The 12-Step Recovery Toolkit

Overview

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Recovering addicts work the 12 steps because their lives depend on it. Accessing a Higher Power and acting upon the Higher Power's will is a means for lasting recovery and survival. The 12-Step Recovery Toolkit offers a simple yet effective way to tap into that Higher Power and receive guidance on how to incorporate the twelve steps, tools, and slogans into daily...

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The 12-Step Recovery Toolkit

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Overview

"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Recovering addicts work the 12 steps because their lives depend on it. Accessing a Higher Power and acting upon the Higher Power's will is a means for lasting recovery and survival. The 12-Step Recovery Toolkit offers a simple yet effective way to tap into that Higher Power and receive guidance on how to incorporate the twelve steps, tools, and slogans into daily life.

Whether you have a problem or just need a little extra guidance, the cards in The 12-Step Recovery Toolkit allow the recovering addict to ask questions of their Higher Power and pull one or more cards for inspiration and advice. This is a deck that every recovering addict should have in his or her arsenal of 12-step tools.

A recovering addict herself, Stacey J. felt compelled to create the toolkit to help others work the steps and make their way through the program.

The 12-Step Recovery Kit is a tool for recovering addicts created by a recovering addict.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573244602
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 689,284
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stacey J. is a children's TV producer, a graduate student in Jungian therapy, and a recovering addict. One day, an idea came to her and would not leave her alone. It combined the Jungian principle of synchronicity which makes the selection of 'random' Tarot cards meaningful with the principles of 12-step recovery that have saved her life. The result is a new Step II recovery tool which she hopes will be helpful to 12-steppers anywhere who seek to do the will of their Higher Power.

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Read an Excerpt

the 12-step recovery toolkit


By Stacey J

Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC

Copyright © 2010 Stacey J
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60925-047-8



CHAPTER 1

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Surrender! You are doing a lousy job running the show.


The 12 & 12 of AA says that "only through utter defeat are we able to take our first step toward liberation and strength. Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built" (The Big Book, p. 21).

When you see that your addiction has ruled every part of your life, when you realize that nothing you have tried can give you the willpower to put down your substance or stop your addictive behavior, then you can finally admit defeat. Now you can surrender and stop fighting anybody and anything. Now you can "trudge the road of happy destiny. "


2.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.

You are powerless in this situation. The sooner you admit defeat, the sooner your Higher Power can help.

How is this situation unmanageable? Is it overwhelming, or is it not turning out the way you planned? Trying to control the outcome is the controlling behavior of an addict. By admitting defeat now and turning it over to a power greater than yourself, you make way for real change. By letting go of the reins, you allow Grace to transform the situation.

Your job is to accept things as they are. To do this, you pick up the kit of spiritual tools laid at your feet by the 12-step program and use them as though your life depended upon it—which it does.


3.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Have faith! Look at the miracles your Higher Power has already brought to you and realize you are being taken care of in this situation, as always.


Before recovery, your addiction was a bottomless pit that no amount of booze or food or any addictive behavior could ever fill.

Remember the series of coincidences that brought you into the room of a 12-step program? And if you returned from relapse, recall the coincidences and divine providence that brought you back.

If your Higher Power could achieve that kind of miracle on such a tough case (you), it can certainly handle your current situation! Allow gratitude for your freedom from the obsession to flood your being, and trust that there is no situation too great or too small for your Higher Power to assist you.


4.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Don't forget to pray about the challenge you face now! Have faith that this too can be transformed by your Higher Power.


Sometimes we forget to ask our Higher Power for guidance with challenges besides our addiction.

But the people who experience the promises of The Big Book coming true for them are those who turn everything in their lives over to their Higher Power. Remember, we don't just have an addiction problem: we have a living problem.

So pray about the challenge you are facing now and work it through the steps in the same way you worked your addiction through the steps. Why not invite this amazing power in to help in this circumstance? Why not experience a miracle here too?


5.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us, and the power to carry that out.

Turn yourself over completely to your Higher Power, holding nothing back. Pray to know your Higher Power's will for you anddo it in this situation.


You are an addict, and if you practice your disease, you will die. When you walked through the door of your first 12-step meeting, when you collected your first Serenity chip, when you approached your first sponsor, you made a decision to accept help.

Now what you must do is make a decision once again to ask your Higher Power's will for you in this situation. Are you willing to admit you need help as you did with your addiction? Your serenity is only as great as your willingness to give up your will at any moment and allow your Higher Power's will to be manifested in your life.

Remember, if you really depend upon your Higher Power, you can't be the Higher Power here or ever.


6.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us, and the power to carry that out.

Turn it over to your Higher Power! To seal the deal, put it in the "God jar!"


