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What Are the Responsibilities of The Twelve Steps Person?

This time I’m writing to you about my opinion on the responsibilities described in the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) literature.

I am someone who took part in the twelve-step program – it helped me a lot, and I am very grateful for this. I do not have a religious viewpoint, or follow any religion, and I respect everyone’s opinion. Nonetheless, I do have my ideas about my spirituality. Although AA is firmly centered on ideas of Christianity, many of today’s groups involve people of all or no religious beliefs. As I wrote before, I am not religious, and I have my individual opinion on what the “higher power” they refer to so much is.

closeup image of a woman sitting and reading alcoholics anonymous book working twelve steps

Closeup image of a woman sitting and reading a aa 12 steps book on sofa

 I´ll give you a quick run-through of AA´s story beginning with Bill Wilson and Robert Smith. They founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935, expanding internationally into several chapters. The organization focused on aiding individuals in treating their addiction to alcohol, and by 1950, it had helped an estimated 500,000 people treat their addiction to alcohol.

The 12 Principles of AA have helped many suffering from alcoholism to continue to achieve success in recovery by taking part in AA’s program.

What do I think the 12 steps and responsibilities of AA mean?

  1. Honesty

“The responsibility to admit that you are powerless over alcohol — that your life has become uncontrollable”.

The first step and responsibility in AA are acknowledging that you are powerless, an honesty which most addicts have not yet reached. Many people trapped by addiction or alcoholism tell themselves that “I´m not that bad” or “I drink because I want to, and I enjoy it.”

You can break away from the grasp of your addiction by admitting how powerless you are. Being honest during sobriety doesn’t only imply honesty to others but to yourself as well.

2) Hope

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

This step and responsibility imply discovering faith in any higher power, and hope means that you should never give up, even when you fail, because the path to recovery and healing is seldom straight. Life is full of “ups and downs,” and we tend to focus our attention on the “downs,” disregarding the “ups.”

This quality is simple to comprehend when you practice every single day. During recovery, not every moment shall be positive. However, you will pull through if you maintain hope and focus on the joyful moments in life. Whatever you decide to focus on will grow; stay positive but do not lie to yourself.

3: Surrender

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Step and responsibility 3 involve submitting to a higher power and continuing forward for whichever your higher power may be instead of the egoism of an addiction.

4: Courage

“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

The fourth step and responsibility involve making an inventory of every error you have made, which takes courage. Remembering some events will hurt, and you will have to deal with this.

Living a life with courage is that you can begin again without disregarding your past mistakes and knowing your triggers and weaknesses.

5: Integrity

“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

The fifth step and responsibility are using the moral inventory referred to in the previous step and acknowledging this to yourself and another person.

You can exercise integrity on your path toward sobriety by telling others about your feelings of guilt and your faults. In sum, to have integrity is to live with honesty.

Step 6: Willingness

“We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

The 6th step and responsibility consist of the preparation for the burden of your mistakes to be eliminated by admitting that you are prepared to live differently.

Willingness as an attribute is that you must be prepared to be forgiven, continuing forward without being held back by your past. 

what are responsibilities twelve step program people meeting at aa support group therapy

People meeting at aa support group therapy with sign on white board to cure alcohol addiction. Therapist and patients doing rehab session to discuss mental health problems for recovery

7: Humility

“Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings.

The 7th step and responsibility are the willingness to be freed from your past actions. 

Being humble is a simple value to comprehend; when modest, you are conscious of the detail that you are not an essential piece of existence. Being humble every day is never regarding yourself as more important than the big picture of reality.

8: Love

“Made a list of all the persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to all of them.”

You have the responsibility to write a list of the people you have negatively affected by your active addiction, and you must be willing to make compensations, showing that you care for the individuals on your list.

Practicing your sobriety with love means that you exist to care for yourself and in service to the people you care about.

9: Responsibility

“Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

At this stage, you have pardoned yourself for your preceding conduct. Now it is time to make amends to other people and start fresh with them too.

The standard of responsibility is mirrored directly here, and its life practice is straightforward: If you wish to stay near people around you, you need to be honest about how your mistakes affected them.

10: Discipline

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

You made a personal inventory and admitted your errors; however, you must continually exercise discipline to do this for the rest of your life.

11: Awareness

“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.”

The 11th step and responsibility deal with going forward parallel to a higher power, whichever the one that you individually prefer. To live with the required awareness simplifies this task. Always be aware of how the temptation of your addiction can and will creep up and get you; a habit is very resourceful and uses your ego against you.

12: Service

“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.”

The last step and responsibility of AA are to give back what you have received in a community. You have put great effort into your path to sobriety, and you currently have the chance to lead and help new people who are beginning their path to healing. Exercising the value of service leaves you with the responsibility to assist other individuals in the same way others helped you, with empathy and compassion.


By Andrew G.

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