Friday, 13 June 2008

Al anon 12 steps

Gods earth can heal alcoholics
Gods earth - nature is beautiful and healing. Let's heal ourselves through touching nature not by a faith in a God. Photo copyright Sergio_One

I don't understand it. The Al anon 12 steps seem to be the same as the AA 12 steps. In other words both the alcoholic and the victims alcoholism are meant to believe in the same creed. How can that be? Have I got this wrong?

In my language (as I can't copy them due to copyright laws but there is a link below to a site where you can see them) - the Al anon 12 steps are:

1. We are powerless over alcohol and our lives are unmanageable. I don't get this as it is the alcoholics life that is unmanageable and the partner who is trying to make it manageable for the alcoholic partner. Sure life is not great for those very close to an alcoholic but I am not sure it is unmanageable. Perhaps it has become that way for some and is the reason why they have gone to Al anon.

2. We need to believe that a greater power than ourselves can help us. Well sorry, but I don't believe that. It's as simple as that. And I am not sure it is a good idea to think that as it seems to be passing the buck. We need to take charge don't we?

3. We have to make a decision to hand our lives over to God as we perceive a God. I guess the person who wrote this originally was a religious person and a firm believer. I don't believe in a God any God. Where is the evidence? And to hell with faith.

4. We need to take an honest look at ourselves. Why? This implies we are the wrong doers. Maybe sometimes we are but a of the time we are innocent victims it seems to me. Sure we can be forced to be bad due to the circumstances we are under sometimes but that is by force of circumstance created by the perpetrator, the alcoholic or am I being too bullish and uncaring?

5. We have to admit our wrongs. Once again I don't get it. But yes we should all of us as a matter of course admit our wrongs but this point is not alcohol related.

6. Be ready for our God to remove our failings. Don't agree, sorry. We remove our own failings in my opinion.

7. Ask our God to remove out failings. As above.

8. List the people we have harmed and make amends. Yes agree but not alcohol related.

9. Make direct amends to people we have hurt. As above 8.

10. Admit we are wrong when we are wrong. Yes, as above but not specific to alcohol problems.

11. Through prayer and meditation improve contact with our God. Don't believe in this - do you?

12. Through a spiritual awakening acquired through the above steps to pass this on to others. I am not a missionary and missionaries have caused untold misery in foreign lands over the last century and still do. [they do some good too in terms of their non-religious work].

Well this is the first time I have seen these Al anon 12 steps and they smack of a missionary trying to convert the fallen! It looks like the person who started AA - Alcoholics Anonymous was a priest or some other person in the church and that her wanted to bring fallen people to God. I'll do some research on that next time.

Conclusion: these Al anon 12 steps don't suit me. They feel all wrong.

Al anon 12 steps to


  1. Hi,

    In my limited experience with Alanon (because of an addicted child) my understanding is that we are powerless over the consumption of alcohol by others. In other words, no matter what I tried to do, I could not get my son to stop using drugs and now, three years later, that is still true. Two rehabs, kicking him out of the house, letting him back it, this and that, over and over, and he's still a user. Nothing I can do will stop him. Only he can make that choice.

    In coming to alanon, I discovered that I was an alcoholic. Switched from alanon to AA. So far, so good.

    My opinion, of course.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the comment. I was a bit bullish in my criticism of the 12 steps but I'm not sure they are for me.

  3. Have you gone to many Alanon meetings? The steps as you have outlined them are not as cut and dry as they may initially appear. Especially with respect to the use of a higher power and the reference to "God". If you study with the program, you will find that you will develop a clearer understanding and definition of "your" higher power. We all have one, we may not always recognize what it is. Alanon is a spiritual program, not a religious one, and there is a BIG difference.


I'd like to hear the experiences of both alcoholics and the victims of alcoholics, please.