AA Study Guide
Big Book Study Guide
AA's 12 Step Study Guide
About This Study Guide
This material was found in 2004 via Internet by an AA member in Sweden who then used it in a group with other AA members. The group experience was positive and can be recommended for anyone considering it as a help in working AA’s Twelve Steps.
This material was made and used during the early1990’s by North American members of AA who chose to remain anonymous. It is therefore not possible to prove authorship. Users are welcome to spread this material as they wish.
The original material was designed to be used in groups. If however you wish to use this material solely together with your sponsor that works, too. Just ignore the references for use in larger groups of 8-12 people.
This study material sticks closely to AA’s Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous. There are many page references to help each person working the steps to easily refer back to AA’s major text.
It may be helpful to point out what is at times a source of confusion for AA members: that AA’s first three steps cannot be found in numerical order in the Big Book. However, any person studying the first five and a half chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous can be assured of covering all three of AA’s first three steps.
It may also be helpful to point out that this study material is more detailed in the first four steps than in the remaining ones.
STEP STUDY TEAMS
(a) To provide the person who has not worked the Steps with
motivation and assistance in working the Steps.
(b) To provide those who have worked the Steps with an opportunity and motivation to do it again and to share your experience.
(a) Teams of no more than 12 persons will be formed (8 to 10 are
preferred). The make-up of each team will be approximately 3 to 4
members who have worked the Steps in the manner described in the Big
Book and 8 to 9 members who have never worked the Steps in this
manner, but who are willing to try.
(b) Each team will select its own meeting place and meeting time, preferably at a time which does not conflict with the 8:00 p.m. meetings of A.A. (Team meetings are not a substitute for A.A. Group activity and fellowship.)
(c) At the initial meeting all present will:
(1) Exchange telephone numbers and addresses and select a meeting place.
(2) Commit to stay with the team until all members have completed the Steps.
(3) Commit to do the Steps according to the Big Book as augmented by the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (including on the knees 3rd Step with others -- a 4th and 5th Step and all the rest).
(4) Those persons who have not done the Steps will be asked to commit to do them at least once more with another team.
(5) Commit to making telephone or personal contact with one or more members of the team during each week the Steps are being taken and sharing your problem or experience with the assignment that week.
(6) Commit to attend the meetings except on rare and extremely unusual circumstances. Each member really needs to be present each week. If a member cannot be present, another member should be called and advised of the problem so that the team will not delay the meetings.
(d) After the initial meeting, no one will be added to the team. If someone has a slip or is not living up to their commitment to the team, the other members of the team must decide if they want to allow them to continue with the team.
(e) When the team has completed the Steps, it will disband. The estimated time to complete the Steps is 15 - 20 weeks.
3. Meeting Format
(a) There is no formal meeting format and each group is free to
select its own. Most groups rotate the chairmanship from week to
week and simply discuss the assigned material and share their
experiences in applying it to their life.
(b) Each member must come to the meeting having read and studied those portions of the Big Book and 12 x 12 which relate to the Step under consideration and having done his or her assignment.
(c) The function of the team will be to apply the principals of each Step to their lives and share their experience in a discussion of each Step.
(d) It is suggested that each member of the team obtain a study notebook to record his or her notes, assignments, 4th Step, etc.
(e) A 4th Step will be written and a substantial period of time (all that is needed) will be spent in analysis of this Step and resolving any problems that arise. If any group member encounters any problem that requires additional assistance, it will be available.
4. As teams complete the Steps, new teams will be formed to help newcomers and others who want to participate. A nucleus of experienced member (3-4) should accept new members on a first-come first-served basis.
5. It is suggested that the teams not be co-ed because of the 4th Step problems.
6. Caution: The step team should become a very sharing group. When there is deep sharing, the meetings can last so long as to be an inconvenience or burden to some members. Since we are trying to learn to be considerate, it is suggested that the meeting proper be limited to approximately one hour and that each speaker limit his/her remarks to his/her part of that hour. Longer and more difficult problems can then be shared with those who have more time. Also, call each other throughout the week - you don’t need to wait for meetings to share.
