Step 12: Pass It On

Step 12: Pass It On

Twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems. I will share my experiences with each step as a resource for newcomers to the program. It is HIGHLY ADVISABLE that you work through the steps with a sponsor! Step Twelve reads:

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. 

A man named Bill had learned of a way that he might possibly be able to find freedom. He suffered from powerlessness over alcohol and it was slowly consuming him.

Bill had learned of a program which offered a spiritual solution. It suggested that most of us who wish to stop drinking cannot do it alone. We need a power greater than ourselves to guide us.

Bill took it one step further. He realized that doctors, clergymen, friends and family weren’t helping him. He needed to talk to someone who understood his problem firsthand.

While out and about one day, Bill found himself near a drinking establishment. He could hear the familiar sounds of camraderie and was terribly tempted and allured to have “just one drink”.

He went to a pay phone and called a local clergyman, about whether there might be any fellows who had been seeking help for alcohol addiction. He had two choices: to drink, or to reach out and help a fellow to not drink.

This is the essence, not only of Step Twelve, but the twelve step programs and the recovery revolution.

I shared this website (the one you are reading) tonight with a friend who is suffering. It was the first time that I have shared it with anyone I know in my personal, non-virtual life (i.e. not Twitter). If there is anything here that can help him to stop drinking and to ease his suffering, then it has all been worth it.

The principles in the twelve steps are not proprietary and are ancient ideas. If you had to strip away all of it down to the most absolutely critical part, you’d be left with “one alcoholic sharing with another”. You don’t have to be a 12-stepper to appreciate that.

The Beatles said, “…and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”. Go out and help someone, so that they can help someone else, and so on.