Breaking Down the Serenity Prayer

We recently broke down the AA Preamble into separate parts, noting that it was important to understand the text which begins every AA meeting. But the Preamble doesn’t technically begin every meeting. Both AA and NA meetings generally start with the Serenity Prayer. Much like the Preamble, some just say the Serenity Prayer without really…

Reading Guide for ‘More About Alcoholism’

The second chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous (commonly known as the Big Book) is titled “There Is a Solution” yet talks a lot about the nature of alcoholism itself. Even so, AA founder Bill Wilson could not have covered everything there is to say about the alcoholic’s condition within a single chapter. This is perhaps why…

Understanding and Practicing Step Twelve

We now reach the final article in our series on the Twelve Steps. This is the point at which we should experience our spiritual awakening, assuming that we haven’t already. By the time we reach Step Twelve, our spiritual principles will rise to new levels. In most cases, we found ourselves to be happier and…

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…

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…

Why Relapse is Not a Sign of Failure

Many recovering addicts and alcoholics view relapse as synonymous with failure. We see it as a sign that we have learned nothing from our daily regimen of meetings, meditations, and calls to our sponsors. After spending weeks, months or even years working toward our spiritual development, one relapse sends us right back into our old…

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 12 Steps to Addiction Recovery

When we first start drinking or abusing drugs, it might take some time before we see any real consequences. Many of us begin with simple experimentation, and everything appears just fine. But as our use continues to increase, we gradually find ourselves slipping downhill. Before we even realize what’s happening, our lives no longer resemble…

Making It Past Early Sobriety

Many say that the first month of sobriety is the hardest. Others say that things get easier after the first ninety days. Then, there are those who say that you must make it through at least six months, or even up to a year. In truth, however, people relapse at various stages in life. You…

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…