A Freethinker’s Steps


(John L. got sober in February 1968 and at the time pledged: “If I lived I would help AA re-write the Steps, to put them into good English.” In 2010 he wrote this alternative to the original 12 Steps.)

1. We admitted that we were alcoholics — that we suffered from an addiction which is invariably fatal unless arrested.

2. We hoped for recovery from our addiction.

3. We committed ourselves to lifelong abstinence, staying away from the first drink, a day at a time.

4. We joined a fellowship of recovering alcoholics, who help each other maintain sobriety.

5. We honestly evaluated our lives, acknowledging both our strengths and our weaknesses.

6. We did our best to build on our strengths and to overcome our weaknesses.

7. We got our lives in order — dealt with the wreckage of the past — made amends whenever feasible.

8. We strived to be in good health: We stopped smoking, exercised, got enough rest, and ate nutritious food.

9. We determined to live in the real world, here and now, whether pleasant or painful. We pledged allegiance to reason and evidence, rather than superstition and dogma.

10. We abstained from mind-altering drugs, including those prescribed by physicians.

11. We continued to share our experience, strength and hope with other recovering alcoholics.

12. We carried the message of sobriety to alcoholics who were still drinking.