If you’ve spent any time around a 12 Step fellowship, then you know how important working the Steps is to your recovery in those programs. Some old-timers say that you can’t stay clean and sober in AA and/or NA without doing it. So, how do you work the Steps in AA & NA?
First, there’s no requirement for starting a 12 Step program. You don’t have to have a certain amount of clean time. You don’t have to attend a certain number of meetings per week. You can even start attending meetings, working with a sponsor and working the Steps while in rehab.
You just need to want to stop drinking and/or using.
You also need another person. The 12 Step fellowships are community-based programs, so you can’t really work the 12 Steps successfully on your own.
You might start working the Steps in a group or with a counselor during residential treatment.
Another option is to find a sponsor: a member of your 12 Step fellowship that can walk you through the process and provide support.
Sometimes, particular 12 Step meetings might offer casual Step work groups that meet outside of the usual meetings to discuss and walk through the steps together.
No matter who you work them with, there’s no one particular way to work the Steps (except for going 1 through 12!). Your sponsor or fellowship friends will suggest a rough program for you to follow to get the maximum benefit.
Working the Steps while in residential treatment can help give you a support system as you explore the difficult emotional and personal issues that may have contributed to your addiction.
But you can’t work the Steps while you’re drinking and using. Nothing happens ‘til you’re clean and sober.
It’s best to make it safely through detox before you try to work on any other aspects of your recovery, whether in residential treatment, in 12 Step fellowships, or both.
Or, if you’re not sure whether it’s time to quit, try our quick quiz HERE.