Updated: Apr 23
It is with the greatest respect that I write about the Twelve Steps (You will be introduced to them later) and I have tried, with God’s help to capture the essence of what they have meant for me over the years. Yet writing about these steps is a weak reflection of what these steps really are and what they can do for those who persistently work on them and listen to what God wants to do for you through them. The wisdom presented in this book is older than you and I and all the previous generations before us. It wants to tell you that there is hope! God wants to tell you there is hope. He wants to say to you that you are amazingly loved and unconditionally accepted. We are exactly the same, you and I, born with singularity of purpose with a whole lot of confusion amongst it all. This book will not just inevitably make you believe that there is hope, but it will present you with life changing choices, decisions that will ultimately give you a new freedom, a new life and a new happiness. You will meet God somewhere along this journey, so be prepared.
The first time I was exposed to the Twelve Step program of recovery was the 10th of June 1999 when I voluntary went into a private rehabilitation centre to recover from chemical addiction. My drug of choice at the time was heroine. As part of the treatment programme, all of the patients had to attend Twelve Step meetings where people from all over the community came in, got up, and talked about themselves and their experiences. My first meeting was in a tiny church hall in Kalk Bay Cape Town. They said how awful and terrible life used to be when they were drinking and drugging, what had happened, and how good life was now. They had gone from trouble and pain to living happy and joyous lives. At first most of it was confusing and sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. But one day a man spoke and his story hit me right in the solar plexus; I awoke. I finally became aware of my total unawareness. He was no longer talking about himself. He was talking about me-my fears, my pain, my issues, my family, my loneliness, my struggles I had hidden, even from myself. For the first time I could relate to fellow addicts, people that struggled with the same things I was struggling with, and they were clean. I realised I was not alone. I realised there was hope, even for me. Something changed inside my being, a penny dropped and my journey of recovery started. There has been many ups and downs, many relapses but at the end I finally got it.
Was it the Twelve Steps that got me sober? Well, to be truly honest, only partly so. The steps itself can do nothing- practical application is required. Earnest and steadfast action is required. It was however unqualified grace that brought me to a place of complete surrender. The magic, the mystery, the power in these Steps can only be understood when each of us personally applies these steps to our lives. That’s when they reveal themselves to us. That’s when they become more than just twelve suggestions. That’s how God reveals Himself to us. It’s a gentle process removing the layers of our denial and the countless false beliefs that we have harboured for so many years. We gently find out who we are, who God is and what we were meant to be doing in this lifetime.