STEP STUDY OUTLINE AND ASSIGNMENT SHEET
The following is a suggested assignment sheet and outline for use by the Step Study Team. The time given for any particular study can be extended or shortened as each team chooses. It is suggested that, before the study is completed, each team member will have read the entire text of the book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Week No. 1:
Meet and follow the outline regarding the Purpose, Plan and Meeting Format of the Step Study Teams. It is important that the commitment section of this outline be carefully reviewed and that each member of the team thoroughly understands that he or she is committing to do the Steps -- all of the Steps. It should be understood that everyone will probably have one or more absences, and perfect attendance is not absolutely required. It is most helpful that everyone be present as much as possible and that communication develop between the team members so that they know how the other team members are progressing and how they are feeling about the team study.
At the initial meeting the team members should have read the Preface, Foreword of the First Edition, Second Edition and Third Edition. Note the Foreword to the Third Edition states: To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. Compare this language with the language on Page 29 at the end of Chapter Two where it is stated: Further on, clear cut directions are given showing how we recover. This is the task this team is about to undertake.
Read and discuss the doctor’s opinion at the meeting.
These and other questions will occur to the group, and each should be discussed in some depth.
1. Were you aware that your illness affected both your mind and your
2. Do you believe or can you accept the concept of an allergic reaction to alcohol?
3. What is an allergy?
4. Do you agree with the concept of hospitalization?
5. Have you ever experienced the phenomena of craving (page xxvi)?
6. Did you like the effect of alcohol?
7. Did you reach the point where you could not differentiate the true from the false?
8. Did your alcoholic life seem normal?
9. The doctor seems to say that a psychic change must occur -- what is a psychic change?
10. Can you accept the fact that alcoholism has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated?
Buy your workbook and begin to note your own reaction to the matters set forth in the doctor’s opinion. In summary, begin to write how was I powerless over alcohol. It is equally important to write any reservation you may have that you are, in fact, powerless over alcohol.
Read Chapter One, “Bill’s Story”, and be prepared to discuss this matter as it applies to your life in the second week.
Week No. 2:
Chapter One, “Bill’s Story”.
1. Did you ever ask, “Was I crazy?” (Page 5)
2. Did you ever feel the remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning? (Page 6)
3. Did your mind ever race uncontrollably? (Page 6)
4. Did you ever seek oblivion? (Page 6)
5. Did you feel lonely? (Page 8)
6. Did you feel fear? (Page 8)
7. What was your reaction to religion, the church and God? (Page 10)
Note what happened to Bill’s prejudice against their God when he began to apply his own concept of God (Page 12).
8. Did you know that “nothing more was required of me to make my
beginning” than willingness or a willingness to believe?
9. Doesn’t Bill essentially take the first through the eleventh Step at this time? (Page 13) Notice how Bill was instructed to find God’s will and pray (Page 13).
10. Has your common sense become “uncommon sense” in this manner? (Page 13)
11. Bill really takes the twelfth Step on Page 14, doesn’t he? The program worked in all of Bill’s affairs -- Page 15.
The foregoing are simply samples of questions that may occur or points that may be raised.
12. What was of particular significance to you in this chapter?
13. What did you find that you could not agree with or which you could not accept?
Read Chapter Two and be prepared to discuss how you react to this chapter next week. Continue to write how you are powerless over alcohol and begin to consider what you can truly manage in your life. As thoughts occur to you about whether you can or cannot manage life and in particular your life, write down your thoughts in your notebook.
Week No. 3:
Chapter Two, “There Is a Solution”. Again, having read this chapter:
1. What parts of the chapter can you apply to your life?
2. What is your reaction to the membership of Alcoholics Anonymous?
3. Did your alcoholism “engulf all whose lives touched the sufferer’s” (Page 18)?
4. What was their reaction?
5. Do you see how you can reach another alcoholic (Page 18)? Note on Page 20 the book answers the question, “What do I have to do?”
6. Have you been asked the questions on Page 20 by yourself or other people?
7. What were the answers?
8. From your examination of yourself in the past weeks and your reading of this chapter, are you a “real alcoholic”? (Page 21)
9. If not, why not? Discuss this with your team.
10. Did you have control over alcohol, did you do absurd and incredible and tragic things while drinking, were you a Jekyll and Hyde?
These questions and observations on Page 21 may help you in answering the questions you have been writing about, having to do with your powerlessness over alcohol.
11. Why did we drink the way we did? (Page 22)
12. Why do we take that one drink?
13. What has become of the common sense and the will power that he/she still sometimes displays with respect to other matters?
