Sophrosune: A Higher Power for Freethinkers

By John L. Introducing Sophrosune [So-fro-SU-nay], a goddess of Ancient Greece, who personifies virtues germane to us in recovery. She is the spirit of moderation, self-control, temperance, restraint, and discretion. Sophrosune was one of the good spirits who escaped when Pandora opened the box that contained all the evils of … Continue reading

In the name of God

Name of God

By John F. In many groups, AA groups or otherwise, the vocal minority often trumps and drowns out the more passive majority, particularly when a good portion of that majority is comprised of folks whose serenity has brought them to the point described on page 84 of the Big Book, … Continue reading

A higher purpose


By Wayne M. I am an alcoholic and have been sober for over nine years. I am also an agnostic/atheist who attends AA on a regular basis. Many people have asked how I as an agnostic can stay sober in AA even though I reject one of the fundamental premises … Continue reading

The Proactive Twelve Steps

Proactive Twelve Steps

By Serge Prengel Many years ago, I started re-writing the Twelve Steps in order to better understand the process they describe by “translating” the wording of the Steps into language that felt clearer to me. I’m not just talking about language that would make each individual Step clearer. I am … Continue reading

As a result of these Steps

By Gabe S. AA’s twelfth Step says “Having had a  spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried  to carry this message to alcoholics.” But what is this message? What on Earth is a “spiritual awakening”? The Big Book essentially presents the Steps as a path to finding  … Continue reading

Personalizing the 12 Steps

The Twelve Steps

By Neil F. On the 13th of April 1986, during a drive from Montreal to Toronto, I broke into a cold sweat and started shaking. I felt like I was losing control of my mind and my body. It was all I could do to resist the temptation to curl up into … Continue reading

Is the AA Program a Procrustean Bed?

By Frank M. Procrustes: a mythical host who stretched or cut his guests to fit his “magical” bed, often killing them in the process. I should probably start by explaining that I have no problem with the use of the word “God” in AA literature. It’s the correct word for … Continue reading

The Origins of the 12 Steps

Man on Bed III

By Roger C. One alcoholic talking to another (Step 12) It all began in the waning months of 1934. Bill W, an incorrigible inebriate nearing the end of his rope, was visited at his home by Ebby T, a former school mate and friend. Ebby was no stranger to alcohol … Continue reading

Mindfulness and the 12 Steps


Review by Roger C. There would appear to be much in common between Buddhist thought and the 12 Step recovery program practiced by some in AA. A number of books have made the connection between them. Three of the more popular ones include Kevin Griffin’s work, One Breath at a … Continue reading