• One Day at a t/Time
  • It works if you work it
  • Go to meetings, read the Big Book, get a sponsor and do the Steps
  • 90 meetings in 90 days
  • Turn it over to your Higher Power
Pondering from FURIES:  I firmly believe that stopping has to come from within you – not other people, bad stuff etc… they may help, but YOU need to want to stop.. make sense?  Many folks show the ability to moderate, regulate etc for days, weeks, months, but then binge..  this ability to stop shows resolve, commitment, desire, discipline and ability to commit to stopping.
  • So ask yourself  if not now then when?
  • Dont beat yourself up over lapses  – this is a natural part of recovery and most go through it… use it as a learning experience, a stepping stone on your road to recovery
12 Steps… AA…my mind struggles with when to use what … I feel that 12 steps is a better representation now that I know more of the depth of programs based (sometimes loosely) on the the 12 steps and 12 traditions.
Do I put the historical context here or under Recovery Programs?  I am fascinated by the legacy of how the AA was concieved and evolved.  Much has been written on this and I have come across some amazing resources to discuss. So for now, I will put a section for relevant links, and keep this to the “tools” that apply.
Rarely have we seen a person fail who thoroughly followed.. many of us exclaimed “What an order!  I cant go through with it.  there are such unfortunates ( I intentionally typed that from memory  – because that what stands out to ME)
12 Steps:  the core of the program.. hello?  Its referred to as 12 Steps for a reason!
13th Step:  sadly this is NOT a real step in the program, but many have been exposed to it at one time or another.   Refers to dating and relationships of new members .. with each other or senior members.. That is a big part of why folks recommend men talk to men, women talk to women
12 Traditions:  The Twelve Traditions of twelve-step programs provide guidelines for relationships between the twelve-step groups, members, other groups, the global fellowship, and society at large. Questions of finance, public relations, donations, and purpose are addressed in the Traditions. They were originally written by Bill Wilson after the founding of the first twelve-step group, Alcoholics Anonymous.[1]
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-122_en.pdf  Service Material from the General Service Office THE TWELVE TRADITIONS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
Step Progams and Variations:  so many choices, too little time!  My ponderings are meant to reflect MY experience and I  will be sharing what I have discovered along the way..  I do not claim to be an expert nor have an exhaustively thorough listing…. if I miss some and find out about it, I will research and update accordingly… MY site  – my rules.. thanks for the suggestions.
Historical note:  AA initially had 6 Steps – amazing how the early days of AA evolved.. some growing pains, but inspiring to hear how a a group of alcoholics saw threw their struggles and developed such a program of recovery.  The word smything is truly a thing of beauty for those who struggle with writing.
 http://hindsfoot.org/steps6.html – amazing article on the original 6 steps and origins!
12 Step work:  conflicting thoughts about how best to proceed with these.. Some say do them quickly, while others say may take years.  In my opinion, there is merit in both approaches.  In the early days, folks met and went through the original 6 steps in days and then were encouraged to work with other alcoholics.
Promises of AA:  yes.. promises!  here is a thorough list of the promises: http://friendsofbillw.net/the_big_book_promises
Barefoot.. a legend in AA and recovery.  Amazing resource.. FURIES PICK!  http://www.barefootsworld.net/aaworkstepsintro.html
Possible questions for working a 12 Step program of recovery ~   http://12step.org/docs/12step_questions.html
Work the Steps in 4 Hours?  these folks have an online manual and hold work shops etc:  “It only takes a day to learn ‘how it works’ and a lifetime to practice it! ”   http://www.bigbooksponsorship.org/downloads/4-hour-12-steps.pdf
http://www.wikihow.com/Do-the-12-Steps  ,,,huh!  kind of like they got an app for that!  Wiki how on how to do the steps!  The 12 steps are used by AA, NA, OVA, GA, EA, CA, CMA, SALSA, AL-ANON, and other anonymous 12-step recovery groups. This article sets out the key 12 steps to help you gain a better understanding of what these steps involve.
  http://12step.org/tools/12steporg-worksheets/onenote/  online fillabe forms for the steps.  These are workbooks for the 12 step program that use the Microsoft OneNote format. With Microsoft OneNote there are tabs for each of the steps at the top and then multiple pages for each step. Microsoft is giving away OneNote for free for your PC, Macintosh or various mobile devices, so this is an easy, free and powerful software option for helping you to work the 12 step program (these OneNote files, however, seem to work only for the Windows version right now).
Big Book:  get a big book.. and read it!  Really, read it at least once, some great stories and the first 164 pages is the cornerstone of the program.   Most likely, you will find someone story who you can relate with. Big book online : http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous
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Sponsor / Sponsee:  hmm.. ok I think a sponsor is a tool.. ha!  Not that kind idjut!  Sponsor? sure in the purest sense.. mentor/peer works as well.. we learn from each other. Lets look at some definitions of sponsor:
Questions and Answers on SponsorShip ~ http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf
“Any A.A. who has not experienced the joys and satisfaction of helping another alcoholic regain his place in life has not yet fully realized the complete benefits of this fellowship.” (A.A. Sponsorship Pamphlet. 1944. Clarence S.)
Question: What does the Big Book reference 123 times in the first 88 pages? Answer: Alcoholics working with other alcoholics. And, by working with another alcoholic, the Big Book doesn’t mean a “sponsor”, it specifically means two alcoholics working together, putting the A.A. Program into action.
How it important is it for A.A. members to work newcomers? Our Big Book says:
“Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.” (Alcoholics Anonymous. 89)
Meetings:  in face or online? What defines a meeting?  When two or more get together….thats a meeting!  Meetings take on a personality of those regularly attending and how the meeting is run is determined by the Group Conscience.. leaders are but trusted servants..  Meaning, join a group, make it your “Home Group” and get involved!
Meetings Online:  there are some chat style text meetings and then the amazing progress on online video meetings.  The site In the Rooms is a global Recovery site that provides close to a 100 online meetings a week, mainly 12 steps, but some other amazing recovery topic centered.
  • http://aa-intergroup.org/directory.php  Online Inter Group of AA:  Meetings Directory. Some groups conduct multiple meetings or offer multiple meeting formats. For example, if you see both “E” and “CH” in the codes column, that group offers both email and chat meetings.
  • https://www.intherooms.com/ ~ In the Rooms is a global Recovery site that provides close to 100 online meetings a week, mainly 12 steps, but some other amazing recovery topic centered.    It has 2 chat rooms, one for recovery, and the other  is “UNCENSORED”   whatever that means!
  • http://12stepme.org/  Our primary purpose is to provide an area for those who wish to assist others in doing the 12 Steps as outlined in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, for those who wish to learn how to sponsor others, and to demonstrate how God-dependence and service to others is the path to a happy, joyous, and free life.
 Court Verification:  courts and some recovery facilities require attendance at meetings. These invitations are called verifications and become a source of angst for members AND folks required to get them.  I remember when I was “invited” to attend by the judge and I HATED these meetings.  Who knew I would go on to get 9 years sober as a result!
90 Meetings in 90 days… not sure how that evolved, but does seem to be good advice for some… keeps ya busy and out of trouble, meet new people, get out of your head, and learn the basics.. Sounds like a good SUGGESTION  to me.
Prayers and Meditation:  regardless of how you define higher power.. this stuff helps to calm your mind, think positive thoughts!  Main stay in 12 step step are Serenity Prayer and St Francis… but there are actually prayers for each step!
Each step has prayers!  this site has a comprehensive list of them as well as other resources….  http://friendsofbillw.net/twelve_step_prayers
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