14. Did you ask yourself these questions?
15. Had you lost the power of choice described on Page 24?
16. Have you ever said, “What’s the use anyhow” (or something similar)?
There is a solution (Page 25). The great fact is just this and nothing less. That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences. Read and understand Appendix II and the rest of this paragraph because it is an outstanding summary of what happens in the program.
Our alternative to the solution is to “go on blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could or to accept spiritual help.” (Page 25)
Note that Appendix II is referred to again on Page 27.
Read Chapter Three and discuss how it applies to your life for the next week.
Week No. 4:
Chapter Three, “More About Alcoholism”.
1. Did you have the “great obsession” (Page 30)?
2. Did you know that was an illusion?
3. Did you try to control your drinking, and can you diagnose yourself? (Page 31)
4. Has your writing in your book listed those things you attempted to do to control your use of alcohol and your failures?
5. Do you have a reservation of any kind or any lurking notion that you will some day be immune to alcohol? (Page 33)
6. Can you identify with the mental status that precede a relapse into drinking, and do you understand that these mental states are the crux of the problem? (Page 35)
7. Do you understand why an actual or potential alcoholic will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge? (Page 39)
Note the doctor’s reaction to alcoholism on Page 43. Also note the solution at the bottom of Page 43.
Read and be prepared to discuss Chapter Four next week. By now you should have completed writing most of your memories about why you are powerless over alcohol and why your life is unmanageable. If you are having difficulty with these problems, discuss this with the team members or your sponsor.
Week No. 5:
Chapter Four, “We Agnostics”.
1. Do you accept the fact that you have only two alternatives if you
are an alcoholic - an alcoholic death or to live a life on a
spiritual basis? (Page 44)
2. Have you lacked power to manage life (Page 45)? Note that the “main object of this book is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.”
3. Have you had honest doubts and prejudices about God? (Page 45)
4. What has been your reaction to the word “God” -- what will He look like, what will it be like when you find Him, and where did you get these ideas?
5. Had you abandoned the idea of God entirely? (Page 45)
6. Are you willing to lay aside your previous beliefs or prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than yourself?
7. What is your concept of God? (Page 46)
8. Do you now believe or are you even willing to believe that there is a Power greater than yourself? (Page 47)
9. Do you recognize that when you can say “yes” to this question that you are “on your way”? (Page 47)
10. Note that the book once again refers you to Appendix II at this point. What is it that Appendix II says that is indispensable?
11. Have you been open-minded or have you been obstinate, sensitive and unreasonably prejudiced about discussion about God? (Page 48)
12. What reservations do you have when you have read this chapter?
13. Have you been biased and unreasonably prejudiced about the realm of the spirit? (Page 51)
14. Did your ideas work -- will the God idea work? (Page 52)
15. ARE YOU REALLY READY TO FEARLESSLY FACE AND ANSWER THE PROPOSITION THAT “EITHER GOD IS EVERYTHING OR HE IS NOTHING. GOD EITHER IS, OR HE ISN’T. WHAT IS YOU CHOICE TO BE?” (Page 53)
16. Do you believe that “when we drew near to Him, He disclosed himself to us!”? (Page 57)
17. Remember what it said on Page 28? If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or colour are children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.
In your notebook, write what you can believe about a Power greater than yourself. On another page write what you cannot believe about God. As you go forward from this point, it is those things which you believe or which fit into your conception of God which you will be using and you can be comforted in knowing that our own conception, however inadequate, was “sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him.” (Page 46) Read and be prepared to discuss Chapter Five in the book next week.
Week No. 6:
Chapter Five, “How It Works”. Discuss the materials contained in this chapter from Page 58 to Page 63 (i.e., through the part which concludes Step 3).
1. Do you question whether you are capable of being honest with
yourself? (If you do – you’re not.) Note the state of mind you’re
asked to have when you start the Steps -- Honesty, fearlessness,
thoroughness, and a willingness to go to any length.
2. What do half measures avail us?
3. Are you convinced that a life run on self-will can hardly be a success? (Page 60)
4. Can you see the effects of self-centeredness in your life?
5. How have you been self-centered? List examples in your workbook and discuss them with the group.
6. Did you know that you could not reduce self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on your own power? (Page 62)
7. Are you willing to make the decisions set forth at the bottom of Page 62?
8. Note the promises that follow the taking of Step 3 as described at the top of Page 63. Are you willing to take this Step?
Many groups at this point commit one to the other that they are going to take this Step and recite the prayer that is set forth on Page 63 together.
