Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not
completely give themselves
to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally
of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are
fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally
grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous
chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from
emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have
capacity to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what
and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and
willing to go to any length to get it, then you are ready to take
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer
we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to
fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold
our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with alcohol--cunning, baffling, powerful! Without
is too much for us. But there is One who has all power--that One is God.
find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. we
protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of
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
of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to
would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us
the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we
carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in
Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with
it." Do not be
discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like
adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we
willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down
guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our
adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
reprinted from (Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 58-60),