Alternative 12 Steps

Humanist 12 Steps

Buddhist Non-Theist 12 Steps

Secular Steps for Addiction Recovery

Proactive 12 Steps for Mindful Recovery

Russell Brand’s 12 Steps

Native American 12 Steps

A Freethinker’s Steps

Stoic 12 Steps

Pagan 12 Steps

Alan’s 12 Fucking Steps

Agnostic AA 12 Steps

Beyond Belief, Toronto Version

Practical 12 Steps

Gabe’s 12 Steps

Islamic 12 Steps to Recovery

Proactive Steps

Neil’s 12 Steps

Twelve Step Journal

Twelve Steps of Self-Confirmation

White Bison

Alcoholics Anonymous “Traditional 12 Steps”

Humanist Twelve Steps  

1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop drinking have failed.  2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.  

3. We turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have  struggled with the same problem.  

4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to  drink.  

5. We ask our friends to help us avoid those situations.  6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.  

7. We honestly hope they will help.  

8. We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we  hope to make amends.  

9. We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause  further harm.  

10.We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed.  11.We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.  

12.We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same  way. 

These steps were drafted by B. F. Skinner, 1972 Humanist of the Year Award Winner, and a  researcher and writer at Harvard University.  

A Buddhist’s Non-Theist 12 Steps  

1. We admitted our addictive craving over alcohol, and recognized its  consequences in our lives.  

2. Came to believe that a power other than self could restore us to  wholeness.  

3. Made a decision to go for refuge to this other power as we understood it.  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.  

5. Admitted to ourselves and another human being the exact moral  nature of our past.  

6. Became entirely ready to work at transforming ourselves.  

7. With the assistance of others and our own firm resolve, we  transformed unskillful aspects of ourselves and cultivated positive  ones.  

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed.  

9. Made direct amends to such people where possible, except when to  do so would injure them or others. In addition, made a conscientious  effort to forgive all those who harmed us.  

10. Continue to maintain awareness of our actions and motives, and when  we acted unskillfully promptly admitted it.  

11. Engaged through the practice of meditation to improve our conscious  contact with our true selves, and seeking that beyond self. Also used  prayer as a means to cultivate positive attitudes and states of mind.  

12. Having gained spiritual insight as a result of these steps, we practice  these principles in all areas of our lives, and make this message  available to others in need of recovery. 

These Steps were created by Bodhi, from Sydney, Australia. They can be found on the Realistic  Recovery website. 

Secular Steps for Addiction Recovery  

1. I admitted that I am an addict (alcoholic), and that my life had become  unmanageable. 

2. Came to believe that through honesty and effort, combined with the  help of others, I could recover from addiction.  

3. Made a decision to actively work a Twelve Step recovery plan to the  best of my ability.  

4. Completed a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself.  

5. Honestly admitted to myself and to another human being the results of  my inventory, including my defects of character.  

6. Became willing to change defects in my character.  

7. Accepted responsibility for my actions.  

8. Listed all persons I 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 I was wrong, promptly  admitted it.  

11. Sought to improve my conscious awareness of ethical principles and  values, and to use them consistently as standards for my decisions  and actions.  

12. Having matured as a person as a result of these Steps, I acknowledge  my commitment to help others and to continue to use these principles  in my daily life.  

Source: Twelve Secular Steps: An Addiction Recovery Guide, by Bill W., published in 2018. 

Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery  

1. I get it. What I’ve been doing is self-destructive. I need to change.  

2. I see the big picture: The way to stop relapsing into self-destructive  behaviors is to build a healthier sense of self.  

3. I have an action plan: From now on, I am squarely facing everything  that is in the way of feeling satisfied with my life.  

