The 12-step program has been a reigning method of reform for people seeking sobriety and freedom from addictive tendencies ranging from substance abuse to compulsive eating. Utilized by numerous national and worldwide organizations that facilitate recovery, it enables users to empower themselves to recover at their own rate while recognizing that addiction is a lifelong condition that sufferers need to monitor long after recovery. The twelve steps are easy to integrate into daily living as a way of life, making it possible to stay successfully recovered for long after the initial treatment for dependency.
Step 1: Honesty
It can be legitimately challenging for a longtime addict to recognize that there is a problem and commit to recovery. Once you have admitted that you are an addict, you can use this newfound honesty to commit to the first step and move onto the second.
Step 2: Faith
Before you can begin to recover, you need to commit to the knowledge that your recovery is possible. If you believe in a higher power or a world order, now is the time to call upon them to help. Use your spirituality to your advantage in the recovery situation.
Step 3: Surrender
Once you have committed to honesty and faith in your search for sobriety, you can turn yourself toward change. Again, if you have a higher power, ask for it to guide you in this difficult time. This is the start of a commitment that will positively influence your life. It will enable you to take back the parts of your life that you lost to addiction.
Step 4: Soul Searching
Recovery will be ongoing, and if you take the time to search yourself for any coping mechanisms you have that will make the process easier, it will benefit you significantly. Soul-searching itself is also ongoing, so make sure to check in with yourself frequently and keep yourself motivated.
Step 5: Integrity
Recovery means owning up to your good qualities as well as your flawed ones, and recognizing that you have integrity that allows you to step up to recovery allows you to become an asset to yourself as well as to other addicts. Use this wisely and try to integrate it into your life.
Step 6: Acceptance
To fully address your flaws, you need to accept them as part of your character and then begin to move on. Know that being an addict is something that you will deal with for the rest of your life and embrace it for allowing you to grow in your recovery process.
Step 7: Humility
Here is where spirituality comes in again: recognize that you cannot accomplish recovery on your own and enlist the help of your spiritual deity and the people around you who support you every day. Thank them and admit that you need their assistance and appreciate their help.
Step 8: Willingness
Be willing to apologize to everyone that you hurt through your prior actions as an addict. Show them that you have committed to change and let them know that you want to make amends.
Step 9: Forgiveness
Seek forgiveness from those who you addressed in the eighth step. Your willingness to apologize only counts if you go through with the action.
Step 10: Maintenance
Although you have already gone through nine steps before this point, forgetting about any of them will only harm your progress. You cannot stay recovered unless you make a continual effort to do so.
Step 11: Contact
Get into touch with your spiritual side once again and figure out what place you have in the world, then make an effort to get there. Like the rest of your recovery, it will be an ongoing process.
Step 12: Service
Now that you are a recovering addict, you can fulfill a new role by helping addicts who are in the same spot. Whether you mentor and reach out or seek out a different role by volunteering time or changing careers, you can make a difference in the lives of other recovering addicts.