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First popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous, The 12 Steps are used as a guideline or roadmap for those that are moving through addiction recovery. While some might take longer to get through the steps than others, these guidelines can serve as a great way to set goals for yourself and track progress through your recovery. They can help everyone struggling with addiction to overcome cravings and strive for greatness.
1. Admitting That You Have a Problem Not everyone is able to face the truth about their addictions but if you’re interested in getting help, getting clean, and getting your life together, then it’s important to take the first step toward recovery by acknowledging that you can’t do this on your own.
2. Believe There are Powers Greater Than You Whatever your religion or personal philosophy might be, you can believe in forces that are more powerful and all-encompassing than the flaws and shortcomings that hold you back. Everyone makes mistakes but fixing them is a matter of accepting grace and help from outside of yourself.
3. Trust in This Greater Power If you give yourself the time to trust, to know that it will all work out in the end, then you can find greatness in yourself and your situation. Trusting your higher power helps you to trust more in yourself in the process, allowing your addiction recovery to go much smoother.
4. Know Who You Are Know where you fall short, or where you can stand tall. Know all of your own flaws and strong points. When you soul search and know yourself better, you will want to try harder to succeed.
5. Admit What Those Flaws Are By being accountable for your flaws, you’re accepting who you are with the knowledge that sometimes it there will be weak moments in your life, but a strong point of redemption will always get you out.
6. Have the Willingness to Change Knowing you have a problem is not enough. You have to want to change who you are, the things you do and the substance you’re addicted to. When you have the drive to succeed and quit, you have the power to accomplish that goal.
7. Ask Higher Powers for Help Asking this higher power (and those around you) for help can be the turning point that gets you to your ultimate goal of living a sober life. You need a support system, and sometimes a little help can go a long way.
8. Make a List Make a list of everything that you’ve done in the past that was not admirable, including a complete list of the people that you’ve hurt and the harmful things you’ve done. Accept them, apologize for them, and let those people know that you’re sorry for the wrongdoings and hurt you’ve caused them.
9. Forgive and Make Amends By forgiving yourself, and those around you that might have helped put you in this situation, you will be able to move on from this experience and heal. Healing is a process that requires humility and patience.
10. Continue to Watch Yourself By constantly observing your actions and daily choices, you will be able to take action to correct, guide, and edit your ongoing behaviors and thought processes. This will stop you from turning back to the addiction and remind you that you made the decision to move forward and will stick to it.
11. Improve Yourself With each waking minute of your life, you should be making steady attempts to improve yourself through and through. You want to be a better person without the substance, and this can be done with the right actions and a commitment to constant self-awareness and improvement.
12. Let Others Know When you let others in on your addiction recovery journey, it helps you put the pain in the past and overcome the things that you’ve gone through. It’s a great reminder that you have achieved something great and can now help others along the way.