Alcoholics Anonymous is a 12-step program that, if worked thoroughly and honestly, will be a significant asset toward your recovery.
The ninth step promises can be found through pages 83-84 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word Serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change, fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these unrealistic promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will materialize if we work for them.”
In the Big Book, Bill W. talks about how he would be catapulted into the fourth dimension of existence after completing the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The fourth dimension of existence can also be described as a spiritual awakening, a state of serenity that happens only upon completing the 12 steps. What keeps people coming back to Alcoholics Anonymous is those who have experienced the 9th step promises themselves through working this spiritual program and carrying the message to other alcoholics.
Throughout active addiction, we have done things that have definitely compromised our morals, integrity and our lives as well as the lives of others. We had no regard for anyone other than ourselves and acknowledging this is just a small part of the process of recovery in the 12 steps. However, once we do so, we can begin to make amends to those that we have harmed and to ourselves. We no longer have to live looking over our shoulders or feeling guilty and ashamed because we have cleared our side of the street. We made things right to ourselves, to another human being and to a god of our understanding. This gives us a sense of peace and the ability to forgive ourselves.
The promises talk about no matter how bad the circumstances were for us and our active addiction, we can see how our experience can benefit other alcoholics and addicts in their journeys. This carries the message of Alcoholics Anonymous and motivates people to keep coming back and to never give up because no successful person in this world got where they are without overcome obstacles.
Working the 12 steps is not easy, but you will get to know yourself and figure out why you think and behave the way you do and it will challenge you to grow in ways beyond your comprehension. Self-seeking will slip away. It almost sounds impossible because as an alcoholic, I sometimes feel as if most of the things I do are self-seeking. But the more I throw myself into Alcoholics Anonymous and abandon self to carry out my higher power’s will, I have learned it is much more rewarding to be of service to other people and genuinely not expect anything in return.
Alcoholism is a disease that makes us spiritually maladapted, which is basically a lack of ability to feel gratitude and have a general negative outlook on life. The promises talk about how our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. The disease of alcoholism derives from fear which limits us in life tremendously. It denies us career opportunities, developing relationships, or making changes in our lives that challenge us to grow as individuals. The 9th step promises guarantee that this fear will leave us and we will feel free.
As we work the 12 steps in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as thoroughly as we can, we start to notice these promises coming true. Perhaps not all at once and not in order either, but they do come true for us as long as we stay loyal to practicing the principles in all of our affairs. Each case is different. Some of these promises come true for people very fast and some slowly. It’s important to understand that everyone is on a different path and has her own journey in recovery. Our stories and lives are different, but all the feelings we’ve experienced throughout alcoholism are the same. These promises will materialize if you put in some real footwork; you will not regret it and you will be astonished.
Getting Help at Wayside House
If you are a woman struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Wayside House can help. We offer a women-only program and provide a safe, supportive environment to recover in. We have outstanding treatments and therapies that are often only found in more expensive programs. We offer inpatient rehab with various therapies, relapse prevention education, outpatient, and aftercare, as well as services for medical professionals and veterans. Contact Wayside House at 800-655-0817 to learn more.