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What does “Working a Program” Mean?


Working the steps in a 12-step program of recovery, like alcoholics anonymous, isn't the only way to get sober, but it is an effective path. For decades, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped people recover from alcohol and drug abuse. "Working a program" in its simplest form means that you are actively practicing and participating in the 12-Steps. The 12-Step program gives you a set of principles to help guide you through your recovery. This means not only do you attend AA meetings but you follow through with all the step work and become part of the recovery community/fellowship.


These 12-Steps go beyond “just the classroom” and instead encourages you to utilize them in your daily life. It entails changing your daily practices, rituals and habits and setting goals for yourself. It's about participating in the meetings, not just being present. It's about talking through your issues, sharing your experiences, and helping others find their own way to recovery. Working the program requires obtaining a sponsor and working together through all 12 steps.


Getting Sober is Not The Hard Part...


If you are starting your journey to recover, you will soon realize that getting sober is not the hard part, staying sober is. To stay sober, you need the right tools to help you navigate through the difficult times. The 12-Steps gives you these tools and provides a firm foundation for your recovery growth.


Growth Through Fellowship


For those "working the program", one of the most rewarding and beneficial parts is the fellowship. The fellowship is a community of people just like you who are working towards recovery and helping others achieve a life of sobriety. It's a support system that lets you talk through your issues, share your experiences, and help others do the same.


Giving Back Not Giving Up


As you work through the program you will find that one of the key drivers for your personal sobriety success is to help others stay sober. At times you may feel like you are faltering - like there is no point to it all. That's when you utilize your support system. They are there to help and in turn, when they hit a rough patch, you are there to help them.


What are the 12 Steps?


For those new to the program, these are the 12 Steps. It's important to find a sponsor to help guide you through the steps. If you are looking for a sponsor, find an AA meeting in your area. They can guide you through the process of finding the right sponsor.
1. We 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 care of God as 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 ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make 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, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


While it may seem simple to follow 12 rules, they call it working a program for a reason. It’s not just something that can be completed in a day. You must constantly work on yourself and your recovery each day to achieve the life you want to live. Seek out a sponsor, start working your steps, go to meetings, and soon you’ll see how well the program works for you.