12 Steps of a Relapse

Last Updated on 5 January 2024

A tongue-in-cheek guide on what not to do in recovery.

  1. I decided I could handle any emotional problems if other people would just quit trying to run my life. 
  2. I firmly believe that there is no greater power than myself and anyone who says differently is insane. 
  3. I made a decision to remove my will and my life from God, who didn’t understand me anyway. 
  4. I made a searching and thorough moral inventory of everyone I know, so they couldn’t fool me and take advantage of my good nature. 
  5. I sought these people out and tried to get them to admit to me, by God, the exact nature of their wrongs. 
  6. I became willing to help these people get rid of their defects of character. 
  7. I was humble enough to ask these people to remove their shortcomings. 
  8. I kept a list of all the people who had harmed me and waited patiently for a chance to get even. 
  9. I got even with these people whenever possible except when to do so would get me in trouble. 
  10. I continue to take everyone’s inventory and when they are wrong, which is most of the time, I promptly make them admit it. 
  11. Sought through the concentration of my willpower to get God, who did not understand me anyhow, to see that my desires were best, and He ought to give me the power to carry them out. 
  12. Having maintained my emotional problems with these steps, I can thoroughly recommend them to others who don’t want to lose their hard-earned status, but wish to be left alone to practice neurosis in everything they do for the rest of their days. 

Source: AA Reviver Magazine June 2007, p32.

1. We admitted we were powerless over nothing and that we could manage our lives perfectly and those of anyone else who would allow us.

2. Came to believe there was no power greater than ourselves and the rest of the world was insane.

3. Made a decision to have our loved ones and friends turn their wills and lives over to our care, even though they couldn’t understand us at all.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of everyone we knew.

5. Admitted to the whole world at large the exact nature of everyone else’s wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to make others straighten up and do right.

7. Demanded others to either “shape up or ship out.”

8. Made a list of all persons who had harmed us and became willing to go to any lengths to get even with them.

9. Got direct revenge wherever possible, except when to do so would cost us our own lives or a least a jail sentence.

10. Continued to take inventory of others and when they were wrong promptly and repeatedly told them about it.

11. Sought through bitching, complaining, and nagging to improve our relations with others as we couldn’t understand them at all, asking only that they knuckle under and do things our way.

12. Having had a complete physical, emotional, and spiritual breakdown as a result of these steps, we tried to blame others and to get sympathy and pity in all our affairs.

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