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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: THE DEFEATED ADDICT: In step one we learned the principle of honesty.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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In step one we admitted our powerlessness and came to understand that powerlessness meant absolutely without power. We came to ...
AA Big Book

In step one we admitted our powerlessness and came to understand that powerlessness meant absolutely without power. We came to understand what unmanageable meant and admitted our lives were indeed unmanageable. We learned the principle of honesty.

In step two we came to believe that it would take a power greater than ourselves, who were powerless, to restore us to sanity. And we came to believe that this could actually happen. We learned hope and open-mindedness

In step three we decided to try to turn our will and our lives, our thoughts and our actions, over to this same Higher Power. We put our lives under the care and direction of that Power. We learned that since a decision without action is valueless, we would go on and validate that decision by working the rest of the program, starting with step four. We learned faith and willingness.

In step four we took a moral inventory. We saw that the emphasis was on identifying our character defects that caused us to compulsively overeat and how this affected not only ourselves, but others. We learned courage.

In step five we admitted to God, to ourselves and another person the exact nature of our defects. We discussed these with another person. For me these defects are Self Centered Fear and Self Critical/judgmental thinking born of unreasonable demands for perfectionism, born of fear that I would not be loved or good enough. This in the face of much evidence to the contrary, but still buried deep inside and running the show! We learned integrity.

In step 6 we saw that these character defects were spiritual in nature and that we could not remove them on our unaided strength alone. I had a lifetime of proof! We then became willing to let God remove them. We learned willingness.

In step 7 we asked God to remove those character defects that were in the way of our usefulness to Him and others and actually got out of His way. This we did with the humility of knowing who and what we really were followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be. We saw that self-centeredly asking for the defects to be removed solely for our comfort would not work and was selfish. We learned that asking God to remover our character defects in their entirety would not work....those that stood in the way of our usefulness could be removed. We learned humility.

In step 8 we looked at our inventory and saw those we had not only resented, but those we had harmed. We made a list and became willing to make amends. We learned that forgiveness could be a tool in becoming willing to make amends. We learned self discipline.

In step 9 we talked about the process of making amends and learned once again that it was designed to get us out of ourselves. We stopped looking at the harms done to us by others and saw how our character defects had done harm to others and we were given the direction to make those amends. We began to understand that the first nine steps were a beginning that would be fulfilled in step 10. We saw that we did not have to do the first nine steps perfectly because they were merely the beginning of a lifetime practice. We learned love.

In step 10 we again saw how the process is focused on how our character defects affect others on a daily basis...and on making daily amends where needed. We saw that when, not if, our character defects pop up we ask God to remove them and then resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. We need to get out of ourselves! We learned perseverance.

In step 11 we learned about asking and listening as forms of prayer and meditation. On page 86/87 in the BB "ask" and its variations are used 9 times! We began to see that the ultimate goal is not simply living in steps 10, 11 and 12, but to be of maximum usefulness to God and the people about us. We learned spiritual awareness.

It was suggested that you read the chapter in the Big Book, Working With Others, the 12th step in the AA 12 and 12 and in the OA 12 and 12.

If you look you will see that there are a number of pages and paragraphs devoted to steps 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. There is an entire chapter detailing exactly how to work with others, two chapters on working with family, one chapter detailing how to work with an employee, and a chapter accenting the need to work with others and the benefits/results of doing so. That gives us a hint as to the relative importance of this step. There are 88 pages discussing the first eleven Steps and five chapters discussing the 12th step. Even in the AA 12 and 12, the chapter devoted to Step 12 is twice the size of the other chapters.

The first two paragraphs on p 89 in the BB are presented a little more clearly in the Multi-lith on p.41

"Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure your own immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other spiritual activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help them when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are fatally ill.

The kick you will get is tremendous. To watch people come back to life, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives."

You will notice it says nothing will so much insure "your own" immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics it works when other "spiritual activities" fail. Equating ‘working with others" as a "spiritual activity" puts things in a very different light.

For instance, in the BB on p 14/15

"For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die."

The two ways to perfect and enlarge our spiritual life are; through work and self sacrifice for others. Bill Wilson did not always redefine terms each time he used them. He probably assumed the reader had read the prior definitions on p 14/15.

BB p 89

"Perhaps you are not acquainted with any drinkers who want to recover. You can easily find some by asking a few doctors, ministers, priests or hospitals."

Step 12 says we tried to "carry" this message. It does not say we sit back and wait for people to come to us. After you have found a prospect it tell us on p 90, "If he does not want to stop drinking, don’t waste time trying to persuade him." However, further down it says, "If he says yes, then his attention should be drawn to you as a person who has recovered." If we find someone who is interested their attention should be drawn to us as a person who has recovered.

It continues, "You should be described to him as one of a fellowship who, as part of their own recovery, try to help others and who will be glad to talk to him if he cares to see you."
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