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Sharings on the Al-Anon 12 Steps:

 

The Twelve Steps of Al-Anon are a practical tool for change for Al-Anon members. The Twelve Steps help us find answers to our questions and solutions to our problems. They help us to make peace with the past and live productively in the present. Many members have experienced that working the Twelve Steps of Al-Anon has transformed their lives.

 

There is much to be learned from other Al-Anon members about working the Twelve Steps and applying it to their lives.

 

We’d like to hear from YOU about your experiences with the Twelve Steps! We will combine all the sharings to create a resource that will be helpful for others. Please contact us at afgdistrict5@gmail.com to share about your experience with the Twelve Steps! You can send as many sharings as you like, and you can write as little or as much as you like. We will be grateful for whatever you share! 

 

Sharings on the Al-Anon 12 Steps

Step 1

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

¨      I don’t like to admit how powerless I am, but the truth is that I am completely powerless over everyone else. and also over by past.  I can’t change it.  Al-Anon is teaching me that I can look at my past – but don’t stare at it!  I stare at my past and hearing that today really helped me. ~ anonymous (Posted 2-12-13)

¨      Admitting powerlessness is a challenge: to feel free when I surrender and to work on it in so many situations every single day ~ anonymous (Posted 2-12-13)

¨      The first word of the first step is we.  We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, we admit that we cannot fight this disease on our own and we no longer have to be alone with it.  With the collective wisdom of the fellowship we can live a happy, joyous and free life.  I am so thankful that many 24 hours ago I joined the fellowship it has changed my life for the better.  ~Barb S. (Posted 1/21/2013)

¨      My step one was a first visit to Al-Anon and in desperation I attended a meeting. I found help and support immediately and also started a blue fourth step book immediately. These two steps helped me save my self and then to save my marriage at the time. I did go through many more bumps and had a roller coaster ride to arrive at recovery in a place I could feel stable. Step one is not comfortable. When I return to that place of confusion, I work really hard to progress on and get past the darkness of confusion. Step two and three help with that. I now feel step one is a safe place to begin anew each time I need to grow. Thanks for the step work. ~Jan (posted 1/01/2013)

¨      Step One is something that I encounter every day somehow and often multiple times throughout the day! Often now I'm able to remember that I can't control a person, place, or situation, which feels relieving. Sometimes I get irritated by something I can't control and have to remind myself that I'm powerless over it, but when I'm able to do this, I usually won't spend as long dwelling on the situation and am happier overall. This step helps me to remember that I can only control my own actions, and helps me to focus on myself. ~Angela (posted 11/06/2012)

¨      Admitting that I'm powerless over alcohol (and most everything in my life) and taking Step One has reaped REWARDS that I never expected.  Some ways this has happened: Relief from formerly feeling like a failure by trying to solve all kinds of problems; Energized by focusing on things I need to, like myself; Wonder at all the beautiful things I have time to notice now and enjoy; Awareness of what is in my hula hoop; Recovery is awesome; Days are anticipated, instead of dreaded; Serenity as the biggest reward! ~ Maggie S. (posted 1/31/2010)

¨      Admitting I was powerless over something like the drinking was very freeing for me. Finally there was something I could stop trying to control. I felt like I was juggling all these balls in the air in order to have a perfect life. I was trying to please my family, the drinker, work but not me. When I came to Al-Anon, I felt I could relax and take care of myself. I have been in this program a long time and I keep coming back to remind myself that I don’t have to do it alone. So keep coming back! ~ Cheryl B. (posted 1/06/2010)

¨      I came into the rooms of Al-Anon due to the suggestion from a dear family member who already attended Al-Anon meetings.   I stayed in the fellowship because it works.  They say it works if you work it and your worth it.  I have learned so much about myself that I never would have learned had I not walked through those doors.  Today I am a very grateful member of the Al-Anon program. ~ Barb S.  (posted 1/04/2010)

¨      I came to Al-Anon looking for a way to get my husband to stop drinking.  I learned quickly that I was powerless over his drinking and the only person I could change was my self.  The steps and slogans have saved my life many times. ~ Mary Lou L. (posted 1/01/2010)

