Each of the 12 steps to recovery outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous focus on helping people with alcohol use disorder work toward long-term recovery. Step 6 focuses on acceptance, where character flaws are accepted exactly as they are and then ready to let go.
After identifying Defects 4 and admitting them by working through Steps 4 and 5, the next step will force the members of 12-Step Recovery Groups to wonder if they are really ready to give up on some of these errors. These mistakes or behaviors and copings have long been with the individual. While they may be comfortable, it is important to realize how these ancient ways contributed to an individual’s problems.
If the previous steps were followed thoroughly and honestly, facing the truth can often lead to a certain level of guilt. This is great motivation to be “completely ready” to address these shortcomings. As with all steps, the ability to get ready comes from a higher force – a force greater than yourself.
AA’s 12-step program states that the focus of step 6 is, “We are completely ready to have God remove all of these character defects.”
How step 6 works
The idea behind this phase of 12-step recovery – steps 4 through 7 – is to fix some of the personal issues, deficiencies, and character flaws that may have been a factor in your decision to even start drinking.
If you just stop drinking and don’t address some of these other issues, they can put you in situations that can lead to a relapse. For example, if the way you express anger or the way you deal with rejection is a problem for others around you, you can ruin a relationship and possibly have a drink again.
Additionally, if you “just” stop drinking and don’t address your other issues, you could end up with what some call “dry drunk,” which means you can get bitter and angry. In this case, you can be sober, but very unhappy.
Why step 6 is important for recovery
The reason Step 6 is so important in this process is because it focuses on that standby Change the old behaviors that contributed to the drinking problem. If you stop drinking without addressing these behaviors, it will be easier for you to return to your old habits.
Therefore, steps 4 through 7 are in the middle of the 12 steps. If you do not admit that you have shortcomings and take steps to address these issues, a spiritual awakening may never occur. It’s about being honest with yourself and those around you.
Recognizing and admitting your shortcomings is not the end of the process. Being “fully ready” to do something about it is the key to the solution.
What you can do
Some of the practical things you can do to understand and overcome your problematic behaviors include:
- List your mistakes, weaknesses, or challenges.
- For each, note the way the problem affects your behavior.
- Write down the effects of this error on you and others.
- Ask yourself what feelings are associated with this weakness. Are such behaviors intended to minimize or hide stressful emotions?
- Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t engage in these behaviors. What strategies could you use instead that would be more productive?..
By looking at these issues in this way, you can better see how they affect your moods and behaviors. It can also allow you to see the benefits of change, which ultimately improves your willingness and motivation to change.
Story of step 6
In step 6 the term “character flaw” is introduced. It is important to understand that the origin of this phrase lies in how alcohol and substance use were described in previous editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). When Alcoholics Anonymous first emerged, the DSM listed alcoholism and addiction as personality disorders. It was a psychological approach to addiction that viewed drug and alcohol abuse as a result of addictive personality traits...
Today researchers and clinicians understand that alcohol and substance abuse are brain-based diseases. Many of the behaviors that result from alcohol and substance abuse, such as: B. Refusal, however, are obstacles to recovery. Learning to recognize these behaviors as problematic and to be willing to change them is critical to long-term recovery.
There are a few things that can help you approach step 6. This includes:
Step 6 is simply to work the first five steps and then get humble. This is not easy for many alcoholics. Working the first five steps may seem exhausting at first, but they make it. Then the “humble” part kicks in. How do you humble yourself When the messages of the first five steps sink in, you will find humility. If you somehow escaped the message, go back and work on it again, find out what you did wrong, and repeat this step again.
People also often ponder the times when they hurt friends, family and employers, but rationalized their behavior and blamed the injured person. When people follow the steps and take responsibility for the consequences of their actions and omissions, they can feel shame and remorse.
Humility can help people see how to address these past mistakes. Then people can walk the path to salvation by making reparation.
In Phase 6, it is important to accurately describe some of the character defects that may have contributed to the occurrence and perpetuation of an alcohol use disorder. Instead of just saying you have anger problems, look at the underlying triggers and consequences of that anger. To truly accept and then let go of these shortcomings, you need to identify them for what they are.
The goal of level 6 is not to judge or shame yourself. Instead, it’s about looking honestly at yourself and accepting the things that played a role in your drinking problem. By accepting yourself and then submitting yourself to a higher power, you can work towards letting go of the behaviors that are holding you back from truly achieving your goals.