Steps Toward Productive Decisions

The Twelve Steps provide a means for taking specific, healthy actions in response to our frustration resulting from someone else's drinking. They help steer us away from the distorted thinking that inevitably results from such frustration. They provide guidance in developing a spiritual and psychologically sound foundation from which to begin making productive decisions regarding our situation.


The Steps are neither religious tenets, excerpts from any denomination, nor easy answers from concise self-help sources. They do not make large life decisions for us, nor do they provide concrete direction when we face difficult dilemmas regarding someone else's drinking. They gradually guide our growth and provide spiritual comfort and discipline through improving our relationship with ourselves, with the God of our understanding - undefined by any religious doctrine and unrestricted except in our own hearts - and with other people. As we grow and heal in these areas, we become increasingly able to understand the far-reaching effects of someone else's alcoholism on us, and we grow stronger and more clear in our thinking regarding our options, our responsibilities, and our lives.

The Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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