Step 2

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

¨      The challenge of Step 2 for me is not the "coming to believe" part.... fortunately, it has always been easy for me to believe in a Higher Power. I think my struggle at times is remembering that I am powerless before taking Step 2, and at times will spend lots of time trying all different methods of trying to change or control a situation before remembering Step 2. It definitely helps me to feel more sane once I remember that I can't do things alone, and that I need the program and my Higher Power to be successful in recovery. Once I recognize that my thoughts and feelings are getting too crazy, I am usually able to remember that Step 2 is the answer to the problem. I remember that my way of doing things isn't working, and become ready to believe that my Higher Power can help.~ anonymous (posted 3-13-2013)

¨      For me taking Step 2 has meant having the humility to open my mind to the wisdom of my home group, my sponsor and Al-Anon literature. My inclination is to assume my answers are the right ones, even when they result in pain and suffering for myself and others.  Al-Anon has gently shown me that being open-minded and willing to accept support from others does make my life more serene. I am learning to let myself flow more naturally with the day and what it brings.  Today that meant I made heart-shaped pancakes for an early Valentine’s breakfast and then my love helped me prepare deviled eggs for the Al-Anon event I attended.  It all unfolded early without being rushed or even planned. Wow!! ~anonymous (posted 2-12-2013)

¨      Came to believe…..so true that’s it’s a gradual process but very affirming NOT TO BE IN CHARGE, and NOT Feel Alone any more. ~anonymous (posted 2-12-2013)

¨      I like this step a lot because it gives me hope.  I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity if I let Him.  There are some things that I need to do in order for my HP to restore me.  I need to focus on myself, I need to go to meetings and I need to work the 12 steps.  If I can do these things I truly can be restored to sanity.  I am so thankful that I found the tables of Al-Anon to help me be restored. Thanks for listening~ Barb S. (posted 1/30/2013)

¨      I came to Al Anon during a stage in my life when changes occurred so rapidly I felt out of control. I had lost my job, my mother had died, and my husband was moving out. I was already praying to keep my feet on the ground and stand up for myself. God lead me to Al Anon through two separate friends, who lovingly and with great care guided me to a meeting. I was desperately reaching out and before my first meeting I was using tenacity and self will to hold on. My survival did not include letting go and turning over to God my reins and power. It was more like asking God to turn it over to me. It felt counter intuitive to let go and surrender, to offer up to God my will, and to begin to listen to God’s will. I recall vowing to attend six meetings and then quit, since these ideas seemed foreign to me. The spiritual awakening I felt came in a profound fashion. I would come home from a meeting and feel anxiety free for an hour, as the peace of God filled me with hope. Slowly and gently this peace extended to more than a few hours, and more than a few days. I used the step four workbook to re-enforce the principles I was learning at the meetings. Soon I was promising myself to not quit, and to continue with this program. Months passed and I was standing on my own two feet with gentle serenity, making new friends, and soaking up the support of a nurturing home group. I still have to break old habits of worry, but now I have a program to follow, and if I stray too far off the path, I go back to step one and write down what is out of control, how I feel, and what I can chose differently for the day. Step two helps me focus on an action that uplifts me. I appreciate my sponsor and my group and I learn from them through creative and deep listening at meetings. They are my guide to God and a reminder to keep coming back. ~ Jan T. (posted 3-02-2010)

¨      I love Step Two it one of my favorites!  Step 2 says that I came to believe.  This means that before I tackled step 2 I didn’t believe.  I didn’t believe that my life could improve, I didn’t believe that I could find peace whether the alcoholic was still drinking or not.  I didn’t believe that I could focus on myself instead of obsessing on every little thing the alcoholic was doing.  What I came to believe in is that I had a higher power that could do for me what I could not do for myself.  I could live a happy, joyous and free life.  I could keep the focus on myself and even take good care of myself.  I could find sanity in the midst of an insane situation. Step 2 gives me hope!  Thanks for listening! ~ Barb S. (posted 2-09-2010)

¨      When I came into the program, I knew that a Power greater than myself which I call “God” could restore me to sanity if I would ask him. But I did not have the tools of the program to help me.  I was a screaming raving maniac because my life was out of control. I slowly learned to use the steps and slogans to help me find “Serenity”.  One day when I was at a meeting I began to feel that maybe I was starting to understand the meaning of the word “Serenity”.   I have to use the Steps and Slogans everyday to try and maintain a serene life. ~ Mary Lou L. (posted 2-01-2010)

