The 12 Steps

The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were written by founders Bill W. and Dr. Bob Smith. The Steps offer simple, straightforward guidance to men and women hoping to lead sober lives. For over 75 years, these Steps have guided millions, helping them live lives of hope rather than lives of quiet desperation. These Steps have been adopted by many groups since 1934, including other substance recovery groups, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, Codependency Anonymous and many others.

The interesting articles attached to each of these steps was written by Fr. Bill Wigmore to give more insight into the Steps, their purpose and the struggles that some feel while learning them or following them.

  • Step One
    We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
  • Step Two
    Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  • Step Three
    Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
  • Step Four
    Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.
  • Step Five
    Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
  • Step Six
    Were entirely ready to have God remove all defects of character.
  • Step Seven
    Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  • Step Eight
    Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  • Step Nine
    Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  • Step Ten
    Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  • Step Eleven
    Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him/Her, praying only for knowledge of His/Her will for us and the power to carry that out.
  • Step Twelve
    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.