4. I honestly look at the effects of my actions on others and myself.  5. I take responsibility for my actions.  

6. I see that my knee-jerk reactions have to do with being in the grip of  more or less conscious fears.  

7. I strive to find my motivation in a deeper sense of who I really am,  rather than fear and defensiveness.  

8. I stop blaming and feeling blamed, with a willingness to heal the  wounds.  

9. I swallow my pride, and sincerely apologize to people I’ve hurt, except  when this would be counterproductive.  

10. I live mindfully, paying attention to the motives and effects of my  actions.  

11. I stay in touch with a broader sense of who I really am, and a deeper  sense of what I really want.  

12. A growing sense of wholeness and contentment motivates me to keep  at it, and to share this process with others who are struggling.  

Source: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery 

Russell Brand’s 12 Steps  

1. Are you a bit fucked?  

2. Could you not be fucked?  

3. Are you, on your own, going to ‘unfuck’ yourself?  

4. Write down all the things that are fucking you up or have ever fucked  you up and don’t lie or leave anything out.  

5. Honestly tell someone trustworthy about how fucked you are.  

6. Well that’s revealed a lot of fucked-up patterns. Do you want to stop it?  Seriously?  

7. Are you willing to live in a new way that’s not all about you and your  previous, fucked-up stuff? You have to.  

8. Prepare to apologize to everyone for everything affected by your being  so fucked-up.  

9. Now apologize. Unless that would make things worse.  

10. Watch out for fucked-up thinking and behavior and be honest when it  happens.  

11. Stay connected to your new perspective.  

12. Look at life less selfishly, be nice to everyone, help people if you can.  

Source: https://www.russellbrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/russell-brand-recovery the-program.pdf 

Native American 12 Steps  

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that we had lost control  of our lives.  

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could help us  regain control.  

3. We made a decision to ask for help from a Higher Power and others  who understand.  

4. We stopped and thought about our strengths and our weaknesses and  thought about ourselves.  

5. We admitted to the Great Spirit, to ourselves and to another person the  things we thought were wrong about ourselves.  

6. We are ready, with the help of the Great Spirit, to change.  7. We humbly ask a Higher Power and our friends to help us change.  

8. We made a list of people who were hurt by our drinking, and want to  make up for these hurts.  

9. We are making up to those people whenever we can, except when to  do so would hurt them more. 

10.We continue to think about our strengths and weaknesses, and when  we are wrong we say we are wrong. 

11.We pray and think about ourselves, praying only for strength to do what  is right.  

12. We try to help other alcoholics and to practice these principles in  everything we do. 

This version was prepared for Native Americans by the Umatilla Tribal Alcohol Program. 

A Freethinker’s Steps  

1. We admitted that we were alcoholics — that we suffered from an  addiction which is invariably fatal unless arrested.  

2. We hoped for recovery from our addiction.  

3. We committed ourselves to lifelong abstinence, staying away from the  first drink, a day at a time.  

4. We joined a fellowship of recovering alcoholics, who help each other  maintain sobriety.  

5. We honestly evaluated our lives, acknowledging both our strengths and  our weaknesses.  

6. We did our best to build on our strengths and to overcome our  weaknesses.  

7. We got our lives in order — dealt with the wreckage of the past — made  amends whenever feasible.  

8. We strived to be in good health: We stopped smoking, exercised, got  enough rest, and ate nutritious food.  

9. We determined to live in the real world, here and now, whether pleasant  or painful. We pledged allegiance to reason and evidence, rather than  superstition and dogma. 

10.We abstained from mind-altering drugs, including those prescribed by  physicians.  

11.We continued to share our experience, strength and hope with other  recovering alcoholics.  

12.We carried the message of sobriety to alcoholics who were still drinking 

John L, who has written a number of posts for the AA Agnostica website, got sober in February  1968 and at the time pledged: “If I lived I would help A.A. re-write the Steps, to put them into  good English.” In 2010 he wrote this alternative to the original 12 Steps. 

Stoic 12 Steps  

1. We accept that we are no longer managing our lives as rational and social  human beings. 

2. We came to understand that virtue: wisdom, self-discipline, justice, and  courage, can transform our lives; to regain our sanity and our place in  society  

3. We have decided to work for continual progress, to act upon what is ours to  change, and to accept what we cannot change.  

