Chapter 5, page 58, Big Book of Alcoholic’s Anonymous
have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our 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
manner 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 ready to
take certain steps.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer
way. 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
Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without
help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One
is God. May you find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
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.
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 make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
Reprinted from the book of Alcoholics Anonymous ®
Copyright © 1939, 1955,1976, 2001, by A.A. World Services Inc.