Having completed Steps 1 through 10, Steps 11 and 12 are a call to action. Step 11 is a time to pray, meditate, or consult with your higher power and ask for continuing help, knowledge, and power. For those of us without a recognized higher power, this is a non-step. I have no one to call to. I have no one to pray to.
Step 12, however, is a step that anyone can follow. Step 12 is the core of AA – to help others follow in your steps. By carrying the message – that life is better without alcohol – to alcoholics, AA members confirm their own belief in this message. By staying a part of the movement, they create even more reasons for staying sober.
I have a friend who has been a sponsor for several members over the years. He readily admits that if it weren’t for these people he has mentored, he might not be sober. He felt a moral obligation to remain sober for their benefit. If he had lapsed, he felt they would have lost faith as well. So, by passing on his knowledge and remaining true to his word, he helped another and himself, too.
Every long-time member of AA that I know is a repeat sponsor. They have each helped numerous alcoholics work through the steps. Sometimes it was successful, sometimes not. Regardless, they never felt their time was wasted. Each challenge, each alcoholic, provided them with renewed energy and faith in the life they had chosen was the right one.
In my own non-Alcoholics Anonymous way, I try and perform Step 12 on a daily basis. It took a long time to get there, a long time to admit that my way of life with alcohol was not beneficial and that my non-alcoholic life was better and one that I can share with others. Even sitting here, writing this blog, is my expression of Step 12. If only one person on the entire internet happens upon this blog and reads something that prompts them to think or act and improve their life, then my job is done.