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12 STEPS 12 TRADITIONS PDF

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THE TWELVE STEPS. Step One. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” Who cares to admit complete. 12 Steps and 12 Traditions 4th Step Inventory PDF - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. THE TWELVE TRADITIONS. Suggested Literature. A.A. Tradition, How it Developed. Traditions Long Form. Traditions Illustrated. 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.

There is, too, a rising interest in the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Students of human relations are beginning to wonder how and why A. Why is it, they ask, that in A. How can a set of traditional principles, having no legal force at all, hold the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in unity and effec- tiveness? The second section of this volume, though designed for A. Alcoholics Anonymous began in in Akron, Ohio, as the outcome of a meeting between a well-known sur- geon and a New York broker.

Both were severe cases of alcoholism and were destined to become co-founders of the A. The basic principles of A. After three years of trial and error in selecting the most workable tenets upon which the Society could be based, and after a large amount of failure in getting alcoholics to recover, three successful groups emerged—the first at Akron, the second in New York, and the third at Cleveland. Nevertheless, the infant Society determined to set down its experience in a book which finally reached the public in April At this time the recoveries numbered about one hundred.

In it alcoholism was described from the alcoholic's view, the spiritual idea of the Society was codified for the first time in the Twelve Steps, and the application of these Steps to the alcoholic's dilemma was made clear. The remainder of the book was devoted to thirty stories or case histories in which the alco- holics described their drinking experiences and recoveries.

This established identification with alcoholic readers and proved to them that the virtually impossible had become possible.

This present vol- ume proposes to broaden and deepen the understanding of the Twelve Steps as first written in the earlier work. In the next years alcoholics flocked to A. Cler- gymen and doctors alike rallied to the new movement, giving it unstinted support and endorsement.

This startling expansion brought with it very severe growing pains. But it was by no means sure that such great numbers of yet erratic people could live and work together with harmony and good effect. Everywhere there arose threatening questions of mem- bership, money, personal relations, public relations, management of groups, clubs, and scores of other perplexi- ties.

It was out of this vast welter of explosive experiences that A. The Tradition section of this volume portrays in some detail the experience which finally produced the Twelve Traditions and so gave A.

It is hoped that this volume will afford all who read it a close-up view of the principles and forces which have made Alcoholics Anonymous what it is. Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of providence can remove it from us.

No other kind of bankruptcy is like this one. Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self- sufficiency and all will to resist its demands.

Once this stark fact is accepted, our bankruptcy as going human concerns is complete. But upon entering A. We perceive that only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps to- ward liberation and strength.

Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built. We know that little good can come to any alcoholic who joins A. Until he so humbles himself, his sobriety—if any—will be precarious.

Of real happiness he will find none at all. Proved beyond doubt by an immense experience, this is one of the facts of A. When first challenged to admit defeat, most of us re- volted. We had approached A. Then we had been told that so far as alco- hol is concerned, self-confidence was no good whatever; in fact, it was a total liability. Our sponsors declared that we were the victims of a mental obsession so subtly powerful that no amount of human willpower could break it.

There was, they said, no such thing as the personal conquest of this compulsion by the unaided will. Relentlessly deepen- ing our dilemma, our sponsors pointed out our increasing sensitivity to alcohol—an allergy, they called it. The tyrant alcohol wielded a double-edged sword over us: first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on drinking, and then by an allergy of the body that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process.

Few in- deed were those who, so assailed, had ever won through in singlehanded combat. It was a statistical fact that alcoholics almost never recovered on their own resources.

Twelve-step program

And this had been true, apparently, ever since man had first crushed grapes. But a few did, and when these laid hold of A. Many less desper- ate alcoholics tried A. It is a tremendous satisfaction to record that in the fol- lowing years this changed.

Alcoholics who still had their health, their families, their jobs, and even two cars in the garage, began to recognize their alcoholism.

AA 12 Steps And 12 Traditions

As this trend grew, they were joined by young people who were scarcely more than potential alcoholics. They were spared that last ten or fifteen years of literal hell the rest of us had gone through.

Since Step One requires an admission that our lives have become unmanageable, how could people such as these take this Step? It was obviously necessary to raise the bottom the rest of us had hit to the point where it would hit them.

By going back in our own drinking histories, we could show that years before we realized it we were out of control, that our drinking even then was no mere habit, that it was indeed the beginning of a fatal progression. Why don't you try some more controlled drinking, bearing in mind meanwhile what we have told you about alcoholism? It was then discovered that when one alcoholic had planted in the mind of another the true nature of his malady, that person could never be the same again.

TWELVE TRADITIONS

He had hit bottom as truly as any of us. John Barl- eycorn himself had become our best advocate. Why all this insistence that every A. The answer is that few people will sincerely try to practice the A. For practicing A. Who wishes to be rigor- ously honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer?

Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to carry A. No, the average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn't care for this prospect—unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself. Under the lash of alcoholism, we are driven to A. Then, and only then, do we become as open-minded to conviction and as willing to listen as the dying can be.

