Alcoholism is a disease of self-deception. We can be taking all twelve steps, and still avoid the spiritual growth of the program. “Remember” the Big Book says, “that we deal with alcohol---cunning, baffling, and powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!” (p.58-59)
I agree with the words attributed to Fred Holmquist of Hazelden that the first nine steps “will get us well but not keep us well,” that step 10 is the step that not only maintains our sobriety but begins our awakening. Early in its treatment of this step, the Big Book contains the remarkable sentence: “We have entered the world of the Spirit (page 84).”
But how do we stay in the world of the Spirit? The Big Book again is quite clear:
“What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent
on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every
day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s
will into all of our activities. (page 85).”
And how do we maintain “spiritual condition?” I find that if I am faithful to five practices in the course of a week, I have a 95% possibility of recovery and of being awake. Those practices are a 10th step throughout the day and especially at night; an 11th step spiritual practice, especially every morning; an honest conversation with my sponsor, at least once a week; participation in my home group, again weekly; and availability for service, daily. That has been my experience of myself and others. And your experience?