Paul’s Perspective: Step 12

Step 12: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

While each and every Step is equally important, Step 12 means a lot to me. It gives me the purpose. It allows me to become a spiritual person and that’s a key part of my recovery.

I have gone through trauma and disease. I was diagnosed with cancer when I became sober and went through major surgery. I lost my parents and my brother. Even while going through that, I 100% knew at the back of my mind that I was going to be ok. That was because of Step 12. Even though it may seem wonky to say that, it is true. The fear I would have experienced got replaced with something else, something more powerful.

What I found in Step 12 is that it’s not the same as the meditation you do on the yoga mat. It’s very different. Step 12 offers a deep “spiritual awakening” that’s incredible.

In Step 12, you are doing God’s work. You are going to help others by doing this Step. There are those who go about their life, and those who are caring. Before recovery, I was driven my egotistical thinking. Once you start becoming a different person through recovery – whoever you aspire to be – it feels good.

Sobriety to me is much more than NOT picking up a drink. It’s about managing the unmanageability of life. When the resentment list goes up, the harms done list follows. We have to be mindful of that.

In recovery we should be looking for a brighter tomorrow than any life we had before. We should be aspiring to something. I know that people get sober without establishing a Higher Power. But I aspire to be God-like. It’s a good way of living.

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email