The 12 steps were created by the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s. The steps were modeled after the Oxford Group. The intention was to admit your problem, turn your life over to a higher power, admit past wrongdoings, identifying character defects, make restitution for wrongs done, and then share the process with others that are still suffering.
In the rooms of AA and other 12 step fellowships, there are many opinions about the right way to do the steps. There are opinions about how many times to do the steps. There are opinions about higher powers. Our reference books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions work as guides. They do not have a definitive answer.
One of the difficulties arises because the primary text was written early in the program of AA. Since the program was new, “long term sobriety” were the members that had been sober 4 years. Now we have members who have been sober for most of the life. Some believe this changes the landscape of what is needed for continuous sobriety.
The two primary schools of that are that you do the steps 1-9 one time and then 10-12 daily. This approach gives you the clearing of the past and uses step 10 to deal with any future troublesome actions. Step 11 is the connection to a higher power through prayer and meditation and step 12 is sharing the program of action with other addicts and alcoholics.
The other approach is to complete steps 1-12. In this process, as you share the steps with others, you go back and work them again. Some members do this annually, some every few years, some every decade. The idea is that as time progresses, you are able to get to new layers of honesty and re-doing a 4th step, as well as the others offers an opportunity to go deeper.
You may be wondering what the right path is for you. Much like your journey to define your own higher power, the choice is really up to you. You may benefit from looking around the program and finding out what long time members who have what you want do. Ask them how many times they have worked all 12 steps. Ask them how often they do a 10th step. Then take that information to your higher power and ask for an intuitive thought. The answer will come.
There is freedom in recovery. Design For Change is changing lives one step at a time through a multifaceted treatment program and recovery services. Our 12 step based treatment programs offer a refuge from recovery bringing together families in the hope of sobriety. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646