4. We have made a searching and honest assessment of our core beliefs, our  values, and our goals.  

5. We admitted to ourselves and to another person the nature of the moral  choices we have made in the past.  

6. We are entirely ready to work to improve our character, to examine our  impulses, our judgments, and our intentions.  

7. We humbly accept that we must control our irrational motivations and our  mistaken desires. 

8. We understand the social nature of humans, that we are all one family and  that justice is the supreme virtue.  

9. We have attempted to reconcile ourselves with whoever we have been  unjust, with the exception that in doing so would injure them or others.  

10. We continue to give continual scrutiny to our thoughts, emotions, and  intentions and to apply good judgment in all our acts. 

11. We sought through conscious attention and meditation to improve our  understanding of ourselves and our place in the world, wishing only to  understand how we should act socially and rationally for the common good.  

12. Having undergone a personal transformation through these steps we will  carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our  affairs.  

SOURCE: https://stoicrecovery.com/2018/02/04/12-stoic-steps/ 

Pagan 12 Steps  

1. We admitted that we were harming ourselves and others and that our  lives had become overwhelming.  

2. Came to believe that a power within ourselves and our world could  restore us to balance.  

3. Made a decision to move our wills and our lives toward that Divine  Presence.  

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

5. Admitted to ourselves, to the Divine Presence, and to others the exact  nature of our harm.  

6. Were entirely ready to have our harmful patterns replaced by ethical  coping skills.  

7. Asked the Divine to transform us, giving us rebirth in our lives.  

8. Made a list of all beings we had harmed, beginning with ourselves and  including our world, and became willing to make amends to them all.  

9. Made direct amends to all whenever possible, except when to do so  would violate the Rede.*  

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

11. Sought through action and meditation to improve our conscious  knowledge and contact with the Divine Presence, seeking only to  choose in harmony with the greatest good.  

12. Having had spiritual awakenings as results of these steps, we offered  this opportunity to others and practiced the principles in our lives.  

*The Rede is an ethical yardstick used by many Pagans, and especially Wiccans, and it means,  “If it harm none, do as you will.” (The Recovery Spiral, Cynthia Jane Collins, M.Div., p. 2.) 

Alan’s 12 Fucking Steps  

1. I’m fucked.  

2. There might be a way out of this fucking mess.  

3. Decide to level the fuck up.  

4. Take a good hard look at how fucked up I am.  

5. Tell someone else about all the fucked-up stuff I’ve been through. 6. Prepare to stop being such a fuck up.  

7. Try to stop acting so fucked up.  

8. Make a list of everyone I fucked over.  

9. Swallow my fucking pride and tell them I really fucked up, except when  doing so would fuck them harder.  

10. Keep an eye on my fucked-up thinking and behavior.  11. Chill the fuck out sometimes.  

12. Help the next poor fucker that walks through the door.  Group Of Drunks – Orlando 

Agnostic AA 12 Steps  

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had  become unmanageable.  

2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our  awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.  

3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the  collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before  us.  

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

5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human  being, the exact nature of our wrongs.  

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.  7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate 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 meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our  understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry  out that way of life.  

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to  carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all  our affairs.  

SOURCE: Originally published on the AA Agnostics of the San Francisco Bay Area website. 

Beyond Belief, Toronto Version, 12 Steps  

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had  become unmanageable.  

2. Came to accept and to understand that we need strengths beyond our  awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.  

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the AA  program.  

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

5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human  being, the exact nature of our wrongs.  

6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character. 7. Humbly sought to have our shortcomings removed.  

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 accept 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 mindful inquiry and meditation to improve our spiritual  awareness, seeking only for knowledge of our rightful path in life and  the power to carry that out.  

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to  carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all  our affairs.  