Step 3

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

¨      The "as we understood Him" part of this Step was like a freedom to my old way of thinking. Religion confused me and it felt embarrassing to admit my feelings and my points of view. Thankfully, Al-Anon is not a religious program. But it does allow me to believe in a Higher Power of my own understanding. Today, I have a pretty good relationship with God! And I appreciate His wisdom (most of the time!). Attitude is everything - and I am grateful for this Step along with all the other Steps! ~Anonymous (posted 3-21-2013)     

¨      Step 3 transforms our inner life, in addition it has a powerful impact on our relationships with other people. I believe it releases us from everthing we can't handle, or otherwise solve. We can " give it to God" and let him handle it, because I sure can't. Now this doesn't always work, but I keep trying day after day. I'll make it work, with God's help.~ Anonymous (posted 3-06-2013)

¨      In my work as a volunteer, I have to schedule people and sometimes I don't have many people saying they would help. In the end I turn it over to my higher power and the spots get filled. I have to trust my HP and know that I am not alone in my life. It can be scary to do that but it is also like a hand holding my hand and I feel better about things. ~ Cheryl B. (posted 3-05-2013)

¨      Step 3 is a wonderful step that I practice daily.  I make the decision to turn my will and my life over to HP every morning.  I would much rather HP guiding my life than me guiding it.  I am a very willful person and I think I have all the answers.  If only my loved ones would just do what I tell them to do we would all be happy (NOT!!!)  In the morning when I turn my will and life over to HP I am putting myself and my loved ones in much more capable hands.  I am saying that I am not God and that I do not have all the answers.  When I take step 3, I am opening my life up for peace and serenity. Thank you for listening ~Barb S. (posted 3-01-2013)

¨      Lately I have been trying to remember to pray about Step 3 on a daily basis. One person suggested doing this every morning- praying for it or reading it, in order to help the day go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes I have to catch myself before reacting to a situation and quickly pray to turn the things over that I can't control. This has particularly helped me lately with letting go of a situation, and when I pray in the morning (or even though out the day) to turn things over, I feel more peaceful and have an easier time not obsessing and circle thinking around things. It helps me to remember that my Higher Power already has a wonderful plan in place for me, and to remember that I'm already taken care of, as well. ~anonymous (posted 1-03-2013)

¨      Making a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God can be a hard thing to do.  I first have to believe that there is a God that can help me.  What I really think happens is that I try everything that I can possibly think of to do in a situation and then when nothing works as a last resort I turn the problem over to God.  If I could just remember to turn the problem over right away, I could save myself a lot of stress.  God knows what is best and he also knows how to open doors that I could not possible open on my own.  I am going to try really hard to remember that he has my best interest at heart and that I can trust him to handle any situation that comes my way. Thanks for listening. ~ Barb S. (posted 3-12-2010)

¨      Early on in joining Al-Anon I received a “God Box’.  I have several of them now and after many years in Al-Anon I still have to put people in the box and let God take care of them.  I use to turn over my Grandson Brent in the box but every few months his legs would be hanging out and I would have to put him back and let God take care of him.  I still try to fix and take care of loved ones but I am reminded that I cannot do it by myself.~ Mary Lou L. (posted 3-01-2010)

Step 4

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

¨      Think positive qualities, not just the negatives and that line of thinking will turn your recovery into a more pleasant journey! ~ Anonymous (posted 4-19-2013)     

¨      The peace I find in the fourth step begins and ends with the Blue Workbook. I think it may have saved my spirits when I first came to Al-Anon and had little hope left. I loved the workbook because it led me into a gentle and kind inventory that was neither frightening nor harsh. I needed the logic and reason that was built into it. Some of us are already hard enough on ourselves without needing a punitive moral inventory that puts us on the defensive. I am one of those overly or maybe highly sensitive people that is afraid of being judged critically. The fourth step became a life raft for my emotions and my self-esteem during troubled times. Tranquility often comes for me in the form of a scheduled and routine day of easy rhythms and plans.  My pride may lead me to take on more than I can handle, and so I scale back and try to keep my day simple. A daily inventory helps me feel the balance of how a day passed and how tomorrow can be better. ~Jan T. (posted 4-03-2013)