We stand ready to do anything which will lift the merciless ob- session from us. You have convinced us that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unmanageable. Having re- duced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our ob- session. Some of us won't believe in God, others can't, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle.

Yes, you've got us over the barrel, all right—but where do we go from here? He is in a state of mind which can be described only as savage. His whole philosophy of life, in which he so gloried, is threatened. It's bad enough, he thinks, to admit alcohol has him down for keeps. But now, still smarting from that admission, he is faced with something really impossible.

How he does cherish the thought that man, risen so majestically from a single cell in the primordial ooze, is the spearhead of evolution and therefore the only god that his universe knows! Must he re- nounce all this to save himself? A, sponsor usually laughs.

This, the newcomer thinks, is just about the last straw. This is the beginning of the end. And so it is: the beginning of the end of his old life, and the beginning of his emergence into a new one. The hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think. At least I've found it so.

So did a friend of mine who was a one-time vice-president of the American Atheist So- ciety, but he got through with room to spare. It's no doubt a fact that A.

A, is full of people who once believed as I do. But just how, in these circumstances, does a fellow 'take it easy'? That's what I want to know. I think I can tell you exactly how to relax. You won't have to work at it very hard, either. Listen, if you will, to these three statements. First, Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. All of its Twelve Steps are but suggestions. Second, to get sober and to stay sober, you don't have to swallow all of Step Two right now.

Looking back, I find that I took it piecemeal myself. Third, all you really need is a truly open mind. Just resign from the debating society and quit bothering yourself with such deep questions as whether it was the hen or the egg that came first. Again I say, all you need is the open mind. I had a scientific schooling.

Naturally I respected, venerated, even worshiped science. As a matter of fact, I still do—all except the worship part. Time after time, my instructors held up to me the basic principle of all scientific S T E P T W O 27 progress: search and research, again and again, always with the open mind. When I first looked at A. This A.

A, business, I thought, is totally unscientific. This I can't swallow. I simply won't consider such nonsense. I had to admit that A. A, showed re- sults, prodigious results. I saw that my attitude regarding these had been anything but scientific. It wasn't A. A, that had the closed mind, it was me. The minute I stopped argu- ing, I could begin to see and feel. Right there, Step Two gently and very gradually began to infiltrate my life.

I can't say upon what occasion or upon what day I came to believe in a Power greater than myself, but I certainly have that be- lief now. To acquire it, I had only to stop fighting and practice the rest of A. I must quickly assure you that A. If you don't care for the one I've suggested, you'll be sure to discover one that suits if only you look and listen. Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of sub- stitution.

You can, if you wish, make A. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution.

Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way. Relieved of the alcohol obses- sion, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and most of them began to talk of God. There will be those who have drifted into indifference, those filled with self-sufficiency who have cut themselves off, those who have become prejudiced against religion, and those who are downright defiant because God has failed to fulfill their demands.

Can A. A, experience tell all these they may still find a faith that works? Sometimes A. A, comes harder to those who have lost or rejected faith than to those who never had any faith at all, for they think they have tried faith and found it wanting.

They have tried the way of faith and the way of no faith. Since both ways have proved bitterly disappointing, they have concluded there is no place whatever for them to go.

The roadblocks of indifference, fancied self-sufficiency, prejudice, and defiance often prove more solid and formidable for these people than any erected by the uncon- vinced agnostic or even the militant atheist. Religion says the existence of God can be proved; the agnostic says it can't be proved; and the atheist claims proof of the nonexis- tence of God.

Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion. He thinks himself lost to the comfort of any conviction at all.

He cannot attain in even a small degree the assurance of the believer, the ag- nostic, or the atheist. He is the bewildered one. Any number of A. Of course, we were glad that good home and religious training had given us certain values. We were still sure that we ought to be fairly honest, tolerant, and just, that we ought to be ambitious and hardworking. We became convinced that such simple rules of fair play and decency would be enough. This was exhilarating, and it made us happy. Why should we be bothered with theologi- cal abstractions and religious duties, or with the state of our souls here or hereafter?

The here and now was good enough for us. The will to win would carry us through. But then alcohol began to have its way with us. Finally, when all our score cards read 'zero,' and we saw that one more strike would put us out of the game forever, we had to look for our lost faith.

It was in A. A, that we rediscovered it. And so can you. To these, many A. We loved to have people call us precocious. We used our education to blow ourselves up into prideful balloons, though we were careful to hide this from others. Secretly, we felt we could float above the rest of the folks on our brainpower alone. Scientific progress told us there was nothing man couldn't do. Knowledge was all-powerful. In- tellect could conquer nature.

Since we were brighter than most folks so we thought , the spoils of victory would be ours for the thinking. But again John Barleycorn had other ideas.

We who had won so handsomely in a walk turned into all- time losers. We saw that we had to reconsider or die. We found many in A. A, who once thought as we did. They helped us to get down to our right size.

By their example they showed us that humility and intellect could be compat- ible, provided we placed humility first.