SOURCE: https://www.aatorontoagnostics.com/agnostic-12-steps.html  An Interpretation from The Beyond Belief Group in Toronto 

Practical 12 Steps (Jeffrey Munn)  

1. Admitted we were caught in a self-destructive cycle and currently  lacked the tools to stop it.  

2. Trusted that a healthy lifestyle was attainable through social support  and consistent self-improvement.  

3. Committed to a lifestyle of recovery, focusing only on what we could  control.  

4. Made a comprehensive list of our resentments, fears and harmful  actions.  

5. Shared our lists with a trustworthy person.  

6. Made a list of our unhealthy character traits.  

7. Began cultivating healthy character traits through consistent positive  behavior.  

8. Determined the best way to make amends to those we had harmed.  

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when  to do so would cause harm.  

10. Practiced daily self reflection and continued making amends whenever  necessary.  

11. We started meditating.  

12. Sought to retain our newfound recovery lifestyle by teaching it to those  willing to learn and by surrounding ourselves with healthy people.  

Jeffrey Munn is the author of Staying Sober Without God: The Practical 12 Steps to Long-Term  Recovery From Alcoholism and Addictions. It was published in January, 2019. 

Gabe’s 12 Steps  

1. We admitted we could not control our drinking, nor do without it, that our  lives had become unmanageable. 

2. We came to believe that others who had had or understood our problem  could help us return to and maintain sanity.  

3. We decided to accept what they said and act on their suggestions.  

4. We made a searching inventory of our bad feelings, of those aspects of our  own character that had contributed to these and of the harms we had done.  We noted occasions where we had done well and were glad of these.  

5. We showed the inventory to at least one other person and discussed it with  them.  

6. We accepted our moral and personal weaknesses, and accepted that they  needed to change.  

7. We became willing to admit those weaknesses to others, where appropriate,  and to heed any advice that they might offer.  

8. We became willing to make amends to those we had harmed.  

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

10.We continued to take personal inventory, when we were wrong promptly  admitted it and when we had done well, recognized this.  

11.We adopted a practice of meditation and one of reflection upon our place in  the world and how we could contribute to it.  

12.Having experienced a psychic change as the result of these steps, we tried  to carry this message to other alcoholics, and to practice these principles in  all our affairs. 

This Collection of Alternative 12 Steps was inspired by Gabe S, who had assembled a similar  collection, and so it’s only fitting that it begins with his version. Gabe’s story is on the AA  Agnostica website: A Higher Power of my Understanding. 

Islamic 12 Steps to Recovery  

1. We admitted that we were neglectful of our higher selves and that our  lives have become unmanageable.  

2. We came to believe that Allah could and would restore us to sanity.  3. We made a decision to submit our will to the will of Allah.  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.  5. We admitted to Allah and to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs.  

6. Asking Allah for right guidance, we became willing and open for  change, ready to have Allah remove our defects of character.  

7. We humbly ask Allah to remove our shortcomings.  

8. We made a list of persons we have harmed and became willing to  make amends to them all.  

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

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

11. We sought through Salaat (prayer service) and Iqraa (reading and  studying) to improve our understanding of Taqwa (God consciousness;  proper Love and respect for Allah) and Ihsan (though we cannot see  Allah, he can see us). 

12. Having increased our level of Iman (faith) and Taqua, as a result of  applying these steps, we carried this message to humanity and began  practicing these principles in all our affairs.  

SOURCE: There are some 21 Millati Islami groups across the United States who use this  adaptation of the Steps. Founded in Baltimore in 1989, the organization tries to “incorporate the  Islamic Way of Life with the traditional Twelve Step approach.” 

Proactive Steps – 5th Edition  

1. There is a big gap between what I do and how I want to be. My life is  spinning out of control.  

2. To get a grip, I need to find a gentle and open way to be with myself.  3. To find myself, moment by moment, I take a mindful pause.  

4. I look at my life systematically, to see patterns in how I have been  relating to people and situations.  

5. I look at my behavior patterns with compassion, to understand the  emotional logic behind them.  

6. I see how my behavior patterns have been ways of coping with what  feels overwhelming.  

7. I learn to accept the sense of vulnerability that comes from facing what  feels overwhelming.  

8. I explore alternative behaviors and rehearse them in safe settings.  9. I apply these new mindful behaviors in my everyday life.  

