The Twelve Steps are considered the vital core of our recovery program and our path towards long-term freedom from our compulsions. But what does it mean to “work the Steps”? How do we actually move through the Steps and practice them in our lives?
There are as many ways to work the Steps as there are people in recovery. When we work the Steps, we explore a series of spiritual exercises that lead us towards a deeper self-awareness and understanding of our compulsive patterns. The Steps also guide us through a course of practical action that helps us build a healthier framework to cope with the stressors of our lives and heal the wounds that may underpin our addiction. Stepworking often involves periods of reading, writing, and sharing with others. It is essential that we not work the Steps on our own. Whether we’re working with a sponsor, a friend in the program, a stepworking group, or even someone in another program such as AA, working the Steps with someone else who can provide witness and compassionate feedback keeps us anchored and supported as we walk our path of recovery.
In ITAA, many members are available as sponsors. One of the best ways to connect with a potential sponsor is to reach out to someone who has stable recovery whose shares resonate with you and ask for their phone number. Once you get to know them more over a phone call, you might ask them whether they would sponsor you. A sponsor can suggest various methods for working through the Steps.
Our fellowship also regularly holds Twelve-Step workshops, structured opportunities to move through the Steps in a group setting. If you’re not able to attend the workshops, you can still read through the workshop materials and go through the exercises there.
Twelve-Step Fellowships have been around for nearly a century. There is an immense trove of wisdom available to us beyond ITAA, and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Reading literature from other programs can be a profoundly insightful experience. Below are some of the many resources available for understanding and working through the Steps:
- The Big Book of AA
- The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA
- The Narcotics Anonymous Step Working Guide
- The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous
- The Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous
- The Big Book of Eating Disorders Anonymous
- A Gentle Path through the Twelve Steps
- A Woman’s Way Through the Twelve Steps (Workbook)
These are just a few of the dozens of guides that exist for working through the Steps, and we encourage you to avail yourself of whatever resources are most resonant and helpful in your own recovery journey.
Page last updated on November 11, 2023