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Chapter Five5


Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our directions.path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a way of lifemanner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to follow directions. take certain steps.

At some of these you may balk. You may think you canwe balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. We doubt if you can.But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that you are dealing with alcohol - cunning,we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for But there is One who has all power - That One is God. You must find Him now! power-that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures will avail youavailed us nothing. You standWe stood at the turning point. Throw yourself underWe asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Now we think you can take it! Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as your Program of Recovery:a program of recovery:

1. AdmittedWe admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.

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

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

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

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

6. Were entirely willing thatready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings - holding nothing back.

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

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

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

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him,as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual experienceawakening as the result of this course of action,these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You may exclaim,Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after, have been designed to sell youafter make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That you arewe were alcoholic and cannot manage your own life. could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power can relieve your alcoholism. could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God can and will. could and would if He were sought.

If you are not convinced on these vital issues, you ought to re-read the book to this point or else throw it away!

If you are convinced, you are now at step three, which is that you make a decision to turn your will and your life over to God as you understandBeing convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?