Continue to list places where you can see that you are self-centered in your workbook and commence the fourth Step using the Step 4 Guide (coming up soon). To accomplish this, take the action suggested in the Instructions 1 and 2 of the Guide, including the preparation of a Grudge List.
Week No. 7:
Discuss Instruction I and your Grudge List.
STEP 4 GUIDE
Many readers find the instructions for Step 4 contained in the book Alcoholics Anonymous confusing and complex. This paper is written to reflect the experience of certain members of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in analyzing these instructions and their experience in taking this step in accordance with the instructions given in this book. Those who have taken this step in the manner suggested in the Big Book, including the inventory, the analysis, and the study and prayer suggested by the Book have found it to be an exciting and rewarding experience. This experience is available to anyone who will complete each of the following steps to the best of his/her ability in the order in which they are given. Perfection is not required, but a good effort involving honesty, open-mindedness and willingness is essential. Do not skip any instruction and complete each instruction before proceeding to the next.
Read the following and understand what we are doing.
I. The Time and Purposes of Step Four
Perhaps the greatest promise by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is that God, as you understand Him, will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. This promise carries with it the obvious condition that you must do what you can.
When you have made the decision required by Step 3, the Big Book warns us “although our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and be rid of, the things in ourselves which have been blocking us (from God) ... so we had to get down to causes and conditions. Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory.”
The specific instructions for taking this step are contained from Page 64 to Page 71 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. These instructions should be read carefully at this point.
II. What Do We Seek?
The inventory is described as a “fact-finding and fact-facing process.” We are said to be seeking the truth about ourselves and to honestly take stock of our lives. We are to search out the flaws in our makeup which caused our failure. Throughout the book Alcoholics Anonymous it is stated that self, selfishness and self-centeredness were the root of our troubles. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations. These common manifestations are grouped in three categories -- resentment, fear and sex relationships. Each of these common manifestations is treated separately in the inventory.
III. Resentments -- The Number One Offender
From these thoughts or mental attitudes stem “all forms of spiritual disease.” We are instructed to list all people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry or had resentments. What is a resentment?
(a) Webster’s Dictionary defines resentment as “indignation or
ill-will felt as a result of a real or imagined offense.” Webster’s
then refers the reader to the word “anger” and gives other examples
of this thought or feeling, which include rage, fury, ire, wrath,
resentment and indignation. These words denote varying degrees of
displeasure, from anger - strong, intense and explosive - to the
longer lasting resentment - ill-will and suppressed anger generated
by a sense of being wronged or being wrong.
(b) In summary and broadly defined, we are dealing with a negative or unpleasant thought or feeling caused or generated by the real or imagined act or failure to act of a person, institution, or principle.
(c) Persons, institutions or principles may need some explanation. Remember you are a person and your action or failure to act may very well cause you to think or feel bad (generally, this resentment of ourselves is call guilt). Institutions are any group of people, authorities, companies, governmental agencies, or other organizations.
A principle is a basic truth or law. Many of these basic truths or laws have and do offend us, for example:
1. Alcoholism is an incurable, progressive disease.
2. Honesty is the best policy.
3. As you give, you receive -- (each of us suffers the consequences of his own action -- there is no free lunch).
4. When you are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with you.
5. A life lived without self-examination is not worth living. (Socrates)
Preparing the Grudge List
With the foregoing instructions in mind, a list should be prepared of the people, institutions or principles which have or do cause you to have a resentment, as defined above.
Certain points should be remembered.
1. If you can remember the resentment, you should list it, even
though you think you are over it. Go back through your life -
nothing counts but thoroughness and honesty.
2. A review of family albums, school annuals and the like may help you be thorough. Some people write a short autobiography of their life to assist them in their memory.
3. Do not concern yourself with whether you should or should not have the feeling -- just make the list and nothing more at this point.
4. Throughout the taking of Step 4 and at times thereafter, you will recall other people, institutions and principles which have caused these negative thoughts and feelings. You can add to this list at any time, but do not spend too much time worrying about how complete the list is. Simply do the best you can over a reasonable period of time (perhaps a week).
Make a list of the people institutions and principles you resent.
When you have completed your Grudge List, and not before, purchase and mark a spiral notebook as described below. At this time we will begin to analyze our resentments.
