What Is Step 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous?
AA Step 12 is the last step of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. This step requires you to have a spiritual awakening that came as a result of completing the previous 11 steps of AA, carry the message of AA to other addicts, and practice the principles of AA in all of your daily affairs. Many people find the 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous to be one of the most challenging because it forces them to publicly acknowledge they are alcoholics when delivering the AA message to other addicts.
Step 12: Spiritual Awakening and Delivering the AA Message
As you approach Alcoholics Anonymous Step 12, remember that you have prepared for this step by completing 11 previous steps. With the help and support of your sponsor and the AA fellowship, you can successfully complete this step the same way you completed all of the other steps.
After completing the 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous some people feel a great sense of relief, as though they have graduated the AA program. Although it is important to feel proud of your accomplishments, it is just as important to remember that recovery is a lifelong journey and your participation in Alcoholics Anonymous isn't over. However, for some people, the sense of completing the AA program brings back their urge to drink. Some people feel that by completing Alcoholics Anonymous Step 12 they have proven that they are capable of living a sober life and can drink alcohol in moderation.
Alcohol Dependency Treatment
If you start to feel yourself slipping back into your alcoholic thoughts, you may want to pursue additional alcohol dependency treatment. Some people who complete Step 12 are resistant to pursuing additional treatment. The reasons for this resistance vary from one person to another, but it is common for people to feel a sense of shame and guilt for having completed the 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous yet still requiring more treatment. Although this is a normal feeling, it is important that you remember that admitting you need help is a sign of strength. Asking for the help you need is a sign of immense courage.
If you feel yourself slipping back into your alcoholic way of thinking, gain the support of your sponsor, AA fellowship, and loved ones. These people care about you and want to help you succeed. Ask them to help and support you as you pursue additional treatment options. This additional treatment will not take the place of the AA program. Instead, the treatment will complement the AA program. Many treatment programs utilize Alcoholics Anonymous as part of the treatment regimen.
Your treatment options include residential care, intensive outpatient care, and outpatient therapy. The level of care that is best for you is based upon your individual needs. Residential care provides a supportive environment around the clock, allowing you to focus entirely on your sobriety and recovery. Intensive outpatient care typically includes both individual and group therapy for several hours per day, but allows you to partake in some aspects of your normal day-to-day life. Outpatient therapy typically consists of individual therapy once per week, although additional therapy sessions throughout the week are often possible to schedule.
It is entirely okay to feel lost and confused, but don't let that derail you from your sobriety and recovery. Pursuing additional treatment is a testament to your dedication to your sobriety and recovery.