12 Steps In Reverse: Are You On Your Way Out Of Recovery?

12 Steps In Reverse…a design for relapse

I’ve heard it once before that ”if you ain’t move forwards through the steps, you’re moving backwards.” 

It makes sense.

The 12-Steps offer a design for living and when that ‘design’ starts to shift there should be demonstrable behaviors that indicate this is occurring.

But how does this appear? How do you know you’re backsliding? 

Well, I’ve written an article that outlines the usual course people chart.

You can access it here

However, I’m not the only one. 

The Opposite of Sober

Two anonymous individuals have charted their own.

One I discovered in the Grapevine, a monthly Alcoholics Anonymous magazine, and the other in a Narcotics Anonymous forum.

I thought they were far too brilliant not share with you.


12 Steps In Reverse

The 12 Steps in Reverse – A.A. Grapevine

1. I declare my complete control over alcohol and everything else; and further declare that my life is in perfect order. 

2. I recognize no power as great as I am; nor any person as smart as I am, and if you don’t like it come outside.

3. I made a decision to run my life and everyone else’s life to suit only me – and I pity those who get in my way. 

4. I make a searching and through inventory of everyone other than myself – and find them woefully lacking in all respects; and I never hesitate to tell them so. 

5. I admitted to no one, including, God and Myself, that there could possibly be anything wrong with me, or my actions.

6. I went to extreme efforts to protect and increase my defects of character-and did a little drinking besides. 

7. I continued my obnoxious arrogant air of asking no one for anything-my Big Eye was for telling, not asking. 

8. I kept a complete list of all persons who had harmed me, either real or imaginary, and swore to get even with them all. 

9. I got even where possible, except when to do so might injure me. 

10. I continued to bitch and whine about everything to everyone and, when I was right, promptly reminded them. 

11. I sought through scheming and conniving to materially improve myself – at the expense of my fellow man. I ever hesitate, when the opportunity presents itself, to bring disaster and misery to anyone who happens to cross my path. 

12. Having had a complete moral, physical, financial and spiritual breakdown, all of my remaining effort was directed toward dragging those near me – and dear to me – down to these same depths of despair; And I did a little drinking too.

12 Steps In Reverse

The 12 Steps Backwards – Narcotics Anonymous Forum

 12. Having let up on our spiritual program as a result of not doing the Steps daily, and putting our personal priorities ahead of carrying the message we let our fellow addicts fend for themselves and once again practiced our own ideas.

11. Let our conscious contact with God as we understood him lapse by not making time to meditate and praying only in emergencies for our will to be carried out. 

10. Slacked off on personal inventory and when we were wrong, denied or hid it.

9. Forgot about finishing list of amends because it’s in the past now, we are doing fine and we want to leave the past in the past and just move on.

8. Rationalized the harm we had done others by justifying that no one had been hurt by us more than we had been hurt by them and so we decide it’s even

7. Prayer is “I’ve Gotta Be Me”, we decide it is more important to take some time to work on ourselves which includes loving and forgiving ourselves before we can love and forgive others 

6. Become unwilling to see that there are defects of character needing removing. 

5. Decided to once again stuff down deep inside ourselves all the harm we have done. Pride tells us we don’t need to admit to ourselves, to God and to anyone else that we did anything harmful, fear tells us we must not admit it. 

4. Quickly cast a weak flashlight over our moral inventory and focus on what’s wrong with the world and everyone else to avoid focusing on ourselves. 

3. Made a decision to keep our will and our lives totally in our own control, because we don’t understand God and think we won’t get what we want. 

2. Came to believe that we still have some good ideas in how to solve our problems and are unwilling to accept outside help from God or sponsor. 

 1. We decided that we “got this” and have no interest in using. Now we have information, determination and fear, plus sit in on some NA meetings we will be fine.

12 Steps In Reverse