(a) Analysis of Resentments. When you have completed your list and
not before, each resentment must be analyzed. Step 4 will mean very
little unless you come to understand each resentment and learn from
it. The following procedure has proven helpful in this understanding
1. Purchase a spiral notebook and open it so that you have a blank page on either side of the wire spiral. With a ruler or straight-edge, divide each of these pages vertically so that when both pages are divided, you have a total of four columns. Turn the page and repeat this process until you have divided several pages in this manner. The drawing below may help you understand this instruction.
2. The columns on each page should be labeled as follows:
Column 1: Name
Column 2: Cause
Column 3: Affect
Column 4 should be left blank for the time being.
One at a time you must take each resentment from your Grudge List
and enter it into Column 1, then complete 2 and 3 as described
below. Complete the analysis of each resentment before taking the
next one from the Grudge List. The following is a step by step
description of this instruction:
(a) Take the first name from your Grudge List and write it in Column 1 on the first page.
(b) In Column 2, write a few words which describe each and every event or circumstance you can recall which causes you to resent the person named in Column 1. This is a very important part of the analysis -- we learn from specific events, not general complaints (for example, we learn little from the complaint that “he was always lying” but we learn much from a specific “he told me he wasn’t married.”)
( c) Opposite each of the events you have listed in Column 2, write the reason the event or circumstance bothered you. Specifically, ask yourself;
(1) Did it affect my self-esteem (the way I think of myself or want others to think of me)?
(2) Did it affect my pocketbook?
(3) Did it affect my ambition (what I wanted or needed)?
(4) Was one of my personal relationships affected or threatened?
(5) If the effects described in questions 1 through 4 above do not accurately describe the effect the event had upon you, write a few words to explain how you felt and how you were affected.
(6) COMPLETE THE ANALYSIS OF EACH OF YOUR RESENTMENTS ARISING OUT OF EACH OF THE EVENTS BEFORE GOING FURTHER WITH THE INVENTORY.
When Columns 1-3 have been completed for each resentment, take a little time to look back over them and then take the following action.
(a) Study and Prayer. Read and study the Big Book from the paragraph
that begins at the bottom of Page 65 through the second paragraph on
Page 67. Ask yourself these questions about each resentment and each
event causing it and write a brief paragraph reflecting your
(1) Having determined who was at fault, did I go further in my study of this event?
(2) Did I try to retaliate, fight back or run? What was the result? Did it help?
(3) Is it clear to you that a life which includes one of these resentments leads only to futility and unhappiness? Has the resentment ever benefited you in any way, or have you squandered hours thinking about the resentment? Do you realize and understand that these thoughts “separate you from the sunlight of the Spirit” (God)? Do you know that these thoughts will lead you to the insanity of the first drink, and with us, to drink is to die?
(4) Do you understand that through our thoughts and reactions to people, places and things, the world and its people dominate us? Do you understand that until we progress beyond the point of simply stop blaming ourselves and others, there can be no growth or solution?
(5) Can you forgive?
(6) Do you recognize that other people have the same problem with life that you have had and many of them are spiritually sick?
(7) Honestly pray the 4th Step prayer -- God, help me show ___________________, the same tolerance, pity and patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend. __________________________ is a sick person, how can I be helpful to him/her? Save me from being angry. Thy will be done. From this point forward we try to avoid retaliation or argument.
(b) The Beginning of Growth. As noted earlier, it is a spiritual axiom that when I am disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something the matter with me. Now that you have listed and understood the resentment and how it affected you, having stopped blaming or putting out of your mind the wrongs others have done, you can now look for your own actions or reactions. In the past we went no further than to declare that someone was wrong. Isn’t it true that we acted or reacted during each event or circumstance? Didn’t we become angry? Depressed? Filled with self-pity, envy, jealously, etc.? Didn’t this affect our lives and the lives of those close to us?
Complete Column 4 as follows:
1. At the top of the fourth column on each page, insert the words
“my faults or mistakes.”
2. For each person, institution or principle and for each event, ask yourself:
a. Where have I been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened?
b. Where was I to blame?
c. How did I act or react? How did this affect me and those close to me?
3. Write down your faults as revealed by the above questions in the fourth column opposite each person, institution or principle and each event.
When you have concluded all of the instructions with respect to resentments, and not before, proceed to “fear”.
List your fears.
