Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous
Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous encourages people to reach out to a source of inspiration, whether it be a God or some other spiritual or inspirational force, and work to achieve the strength to find recovery. One of the underlying principles of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is that nothing happens by mistake. Members are encouraged to recognize their Higher Power, to listen to that Higher Power, and allow Him or Her to inspire them in their journey of recovery. This is achieved through prayer and meditation.
The Difficulty With Step 11
Alcoholics Anonymous is well known for their 12-step program that focuses on helping people achieve sobriety, make amends, and improve the quality of their life. For many people in recovery, Step 11 presents a bit of a challenge. A person facing this step may not understand what it means, how to apply it in his or her life, or may have shunned religion and spirituality altogether. However, if you want to progress to the final step, then you must integrate the Alcoholics Anonymous Step 11 in your life.
Tips for Applying Step 11 of AA
Don’t get hung up on the term.
When people are presented with the term “God”, many immediately associate it with the deity of the dominant religion in their society. In Northern America, this would be the Judeo-Christian god. However, “God” is a neutral term, and it is best not to get caught up in how other people choose to define it. Focus on connecting to what you understand to be God, whether that is Vishnu, Yahweh, Allah, the Great Spirit, or something else.
Prayer can take many forms.
It is generally accepted that prayer means getting on your knees and speaking to your Higher Power. If that is what prayer means to you and you are comfortable with that, then pray in that manner. Don’t feel bad, though, if it doesn’t. The content of your prayers is more important than how you say them. Speak to your Higher Power as though you were talking to another person. Tell Him or Her about what is troubling you, ask for guidance, and express gratitude for the assistance you have received in your life.
Meditation is listening.
If prayer is the act of talking to your Higher Power, then meditation is the act of listening to Him or Her. It is a physical and mental discipline that requires you to be still and observe. Many people are uncomfortable with silence, and they will do anything to avoid it. If this describes you, then meditation may be challenging when you first begin. Rest assured, though, it will get easier each time you do it.
Begin by sitting quietly for 5 to 10 minutes. Thoughts will come to you, but try not to hold onto them. Let them flow in and out your mind. As a way of letting go of conscious thought, it may be helpful to observe your breathing or to concentrate on a candle flame. The goal is to connect to your Higher Power and listen for wisdom. There are many books and websites about meditation. It may be helpful to peruse them.
Finding Help for Alcohol Addiction
Step 11 represents a significant change in the way you see yourself and the world. If you are having difficulty completing this step, then connect to your sponsor or peers for assistance.
Help for alcohol addiction is easy to find, but it is not always easy to ask for. Overcoming an addiction to or a dependency on alcohol can be a long and sometimes frustrating process, but if you’ve made the decision to stop drinking you’ve crossed the most important hurdle in your recovery.
However, if you or a loved one need detox support or addiction treatment, you may benefit from attending treatment at a dedicated rehab facility. American Addiction Centers (AAC) operates treatment facilities nationwide, with navigators standing by 24/7 to help you get admitted into treatment. Our addiction helpline may also be able to help connect you with rehabs near you. To speak to an admissions navigator, call .