The steps are intended to be addressed in sequential order, but there is no right way to approach them. Sometimes people need a break between steps, sometimes they need to spend more time in one step than another, some people never stop working on the 12 steps because they become part of life. Do we have to take the 12 steps in order? In both AA and NA, there are no strict rules. Ultimately, you have to work the program in a way that makes sense to you.
At meetings, those in recovery share their experiences, strengths, and hopes with each other and sometimes recover along surprisingly different paths. That said, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the 12 steps are where you will find healing, freedom and serenity. Ultimately, you will find yourself experiencing a spiritual awakening as a result of following the steps.
You'll hear the recovery message in meetings, but only when you work through the steps will you truly experience recovery. Beyond the initial deadline to attend meetings, there's really no set amount of time to go through the 12 steps of AA. Some of the steps involve making peace with those you might have harmed as a result of your alcoholism. For some people, that can take a day or two.
For others, it may be a longer process that requires months or even years. The Twelve Steps are described in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. They can be found at the beginning of the chapter “How It Works. The essays on the steps can be read in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Following the steps is based on what works for you. Remember that a 12-step program is not about working the steps in order, you can necessarily skip, rewind, jump forward, etc. There is no definite timeline on which you can expect to recover. There is no definite timeline on which you can expect to complete the 12 steps of.
This is why there is some confusion as to whether or not one should take the 12 steps exactly as they are. In addition, 12 Step communities of all types help provide the support and responsibility that many recovering addicts crave. The American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) states that approximately 10% of people who become part of a 12-step program enjoy long-term success in their recovery. It's still important to interpret the 12 steps in your own way to create the best recovery program for your needs.
Many treatment centers find that the use of evidence-based behavioral therapy combined with a 12-step program offers the best opportunity for people to maintain long-term sobriety. By exploring the steps in depth and seeing how others have applied the principles in their lives, you can use them to gain insight into your own experiences and to gain strength and hope in your own recovery. When you get sober for the first time and have no idea how to live your life without alcohol or drugs, the 12 steps offer you hope and direction. Many members of 12-step recovery programs have discovered that these steps were not simply a way to overcome addiction, but rather became a guide to a new way of life.
If you want to learn more about the 12 steps and how to apply them to make them work for you, Jorge is your boy. You attend an AA or NA meeting and hear all the other recovering addicts say they have been clean and have been part of the 12-step program for 90 days, 120 days, 1 year, 2 years, sometimes longer. Attending meetings can help with that, as can taking your time and focusing on completing each of the 12 steps of AA with intention and sincerity. Over the years, the 12 steps have been adapted by other self-help and addiction recovery groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, to those struggling with other forms of addiction.
Today, Alcoholics Anonymous's original 12 steps have helped countless men and women make sobriety sustainable around the world. As explained in Chapter 5, How It Works, in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps provide a suggested recovery program that worked for early AA members and continued to work over the years for many others, regardless of the type of substance they used. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the effectiveness of AA and its 12 steps “is believed to be maximized the more a client is able to customize the concepts expressed by the steps in their own life.”. .