The dark and destructive nature of addiction means that individuals in recovery will have to face difficult truths about their past. Feelings of sadness, embarrassment, self loathing, and depression may cause some to feel that it is best to hide these realizations, but this is the worst course of action.
It is important to keep in mind that for all of the negative energy created by addiction there is a stronger positive energy that exists to help individuals heal. Admitting the mistakes of the past to oneself and to the higher power that governs this positive energy creates accountability.
For both support and to further the strength of this new found accountability individuals must seek the counsel of their peers over their self assessment. Sponsors and group therapy sessions are ideal for this step because often individuals in recovery share similar stories. Those further along in the program can offer advice on how to deal with the difficulties of the earlier stages. Contact us to find out more about how we connect individuals in our program to increase the speed, enjoyment, quality, and success of treatment.
VI. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
When individuals are in the grips of addiction, they commit acts which they believe will make them feel better. This false sense of security comes from satisfying the destructive cycle of addiction. Individuals who become focused on this cycle are unable to see the harm they bring to themselves and others in their life.
During recovery, the true nature of the past becomes clear and individuals are often confronted by feelings of doubt and remorse. These feelings are indicators of the spirit showing individuals the total consequences of their actions, on everyone in their life, without the blinders of substance abuse. In revealing the true nature of these actions and helping individuals assign the correct values to them, the spirit simultaneously grants individuals a way to address the flaws of their character.
VII. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Like addiction, shortcomings have a deceptive nature. Often times, if we could see our own shortcomings and the consequences they cause, we would avoid those actions and behaviors. It is precisely because of the fact that we consistently miscalculate certain decisions and actions that they become known as shortcomings.
Just as the spirit of the higher power can reveal the true nature of addiction, it can also deliver us from our other shortcomings. Being humble means being receptive to messages from the spirit when it is trying to guide us towards opportunities for improvement. A spiritually based facility like Renaissance Recovery Center is a useful resource for both those recovering and the spirit in this regard.
VIII. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Recovery can’t erase the past or stop the consequences that are the result of past actions. However, recovery does offer an honest chance to make amends because it allows individuals to see the world as it is, without the shroud of addiction. It is only in this way individuals can assume the full responsibility for the consequences of their actions which is necessary for a true and full reparation. Learn about how our experienced mentors and knowledgeable counselors make all the difference in recovery, get a hold of us today.
IX. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
While recovery presents the opportunity to make amends, it can’t guarantee it. Addiction can drive people to make some very poor decisions and these decisions can lead to circumstances which cause great duress to those hurt by addicts or even to recovering addicts themselves. It is possible that confronting the issues caused by addiction can result in causing more problems than it may solve. In this way, it is important for individuals to be able to consult professionals like their sponsor to properly assess the gravity of a particular situation. Sometimes, making amends is not possible and individuals must learn to reconcile their past actions through the higher power of the spirit.
X. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
It is often difficult to admit mistakes and addiction recovery doesn’t offer an exception to the rule. However, having trustworthy advisors and sponsors that can relate to the difficulties of recovery can sometimes ease the process. Renaissance Recovery attempts to create an environment that is built on trust and the honest desire to see people make a full recovery. This helps create a place where recovering individuals are both responsible for themselves and open to constructive criticism from their peers, which facilitates a more complete recovery.
XI. 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.
Even under the best circumstances, recovery is a difficult lifelong process. It is impossible without a healthy and lasting relationship with a higher spiritual purpose. This relationship is renewed and strengthened through concentration, meditation, and prayer. Asking only for a purpose and the resources to fulfil that purpose is a humble act which avoids the dangers of presumption. Without humility, it is possible to mistake the strengthening trials of purpose for abandonment. It is important to accept that the higher power to confront addiction is available to all of those who seek it and this trial is unique for everyone. Having a strong spiritual relationship and a humble nature circumvents presumption and the dangers of comparing oneself to others. Get in touch with us to learn about how our counselors work with individuals to develop spiritual bonds and promote psychological healing.
XII. 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.
Acknowledging the great achievement in confronting addiction is important. Celebrating this great achievement and the spiritual development that comes with it can be done through service. By having a first hand experience in these trials, recovering individuals have a unique position in assisting others who are suffering from the same affliction.
Mentoring and sponsorship programs through Renaissance Recovery offer individuals an opportunity to complete this last step and begin the process once again, from a different perspective. While this step has obvious benefits for those entering into the program for the first time, what is often overlooked are the therapeutic benefits for those further along in the process. Assisting others is not only spiritually fulfilling, it is also a healthy reminder of the long difficult path that has already been traveled.
Renaissance Recovery 12-Step Difference
If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, please contact Renaissance Recovery Center right away. Not only do we offer extensive outpatient services, but we are a part of a larger network of recovery centers and can recommend you for treatment that is uniquely tailored to meet the needs of your situation. Don’t let the darkness and deception of addiction control your life or the lives of those around you. Contact us now.