Over the Bank Holiday weekend our clients participated in a workshop called ’12 Step Scramble’ to help them gain more understanding of the 12 Steps. First developed by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s, the 12 Step wording can be difficult to understand without any further explanation from someone who is familiar with them.
Clients were asked to walk around our 12 Step garden trail in pairs, spending time at each Step to write their own version. Upon completion, everyone’s interpretation was read aloud to peers and the results were so good that counsellor Jane asked for permission for us to share them on our website. Their unique versions can be read below.
Step 1: “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction/alcoholism – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Step 1 Interpretations
- We admitted we had a problem and harmed ourselves and others. We could not stop using on our own. We were powerless. We could not manage our own lives.
- Admitted we were beat and couldn’t cope with life.
- F**k a duck we’ve ran out of luck.
- We knew that we had lost ourselves to our demons and we could not cope and our lives became chaotic.
- Collection of people with a common problem. Having this common problem has made our lives chaotic and disorganised.
- Powerless and totally broken.
- Admitted we were f****d and there was nowhere to hide.
Step 2: “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Step 2 Interpretations
- We were insane. We thought we could control our addiction. We had to ask for help to become well.
- Accepted that we couldn’t do it alone.
- We thought we were mad but Higher Power made us glad.
- Came to believe that we could find reprieve.
- A powerful force greater than ours led us back to health again.
- Progressively learnt our behaviour would never change unless we accept help outside of ourselves.
- Allowing ourselves to admit there is another way.
Step 3: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
Step 3 Interpretations
- We decided that we needed help from our Higher Power, self will wasn’t working. We asked other addicts in recovery/treatment centre to help us get clean/sober.
- Decided to accept the help of our external power.
- We’ve admitted we can’t do it on our own, all of our chances we’ve blown.
- Turned our will to something we could neither see, hear, feel.
- Accepted we need help. Took action with our issues and problems and gave them over to a power greater than ourselves, whatever that power means to us.
- Became willing to hand it over to a Higher Power.
- Asking for help from something more powerful than we are.
Step 4: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
Step 4 Interpretations
- List our character defects and the people we have harmed and accept it was the past. We cannot change it. Keep it in the day.
- Took stock of our fears, resentments and harms to others up to the present day.
- We’re facing up to being w*****s, let’s hope God don’t spank us.
- Looked inside our heads and learnt to recognise our poisonous past.
- Truthful and honest – to ourselves and others.
- Explored feelings on a personal level, honestly and openly taking a diary of our principles, morals and beliefs.
- Made a list of all the bad stuff I’ve done.
- Taking a good look in the mirror. Being honest – totally honest, no matter how much it hurts.
Step 5: “Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Step 5 Interpretations
- Admit our Step 4 and offload it to someone else – burn it.
- Identified and owned up to our specific badness.
- The enormity of our sins are out with yesterday’s bins.
- Admitted all of our fatal flaws to open up other doors.
- Making a decision to admit to all and ourselves how much we were drinking.
- By reading Step 4 to another human, we are also sharing it with the power greater, accepting our issues, taking action to move on.
- Tell everyone what I’ve done wrong.
- Sharing the pain of what we’ve done which we couldn’t do if we’d done this on our own.
Step 6: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”
Step 6 Interpretations
- Hand our will over to our Higher Power. Let fate take its course. Whatever will be will be if you work the Steps.
- We’re willing to have our Higher Power to help us remove our character defects.
- So it’s out with the trash, here here for more cash!
- Become ready to purge our lethal urge.
- Good order and directions will get rid of our bad behaviour.
- Cleansing, clearing out old behaviours and attitudes. Time is right to change.
- Ready for God to take it away.
Step 7: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
Step 7 Interpretations
- Pray to your Higher Power asking it to make you a better person.
- Prayed to our Higher Power to continue to change our attitude.
- We’ve asked to remove our faults, now we feel like Usain Bolt.
- Humbly asked for our ruinous past to be removed, lest they should last.
- Action to help deduct imperfections and triggers from our characters in a selfless manner.
- Asking for help to make us a better person.
Step 8: “Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
Step 8 Interpretations
- Recognise who you should apologise to.
- Became willing to apologise for the things I have done.
- My family and friends hated me after receiving my letter, I’m a million times better.
- Friends and family, an endless list of wrongs we’ve carried, an infected cyst.
- Willing to do good our wrongs, loved ones, friends. Clearing the air ready to carry it out.
- We have to make a list of all the people we have harmed.
- Completely honest – admitting who we’d harmed.
Step 9: “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
Step 9 Interpretations
- Apologise to the people you have harmed as long as it doesn’t harm anyone.
- Make a genuine apology to the people we have harmed as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others.
- I pleaded my case to stop getting off my face and finally be part of the human race.
- Approach all those that we have hurt and make amends to cleanse the dirt.
- Where appropriate took action in admitting our wrongs and physically expressed them to the relevant people.
- Admitting our faults not for self benefit. Not just about saying sorry, words sometimes are not enough.
Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Step 10 Interpretations
- We will continue to make mistakes in life and may harm other people. Keep your attitude and behaviour in check. Continue to check on your character defects, admit when you are wrong and apologise. Move on, let it go.
- Here I lie in my bed trying to clear my messy head (to the people I have hurt one way or another and my Higher Power in the last 24 hours).
- I’ve got the balls to admit when I’m wrong unlike my addiction. Let’s hope the healing process doesn’t take long.
- Continued to practice honesty and when we were wrong, looked back to 3.
- Continued to be accountable when making mistakes and said we’re sorry for doing it.
- Apologise as soon as you’ve done something wrong.
- Taking a daily diary of our resentments and feelings of the day and correcting ourselves appropriately.
- Being honest to myself, checking have I done everything as well as I could. Have I been humble when I’ve got it wrong? Humility.
Step 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.”
Step 11 Interpretations
- Meditate and pray to Higher Power to keep us grounded and in touch with our Higher Power keeping us calm and focused.
- Meditated and prayed for guidance to live a meaningful life.
- Practice makes perfect, I know it will be worth it!
- Sought through prayer and meditation, to set in stone our dedication.
- Prayed and meditated to the Higher Power for wisdom and courage to follow this through.
- To clear the mind and the soul through meditation and connect to the Higher Power allowing us to do it his way and not ours.
- Asking to be given the knowledge we need and nothing more.
Step 12: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics/addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”
Step 12 Interpretations
- Once we have become spiritually well as a result of the Steps, we need to give our knowledge away and support others to recover by carrying the message to other addicts who want to get well.
- Share our experience, strength and hope with other addicts, what we have gained from this process.
- Life is now great. I’m ready to re-write my own fate.
- Having thought we’ve reached the end, we turn around and look around the bend. We see those still living on the edge and to them we make a solemn pledge.
- Having had the epiphany we advocate the power of message to less fortunate people that are still trapped in addiction.
- Having cleared the mind and soul we express our experience to others who suffer from this common problem.
- Help others and become a sponsor.
- Spread the word of recovery, helping those in need. It’s not all about me, keep the ego in check. Setting an example of a better life.