Embracing the Tenth Tradition

Many of the Twelve Traditions require a bit of metaphor in order to apply them in our everyday lives. This is because, unlike the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions pertain more to AA and NA groups than to the individuals who comprise their membership. But some of the Twelve Traditions, such as Tradition One, can…

Understanding and Practicing Step Ten

Up to this point, the Twelve Steps focused on teaching us the right principles to embody in recovery. Now, it’s time to put those principles into action on a daily basis. There is no point in working so hard to establish a decent moral compass if we intend to toss it by the wayside later…

Reading Guide for “The Family Afterward”

The family members of addicts and alcoholics often suffer terribly until the afflicted individual finally agrees to seek help. Parents, children, spouses, siblings and others all suffer their own pain as they watch a loved one struggle. When the addict or alcoholic enters treatment, the family usually feels some relief. But the family dynamic will…

Principles of the 12 Steps

Character defects come up a lot in recovery conversation. Upon recognizing drugs and alcohol as mere symptoms of a greater affliction, we begin working to identify the other driving factors that led to our downward spiral. We then strive to replace these shortcomings with more positive attributes. For instance, we may begin with honesty, open-mindedness…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 9

For some time now, we’ve been elaborating on the Twelve Promises listed on pages 83-84 of Alcoholics Anonymous. These pages, included in Chapter 5 (“How It Works”) discuss the benefits of working Step Nine of the AA program. But as we say in many other articles in this series, many of us begin to see…

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 “To Wives”

Aside from addicts and alcoholics themselves, nobody suffers more than those forced to watch a loved one suffer. They sometimes blame themselves for their loved one’s disease, especially if they can identify past enabling behaviors. Such people experience constant fear, depression, self-pity, and quite often resentments. They lie on behalf of their beloved addict or…

Fulfilling the Twelve Promises: Part 8

Our series on the Twelve Promises offers something interesting that you won’t get from our series on the Twelve Steps or the Twelve Traditions. While each of those other series focuses on things you must do in order to maintain a principled way of life, this series focuses on the benefits of living in such…

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…

Understanding and Practicing Step Eight

It’s time to once again continue our monthly series on the Twelve Steps, this time by focusing on Step Eight. In many ways, the Eighth Step and the Ninth Step go hand in hand. Consider Step Eight to be something of a primer before we begin making our amends. And since making amends will be…