How To Do The 12 Step Programme

Do you want change? Have you had enough?

Complete the 12 steps as outlined in book Alcoholics Anonymous, this study guide and change will simply happen, the Big Book 12 step program makes that so.  God bless

The primary idea is for us to recover through actually doing the steps as outlined in the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous fond nic-name for their primary text) and not as outlined by other ex-drunks who may need this study just as much as we do. The Big Book was written to prevent one ex-drunk from distorting the message within its pages.

How we did the 12 Step Programme

Before you begin make sure everyone is seated with a cup of tea or coffee (and a biscuit of course).

The group leader can call attention and begin with The Serenity Prayer (group prayer)

Group leader to read from here

The 12 steps were my last hope, and they worked. Alcoholism was lifted from me immediately after completing the steps for the first time. I learnt to continue my spiritual growth by carrying on with step 10, 11 and 12. The transformation was remarkable and God given.

Spiritual fulfilment can take many years, but to overcome alcoholism does not. Please do as I did and you too will get the same results. The fact is the 12 steps work. The Big Book explains how to do them.

This study is a method of how we attain to the solution, and give up the problem.

Read carefully through this Big Book study. Remember Jesus said where 2 or 3 of us gather he would be there.

How it Worked

This Big Book study was put together by Clarence H Snyder and a literary professor in Cleveland Ohio during the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It appeared to Bill W and Dr Bob that they finally had developed a workable solution to the age old problem of alcoholism. They both felt it would develop into something tremendous if it could be kept in its original form and not diluted or changed by word of mouth as one ex-drunk passed it on to another.

The two founders, along with the first few groups, discussed the possibility of a book that would explain in detail the life changing formula that alcoholics could follow. The book would contain stories, examples of individuals, hopeless alcoholics who had attained and continued to maintain their sobriety. This book when finished would afford thousand if not many millions of alcoholics and their families, whom Bill W, Dr Bob and other early members could not personally contact, the opportunity that the founders had had for a changed life. The book would also ensure for generations to come that this way of life as outlined in the book would not become distorted or changed in any way.

Let’s identify ourselves around the room. (Each person gives their first name only)

Leader then asks each group member

Why are you here?   What do you expect to get?   When did you have your last drink?

Leader explains

Success requires direction, discipline and perseverance.

Repetition is one of the laws of learning.

Learning is furthering what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they can know just as well as you. We are all learners, doers and teachers. (“Reminders of the Advanced Soul” Richard Bach – 1977)

Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten. B. F. Skinner (1904 – 1990) American Psychologist.

Leader explains further

This is not an AA meeting. This book study is based on Personal recovery only. To maintain unity and service we will attend meetings and become part of the fellowship. (Wait for agreement from each member)

This book study is a practical method of going through the recovery programme of Alcoholics Anonymous as shown in the Big Book which was written by Bill W in conjunction with 100 members of the Oxford Group in New York and Akron.

Leader suggests

Big Book only.    No drinking Stories.  No childhood stories.   No guilt.   No saying sorry.   No negatives.    Only Positives.   No trying just doing.

Leader read pages from Big Book

X1 Text book, basic text

Text  means “writing for the purpose of study”

Basic  means “essential foundation”

Alcoholics Anonymous is therefore a “text book” that must be studied to form an essential foundation for living.

X111 Precise (read paragraph from book)

P20 Specific. (read paragraph from book)

P29 Clear cut. (read paragraph from book)

Explain what ‘precise’, ‘specific’ and ‘clear cut’ mean in relation to recovery.

As we can see the Big Book is ‘precise’, ‘specific’ and ‘clear cut’. The book explains how to recover from alcoholism precisely and specifically and offers clear cut direction. Following the Big Book is therefore paramount to having the same kind of sobriety the earlier members had had.

It must be made clear that there is no wrong or right answers, there is only doing. When you all return next week we hope for different answers to enlighten us all.

To complete this book study you will need;

Big Book, A4 folder, A4 paper with holes and lines, dividers, pen, 3 coloured marker pens, (green, blue and yellow).

Week 1 Task

Leader explains members have seven days to complete tasks

You must complete 4/5 pages daily in order to complete the work on time.

