12 Step meeting content is altered in a way that each meeting is appropriately adapted to the type of addiction beinbg treated, ie AA – Alcoholics Anonymous for alcoholism problems / Al-Anon for friends and family of alcoholics, NA – Narcotics Anonymous for drug addicts / Nar-Anon for friends and family of addicts.
Although 12 step meetings highlight spirituality and reconnecting with some form of a higher power being key in the healing process, it’s not compulsory to believe in a particular God and atheists are welcome to attend these meetings. In fact I know atheists and agnostics in 12 step fellowships who are more than 30 years clean & sober.
The original 12 steps were first published by Alcoholics Anonymous and every meeting centred on this. Your progression through each of the 12 steps will be determined by yourself in conjunction with your sponsor. A sponsor is a person who has quality recovery that you admire that you ask for help in working the steps and recovery programme.
Step 1- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. (Many believe that step one is a most important stage of 12 step recovery as once complete defeat is acknowledged then recovery (relapse free) can begin.)
Step 2- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 4- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6- We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 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.
Step 12- 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.