This pamphlet examines Step Twelve, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” In this Step, we give back some of what we’ve gained.
This basic truth sums up Step Twelve: you can’t keep it without giving it away. For generations, people with addiction, also known as substance use disorder, tried many things to stay sober, from religion to therapy. The pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) had a brilliant insight: they could stay sober by putting their spiritual principles into action by helping others like themselves—people with addiction. This pamphlet summarizes the Twelfth Step mandate to carry the message of your spiritual awakening to others with substance use disorder. Carrying the message is one of the best ways to maintain your sobriety. It demonstrates how Step Twelve is the most joyous of the Steps to live, that participating in the recovery of others is one of the fruits of your own hard-won recovery. As you pass on the message of recovery to others—and learn more about yourself in the process—you experience the joy that comes from helping others and nurturing your own spiritual growth.