“Our Primary Purpose”
‘Is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety’
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The Twelve Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step Eleven: 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.
Step Twelve: 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 Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous
Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
Tradition Two: For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
Tradition Three: The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Tradition Four: Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Tradition Five: Each group has but one primary purpose-to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Tradition Six: An AA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Tradition Seven: Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Tradition Eight: Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centres may employ special workers.
Tradition Nine: AA, as such, ought never be organised; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve
Tradition Ten: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Tradition Eleven: Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
Tradition Twelve: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The Twelve Concepts of Alcoholics Anonymous
Concept One: Final responsibility and ultimate authority for A.A. world services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole Fellowship.
Concept Two: The General Service Conference of A.A. has become, for nearly every practical purpose, the active voice and the effective conscience of our whole Society in its world affairs.
Concept Three: To insure effective leadership, we should endow each element of A.A.–the Conference, the General Service Board and its service corporations,staffs, committees, and executives–with a traditional “Right of Decision”.
Concept Four: At all responsible levels, we ought to maintain a traditional”Right of Participation,” allowing a voting representation in reasonable proportion to the responsibility that each must discharge.
Concept Five: Throughout our structure, a traditional “Right of Appeal” ought to prevail, so that minority opinion will be heard and personal grievances receive careful consideration.
Concept Six: The Conference recognises that the chief initiative and active responsibility in most world service matters should be exercised by the trustee members of the Conference acting as the General Service Board.
Concept Seven: The Charter and Bylaws of the General Service Board are legal instruments, empowering the trustees to manage and conduct world service affairs. The Conference Charter is not a legal document; it relies upon tradition and the A.A. purse for final effectiveness.
Concept Eight: The trustees are the principal planners and administrators of overall policy and finance. They have custodial oversight of the separately incorporated and constantly active services, exercising this through their ability to elect all the directors of these entities.
Concept Nine: Good service leadership at all levels is indispensable for our future functioning and safety. Primary world service leadership, once exercised by the founders, must necessarily be assumed by the trustees.
Concept Ten: Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority, with the scope of such authority well defined.
Concept Eleven: The trustees should always have the best possible committees,corporate service directors, executives, staffs, and consultants. Composition,qualifications, induction procedures, and rights and duties will always be matters of serious concern.
Concept Twelve: The Conference shall observe the spirit of A.A. tradition,taking care that it never becomes the seat of perilous wealth or power;that sufficient operating funds and reserve be its prudent financial principle;that it place none of its members in a position of unqualified authority over others; that it reach all important decisions by discussion, vote,and whenever possible, by substantial unanimity; that its actions never be personally punitive nor an incitement to public controversy; that it never perform acts of government, and that, like the Society it serves,it will always remain democratic in thought and action.
The 12 Promises of AA
With Comments in italics
Promise One: If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
“This promise states that people who work the AA program with sincere effort will begin to see changes in their lives, even before they are halfway through”.
Promise Two: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
“Members who work the steps will experience release from the obsession to drink and are thus free to pursue a new life without alcohol”.
Promise Three: We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
“Members who work the program will gain acceptance that allows them to understand their experiences, learn from them, and move on without guilt or shame”.
Promise Four: We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace.
“Alcoholism leads to a constant state of inner turmoil. The AA program guides people to find a peacefulness that may have eluded them previously in their lives”.
Promise Five: No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
“Many alcoholics do not believe other people understand what they’ve been through. But in AA they meet people with whom they can identify with and learn from”.
Promise Six: That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
“Alcoholism makes the sufferer feel worthless and guilty about their actions. The twelve steps give Members a sense that their lives have a meaning and a purpose. Helping others without seeking reward becomes possible”.
Promise Seven: We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
“Alcoholism leads to self-centred behaviour. Helping other people find recovery brings addicts outside of themselves, they develop a genuine interest in other people”.
Promise Eight: Self-seeking will slip away.
“The tunnel vision of focusing only on oneself and drinking fades as Members work the steps, get well and engage with step twelve”.
Promise Nine: Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
“The AA program will shift one’s perspective from hopelessness to hope. Alcoholics begin to visualise a life, without alcohol, where they can be truly happy”.
Promise Ten: Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
“Alcoholics who recover through AA don’t feel like they need to hide away from other people or worry about how to support active alcoholism and maintain financial security.
Promise Eleven: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
“As the AA member gets deeper into the recovery process, they begin to see situations more clearly and can tap into their inner resources”.
Promise Twelve: We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
“The concept of a higher power is central to AA. This higher power, be it God or something else, becomes a guiding force in the recovering alcoholics life”.