If you have a "God jar," write down your dilemma, phrasing it as if the solution has already arrived. Thank your Higher Power for having taken care of it. Then put the slip of paper in the jar (I like to plant a kiss on each request!) and every time your mind returns to worrying, remind yourself that your Higher Power is lovingly handling the situation in miraculous ways.

If there is an action for you to take in this circumstance, your Higher Power will plant that knowledge within you at the right time. If you don't have that awareness now, then wait and trust.


7.

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

It is time right now to examine your motives and clean up your side of the street. Where have fear, selfishness, inconsiderateness, and dishonesty been running the show?


Sometimes we get complacent and old behaviors creep in. We addicts have mental and emotional twists that exaggerate our instincts with regard to emotional and financial security, self-esteem, ambitions, and personal and sexual relations. Our fears also grow out of proportion with actual circumstances. By doing a 4th step inventory on this situation, you'll see how your exaggerated instincts blew the situation out of proportion. With these insights, make an amend for any harms done and continue the process of growth and self-awareness that is a reward of the 12-step program of living.


8.

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

Do a 4th step inventory right now, focusing on how you got the ball rolling.


The most effective step 4 is the one you do when the resentment, fear, or harm is right in your face. All the energy of that disturbance fuels the greatest shift in your perception when you look honestly at your part and pray to treat the person disturbing you as you would a sick friend. The ugly truth is, if we fall into our addiction, we will die. And we'll take those we love along with us. It would be nice if we were the sort of people who did a 4th step because we wanted to be better people, and sometimes that's true. But the most important reason to do a 4th right now when you're most disturbed by someone or something is that the 4th brings the shift that takes you from selfish, raging addict to a person who is happy, joyous, and free. So roll up your sleeves and get down to work!


9.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Tell your sponsor or someone you trust about what is bothering you, being ruthlessly honest about your part.


Tell your sponsor about this situation, holding nothing back. Your sponsor will help you to gain some perspective. It's been said that we're only as sick as our secrets. Sharing the nitty-gritty details of your behavior with your sponsor, no matter how bad the behavior is, is what allows your Higher Power to come in and transform you into the person you are meant to be. By ridding yourself of guilt, you can change your thinking, then your behavior, and then your life!


10.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Is there a behavior you are keeping to yourself? Share it with your sponsor and bring it into the light of day so that it doesn't grow in darkness to one day threaten your abstinence or sobriety.


Have you been ashamed of an action or behavior and been unwilling to share it with your sponsor or another member of your fellowship?

When you do this, you give that secret power. It grows in darkness, getting stronger while you deny its existence. If you continue to keep this secret, it will one day be much too big for you and actually threaten your recovery.

So diffuse the situation now. Pray for the willingness to be honest about this behavior. Share it with someone else. Let the light in and watch something dark and festering begin to heal through the miracle of the 12 steps.


11.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

What character defect of yours is at work here? Is it now so objectionable that you are ready to let it go? Or, do you need a few more turns on the merry-go-round?


When you come face to face with a character defect or another way in which a stubborn personality trait is wreaking havoc in your life, it is a golden opportunity to adopt an attitude of surrender and willingness to be changed. Did you ever think you could put down your addictive substance for one day? One week? A whole entire year? If your Higher Power can work that miracle in your life, then surely He or She can take your defects from you and replace them with their opposites. A selfish addict can serve others. A dishonest drunk can make an honest amend. A fearful addict can courageously accept responsibility.

All you need to do now is be willing to acknowledge your character defect and have faith that your Higher Power can transform it.


12.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Is one of your character defects blocking you from knowing and doing your Higher Power's will in this situation?


You were born with the talents given to you by Grace. You were born with a God-given purpose. But through your life and when you fall off the beam of recovery, you nurture character defects that separate you from your gifts and your Higher Power.

Ask yourself Why am I here? Am I being who my Higher Power wants me to be in this situation? If you cannot feel a sense of the answer within or if it is clear you are acting from self-will or another character defect, stop. Become quiet.

Become aware of the wreckage this defect has caused and be willing to have it removed. Then proceed with working the steps so that you can realign with your Higher Power's purpose for you. Thy will, not mine, be done.


13.

Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

The old you is running this show! Become aware of which character defects are in effect, get down on your knees, and ask for their removal.


Do you recognize the old you in this situation? It is possible that your Higher Power is showing you a character defect which blocks you from doing His or Her will?

As an addict, you wandered far from the person your Higher Power intended you to be. In your 12-step program, you are removing those old behaviors in the time and order that your Higher Power sees fit. Now is that time!

