The Albuquerque Freethinkers Group’s
Twelve Steps to Recovery

As expressed in the AA literature, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous created a list of twelve steps that were suggested as a program of recovery. Time has proven those twelve steps to be invaluable in the recovery of countless alcoholics. However, despite the proven effectiveness of these steps, many agnostics and others have difficulty relating to some of the language in the official steps.  With the intention of helping agnostic alcoholics remain in the AA program, and in keeping with our founders’ encouragement, the Albuquerque Freethinkers Group reads a modified version of the suggested steps.  Here are the steps that we read during our meetings:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe and accept that powers and abilities beyond our understanding could restore us to sanity.
  3. With conscious decision, we turned to our fellows in recovery for inspiration in allowing our recovery to be guided by those powers beyond our understanding.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Openly, honestly, and without reservation, admitted the exact nature of our wrongs to ourselves and then to another human being.
  6. Were entirely ready to accept help, in whatever form it may come, in letting go of all these defects of character.
  7. With humility and openness, expressed a sincere desire to eliminate our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Through reflection and meditation, sought to develop an awareness of powers outside of ourselves, asking only for the direction needed to return to sanity, and the ability to remain on that path.
  12. Having found recovery as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You may also download a PDF version of our Alternate 12 Steps Handout