¨      An easy morning is a rested one with hope rather than groggy despair. When I feel ready and awake to take on the day, I know my program is working. Peace feels like having a helping of God's grace and some hope for another day. How does this work? The inventory helps me unload each day onto a journal or a paper. The burden of a weight is lifted. I also get to see my reactions and longings as they unfold. The fourth step slowly helps me deal with my grief or my jealousy or my feelings of entitlement. Taking an inventory with my home group helps me see a deeper purpose for each question in the guide book. I learn so much and have so much to be grateful for. I am certain that after many years working on the inventory, it will be thorough and I have grace behind me to keep going. I invite others to try the fourth step in a gentle way and to embrace the design of forgiving oneself for our shortcomings.  My thanks go out to my home group and the wonderful support they offer over and over. May you also be filled with more peace. ~ Jan T. (posted 4-03-2013)

¨      Taking the Step 4 inventory has been a wonderful tool to use for my recovery process.  Many people are afraid to take this step but it is important to not skip it.  I have heard at a meeting that a person is not ready to take the Step 4 inventory until they are able to look at the positive parts of their character and not just the negative.  If we only have negative things to say about ourselves then we are not ready.  It has also been suggested that we do not take a Step 4 inventory unless we have got the first 3 steps down.  There are many ways to take an inventory and it is important to work this step with a sponsor.  So if you have not yet worked on step 4, it is important to give it some thought because until we know where we are at we cannot possibly know where we are going.  Thanks for listening.~ Barb S. (posted 4-01-2013)

¨      For me, the most important words in Step 4 are "searching" and "fearless." I was excited at first to start Step 4 because I like having tasks or hands-on things to do, and the first three steps didn't have a "project" for me to work on or complete. I did the "Blueprint for Progress" and was excited to start it at first, then became uncomfortable with answering a lot of the questions for defects I didn't want to look at. I ended up putting off those ones until last (which was fine). I still don't like to go back and look at my answers to some of the questions, but without having done this step, I wouldn’t have a starting point for myself in terms of defects that I can strive to remove. The good thing is that now I can more easily see when these defects are coming out, and a lot of the inventory showed my positive traits, too! Without taking an honest look and without facing the fear of parts of myself I don't like, I would not have the opportunity to grow through recognizing these defects. ~Angela (posted 11/06/2012)

¨      I have taken many 4th step inventories and I have learned a great deal from each one.  I like the reading in the book “How Alanon Works” that says if we owned a toy store we would not hesitate to take stock of our inventory.  If there were too many teddy bears or not enough frisbies it would be important to know.  Well it is the same for me, if I am low on patience or if I am taking care of everyone else’s needs above my own, I need to know this so I can make a change.  It is also very important to list the good qualities as well as the bad ones.  It is really easy for me to list my bad qualities while forgetting I have good ones.  If I am taking care of myself as well as focusing on myself, I will be able to see my good qualities.  My goal in life is to live happy, joyous and free.  If I keep my side of the street clean and keep my nose out of everyone else’s business I can reach my goal.  Thanks for listening. ~ Barb S. (posted 4-06-2010)

Step 5

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

¨      When I was working on my 4th step inventory it was suggested that I do the 5th step soon after I was finished.  Uncovering all my wrongs in my 4th step was very emotional so I took my friends suggestion and quickly did my 5th step in order to get rid of the baggage of my past.  After I read my 4th step to another human being I ripped it up and threw it away at the gas station down the street from my house.  After I threw it away, I felt like a 1,000 pound weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It takes a lot of energy to carry around garbage so once I did my 4th and 5th step it freed me up to live a more productive and happy life. ~Barb S. (posted 5-03-13) 

¨      A Trustworthy person with a gentle manner can make or break this step for a new Al-Anon member. We are all humans who’ve ‘Been there–done’ that - so listen, love and encourage them to not hold onto the failings. ~Anonymous (posted 4-26-2013)

¨      Step 5 Admitting to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs sounded really scary to me at first. Some of the things that I had written in my inventory, I was scared to tell even my sponsor about at first. I didn't even like writing some of the wrongs because I felt bad about them when remembering them. I remember admitting everything to my Higher Power through praying and then talking to my sponsor about the inventory. She was very supportive and non-judgmental about everything, and it ended up not being scary at all. Afterward, I felt relieved that I had told someone about everything I'd done wrong and was still accepted by them.~ Angela (posted 12-22-2012)

