The twelfth step in AA’s twelve step plan for recovery is “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.”.  We know the process is an ongoing one.  We stay aware  of ourselves and henceforward live productive lives.


Understanding AA’s 12 Steps: Step 12

This step prepares you to embrace all 12 steps as you continue your journey into a life of acceptance and understanding.  In the beginning of the twelve steps we examined and thought introspectively.  We moved on to surrendering ourselves.  Once we’ve surrendered, we rebuilt our lives on a strong foundation. Step twelve is the culmination of all the steps. It is also the continuation of them. We employ every step we have learned to every day.  We also must bring the same attitude towards continued recovery as we did to initial recovery.  Many people become complacent.  Their attitude was different before getting to step twelve.  Before the final step many people desperately want to get better.  We cannot look at ourselves as “better”.  We should think of ourselves as being better equipped for the battle we face each day for the rest of our lives.

A support system becomes especially important to constant productivity.

We needed the support structure to get us here.  We will need them as time goes by even more.  Meetings provide a support system of like minded individuals.  Positive reinforcement is important and we feed off the positive support offered in meetings.  Here we have an opportunity to help others like we were helped.  The support lent to us in meetings is a two way street.  We will now be lending support to others the same way it is given to us.  We can make the twelve steps a lifestyle by teaching others the steps through our experience.  It may become that your experience matches someone else’s so much that you become a sponsor.  Then you can guide someone through the process as your sponsor guided you.  Being a sponsor has the added benefit of keeping you on track.  We become immersed in the lifestyle even more when we have another person depending on us to fulfill the sponsor role.

The purpose of step 12 is to focus on progress and not perfection.  We understand nobody will be mistake free.  We also deeply know harmful behavior patterns.  We have a tool to remove those patterns and stop them from resurfacing.  We open up to those in similar situations.  You may share something as trivial as how you overcame a specific trigger.  What is trivial to you may be the key to another’s recovery.  The full circle of the twelve steps is stepping outside of ourselves and recognising our behavior.  We take total accountability because we become confident in our ability to function as well adjusted members of society.


For additional resources on the 12 Step philosophy and other addiction treatment methods, speak with a professional at Treatment Now and get yourself started on the path to recovery from alcoholism and substance abuse.