I want to begin with the 12 steps because, well, that is the beginning for me. Almost everyone in the US has heard of the twelve steps. I’d imagine there are some people who haven’t – maybe those who are too young or who have lived under a rock. Social issues are everywhere and there’s generally a 12-Step program for that: alcoholism, drug addiction, overeating, family members of alcoholics or addicts, etc. Early in my recovery, I was exposed to a 12-step program and I have utilized these 12 steps for the last 12 years.
I have considered the 12 steps and I believe that each applies to recovery of all types. I have adapted them to recovery from domestic violence with brackets.
Here they are:
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over [our relationship] – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs [and those wrongs done to us].
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed [and who had harmed us], and became willing to make amends to them [and forgive those who harmed us].
Step 9: Made direct amends [and forgiveness] to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them, [ourselves], or others.
Step 10: Continued to take a personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to [other survivors], and to practice these principals in all our affairs.
Originally, I thought that they should be different. But, really that’s not necessary because those AA fellows boiled recovery down to the very basics. There’s not much to add or to subtract here. Coming back from losing yourself in any manner requires these steps. There’s a lot to them and there’s more to post on that later. The basics are these 12 steps and the desire to do better and be better – that is what will get you to the person you want to be.
12 steps gathered from – “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions“, https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/twelve-steps-and-twelve-traditions