Step 12 of AA

Step 12 of AA

The last and final step of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 step process is focused on spiritual awakening. After a person has completed the previous steps and worked through the inner healing journey of recovery required, the final step culminates in taking the message to other alcoholics and persons with addiction. Learn more about step 12 and why sharing a person’s journey with others matters.


Step 12

Once the 12 steps are completed, a person who is ready to complete step 12 begins by experiencing a ‘spiritual awakening as the result of these steps and tries to carry the message to alcoholics, to practice the principles in all affairs.’ As a result of working so diligently through the previous steps, an individual is now ready to consider how the personal journey can be carried through a message to serve other people. All 12 steps are embraced in totality which is experienced in one’s life journey of acceptance and understanding of self and others. Empowerment of others is now possible through discovering the benefits, and joy, of AA.


Getting Started

When working through step 12, it is important to focus on selfless giving without asking for anything in return. Some ways to begin the process may include:

  • Reaching out to fellow alcoholics or persons addicted in other ways who still suffer. Give to the people who need support and ask for nothing in return.
  • Beginning to practice all 12 steps on a daily basis as the new foundation for a person’s life.


The following are some helpful tips which may guide a person who has reached step 12 and is working through to integrate the step into one’s daily life:

  • Have a spirit of love and helpfulness towards others with addiction in every aspect of one’s own life
  • Turn problems in one’s own life around into assets or strengths
  • Carry a positive perspective when it comes to practicing 12 steps in day-to-day life
  • Hold spiritual growth as the highest priority
  • Release desire for self-importance and prestige. Happiness does not come from there, instead peace comes from within oneself and coping better with whatever situations life brings



One of the myths around step 12 is that a person is fully recovered once all the steps are completed. Recovery is, in fact, a lifelong journey which requires discipline and a change in attitude and perspective. Regular practice is the best way to work the 12 steps as a person continues to live a sober, happy and peaceful life. The steps are a way of life for people in recovery from addiction and a guide to living with humility, honesty and compassion for self and others.


Recovery is a lifelong process which begins with taking the first step. Treatment is available for individuals at any point of the journey. Call The Villa to find out how our programs can support you on the path to recovery.