The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have shown to be applicable over many decades to more issues, people, and situations than simply alcoholics and alcoholism. They can easily serve as the foundation of a life philosphy or worldview, guiding a person through how to live their daily life. They are often adapted to reflect various 12 Step fellowship, inserting the appropriate phrase such as "powerless over love addiction" rather than "alcohol," for example.
Individuals in 12 Step programs often "work the steps" with a Sponsor (a mentor in the program), going over each step, writing out realizations on how that step works in their past and present life.
These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
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.
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