The Twelve Steps summarize a system of actions designed to bring us into a relationship with the God of the individual members understanding. After we have worked the Steps and that relationship with God has been initiated, we continue to grow in it by living the Twelve Steps for the rest of our lives. Continued spiritual growth is essential to our continued sobriety. The specific directions for working this program, we believe, are contained entirely in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
These are the Twelve Steps in their summary form.
1. We admitted we were powerless over [our addiction] – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong we promptly admitted it.
11. 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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
These actions brought us to a way of living that was far beyond the mere promise of no longer being obsessed with our addiction. They bring us to a place of contentment, joy and peace, without which sobriety would be meaningless. It is described by the promises of Step Nine.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we are going to be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Alcoholics Anonymous Pp 83-84
Other promises throughout the program assure us that we can be happy and satisfied no matter what life sends our way. Our experience agrees with these promises provided we meet the caveat of working the program as the basis of our daily living.