10. I keep paying attention to the causes and effects of my actions, and  act accordingly.  

11. I keep facing reality mindfully, moment by moment, with a mindful  pause.  

12. My life reflects a growing sense of respect and compassion for myself  and others.  

SOURCE: This is the 5th edition of the Proactive Twelve Steps. It is an alternative version of the  Twelve Steps, without God. It is not just for atheists and agnostics, but for everybody who  wants to make sense of how change happens. 

Neil’s 12 Steps  

1. We admitted that we suffer from a seemingly hopeless state of mind  and body.  

2. Came to believe that we could recover.  

3. Became open to changes in how we approach and respond to life.  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.  5. Reviewed our inventory with another human being.  

6. Became entirely open to change.  

7. Humbly affirmed our desire to change.  

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

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible.  

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

11. Sought through meditation to improve our understanding of ourselves,  our program and our progress.  

12. Having changed as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this  message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our  affairs.  

Neil F. describes these Steps as “my personal process. It is what I have used to guide my  recovery and day to day living.” He encourages others to use it or to create their own “from the  original template so that you have a process that you are comfortable with and that works for  you.” 

Twelve Step Journal  

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction/compulsion – that our  lives had become unmanageable. 

2. We came to believe that, like all human beings, our power was limited, and  we needed to learn to let go and learn from others.  

3. We made a decision to let go of control, assume a spirit of goodwill, seek  the wisdom of responsible others, and discover our true “voice within”.  

4. We made a searching and fearless inventory of our strengths and  weaknesses.  

5. We admitted to our journal, ourselves, and to another human being the  exact nature of our wrongs.  

6. Were entirely ready to listen to wise counsel and seek that still small voice  within to guide us to change our behaviors which have been harmful to  ourselves and others.  

7. Humbly began the process of deep change so we could overcome our  weakness.  

8. Made a list of all persons we have harmed, became willing to make amends  to them all, and to forgive those against whom we have held grudges.  

9. We 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. Through meditation and journaling we continually seek to clarify and  improve our own judgment and to consider the best direction and purpose  our lives can take.  

12. Having developed deeper wisdom and an appreciation of the spiritual as a  result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts and to  practice these principles in all our affairs.  

by Claudette Wassil-Grimm, M.Ed.. 

The Twelve Steps of Self-Confirmation  

1. I realize I am not in control of my use.  

2. I acknowledge that a spiritual awakening can help me to find a new  direction.  

3. I am ready to follow and stay true to the new path I have chosen.  

4. I have the strength and courage to look within and to face whatever  obstacles hinder my continued personal and spiritual development. 

5. I commit to become fully aware of how my use hurt those around me. 6. I am changing my life and developing my human potential.  7. I am proud of my strength and ability to grow.  

8. I will do all I can to make up for the ways I have hurt myself and others.  9. I will take direct action to help others in any way that I can.  10.I will strive to be self-aware and follow the new path I have chosen.  

11.I will continue to develop my potential through helping others and strive  to become fully conscious of myself and life around me. 

12. I will continue to develop my own human potential and spirituality and  will actively help others who cannot control their use of alcohol. 

These alternative 12 Steps are taken from an article by Christine Le, Erik P. Ingvarson, and  Richard C. Page which first was published in The Journal of Counseling & Development, Jul/ Aug 1995 (Vol. 73 Issue 6, p. 603-609). A copy of the article is available here in PDF format:  Alcoholics Anonymous and the Counseling Profession: Philosophies in Conflict. 

White Bison (Native American) 12 Steps  

1. Honesty  

2. Hope  

3. Faith  

4. Courage  

5. Integrity  

6. Willingness  

7. Humility  

8. Forgiveness  

9. Justice  

10. Perseverance  

11. Spiritual Awakening  

12. Service  

SOURCE: White Bison, Inc. uses a culturally appropriate recovery program for Native American  people that have a single-word version of the Steps in which “each of the 12 Steps is presented  from the perspective of the value that it reflects.” 

Alcoholics Anonymous “Traditional” 12 Steps  

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.  

SOURCE: Alcoholics Anonymous World Service https://aa.org/

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