Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Twelve Steps

The Twelve  Steps
1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could re-store 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.
Learning Healthier Behaviors
Cutting back on drinking or abstaining altogether isn’t easy. If you have a physical dependence on alcohol, you most likely need medical assistance to help you to break the habit. If you feel you just drink too much as a pattern of behavior you’ve slipped into, then, here are some tips to replace drinking behaviors with more healthful ones:
When you eat out, order up a glass of water and some food.
Drink the water right away so that you are not drinking alcohol just to quench a thirst. Having food to eat will slow the absorption rate of the alcohol and keep your hands busy.
Discover new places.
Sports bars usually have other activities you can busy yourself with while socializing. You can throw darts, play a game of pool, or challenge a friend to an air hockey match. There’s lots you can do besides just sitting at a bar and drinking.
Order up a non-alcoholic drink.
If you just ask for a glass of white grape juice in a wine glass, or you get a non-alcoholic beer in a beer mug, no one is the wiser but you.
Find supportive friends.
What do you have in common with your current friends besides drinking? What would you do or talk about if you weren’t drinking? If you don’t know, then it’s time to move on.
Get involved.
Women must give up their caregiving role as their children mature and leave home. This time period is often referred to as the empty nest. Rather than allowing an empty feeling to creep in, why not give of your time and energy to a worthy cause?
Relax at home with a sparkling ginger ale or tonic water with cranberry juice.
It’s festive, fun, and refreshing.
If you or someone you care about has a drinking problem, you can obtain information from the Yellow Pages by looking under Social Service Organizations for Alcoholic Anonymous. Al-Anon and Alateen are support groups for those living with an alcoholic. Read books and talk to your family physician or minister. Alcoholism is treatable but only if the person who is drinking is willing to admit she has a problem and is willing to accept help. Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by denial, so, while you may not be able to change the behavior of someone you love, you still need to get help for yourself because alcoholism becomes a family illness.
Note: Moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. A drink, according to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is roughly 1/2 ounce of absolute alcohol, a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12- ounce bottle of beer, or 1/2 ounce distilled spirits (80 proof). Each contains about the same amount of alcohol.
1. Spence, W.R., The Medical Consequences of Alcoholism, Health Edco®, ’96.
2. DeWitt, D.E., Romaine, D.S., Guide to a Happy, Healthy Heart, Alpha Books, ’98.


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