Substance abuse disorders can seem overwhelming. If you’re stuck in the spiraling agony of an addiction, life can seem hopeless. It’s not. There is hope through various recovery programs. One popular way to help you recover from an addiction is a 12 step program.
Alcoholics who choose to be a part of Alcoholics Anonymous can practice the 12 steps of AA. AA’s 12 step program is the original model used. There are dozens of 12 step programs now helping millions of people recover from various addictions and afflictions.
With so many people using a 12 step program to improve their life, you may wonder how long it takes to go through the 12 steps of AA. Not to seem misleading, but there really isn’t a hard and fast timeline to complete the 12 steps. Let’s talk about why that is.
The 12 Steps Are an Individual Journey
No two people work the 12 steps of AA in exactly the same way. Sure, each step is the same for everyone who practices them. However, that is where the similarities end. Each person who starts with step one, starts with a unique set of life circumstances.
Nevertheless, step one is probably the only step in which almost everyone reads it and applies in pretty much the same amount of time. It is said to be the only step that anyone in recovery must take 100 percent. Once you accept the importance of step one, you’re on your way.
Accepting that we are powerless over alcohol, that our life has become unmanageable is critical to sobriety. The moment in your life that you believe you can master your own power over the cunning and baffling disease called alcoholism, you’re in trouble.
The rest of AA’s 12 steps will come to you as you work them. Some share that they took many months, even years, to get through all the steps. Steps four and five require some personal effort on your part.
These are two steps that truly express the uniqueness in which everyone practices the steps. Other steps may take years for you to fully accept and understand their meaning. There is nothing to fear. No one in AA will ever put you on a rigid schedule to get through the steps.
If anyone ever does, good advice would be to seek another fellow AA to guide you through the 12 steps. That takes us to another important aspect of AA’s 12 steps. You should never try to undertake this important journey alone.
The 12 Steps of AA Are a Guided Journey
Another reason that there is no written timeline for working through the 12 steps of AA is how you take the journey. It is common knowledge among those with years of sobriety that working the steps alone is wrought with potential folly. Many have tried. Most, if not all, have failed.
You will work through the 12 steps with someone who has taken the journey at least once themselves. It makes for an even more rewarding experience. Since the first two members of Alcoholics Anonymous worked the 12-step program they designed, it is how it’s been. The 12 steps of AA are a guided journey, but they are also a lifelong journey.
The 12 Steps of AA Are a Lifelong Journey
When you begin your journey in the 12 steps of AA, you may be eager to jump through them as quickly as possible. That is perfectly understandable, and very common. As you move through each step, however, you will be amused at how erroneous you were in your eager exuberance.
After step one, each of the remaining 11 steps become increasingly more unique. As you progress through them at your own pace, you will gradually realize how the reason behind each step could repeat itself throughout your life.
There are two steps clearly mention a process that is a journey not a destination. AA’s with years of sobriety also refer to the final three steps as lifelong maintenance steps. Some AA members set dates on their calendar to repeat a fourth and fifth step every year.
There is no predetermined schedule for you to complete the 12 steps of AA. The 12 steps are a lifelong journey. You will find some more difficult to navigate than others. You will be grateful for the guidance you will gain from taking this life-changing journey with a partner.
AA is a wonderful fellowship that has helped millions overcome the disease of alcohol. Their methods are founded in the AA 12 step program. There is no preset way to do them, or a specific timeline to complete them.
There is and always will be the importance of step one. It involves admitting you may have a problem. If you think you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, reach out to someone. Find an AA meeting, or call a treatment recovery center to speak with an addiction specialist. Help is there for everyone. Make the call today at (833) 922-2653, and you can begin your journey in recovery.