Read Title Pages to page XXX11 and pages 567-568 (Appendix 2)

Suggested procedure;

  1. Each day read 4/5 pages and read through again marking up ‘Messages’ (blue highlighter)
  2. read through same pages again marking up ‘Promises’ (yellow highlighter)
  3. read through same pages again highlighting ‘Musts’ (green highlighter)

Using an A4 folder with dividers separating ‘Messages’, ‘Promises’ and ‘Musts’ you can collate them making sure you put page number and paragraph for references. After highlighting the above you can write them up as a list in your folder, stating page number and paragraph.

You can follow this example if you wish. Head the blue divider and first page;

(Examples) Messages

Page X1; 2nd paragraph; four lines down.

The first portion of this volume, describing the AA recovery programme has been left untouched in the course of revision…

Page X111; 1st paragraph

We of Alcoholics Anonymous are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book.

(Examples) Promises

Page XX1; top of page; 5 lines down

Yet it is our great hope that all those who have as yet not found the answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom.

(Examples)Must

Page 33; 2nd paragraph; 4 lines down

If we are planning to stop drinking there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.

Remember; the above are just examples. Take another look at the message on page X111, 1st paragraph and you can see that the comment could, perhaps, be a promise also. You must make up your own mind and just get on with it. It was suggested during my book study to highlight after your first thought when reading and not to ponder over decisions. THERE IS NO WRONG OR RIGHT. Also, you wont need to cover all the book, there will be large, and small, areas that you will not feel the need to highlight at all.

Okay, all good so far. To complete the study you will need 2 more dividers. On one write “Reoccurring Messages”, and on the other write “Reoccurring Phrases” and place these in the back of the folder. Using lined paper you can identify and begin a list of each.

“Reoccurring Messages” write up sentences that remind you of hope, willingness, open mindedness, responsibility, honesty, humility, faith and love. These are sentences that jump out at you and give you that extra meaning. They are messages that reoccurr every so often, something heart warming. They may be already listed in messsages, promises or musts. Nevertheless, it will be a good idea to really cement them into your thinking by writing them up again.

“Reoccurring Phrases” are two or three word terms that reoccurr like ‘hopless state’, or ‘have recovered’. You can collate these at the back of your folder also.

Last but not the least, you now must go back through the highlighted pages in the Big Book one last time to encircle God words and God phrases, like “power of good” or “the power”, or “spiritual”. Use a black pen so the circles can be seen clearly. You will be able to identify how close God is in all this.

By the end of this first week you should have collated Messages, Promises, Musts, Reoccurring Phrases and Reoccurring Messages up to page XXX11 and pages 567-568 (Appendix 2). You sould have also encircled God words and God phrases.

Now you need to take your folder and marked up Big Book along with you to week 2. Well done so far and God bless, Amen

WEEK 2

Well done you have returned to the group for your second week. Tea and coffee served we shall begin with;   The Serenity Prayer

Leader

Working around the room clockwise one person at a time reads a few pages, (depending on group size so all have a chance to read) reading Messages, Promises and Musts.

Leader

After each page, stop the reader and ask group if anyone has anything different. After each page the group share different Messages, Promises and Musts from the reading. This continues until the group have reached page XXX11 and pages 567-568 (Appendix 2).

Leader introduces Week 2 Task

Read 5/6 pages per day.
Read pages 1 to 29;   Chapter 1 “Bills Story”;  Chapter 2 “There is a Solution”

Same as last week. Collate them the same in your folder.

Well done so far and God bless you on this journey.

WEEK 3

Well done you have returned to the group for your third week. Tea and coffee served we shall begin with; The Serenity Prayer

Leader

Working around the room this time anti-clockwise one person at a time reads a few pages reading only Messages, Promises and Musts.

Leader

After each page, ask group if anyone has anything different. After each page the group share different Messages, Promises and Musts from the reading. This continues until the group have reached page 29

Leader introduces Week 3 Task

Read 3 pages per day.

Read pages 30 to 43; Chapter 3 “More About Alcoholism”

Same as last week. Collate them the same in your folder.

Well done so far and God bless you on this journey.

WEEK 4

Well done you have returned to the group for your forth week. Tea and coffee served we shall begin with; The Serenity Prayer

Leader

Beginning from the centre of the room to the left one person at a time reads a few pages reading only Messages, Promises and Musts.

Leader

After each page, ask group if anyone has anything different. After each page the group share different Messages, Promises, Musts and You Betters from the reading. This continues until the group have reached page 43

Leader introduces Week 4 Task

Read 3 pages per day.

Read pages 44 to 57; Chapter 4 “We Agnostics”

Same as last week. Collate them the same in your folder.

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