One of the main misconceptions about the Twelve Step Program is that you cannot have a permanent recovery. This is not true! In the Multilith Big Book, on page 28, in the bottom paragraph, Bill refutes this. He says that the decision we make in Step Three "can have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in yourself which have been blocking you."

In the essay Bill wrote about Step Three, on page 40 in A.A.'s Twelve & Twelve, Bill goes on to say that any recovery we get, if we just admit our problem, and attend a few meetings "is bound to be a far cry from permanent sobriety and a contented, useful life." Bill then tells us "That is just where the remaining Steps of the A.A. program come in. Nothing short of continuous action upon these as a way of life can bring the much-desired result."

The same message is in the introduction to Dr. Bob's story, "DOCTOR BOB'S NIGHTMARE." In the Big Book on page 171, it says: "A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety June 10, 1935." In the Big Book, on page xvii, in the top paragraph, this idea continues. It says that, "strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to permanent recovery." The Big Book on page 169, in the fourth paragraph goes on to sum all this up by letting us know that the "release from alcoholism can really be permanent."

All of this makes it clear we can have a permanent recovery. It is also clear that this is true only if we work all Twelve Steps by following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" from the Big Book. This is our goal in working the program. To paraphrase what Bill says: "The much desired result is a permanent recovery and a contented useful life."

Author's Bio: 

RA is especially for those who have yet to find the recoveries that they are looking for, those who have found recovery, and their family and friends.