(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.
The above are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous folks. They aren't perfect, they are subject to change, and in fact, have changed several times already. Let's address the "God" thing right here. It is the number one reason some heavy drinkers never go to a meeting. To be clear, you do NOT have to believe in God to get sober and attend AA meetings. Anyone, any group, or any thing can be your higher power. The only person that CAN NOT be your higher power is... you. Your thinking is what got you where you are now.
A bit more below the fancy orange noodles -
This open thread was suggested, and discussed at length before being created, with several "Old Timers" before it went up. Old Timers are people that attend AA or NA (Narcotics Anonymous), and have kept their sobriety over a period of years. Old Timers themselves, are not perfect, and liable to go off on a bender like anyone, but just less likely to do so than a newer member of AA - simply because they have new tools to use, and a good social structure to fall on. The Evolutionary you know and love has more than ten years of sobriety.
DISCLAIMER: Advice, quotes, facts, suggestions, links, etc., in this Diary (and future Group), are just what their title suggests - suggestions/advice. We are NOT doctors (generally speaking). Take everything you see and read with a grain of salt! Look things up for yourself. Check meetings out for yourself. If you want to get sober or get off drugs, it's a good start, but by no means the only pathway to that goal. Folks get sober and clean in many, many ways. That said, meander on through...
Our own Webranding is working on putting together the bits and pieces needed to create a new group here at Daily Kos for the purpose of discussing Alcohol, Drugs, and Politics. He might need some help from those that are more experienced with Kos Groups.
I intend to continue posting an Open Thread for this discussion each Sunday at 2pm Pacific Time.
For today, just for fun, I'd like to start the open thread with a question of my own!
- What or who is your Higher Power? Is it/he God? Is it the AA Group? The Doorknob? Your latest ex girlfriend or boyfriend?
Here are a few useful links for those that would like more information:
There are other 12-Step programs for other issues.
Local Resources that provide A.A. Meeting Information (In the United States and Canada)
And, Alcoholics Anonymous has meetings around the world. Here is the International General Service Offices (for links and locations of meetings outside of North America - uh, but there are meetings in Mexico ;)).
Please feel free to add any tags you think should be here.
Let the games begin...