Version 2.0 of the Journal for Recovery is Now Available - Find out more at the Journal for Recovery website

The 12 Steps

For Freedom from Addictive Behaviors

Steps 1 - 3 ... Out of Despair Find Hope

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God

Steps 4 - 7 ... "Clean House" by Taking Inventory

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings

Steps 8 - 9 ... "Clean House" by Making Amends

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

Steps 10 - 12 ... Continue "Cleaning" & Help Others

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

About the 12 Step Program

Twelve Step programs are well known for their use in treating addictive and dysfunctional behaviors. The first 12 step program began with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in the 1930s and has since grown to be the most widely used approach in dealing not only with recovery from alcoholism, but also from drug abuse and various other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors.

The first book written to cover the 12 step program was titled "Alcoholics Anonymous", affectionately known as the Big Book by program members. Following the subsequent extensive growth of twelve step programs for other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors, many additional books were written and recordings and videos were produced. These cover the steps in greater detail and how people have specifically applied the steps in their lives. An extensive chronology and background about the history of A.A. has been put together at Dick B.'s website.

The twelve steps of the program are listed above and on the steps page in generic form. Other groups who have adopted the 12 steps to address their own particular addictive or dysfunctional behavior have similar ideas, usually with only minor variations. These steps are meant to be worked sequentially as a process of getting rid of addictive behaviors and should result in a growth in freedom and happiness, as outlined in the Promises. The general governing approach for A.A. groups was originally laid out in the Twelve Traditions, and they remain the guiding principles for most 12 step groups today.

There is a wealth of further information about 12 Step programs in Wikipedia, including a list of 12 step groups, and also from the numerous links in our directory of recovery related websites.

Download for Windows XP

Download Version 0.80
(File size is approximately 5 MB)

In 2007, developed password protected and encrypted journaling software for Windows XP that was designed to make it easier to work the 12 step program. It was called the Recovery Journal. It is still the only journal software that we provide that runs well on Windows XP. This software is free for all to use and distribute as long as it remains free of charge (except for reasonable distribution charges).

We do offer alternative versions for 12 step journal software on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Mac OSX.

A brief description is provided below of the capabilities of the Windows XP version of the Recovery Journal software.

Two Components
With the Recovery Journal software, there are two components for the Windows desktop.

Journal Explorer - Browse your journals by date or by topics or searches that you define
Journal Editor - Record answers to 12 step questions or just keep a daily journal using a Rich Text Format (RTF) editor.

Browse Daily and Step Journals
With the Journal Explorer, you can...

  • Review the 12 Steps
  • Browse your journals by date or by topic
  • Add, delete or modify topics so that they match your life more closely
  • Create and save journal searches
Screenshot: Journal Explorer with Steps
[Click to Enlarge]
Review the 12 Steps
Screenshot: Journal Explorer by Topic
[Click to Enlarge]
Browse by Topic
Screenshot: Journal Explorer by Saved Searches
[Click to Enlarge]
Browse by Saved Searches
Screenshot: Journal Explorer
[Click to Enlarge]
Browse Daily or 12 Step Journals by Date

Journal Editor for Diary or Answering 12 Step Questions
Screenshot: Journal Editor
[Click to Enlarge]
Edit your 12 step or daily journal
With the Journal Editor, you can...

  • Associate topics to any journal entry
  • Insert 12 Step questions or other questions of your making
  • Edit your journal using Rich Text Formatting, similar to that found in Windows WordPad.

Download 0.80 Version of RJ for XP
You may also need one or more of the following DLLs. If so, then you can download them from the link below and copy them to the folder where the RJ.exe executable is located. (By default C:\Program Files (x86)\\RecoveryJournal0.8\ if you have a 64 bit computer or C:\Program Files\\RecoveryJournal0.8\ if you have a 32 bit computer)
Download msvcp71.dll
Download msvcr71.dll