12 Steps

Step 1: I admitted that I am powerless over our alcohol - that my life had become unmanageable

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called willpower becomes practically non-existent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.

- A.A. Big Book, p. 24

I truly thought I had Step 1 covered by just walking into an AA meeting. Little did I know how long it would take me to actually admit  - and I am not talking say, but actually admitting and believing it for yourself, that you are powerless over alcohol. A specific memory comes to mind on a particular Christmas where I had every intention of spending that Christmas sober, go to church etc. I ended up binge drinking until the early hours of the morning. This had been 18 months after walking through the doors of AA for the first time.

I know now, and I have accepted that I cannot drink. I should not drink because it makes me sick. I have no control over stopping once I have started. Therefore my only hope of staying sober is to control what I can and that is the first drink. As long as I stay away from the first drink, I can keep the power and control I loose, soon after that first drink. It took me 2 years, almost to the day to admit and accept that I am indeed, powerless over alcohol.
At this point my life was unmanageable, my marriage a disaster and I was progressing fairly well on the bad mother route. Alcohol was ruining my life and I had tried every bargain, promise, cover-up and persuasion to deny the source of my misery. I could not any longer. I am powerless over alcohol.

Added 19 July 2010: So after the weekends experiment and experiencing the CRAVING, I have really accepted this in my heart of hearts. I should not drink. I just - I JUST should not drink. And luckily, I find I don't want to.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity 
When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was. We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. - "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.

-A.A. Big Book p.47

I had tried everything to stop drinking. I tied only drinking when it was an occasion - and then created one, I tried only drinking wine or whiskey and ended up drinking all of both, I tried only buying one bottle of wine and not a box - and ended up driving to the bottle store, I tried not drinking while my kid was awake, only weekends, only one night in a weekend, the list goes on. I was unable to muster up the self-discipline to not drink every time my husband did drink. Remember during my 2 year struggle of knowing I had to stop, my husband did not try. I came to the very hopeless conclusion, that while I am with him - drinking - I would remain a drunk. And this thought made me angry and desperate. And that's when I went back to AA, looking mostly for God.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: "God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.

- A.A. Big Book p.63

I have always known God could restore me to sanity. I remember a time in 2008 when I was praying on my kitchen floor. My marriage was killing me, I had read every book, prayed, begged, cried...everything. But I was dreadfully unhappy. So I begged God to please tell me what else I need to do, what needs to go, be added, changed? And the answer came to me, loud and clear like the person speaking was standing next to me: " Stop drinking"

That was when I decided to go to AA for the first time. As I said, I knew God could keep me sober, but it took me 2 more years of suffering to actually allow Him.
And this goes with my Step 2 when I went back to AA, making the decision that from now on God will be in control, because He can  and will restore me to sanity if I allow Him. I have surrendered my life to God's will.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all

We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self- appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.

-A.A. Big Book p.76

I think the hardest thing about Step 8 for me is to accept that no matter how willing I am to make amends, forgiveness is still in the hands of the person harmed. I have to accept not everybody whom I had harmed is willing to forgive me. It is also not equally easy to seek forgiveness from everybody on my list, since I sometimes still find I try to justify my behaviour towards them and that I am not the only one at fault.
My mother is a good example of this. I want our relationship to be better. I want her to forgive me for the times she felt she could not depend on me and the times she really couldn't. But I also feel that she is at fault for the way she treats me - and I say treat because it really hasn't changed.
I wish I could miraculously make people forget what I had done, because it seems like it will take forever to convince them through my deeds, that I am a changed person. I know I have lost their trust and for that I need to first forgive myself so that I am free to regain their trust. I have to trust myself before I can "convince" others to trust me. This is a long term thing. No matter how willing I am, it still boils down to how willing my victims are. But I am willing and I will keep trying, because at the end of the day, it's worth it.