There is a choice of steps in this book, either the traditional ones or a set containing some alternatives with god taken out. This stems from a secular approach to the 12 steps which embraces the idea of freedom of religion, or none. Strictly speaking, 12 step meetings are non-religious, so members’ religions or non-religion should be practiced elsewhere. Members need to concentrate in the meeting on treating their addictions.

12 Steps

1.  We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable. (Adaptation of original version.)

2.  Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. (Big Book traditional version.) OR: Came to believe we couldn’t solve the problem on our own, but that our program and the group power of people in it could restore us to sanity. (A secular alternative version.)

3.  Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of god as we understood him. (Big Book traditional.) OR: We each nominated greater powers to remind us there are things bigger than ourselves and not to play god – then we let go of self-will. (A secular alternative.)

4.  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. (Original version.)

5.  Admitted to god, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (Big Book traditional.) OR: Admitted without reservation to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (A secular alternative.)

6. Were  entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of character.  & 7. Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings. (Big Book traditional versions.)  OR:  6) Every few months made a shortlist of our defects most in need of attention. 7)  Made it a project to minimize one or more of our worse faults and improve our behavior. (Secular alternative versions.)

8.  Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. (Original version.)

9.  Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. (Original version.)

10.  Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.  (Original version.)

11.  Sought through meditation and prayer 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. (Big Book traditional.) OR:  Sought  through  meditation  and  prayer  to  improve  our  spiritual   awareness and understanding of the way of life entailed in this program and to discover the power to carry it out. (A secular alternative.)

12.  Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts of our type, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. (Adaptation of the original.)

12 Steps