“The 200 words which are changing the world”. This is how many of us view the Twelve Steps! Many of us believe that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps were and are divinely inspired. Whether divine inspiration was the font of these writings or not, the fact remains that millions upon millions of people have had their lives changed in the most miraculous of ways by virtue of the power which lies in these words. Sixty-five years ago one could have asked for proof of this astounding claim, but today, the evidence is not only overwhelming but also worldwide! It is now crystal-clear that any human being who diligently practices the Steps will experience radical changes in their attitudes, outlooks, emotional responses, quality of life and relationships with other people. So all pervasive is the impact of the Steps, that many authors have written to explain them, analyze them, qualify them, expand on them, claim them for their own religious of philosophical affiliation, or rewrite them. Some have taken great pains and hundreds of pages to prove that they do not work. Yet, the essence of the Twelve Steps is unchanged since their first printing and those who diligently follow the directions in the Big Book continue to recover and enjoy a whole new life. The basics never change! The Principles never change! The Steps always work for those who work for them! The purpose of this work is to faithfully recount the experiences of those of us who live by the Steps and to urge others who may be doubtful or reticent to put aside doubt and take the Steps. They will change your life.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps were written and published expressly for alcoholics; of that there can be no doubt. Yet, the founders of AA believed that they had discovered something of immense importance to all people and they had dreams of expanding the scope of the Steps to everyone. As evidence of the applicability of the Steps to non-alcoholics, the wives of the founders had begun to practice the Steps in their own lives and had found that they needed the Steps as much as did their husbands. The Alanon Family Groups are the direct result of the wives and other family members participating in meetings and working the Steps. They found that their lives were vastly improved when lived on a spiritual plane and that their family relationships reached new levels of compatibility when they were growing spiritually along with their husbands and fathers. Perhaps the most important discovery was that the non-alcoholic family members had the same character defects as the husbands and that these defects blocked them. Since that time, millions of non-alcoholics have found a new life through the practice and teaching of the Steps.