IV. Fear -- Touches every aspect of our lives.
Read from the third paragraph appearing on Page 67 of the Big Book through the first three paragraphs on Page 68. Then take the following action:
(a) “Fear” defined. Webster’s Dictionary defines “fear” as a feeling
of alarm or disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain,
disaster or the like (being found out, being known for what you know
or think you are). It is said that the driving force in the life of
most alcoholics is the self-centered fear that we will lose
something we have or that we will not get something we think we need
(b) Listing of Fears. On a page following the section on resentments, write a short description of each fear that you have experienced. Remember, under the topic “Resentments” (2a, above) you have already asked yourself about the impact of fear on your resentments. We now complete the list of times, places and circumstances which evoke this feeling (i.e., snakes, bugs, heights, women, men, etc.).
Write a short analysis of each fear.
( c) Analysis of Fear. Having listed each of the fears, we should write a short analysis of these fears in our effort to understand them. It is said that each of these fears sets in motion chains of circumstances which brought about or caused us misfortunes. Can you cite examples where this occurred? Why do you have each fear? Was it because self-reliance failed? Were you about to be harmed in some way by something you could not control or avoid? Can you run away from fear? How did I act or react to fear? Did my fear affect others? What should we now rely upon, if not ourselves?
Read and understand the solution to fear.
(a) Study and Prayer. When our fears have been listed and the above questions answered, the book Alcoholics Anonymous gives us the solution to fear in the second and third paragraphs appearing on Page 68. We are also given a short prayer in which we ask Him to remove our fears and direct our attention to what He would have us to be. This solution and prayer should be directed toward each of your fears.
This section of the inventory is covered in the book Alcoholics Anonymous from the last paragraph commencing on Page 68 through the end of Chapter 5. This material should be read at this point.
(a) Scope of Inventory. This portion of the inventory begins by clearly discussing sexual relationships. However, in the last sentence of the last paragraph ending on Page 70, it states “we have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct and are willing to straighten out the past if we can.” This sentence indicates a broader view of our relationships is important, and it is therefore suggested that we review our relationship with each of the important people in our lives, as well as all sexual relationships.
List those persons who are important in your life and any other person affected by your drinking or self-centeredness.
(b) Preparing a List of Relationships. Following “fears” in your inventory book, you should list the names of the persons to be studies. These should include both sexual and other relationships, including family, business, friends, etc.
Write a brief paragraph about each relationship.
(c) With respect to each person named on your list of relationships, write a short paragraph which answers the following questions -- remember to deal with specific events.
1. Was I selfish in this relationship?
2. Was I dishonest in this relationship?
3. Was I considerate in this relationship?
4. Whom did I hurt?
5. Did I arouse jealousy?
6. Did I arouse suspicion?
7. Did I arouse bitterness?
8. Was I at fault?
9. What should I have done?
(d) Study and Prayer. Through study and prayer, we seek to shape sane and sound ideals for our future sex life and our relationships. Whatever our ideals turn out to be, we must be willing to grow toward them. We must be willing to make amends for past wrongs, providing we do not bring about still more harm in so doing. In prayer and meditation we ask God what we should do about each specific matter, and we are told the right answer will come if we want it.
On Page 70 in the first paragraph, we are given instructions on how to proceed toward our new ideal.
In summary we are told to pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for strength to do the right thing. In these troublesome areas we are told to throw ourselves into helping others.
Read the last two paragraphs of Chapter 5. It is also helpful to read chapter 4 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions at this point. Have you left anything out of your inventory? Have you failed to list any event or subject the memory of which causes you to be uncomfortable? If so, you should write it down now.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE COMPLETED STEP FOUR
VII. STEP FIVE
Read Pages 72 though the first full paragraph on Page 75 -- take Step 5.
Next week you should take the action described in Instructions 3-5 of the guide.
Week No. 8.
Discuss the findings you have made on Instructions 1-5 of the Guide and any problems you are having.
Follow Instruction 6 and complete any work you have not completed on Instructions 1 through 6 for the next week.
Week No. 9:
Discuss the work you have done in Instruction 1 through 6 of the inventory process and any problems that you are having. The group should assist anyone in taking the inventory that is having difficulty and this may include spending some time with them during the week.
Follow Instructions 7, 8 and 9 of the Guide.
Week No. 10:
Review your writing required in Instructions 7, 8 and 9 and discuss any problems that you or any other member of the group is having.
Assignment for the next week is to complete Instructions 10 and 11 of the inventory process.
Week No. 11:
Review and discuss your writing on sex in generalities -- no specifics and no war stories are needed, lest matters of pride and self-centeredness become involved in the meeting.
Your assignment for the next week is to find someone to take a 5th Step with and make a specific date for this 5th Step. Also read Chapter Six and be prepared to discuss this chapter.
Week No. 12:
Chapter Six “Into Action”. Discuss Page 72 through Page 75. Has everyone had a good experience with this Step? Are there reservations about doing the 5th Step and, if so, what are they? Have you skimped on the program to this point? Take your 5th Step.
Read Chapters Six and Seven, in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Week No. 13:
Chapters Six and Seven, in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Discuss these chapters along the lines you have previously discussed the earlier chapters in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. Particularly, you should attempt to itemize and list those defects of character which you have which you recognize stand in the way of your usefulness to your fellows. Which defects of character do you have which do not stand in the way of your usefulness to your fellows? Discuss willingness and humility and what they mean in context with these Steps.
Next week be prepared to discuss the material on Page 76 through 84 and read the eighth and ninth chapters in Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Week No. 14:
Discuss the material you have read.
1. Do you have misgiving about these Steps? (Page 76)
2. Do you feel diffident about going to some of these people?
3. What is your real purpose (Page 77)?
4. Is timing important in this Step?
5. Can you approach the people on your eight Step list in a helpful and forgiving spirit? (Page 77) (see Pages 66-67)
6. Do you recognize that nothing worthwhile can be accomplished until you clean your side of the street? (Page 78)
7. Is it important that you be praised for your ninth Step efforts? (Page 78)
8. Have you discussed any criminal offenses you may have committed and which may still be open with your sponsor? If not, you certainly should do so. (See Page 79)
9. Do you understand how your ninth Step may harm other people? (See Page 79)
10. Have you studied your domestic troubles and the harm that may have been caused in these areas?
11. Do you understand the importance of not creating further harm by creating further jealousy and resentment in a tell-all session? (Page 81)
12. What does the author mean when he says that the spiritual life is not a theory -- we have to live it? (Page 83)
13. Do you see that in making the ninth Step you should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping? (Page 83)
14. Are you experiencing the promises set forth on Pages 83 and 84?
Note at this point the book assumes that you made a list of people you had harmed when you did your fourth Step inventory. If this has not been done, you should certainly make such a list at this point.
Next week discuss the balance of Chapter Six.
Week No. 15:
1. What are the specific instructions outlined for the taking of
2. What do we watch for?
3. Note that “by this time sanity will have returned - we will seldom be interested in liquor.” (Page 84) is this the sanity referred to in Step 2?
4. What is the proper use of will power? (Page 85)
5. What is the suggestion for taking the eleventh Step on a daily basis?
6. What do you watch for?
7. Do you practice this Step on a daily basis?
8. Do you follow the procedure outlined on Pages 86 and 87 regarding your daily morning meditations and the way you proceed through the day?
9. Has your attitude about a Power greater than yourself changed since you studied the chapter, “To the Agnostics”?
10. Do you believe “It Works -- It Really Does”? (Page 88)
Read the chapter, “Working with Others”.
Week No. 16:
Read and discuss the chapter, “Working with Others” at this meeting.
1. What are the step-by-step requirements for a twelfth Step?
2. Have you ever tried this? Share your experience with the group.
3. In cases where the alcoholic has not responded, have you worked with his/her family? Did you offer them your way of life, and what results did you have in this situation?
4. Do you believe that you should burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone? The only condition is that he “trust in God and clean house.”
5. Is this the basis of the statement that “this is a selfish program”? Is it really a selfish program in the true sense of those words?
Chapter Eight, “To the Wives”, Chapter Nine, “The Family Afterward”, Chapter Ten, “To Employers”, and Chapter Eleven, “A Vision for You”, are all chapters designed to teach you how to practice these principles in all your affairs. These chapters contain many spiritual truths which apply to all of us and should be read. Your group may decide whether or not you wish to discuss one or more of these chapters to conclude your Step Study.
A reading of the last portion of the book on Page 164 is a fitting way to end your Step study team. Haven’t you really had the benefit of a contact with those who wrote this book. Don’t you know now what you should really rely on?
Find some new members of Alcoholics Anonymous who need this program and do another Step team study with them.
Visit the Alcoholics Anonymous Web site.
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