When we began to do that, we received the gift of faith, a faith which works. This faith is for you, too.

The Bible, we said, was full of nonsense; we could cite it chapter and verse, and we couldn't see the Beatitudes for the 'begats. But it was the morality of the religionists themselves that really got us down. We gloated over the hypocrisy, bigotry, and crushing self-righteousness that clung to so many 'believers' even in their Sunday best. How we loved to shout the damaging fact that millions of the 'good men of religion' were still killing one another off in the name of God.

This all meant, of course, that we had substituted negative for positive thinking. After we came to A. In belaboring the sins of some reli- gious people, we could feel superior to all of them. Moreover, we could avoid looking at some of our own shortcomings.

Self-righteousness, the very thing that we had contemptuously condemned in others, was our own be- setting evil. This phony form of respectability was our undoing, so far as faith was concerned. So it's not strange that lots of us have had our day at defying God Himself.

Sometimes it's because God has not delivered us the good things of life which we specified, as a greedy child m makes an impossible list for Santa Claus. More often, though, we had met up with some major calamity, and to our way of thinking lost out because God deserted us.

The girl we wanted to marry had other notions; we prayed God that she'd change her mind, but she didn't. We prayed for healthy children, and were presented with sick ones, or none at all. We prayed for promotions at business, and none came.

Loved ones, upon whom we heartily depended, were taken from us by so-called acts of God. Then we became drunkards, and asked God to stop that. For addicts and alcoholics the physical dimension is best described by the allergy-like bodily reaction resulting in the compulsion to continue using substances after the initial use.

The description in the First Step of the life of the alcoholic or addict as "unmanageable" refers to the lack of choice that the mind of the addict or alcoholic affords concerning whether to drink or use again. In twelve-step fellowships, "spiritual awakening" is believed to most frequently develop slowly over a period of time.

New members in twelve-step programs are encouraged to secure a relationship with at least one sponsor who both has a sponsor and has taken the twelves steps themselves. A sponsor's role is not that of a legal adviser, a banker, a parent, a marriage counselor, or a social worker. Nor is a sponsor a therapist offering some sort of professional advice.

AA 12 Steps And 12 Traditions

A sponsor is simply another addict in recovery who is willing to share his or her journey through the Twelve Steps. Experiences in the program are often shared by outgoing members with incoming members. This rotation of experience is often considered to have a great spiritual reward. Completing the program usually implies competency to guide newcomers which is often encouraged.

The Fifth Step, as well as the Ninth Step, have been compared to confession and penitence. As the relationship is based on spiritual principles, it is unique and not generally characterized as "friendship". Fundamentally, the sponsor has the single purpose of helping the sponsee recover from the behavioral problem that brought the sufferer into twelve-step work, which reflexively helps the sponsor recover.

The majority of twelve-step programs, however, address illnesses other than substance addiction. For example, the third-largest twelve-step program, Al-Anon , assists family members and friends of people who have alcoholism and other addictions. About twenty percent of twelve-step programs are for substance addiction recovery, the other eighty percent address a variety of problems from debt to depression. You are on page 1of 5 Search inside document Fill in the Problem Area you are currently working on?

Reprinted with permission. If you do not have copies of these two books we strongly suggest that you get them ASAP. Since Step Four is but the beginning of a lifetime practice, it can be suggested that he first have a look at those personal flaws which are acutely troublesome and fairly obvious.

Using his best judgment of what has been right and what has been wrong, he might make a rough survey of his conduct with respect to his primary instincts for sex, security, and society. Looking back over his life, he can readily get under way by consideration of questions such as these: 12 and 12 [1] When, and how, and in just what instances did my selfish pursuit of a sex relation damage other people and me?

Also of importance for most alcoholics are the questions they must ask about their behavior respecting financial and emotional security. In these areas fear, greed, pos- sessiveness, and pride have too often done their worst.

Surveying his business or employment record, almost any alcoholic can ask questions like these: [12] In addition to my drinking problem, what character defects contributed to my financial instability? Therefore, thoroughness ought to be the watchword when taking inventory. In this connection, it is wise to write out our questions and answers. It will be an aid to clear thinking and honest appraisal. It will be the first tangible evidence of our complete willingness to move forward.

Businesswomen in AA will naturally find that many of these questions apply to them, too. But the alcoholic housewife can also make the family financially insecure. She can juggle charge accounts, manipulate the food budget, spend her afternoon gambling, and run her husband into debt by irresponsibility, waste, and extravagance. All alcoholics who have drunk themselves out of jobs, family, and friends will need to cross-examine themselves ruthlessly to determine how their own personality defects have thus demolished their security.

The most common symptoms of emotional insecurity are worry, anger, self-pity, and depression. These stem from causes that sometimes seem to be within us, and at other times to come from without.A,, the fallacy of our defi- ance was revealed. Then we develop hurt feelings.

It is a tremendous satisfaction to record that in the fol- lowing years this changed. Practically no one, of course. In- tellect could conquer nature. Looking back over his life. Sole authority in A.

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