Time Frame for Completion of the 12 Steps

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Time Frame for Completion of the 12 Steps

Postby serendipity » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:07 am

I recently told someone what step I was on and they reacted with wide eyes and a bit of shock. I am currently embarking on Step 6 with just about 60 days under my belt. I've been in the program for multiple years now, but never formally worked the steps. 1-3 were relatively engrained in me already, although I had never worked on them with anyone.

Is there a recommended time frame in which the steps should be completed? I feel as though we (my sponsor and I) are being very thorough, but I felt completely caught off guard by my peers reaction. She's been working on Step 4 for over a year now and I feel, to me, that's just too long for me. I guess I just want some words of wisdom and some perspectives so I can better understand this situation.

Thank you in advance for any and all input.
Last edited by serendipity on Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
serendipity
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:34 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:17 am

Read the story "He sold himself short". Dr. Bob worked with this dude one afternoon. In four hours they were done with the inventory and was ready to the reminder of the step. And then show her the same. She probably faint. LOL.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4639
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby whipping post » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:54 am

I started when I was 3 months sober and finished in about 3 or 4 months. I lost the obsession after 5,6, and 7 ( I did those all in one day ) so I ended up dragging my feet on 8 and 9. My theory now is the quicker the better.

Someone said the other day that at 4 years they are still on step 7 because their sponsor keeps telling them they are not ready for 8 and 9 yet and was holding them back. I'm sure I had a shocked look on my face :shock: :shock: :shock:
User avatar
whipping post
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:20 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby PaigeB » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:02 pm

I have a friend in the program who has been up to Step 9 when she relapsed. Her new sponsorship line has a ton of paperwork involved, especially in Step 4. It took her 6 long and painful months of soul searching. There were many times I thought she would drink. It is a good thing that I love that gal because she was a real bear to be around during her painful times, which were many. Maybe she is a little more willing to DO the amends in front of her, after all the work she did to get there.

My 4th was different. To begin with I am older. I changed sponsors at 6 months and still had trouble understanding the HP portion of the previous Steps. My sponsor kept me moving forward but I didn't get to scheduling my 5th Step until about a year with her... started my 4th Step with about 1 1/2 years of sobriety.

We also know a gal that did all the Steps in a weekend, such as avaneesh describes.

I am still besties with the gal in paragraph 1 even though our paths were very different. All 3 of us are still sober and in fact were all at a meeting together Monday and Thursday! We all have good continuous sobriety time. We all sponsor other women.

Honestly follow the Great Reality of your inner-most self and you can't go to far wrong.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10389
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby D'oh » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:29 pm

Time Frame for Completion


Thursday at 6:03pm. Joking.

I bumbled my way through the steps for a while. The second time going through them, I was working the 4th step. A suddenly
Being convinced we were at Step Three (pg 60)
had a whole New Spiritual meaning. The steps then became Much easier.
D'oh
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 721
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:51 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby PuppyEars » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:02 pm

The literature doesn't give numbers but aa begs us one time. They beg of us to be fearless and thorough from the very start.

If you do that, I believe the time frame will unfold exactly at the pace it is supposed to.

edited. Sorry I was wrong. AA begs us twice. Again in We Agnostics to lay aside prejudice.
1488
User avatar
PuppyEars
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Feeya » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:26 pm

PaigeB wrote:
Honestly follow the Great Reality of your inner-most self and you can't go to far wrong.


I agree!
I also think there is no time frame that is 'right'. What works for some doesn't work for others, as long as there is progress, and as long as you are being thorough and honest, I would say don't worry about it. This is not a race and time will lay out the way you need it.

I am a little over 60 days and I am working on my 8th step, a friend of mine is working his 8th step with about 7 month of recovery under his belt, he had a really hard time with certain steps so it took a while...
Don't worry too much about what others might think!
One day at a time.
User avatar
Feeya
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 326
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 6:53 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Troy M. » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:01 am

I didn't really start studying and working the steps until a gentleman caught me after a meeting before I could escape! That was about 1 month without drinking. We started meeting weekly over coffee and reading the BB and discussing what I thought it meant. I finished steps 1-3 in about 2 weeks, then spent about 2 months fighting and writing step 4. I pondered step 5 for about a month then called my sponsor and told him I was ready. He dropped everything and gave me the entire next afternoon to listen. That would have put me at about 6 months without drinking and for the first time, I started to feel sober. Steps 6 and 7 came almost immediately (within 24 hours) and step 8 and the beginning of 9 took me about a week. Since then, I have been studying and practicing steps 10 & 11. This puts me at around 10 months and 12 days - not that I'm counting :wink: - and I find myself ready to be of service in step 12.