¨      I really like step 5 it allows a great weight to fall from my shoulders when I mess up. I am human, I am not perfect and I will make mistakes.  However, when I do I need not carry around the weight of my mistake.  I can talk to God about it, then another person about it and then I can let it go.  Usually I will bring it up at a meeting.  Once I talk about something it looses its power to dominate my thoughts and my life.  I love these steps they allow me to live happy, joyous and free!! Thanks for listening. ~ Barb S. (posted 5-06-2010)

Step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

¨      Step 6 has always given me a little bit of trouble.  It overwhelms me to think I have to have God remove all of my defects at once.  Instead what I do is I work on the defect that is giving me the most trouble.  Once I am able to remove one then I can work on another one.  The defect that I am currently working on is perfectionism.  I think that I have to be perfect and everything that I do has to be perfect.  I am not perfect; I was not made perfect so I have to ask God to remove this defect.  Thankfully I do not have to work this step on my own I have my HP as well as the support of Al-Anon to help me with my defects. Thanks for listening~ Barb S. (posted 6-05-2013)

¨      Step 6-When I think about Step 6, I believe it is about looking honestly at ourselves and deciding in that moment that we sincerely want to reject the thinking and actions that have kept us separated from our Higher Power, who I call God. In Step 6 we are alone with our thoughts. We know what our faults are and we know that we want to be free from them and we know that God can deliver us from them. In Step 5 we admitted these faults and now (in Step 6) we work through the emotions associated with them - the anger, the sadness, the jealousy, the disappointment; and eventually focus on the freedom that is waiting for us, through the love and forgiveness of God. It is time. The moment is now. We are entirely ready! ~ Therese L.  (posted 6-01-2011)

¨      Step 6 can be a challenge for me as it says to be entirely ready to remove ALL our defects of character.  I am not sure if I can remove all of them at once in fact I know I can not.  I work this step by taking one character defect at a time and working on it.  For example I can get impatient with my loved ones and when I do I say things that I regret later.  What I am doing to work on this is I practice HALT.  HALT stands for am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?  If I am, I try to address it before I take it out on my loved ones.  I also have to remember that I am not working this step alone and it clearly says that God will remove the defects so now I have to let go and let him do just that. ~ Barb S. (posted 6-15-2010)

Step 7

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

¨      Step 7 Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.  In order to work on this step, I have to understand what the word humbly means. The dictionary defines it as marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude or spirit not arrogant or prideful.  Now that I understand what humbly means, I can correctly go to HP and ask Him to remove my shortcomings so I can live a more peaceful life.   I am so very thankful for the tools of Al-Anon that help me improve my life.  Thanks for listening. ~ Barb S. (Posted 7/07/2013)

¨      Step 7 Whenever I read this step, I think of my Higher Power and how great his healing power can be and that I am just a small humble person looking for help. I also realize that He may remove my shortcomings now or later and that I need to work to improve myself too. We are in this together, my Higher power and Me. ~Cheryl B. (posted 7/02/2013)

¨      Step 7 - To me the first word in this step is the most important.  When I can humbly go to HP it means I am open to His help and most days I need a lot of help from Him!  I have many shortcomings but what I do is I work on the one that is giving me the most trouble first.  I heard someone say that they asked HP to replace their shortcoming with something positive so I also try to do that.  The biggest one giving me trouble right now is that I have a hard time keeping the focus on myself.  I have loved ones that are not choosing recovery right now and I am letting it make my life unmanageable.  So what can I do about it?  I can become humble and ask HP to remove the shortcoming and ask for His help in keeping the focus on myself.  I can also go to lots and lots of meetings!!!!  Thanks for listening. ~Barb S. (posted 7-07-2010)

Step 8

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

¨      Step 8 - Sometimes the weight of 'harming others' can feel like a burden.  Making a list is all this step asks...preparing for the succeeding Step Nine, which we actually only doing WHEREVER POSSIBLE.  Taking a task, and breaking it into manageable segments, is truly freeing.  Remember, our Higher Power helps us to do those difficult actions.     ~ Anonymous (posted 8-08-2013)

¨      Step 8 - Before I attempted to make my step 8 list someone suggested that I put my name on the top of the list.  At first I thought that was odd but now I understand completely.  The disease of alcoholism and drug addiction had left me scarred and I also needed to make amends to myself.  It was also suggested that I make a list with 3 columns.  The first column being people that I think I could make amends to, the next column being people that I could make amends to and then the last column being people that I do not think I could ever make amends to.  Putting the people I had harmed into these columns helped it not seem so overwhelming.  Remember the only thing required in this step is to make a list and to become willing. Thanks for listening. ~ Barb S. (8-08-2013)

¨      Step 8 - I have heard it said that this step is way easier than step 9 where you actually have to start making the amends and I have to agree making the list is less scarey!!!   I have been in this fellowship a long time so I have already made the list and also made the direct amends.  What I do today is a daily step 10 which is continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.  I love these steps they help me live a simple and happy life.  If I do what the steps suggest, I do not have to carry around resentments or even guilt when something negative has occured in my life.  Before Al-Anon, I let resentments build and I had to carry around a lot of baggage.  Today if I can help it I don't do that.  If I have a situation that is bothering me, I look at it and find out what my part is in it then I make the amends.  One of the best things that works for me is that when I have to deal with difficult people what I remember is that I don't want to say something that I would have to make an amends for later on so I generally keep my mouth shut!!!  I love Al-Anon it works if you work it and as we say at the meetings your worth it!!!!  Thanks for listening. ~Barb S. ( posted 8-12-2010)        

Step 9

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

¨      Step 9 - Making direct amends to people can be very hard but what I have found with almost all of the amends I have made that I felt so much better once I did it.  I do not like having to carry around heavy baggage and that is what happens when I don’t make an amend.  I had years of baggage that I was carrying around and then when I started making amends to people the load lightened.  Today I practice step 10 and promptly admit when I am wrong because I need to be free of the baggage which helps me live a much happier, healthier life. Thanks for listening~Barb S. (posted 9-19-2013)

¨      Step 9 - Making direct amends to people can be scarey especially if the person I need to make amends to is not a nice person.  I try very hard to not say or do anything that requires me to make an amend but I am not perfect and I slip up.  When I have a slip I ask my Higher Power for the help to make the amend.  Someone said at a meeting that they do not force the amend, they wait until the opportunity arises for them to make the amend.   That really helped me a lot.  I am such a perfectionist and go getter but what I have to remember is that the Higher Power is in charge and all I have to do is pray about it and He will open the door for me to make the amend. Thanks for listening~Barb S. (posted 9-06-2010)

Step 10

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

¨      Step 10 – I love Step 10. When I continually view and review my actions and words in the context of my Al-Anon program, I know I can keep myself on track. It is sometimes difficult to do this. When I am stressed or upset it is not easy to remember to practice my program.  But when I do work Step 10, I can keep a “clean slate” by addressing the issues I need to in the moment. ~ Therese L. (posted 10-24-2013)

¨      Step 10 – Sometimes I can just get so used to doing the same thing and not looking if it’s still the best thing to do. By taking a fresh look and inventory of it, I may see I need to change. I need to be honest with myself if I do need to change. With Al-Anon’s help I can make better choices. ~ Cheryl B. (posted 10-24-2013)

¨      Step 10 – When I use this recovery tool, I feel a huge relief that I don’t have to harbor any more guilt for my wrong doings.  It’s a great growth opportunity as well, to end my day by reviewing things I can improve. ~ Anonymous (posted 10-24-2013)

¨      Step 10 – This is one of my favorite steps.  Today if I have a situation where I did not act appropriately I can promptly go to that person and make amends.  I no longer let issues pile up until they overwhelm me.  Before I did my 4th step inventory I was carrying around a huge bag of garbage and it was very heavy.  Once I did the 4th step as well as the other steps I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.  The last thing I want to do today is carry around garbage.  If I need to say I am sorry and clear the air I do and then I forget about it. My goal is to live a peaceful life and if I continue to work the 12 steps I will have a better chance at having the peaceful life I desire. Thanks for listening~Barb S. (posted 10-03-2013)

¨      Step 10 - This is my favorite step!  I love the fact that I can take an action that will help me feel better right away.  Before coming to the fellowship, I would let things pile up until I was carrying a huge bag of pain on my shoulders. Thankfully I do not do that anymore.  If I make a mistake, I promptly make an amends which keeps my side of the street clean at all times.  I love Al-Anon it makes me live so much more peaceful.  Thanks for listening~ Barb S. (posted 10-10-2010)

