A core principle behind the Twelfth Step is that once we've experienced the benefits of working the Steps, we will want to continue to strengthen our own dual recovery by helping others and doing service work. We continue to live by and practice the principles found in the Steps every day.
At first I didn't understand when my sponsor said, "You got to give it away to keep it" but after being around the Program for awhile, I began to feel a lot of gratitude. I wanted to give back some of what was given to me so freely. I began to be a temporary sponsor for newcomers. It was then that I realized how this helping others business revitalized and strengthened my own personal recovery. I needed to help others as much for my own recovery as for theirs.
I've found the principles I learned by working the Twelve Steps are really good principles to live my whole life by. Not just so I could get and stay clean and sober and manage my dual disorders. But like when I interact with people at work or my family. They gave me integrity.
I remember how confused and frightened I was in early recovery. If I can tell my story at a meeting and reassure a newcomer so maybe they find a little more hope and stick with it, and be lucky enough to listen to a newcomer's story to remember how it was for me. Maybe I won't have to go back out and use again to remember how bad it felt.
Anyone can do some Twelfth Step work. You don't have to have much recovery to pour coffee, or help clean up after a meeting. Besides, that's the best way to get to really know people. You can't really give what you don't have, but we all have our story. That's worth sharing even if it's just telling someone at your first meeting that you are brand new to DRA.
A spiritual awakening? Well, I suppose it's very different for everyone, but it's really the changes we find in ourselves after working the Steps and being in recovery for awhile. Deep positive changes in the way we look at things, in the way we react to life. We go from dependence to freedom, we go from letting everything in the world bug us to knowing how to find peace even when everything is going to sh*t. And from trying to control everything by ourselves with our willpower to letting others and even God help us.
*Adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous®
*The Twelve Steps of AA are reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities that are patterned after AA, but that address other problems, does not imply otherwise. THE TWELFTH STEP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 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.
Fellowship Step Discussion Booklet - This is a printable booklet of this Step Discussion section of the web site in Adobe Reader (PDF) file format.