In my case, this seems pretty fast because I am always pretty deliberate about changing - hell it took me over 30 years of near daily drinking to get to the point of actually seeking help.
Troy M.
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:16 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby clouds » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:43 am

Beautiful.
" 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." page 98 A.A.
User avatar
clouds
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1061
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:45 am
Location: España

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Lali » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:22 am

serendipity wrote:She's been working on Step 4 for over a year now and I feel, to me, that's just too long for me.


THIS is what I find shocking. And frightening. It's amazing she didn't drink. She must be doing a lot of white knuckling. White knuckling is a terrible way to live. And so unnecessary if one works through the steps at a good pace which will bring about a psychic change which negates the need to drink - a psychic change such that we no longer find ourselves craving or even thinking about alcohol. What's also frightening is that this gal that's been on step 4 for over a year will do the same with all her sponsees who in turn will do the same with their sponsees.....and on and on... That's an awful lot of unnecessary suffering to go through and chances are high that they will drink before getting through all the steps.

Completing step 4 for me allowed me to "purge" a lot of stuff that was holding me back from living happy, joyous and free. This purging allowed me to heal once I had completed it and met with my sponsor for step 5. Then steps 6 and 7 were worked quickly and I was able to move on through the remainder of the steps. My stepwork allowed me to begin to live these steps rather than just "work" them.

I hope this made sense. :)
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Reborn » Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:58 am

Some people take longer with the steps especially the 4th step..."at some of these we balked". It comes down to willingness...I know some that have been working on that 4th step for over a year...and I use the terms "working on" loosly. When I did my 4th step I worked on it every day...I launched out on a course of vigorous action. At 90 days sober I was making my way through my amends list...which took about 60 days or so to get to everyone...and then I started working with other alcoholics. I don't understand why people would want to sit in their self pity for that long balking at the 4th step. I know there are some sponsors out there that have warped ideas about how this program should be worked...if this is the case find another sponsor.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
Reborn
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 501
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby ezdzit247 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:10 pm

Is there a recommended time frame in which the steps should be completed?


Good question. Thanks for posting it, serendipity.

According to what I've read in the BB, observed in the rooms and my own ESH, the answer is no, there is no specific time frame for completing AA's 12 Steps. There is no one-size-fits-all kind of AA program, no rules to follow, no tickets to get punched, no hoops to jump through, etc. I have come to believe that every AA member does the best they can according to what they have to work with--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually--and that belief not only keeps me humble and grateful for the gift, it has helped me to grow in understanding, patience, tolerance, compassion and effectiveness when working with other alcoholics.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
User avatar
ezdzit247
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 pm
Location: California

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Stepchild » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:07 pm

I could get on here and tell you there are no rules to this....You can go at whatever pace you want....Do whatever you want...But I won't. We recover by the steps....We have this psychic change from working steps four through nine.

This is a really important paragraph from The Doctor's Opinion....When he says "Men and women drink"...He's talking about alcoholic men and women....Not normal drinkers...

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

So what he saying is...Without this psychic change...We don't have much hope for recovering....But he follows with this...

On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.

Those simple rules are the design for living laid out in steps 10 through 12. Another important paragraph...

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.

The self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings is the process of working steps 4 through 9. It is required...The successful consummation is the psychic change that comes as THE result.

They used to have a standard answer for your question in early AA...I have no idea why it's not used anymore....Because it makes so much sense.

Q. When should I do these steps...How long should I take to do these steps?

A. When do you want to get better? You want to get better now?...Do the steps now. You want to get better later?...Do the steps later....But you'll probably drink.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:15 pm

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned.


The above is part of the 10th step promise. You are being restored to sanity when you get to this part. You have commenced to live this way of life.

Until then, if you are a real alcoholic, there is a great probably to hit the blank spot like Fred the accountant.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4639
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Time Frame for Completion

Postby Stepchild » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:32 pm

You can look at the way they describe the fifth step...

We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
pg 75

That's pretty close to my experience. Point is...If you honestly give this process all you got...Fearless and thorough from the very start. Chances are pretty rare you are going to fail. I haven't seen anybody fail yet that followed the directions.
Stepchild
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1437
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:31 pm

Next

Return to The 12 Steps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests