top of page

12-Steps Anonymous, Explained and Applied to Media Addiction

The twelve-step programme has its origins in the Alcoholic Anonymous group. Since its inception, the programme has helped many people with a wide variety of addictions. It is the mixture of a structured yet very flexible approach that inspires people. The programme paves a clear path to recovery while leaving room for personal interpretation and adaptation. It has a holistic approach, focussing on mutual support (community), personal responsibility and spiritual growth. This blend is well received by many of those affected.

12-Steps Anonymous, Explained and Applied to Media Addiction

Many self-help groups around the world work with the so called 12-Steps Anonymous programme. This is a programme intended to support people with addictions on their road to recovery. We at coobi are not working with this method. However, we would like to introduce you to the method and ideas behind it because its worth having heard of and perhaps even helps one or the other.

The Origin of 12-Steps Anonymous

The twelve-step programme has its origins in the Alcoholic Anonymous group. Since its inception, the programme has helped many people with a wide variety of addictions. It is the mixture of a structured yet very flexible approach that inspires people. The programme paves a clear path to recovery while leaving room for personal interpretation and adaptation. It has a holistic approach, focussing on mutual support (community), personal responsibility and spiritual growth. This blend is well received by many of those affected.

The Programme explained

In the following, we will take a closer look at the individual twelve steps and how they are applied. Throughout we will use the example of media addiction to make it more tangible. However, as already discussed, the programme can be applied to any form of addiction.

Step 1: Admitting Powerlessness

The journey begins with acknowledging that addiction has led to a loss of control. For media addicts, this means recognising how excessive screen time or gaming has negatively impacted their lives. This admission is a critical first step towards healing.

Step 2: Belief in a Higher Power

This step involves the belief that a power greater than oneself can restore sanity. It's about finding strength in something beyond the individual, whether it's a spiritual entity, the power of the community, or the strength of a support group.

Step 3: Decision to Turn Over Control

Here, individuals decide to turn their will and lives over to the care of the higher power they believe in. For media addicts, it means entrusting their recovery process to the support system they've chosen, be it a self-help group or a therapeutic program.

Step 4: Moral Inventory

This step requires a deep and honest self-reflection. Media addicts are encouraged to assess their behaviours and attitudes, identifying the patterns that contribute to their addiction.

Step 5: Admitting Wrongs

After identifying these patterns, the next step is to admit these faults to oneself, a higher power, and another person. This step is about owning up to the mistakes and acknowledging the need for change.

Step 6: Readiness to Remove Flaws

This step involves preparing oneself to let go of these character flaws. For a media addict, it could mean being ready to change habits that contribute to excessive screen time or gaming.

Step 7: Asking the Higher Power to Remove Shortcomings

In this step, individuals ask their higher power to help remove their weaknesses. It's a step of humility and acceptance, recognising that overcoming addiction is a journey that often requires external support.

Step 8: Making a List of Amends

This involves making a list of all persons harmed by one's addiction and becoming willing to make amends to them all. It's about acknowledging the impact of one's addiction on others.

Step 9: Making Direct Amends

Where possible, individuals make direct amends to those they have harmed, except when doing so would injure them or others. This step is crucial for repairing relationships and building a support network.

Step 10: Continued Personal Inventory

Continuing to take personal inventory means regularly assessing one's behaviours and promptly admitting when one is wrong. It's an ongoing process of self-improvement and mindfulness.

Step 11: Seeking Through Prayer and Meditation

This step involves seeking to improve conscious contact with the higher power through prayer and meditation, asking for knowledge of the higher power's will and the power to carry it out. It's about finding inner peace and strength.

Step 12: Carrying on the Message

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, individuals are encouraged to carry this message to others with similar addictions and to practice these principles in all their affairs. It's about giving back and supporting others in their journey to recovery.

The Benefits of 12-Steps Anonymous

In conclusion, the 12-Steps program offers a framework for understanding and addressing an individual’s addiction. The steps encourage self-reflection, accountability, and personal growth. The communal aspect of the program provides a supportive environment where individuals can share experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges. This sense of belonging and mutual support is often a key factor in successful recovery.

bottom of page