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The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for "reaching" and helping an uncontrolled drinker.

In simplest form, the A.A. program operates when a recovered alcoholic passes along the story of his or her own problem drinking, describes the sobriety he or she has found in A.A., and invites the newcomer to join the informal Fellowship.

The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as 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 nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Newcomers are not asked to accept or follow these Twelve Steps in their entirety if they feel unwilling or unable to do so. They will usually be asked to keep an open mind, to attend meetings at which recovered alcoholics describe their personal experiences in achieving sobriety, and to read A.A. literature describing and interpreting the A.A. program.

A.A. members will usually emphasize to newcomers that only problem drinkers themselves, individually, can determine whether or not they are in fact alcoholics. At the same time, it will be pointed out that all available medical testimony indicates that alcoholism is a progressive illness, that it cannot be cured in the ordinary sense of the term, but that it can be arrested through total abstinence from alcohol in any form.

For further explanation read the BIG BOOK of AA and contact a local AA Group in your area.

"The Spirituality of AA is not a Religion and seems to my mind and heart to express the core values of all the World Religions and their Spirituality".

Fr. Bill

 

 

Dear Kishan letters in support of the 12 Steps of AA

 

Dear Fr.Bill,
I,m in Calcutta on my way back from Nagpur. Went for a
training on Project Planning and Monitoring - very
helpful.

How is our friend Kishan doing now. Hope he is pulling
on the right direction. My only support for him is my
story :Living life one day at a time. Facing the
reality of not just being an addict but also an added
reality of being HIV+. You know the 12 steps program
really helps facing life in its own terms. The program
has helped me stay sober for the last 12 years,
married with a son and a daughter, got a job to
support my family. There is lot of spirituality in
this program which can really guide us to a realistic
view of life. So do some meeting, have a sponsor, get
yourself engaged in some kind of Church/temple
services and try to make yourself engaged in helping
others who are in need.
LIFE IS SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL IF WE LEARN TO LIVE ONE DAY
AT A TIME - for nobody knows for how long we are to
travel in this so called journey of life. Life is
simply unpredictable but for today we can plan for it
has been gifted to each one of us.
When are you going back Fr.Bill ? Your Mr.Bush seems
to be extremlly obsessed with War.
Take care and will be in touch after back home.
Love and regards,
Anand.

 

Dear Kishan.

 

This is Shakunt, an addict just like you.

I want to let you know that all you need is some courage and some time and the ride of addiction will be over. It is a rollercoaster (addiction) and we happily chose to get on it. I know it is fun so we don’t ever want to get off...but then too much of anything soon begins to give you a headache and its time to stop.

I myself was on this rollercoaster for a period of 11 years, 7 out of which I was shooting almost 1 gram of Heroin a day, when I had no money I wanted to stop or wanted to die but as son as I got hold of some money all my resolutions were forgotten.

I tried every possible method to keep my life manageable but it just would not happen. The pleasure of my trip was getting lower and at the same time the pain was increasing. I tried medicines like the one you said you would, I tried alcohol, substitute drugs but I just kept coming back to Brown sugar...It just tasted so good.

Then one day a friend of mine, a very close friend of mine died of an overdose and with the police looking for me...I ran back to my home town (2000 kms away).

It was almost 3 years since I had been home and my mother gave me just two options...she told me to go back from where I had come or to join this institution she had heard of called Kripa.

Me being in the state I was had no choice....I delayed till all the stock I was carrying dwindled and then on 16 May 1998 I grudgingly entered Kripa.

Kripa is where I met a lot of beautiful people (addicts are beautiful people, you know) and the miracle happened...

Today I am sober and clean and working and soon to be married.

This is my story in brief....let me also tell you that I do not regret a single day of my life, whether on drugs or without because it is because of the deadly drugs that today I have the experiences I have, I know the people I know and have the faith I have.

If I could do it I am sure you can too.

From an addict just like you...take care

 


 

 

Dear Dr. Hal & Sidra Stone,

We have had the rare privilege of learning about your work through Fr. Bill
Whittier.  In behalf of everyone at New Beginnings Foundation, I would like
to thank you for the videos and books.

The New Beginnings Foundation Inc. is a 12 Step based residential treatment
center for drug & alcohol addictions.  It is the first center of this kind
in the Philippines and has been helping addicts & alcoholics for the last
13 years. Our staff is composed of recovering persons who were also treated
at New Beginnings. Our residential program is 45 days and we also have a
residential Halfway house program of 30 days.

The Aware Ego and Voice dialogue has tremendously helped all our counselors
gain a better perspective of the different "selves" which live within each
of us.  It has also clarified behaviors which we see in our clients,
thereby allowing us to provide a more effective treatment plan for them.
Voice dialogue has allowed us to experience how the "selves" come alive.

The most precious experience is the gift of friendship of Fr. Bill
Whittier, who is a constant source of strength and inspiration especially
in challenging times for myself and our staff.

We wish you the best  in the work you are doing. We hope that we can
reciprocate with the same generosity which you have shared with us.

Sincerely yours,

Dondi Ayuyao
Executive Director
New Beginnings Foundation

 

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