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 is one of my favorite steps.  I have heard it said that praying is talking to God and meditating is listening to God.  I talk to God throughout my day and I discuss things with Him as if he is a friend sitting next to me.  It is very important for me to stay connected with God, it is where I get my strength. I have found meditation an important tool for helping me bring balance into my life.  I started out with meditating for 5 minutes each morning and I am now up to 15 minutes.  I have a big tree in my backyard and I have 5 birdfeeders as well as a bird bath.  I sit in my dining room looking out the window and watch the birds feed.  I clear my mind of my troubles and if my mind starts to wonder I bring it back to the birds.  After I am done I feel balanced and at peace. Thanks for listening~Barb S. (posted 11-15-13)

¨      Step 11 - I really like step 11 because it is where I get my guidance.  Before Al-anon I thought I had to be the answer to everyone's problems by thinking of ways to solve everyone's problems.  Today I do not believe that.  I have a higher power and so do my loved ones and I can tap into that power anytime I want.  When I take time out of my day to have conscious contact with my higher power, I have peace in my life.  When I don't have contact with him my day is chaotic and I have no peace.  I believe that the higher power gave us the fellowship of Al-Anon because he knew we needed a power greater than ourselves to help us solve our problems.  I do not have the answers for my loved ones problems but the higher power does. When I work the steps, go to meetings and have fellowship with other Al-Anon members, I can remember this and my life has much more peace in it. Thanks for listening~Barb S. (posted 11-07-2010)

Step 12

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

¨      One thing that comes to mind when I read Step 12 is something I heard at an open AA talk. The speaker emphasized the word “the”…. Having had a spiritual awaking as THE result of these steps…… not “a” result of these steps – but like THE only result IS A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING. If I follow the 12 Steps, I’m GOING to have a spiritual awaking. This may be different for everyone. For quite some time I was a bit disappointed because I didn’t feel I experienced a ‘spiritual awakening’ but I keep coming back – and ya know what? I HAVE experienced what I consider a spiritual awakening. Several, in fact! The mere practicing these principles in all our affairs is an awakening in itself! It feels so good to carry the message! I’ll keep coming back and I’m sure I’ll have further spiritual awakenings. ~ Anonymous (posted 12-19-2013)

¨      By the time I reached Step 12 I was able to experience a spiritual awakening.  My awakening was a gradual awakening of my spirit.  For so many years I had run on adrenaline and reacted to situations in my life.  Once I was able to grasp the principles of Al-Anon and apply them to my life things began to change.  I no longer accepted unacceptable behavior, I no longer was a doormat and I started to speak up for myself.  At first this was not well received but after a while my loved ones adjusted and today my life is completely different than when I first walked through the doors of this fellowship.  I truly have had a spiritual awakening and I credit my Higher Power and Al-Anon.  Today no matter what comes my way I know I will be able to handle it with grace and peace.    Thanks for listening~  Barb S. (posted 12-11-2013)

¨      Step 12 really says a lot to me and I have to break it down into three sections.  First having had a spiritual awakening as the result of working these steps is huge for me!!  Before I got involved in this fellowship I had frozen feelings, the only feeling I could feel was anger.  As a result of working the 12 steps my feelings slowly thawed out and now I can feel a range of emotions from sad to happy.  I credit working the 12 steps for this awakening.  The second part of this step says to carry this message to others which I do by living my life following the principles of the Al-Anon program.  I try very hard not to react to negative behavior which only makes a difficult situation even more difficult.  This also allows me to keep the peace that I have worked so hard to attain. The third part says to practice these principles in all our affairs.  This means I bring the Al-Anon recovery program to every part of my life.  I can use the principles not only with the active alcoholics in my life but with everyone I have a relationship with. Reaching the 12th step was a huge milestone for me and one that I cherish.  I like what the suggested closings says, “If you keep an open mind you will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened.”  This really sums up what the fellowship has done for me and for that I will be eternally grateful. Thanks for listening~ Barb S. (posted 12-8-2010)

All 12 Steps!

General sharings on the Twelve Steps of Al-Anon

¨      Sharings on ALL 12 Steps will be added here!

 

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