As a codependent and alcoholic, I needed to learn to forget the messages of the past

1. Admitted our powerlessness to change our past – that our lives had become unmanageable and became willing to surrender our love and not to our fear. I can change the past.

2. Find hope in the belief that recovery is possible through faith and an acceptance of the fact that we are never really alone. Finding hopes and dreams

3. Learned to let go of compulsive self-reliance by reaching out to our Higher Power. Reaching out to a Higher Power

4. Made an honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and accepted the impact our childhood has had upon us as adults. Assessing strengths and weaknesses

5. Learned to share our self-parenting issues with others without self-recrimination or shame. Living without shame

6. Become ready to change by giving up the demand to be perfect. No longer needing to be perfect

7. Learned to embrace our uniqueness and connectedness to others in a spirit of love and humility. Embracing the child within

8. Learned forgiveness and made amends to our inner child. Forgiving ourselves

9. We heal our inner child by realizing the promises of self-parenting in our daily life. I’m OK

10. Practiced daily self-acceptance and learned to live in the present. Learning to accept myself

11. Allowed the divinity in us to shine forth by surrendering to our Higher Power. Finding the divinity

12. Having had a spiritual awakening, we reached out to others in the spirit of giving, love and community. Awakening the inner child

These steps, also adapted from AA, were written by Patricia O’Gorman, Ph.D. and Philip Diaz, M.S.W., as part of their work with families, women, and youth in recovery.


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