Reading Guide for ‘We Agnostics’

The target audience for “We Agnostics” is relatively easy to define. (aga7ta/Shutterstock) Groups such as AA and NA have many detractors, people who believe that they are religious organizations or even cults. This misconception extends to 12-based treatment centers, who are accused of brainwashing their patients rather than treating a disease. Those who make such…

The Twelve Concepts for World Service: Concept VIII

Throughout this series on AA’s Twelve Concepts for World Service, we often use metaphorical interpretation to explain how these concepts apply to our personal recovery. Sometimes, this requires a bit of outside-the-box thinking. In the case of Concept VIII, however, it’s actually quite easy. The metaphor is still there, as is the case with all…

Understanding and Practicing Step Nine

It’s time for us to continue our usual series on the Twelve Steps. This time, we turn our attention toward Step Nine. At this point, we reach the last step in our initial plan of action. The last few steps concentrate on continuous action, but Step Nine focuses on what we can do today in…

Reading Guide for “Into Action”

In its fifth chapter (“How It Works”), Alcoholics Anonymous begins explaining the Twelve Steps in a fair amount of detail. Continuing this discussion, “Into Action” covers all of the remaining steps except for Step Twelve. You’ll want to read it in full, as there’s a lot of great information in here. But for those who’d…

Developing Open-Mindedness in Treatment

Many members of AA and NA define the three primary principles of recovery as honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. In previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of honesty and the origins of willingness. We have not, however, discussed the importance of opening one’s mind. And while willingness and open-mindedness may sound like similar concepts, they differ…

The Difference Between Acceptance and Complacency

If you suffer from addiction or alcoholism, then you’ve probably heard about the First Step. You know that many people say you must admit that you are powerless over drugs and alcohol in order to begin recovering. But many people shorten this step. The shortened version generally reads “admit that you’re an addict/alcoholic.” This can…

Showing Strength Through Vulnerability

Nobody wants to feel vulnerable. It’s hard to show others the chinks in our armor. In fact, it can even be quite difficult to admit the existence of these chinks to ourselves. But addiction recovery is an emotional experience. If we don’t process these emotions in a healthy manner, we just might relapse to escape…

Understanding and Practicing Step Seven

Now that July has begun, we can push past the halfway point in our monthly series on the Twelve Steps by focusing upon Step Seven. This step is in many ways an extension of Step Six, in which we became ready to remove our character defects. Now, much as we did with our addiction in…

The Twelve Concepts for World Service: Concept VI

We’ve finally reached the halfway point in this series on the Twelve Concepts. If you actually read Conference-approved literature on the Twelve Concepts for World Service, you will find that Concept VI has one of the shorter write-ups, despite the fact that its definition is longer than any other we have covered to date. This…

Embracing the Sixth Tradition

It’s June, and we’ve already covered Step Six this month, which means we can move forward to the sixth installment of our monthly series on the Twelve Traditions. Like the five we have covered thus far, the Sixth Tradition pertains less to our individual recovery than it does to the manner in which AA and…