Name the defects operating here, get down on your knees, and ask for the willingness to have these defects removed. If you are resistant to getting down on your knees, consider it humility therapy, recommended in equal proportion to the unwillingness to do it!


14.

Step 7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

A character defect is warping your perception in this situation. Where might you be looking through a veil of fear, selfishness, or lack of faith?


Has self-centered fear crept in and taken over your perception of this situation? Are you afraid you won't get what you desire? Do you fear you will lose something precious? Do you fear that your Higher Power is not taking care of you or bringing about your highest good?

What is needed here is humility. Who are you to tell God how to work in your life? Your Higher Power's plan is much greater for all than your limited notion of what is good for you. Humbly ask for removal of your self-centered fears and turn your thoughts to how you can serve others and serve God. Thy will, not mine, be done.


15.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Are you inadvertently harming someone by your action or inaction? Have you truly acknowledged your part in this situation?


Are you feeling at all guilty for your actions or inactions? Or are you so busy defending yourself that you can't listen quietly to the still, small voice within? If you are feeling defensive, you may be feeling some guilt. A peaceful mind has no room for guilt.

Make an honest assessment of your part in this situation, and ask your Higher Power for the willingness to make amends for any harm you have done. The freedom you gain by clearing out a dusty corner and living in the sunlight of the spirit is well worth it.


16.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Has one of your character defects caused you to harm another or yourself? Don't think, just write!


Making a list means setting down on paper the harms we have done. If you just let them roll around in your head, they rarely seem important enough to act upon them. But an addict cannot afford the luxury of harboring a resentment or the knowledge of a harm done. We must own up to our side. That's all you are doing here— making a list.

It also happens that a resentment or harm you had forgotten about floats to the surface and really begins to bug you. That is a sign that your Higher Power is bring-ing you to a new level of awareness. Continue to do the work and unload those disturbing feelings and past actions onto the page.


17.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

You owe an amend! There is no better way to get over a resentment or harm than by making an honest, face-to-face amends to that person for how you harmed them.


Sometimes we get over confident in our recovery and think we can't harm others anymore. Or we think that putting down our substance is such a feat that we can't possibly be expected to do more. But in reality, that's called being at a standstill. And if you're not moving forward, you are sliding back.

Consider which of your old character defects is at play here and make a sincere, face-to-face apology for the harm you have done. There is no better way to get over resentment or harm done to you than by making an honest amend to that person for how you harmed them. That is the true path to freedom.

18.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Is there an amend you have been putting off? Making that amend now can move you forward—especially if your recovery or your life is stalling.


Courage, not willpower, is something that we lacked as addicts. We ran from our feelings, from our responsibilities, from the lives our Higher Power intended for us. By looking honestly at whether there is a lingering amend that you owe and mustering the courage to make it, you reinforce that you are a new person in recovery.

One of the wonderful fringe benefits of acting courageously to make an amend is that relationships that we thought hopelessly damaged begin to be healed. Another is that we can look at the world with our heads high and feel self-respect blossom in equal measure to the self-loathing we felt as addicts.

Sometimes life stalls and feels stagnant and stale. The reason for this may be that you have gone as far as you can go as the person you are now. Making an amend stimulates transformation in you so that new life comes to you, new possibilities, new hope. You get a fresh infusion of promises coming true in your life. So what are you waiting for?


19.

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

Have you slacked off in doing your nightly inventory? Reclaim this tool and the powerful benefits by checking the signposts of your recovery every night.


We learn through working the steps that when we feel disturbed by another person, the problem usually lies within us. The other person is but a trigger.

Is your side of the street getting dusty because you're neglecting the Step 10 daily clean-up? Recommit to clearing away the debris today. Get down to what instincts in you have been disturbed or how you got the ball rolling in this situation. By doing this work today and each day, you continue to bring the fulfillment of the promises in your life and stay sober and abstinent.


20.

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

Where have you been resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid in this situation? Do you owe an apology?


Fear and selfishness are at the root of our addict reactions to everything life sends us. We're dishonest because we selfishly want a certain outcome, or we fear someone else's opinion of us. We resent someone because we fear they don't respect us.

By doing a nightly inventory, you can see where resentments are cropping up or where a fear recurs over several days. It allows you to practice "observe and correct." If you don't observe, how can you correct? The inventory also sparks your conscience reminding you that you owe someone an amend.

If you are disturbed now, there is probably a character defect which has been rearing its head for some time. Search honestly within to discover where you have been fearful, selfish, inconsiderate, or dishonest, and pray for the removal of these defects.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from the 12-step recovery toolkit by Stacey J. Copyright © 2010 Stacey J. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

My Story          

Introduction          

Chapter one          

About the Author          


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