The Twelve Steps are a suggested spiritual program for people addicted to a substance or behavior. The Twelve Steps were initially created for Alcoholics – referred to as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) by Bill W. and Dr. Bob in 1935. The book Alcoholics Anonymous, lovingly referred to as “The Big Book,” was published shortly thereafter and explains these 12 steps and the suggested program of recovery for the people who were finding relief from what others had called “a seemingly hopeless condition of body, mind and spirit.” The Twelve Steps have been transferred over the last 73 years into a recovery model for all addictive behavior. When reading the Big Book or reading AA literature, those of us with other substance or behavioral addictions, substitute the addiction specific to us for the word “alcohol.” We find the steps fit for us as well; we identify absolutely.
This site is an offering of deeper support for all people suffering from addiction to a specific substance or behavior and those affected indirectly from someone else’s substance or behavioral abuse. While we are all addicted to our stressful thinking, those of us in recovery and doing The Work felt the need to create this site for those of us who may have or still are working their 12 step program of recovery and want to support themselves with the tools of The Work as a complement to their step work.
Currently there are 12 steps fellowships for:
AA – Alcoholics Anonymous
Al-Anon – for those directly affected by the substance abuse of a family member, friend, etc
OA – Overeater’s Anonymous (for Compulsive Overeating, anorexia and bulimia, compulsive exercising, body obsession)
NA – Drugs and Narcotics
DA – Debtor’s Anonymous
SLAA – Sex and Love Addiction.
Other fellowships exist for gambling, marijuana and the list goes on. Most fellowships have websites with meeting info and directories to find support locally in your area.
AN OUTLINE OF THE TWELVE STEPS
The Twelve Steps begin by admitting powerlessness over our addiction and that our lives have become unmanageable. (Katie would say when we believe our thoughts we have zero choice over our behavior in relation to that thought. If I believe I have to eat and I don’t question that thought, how could I not?) When I continue believing stressful thoughts and then act from them, my life becomes unmanageable. This is Step 1.
From here we come to believe in a power greater then ourselves (reality beyond our story) and surrender to that Power. We then proceed to take a moral inventory, tell the truth, get honest, make amends, drop into meditation and practice selfless service. Living this way, working these steps, hundreds of thousands of us have found we are relieved from our addictive behavior and /or substance. We don’t control or force anything. Rather it falls away as we put our attention on the internal house-cleaning and rigorous honesty necessary to maintain our spiritual condition.
Many of us, anchored in the 12 step world and recovery from addiction, have come across The Work of Byron Katie. We have discovered this work to be a powerful and potent variation of the steps. In the 4 questions and turnaround we are doing Steps 4-11. The willingness to do the work itself is like Steps 1-3 and we live in Step 12.
Katie says the work is for people who want it fast–who want to end suffering now. We hare excited to offer the incredible tools here to all those struggling with addiction and/or working a program. We have found the tools offered here support us in our program of our recovery.
Source of Addiction
All addiction stems from self will. SELF, meaning a concept of who-we-are based upon past experiences and WILL being a projection onto a future that does not yet exist that we are attempting to control. Most addicts discover from working the steps and doing The Work that what we are really addicted to is painful thinking based upon a past or future that is completely devoid of Reality: the present moment– right now. To put down our substance cold turkey is often impossible for many of us, because we are flooded and inundated with our stressful thoughts. Many of our thoughts are unconscious. We have believed stressful thoughts for so long that they feel like reality. It is not until we begin taking inventory and putting our resentments and fears in writing or sharing them with others or taking them to inquiry (not analysis) that the attachment to the substance or behavior begins to fall away on its own. This is often refereed to as “God doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”
Concept of God
If you have an issue with the word or concept of God this is NOT a problem. Neither the Twelve Steps nor The Work fall into a religion category. God or spirituality has a different meaning for each of us. All ways are welcomed here. We are interested in freedom and those of us who have had these psychic changes that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous speak about have surrendered our will to something greater than ourselves. Katie might call this God… or simply the essence of Love, the questioned mind.
Acccording to Byron Katie: “Addictions are always the effect of an unquestioned mind. The only true addiction to work with is the addiction to your thoughts. As you question those thoughts, that addiction ceases because you no longer believe those thoughts. And as those thoughts cease, as you cease to believe them, then the addictions in your life cease to be. It is a process. And there’s no choice; you believe what you think, or you question it.”
“People say, ‘There are too many concepts to question. ..I’ll never be done with it’…Well, you know, we begin right here, right now or not. But this is the only place we can begin and right here, right now is the only time you will ever have…..and now and now and now. We begin now.”
from an INTERVIEW WITH BYRON KATIE
Interviewer: Jim Guinness
So certainly your experience in 1986 is the defining point of your life from then on.
Q: And it certainly is very remarkable by your published accounts. Can you speak about what happened?
BK: What happened was, if I had to name it, a state of grace. And that state of grace came from realizing mind. I realized that mind was everything, and that it was nothing: by the time we think it, it’s gone, and only another thought would tell us that it existed at all. So that doesn’t leave much. (Laughs) But I noticed that no thought was true and that before thought there was nothing, and those realizations are where the questions of The Work came from. And it’s not just for me. Everyone can have that same realization now by using these questions.
Are you struggling with stressful thoughts about your body or a food addiction?
Take a look at your thoughts!