Fast Track Through the Steps

 
 
 
 
 
 
We recommend working these steps with a sponsor. We also suggest using the Guides for each Step. 

STEP ZERO       Download Step 0 Guide

0. Please list 10 goals or dreams for your life. Using one piece of paper or page in a word document, number 1 through 10 and put one goal or dream after each number.

 

Consider visions for spiritual and emotional health more than material aspects of your goals. Pray and meditate on how you can be the healthiest person possible in all areas. If you know someone who has some of the healthy attributes you want, consider asking them to have a conversation with you about how they live life. Remember that there are many people who are not necessarily in recovery who have significant spiritual, emotional and physical health. There are some with excellent relationships with their Higher Power, healthy relationships with other people, satisfying work and enjoyable hobbies. If we can learn a little from some of these people, we can incorporate it into goals for living a healthy life in recovery.

 

Please share these with your sponsor.

 

Sponsor note:  Have the sponsee share these with you and then ask them to put them in their wallet or purse (someplace where they will be with them everyday)

 

We have discovered that a swift working of the TSA 12 Steps, for those of us with experience in other 12 step programs, provided a new level of healing and gave us hope for living the life we were meant to live.

 

We do not recommend the FAST TRACK for the first time individual with no 12 step background.  We strongly suggest that these steps be taken with a sponsor who has worked the TSA Steps.

 

STEP ONE        Download Step 1 Guide

 

  1. We accepted we were powerless over the trauma and abuse we survived and the unmanageability created by their effects on various aspects of our lives.

 

ACTION - Am I willing to accept the fact that I am powerless over the past trauma and the unmanageability created by the effects it has had concerning various aspects of my life?

 

___Yes    ___No

 

ACTION - Please write no more than one paragraph in response to this question:

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

*Share what you have written with your sponsor

*Sponsor asks if sponsee would like feedback on what was shared and guides appropriately before moving on to the Second Step. (And this may include another short writing exercise to share before Step Two) – Sponsor to focus on “a ha’s” while sponsee sharing and receiving feedback regarding follow up writing. This additional writing will be shared at next meeting before talking about Step Two.

 

STEP TWO       Download Step 2 Guide

 

2.    We came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity and inner peace.

 

ACTION - Do I believe that there is a power greater than myself able to restore me to sanity and inner peace?

 

___ Yes   ___ No

 

ACTION - Please write no more than one paragraph in response to this question:

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

*Share what you have written with your sponsor

 

*Sponsor asks if sponsee would like feedback on what was shared and guides appropriately before moving on to the Third Step. (And this may include another short writing exercise to share before Step Three) Sponsor to focus on “a ha’s” while sponsee sharing and receiving feedback regarding follow up writing. This additional writing will be shared at next meeting before talking about Step Three.
 

STEP THREE    Download Step 3 Guide

 

3.    We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a loving Higher Power.

 

ACTION - Am I willing to turn my will and life over to the care of a loving Higher Power defined by me?

 

_____ Yes   _____ No

 

ACTION - Please write no more than one paragraph in response to this question

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

Please check in with your sponsor, sharing what you have written regarding this step.

*Sponsor asks if sponsee would like feedback on what was shared and guides appropriately before moving on to Fourth Step. (And this may include another short writing exercise to share before Step Four) Sponsor to focus on “a ha’s” while sponsee sharing and receiving feedback regarding follow up writing. This additional writing will be shared at next meeting before talking about Step Four.

 

If qualified then pray the AA Big Book Third Step prayer together. (Taken from page 63 of the AA Big Book) We suggest both sponsor and sponsee kneel while praying together.

 

THIRD STEP PRAYER

God (Higher Power), 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!

 

STEP FOUR

 

4.    We made an honest inventory of ourselves, identifying our strengths, the abuse and trauma we had sustained and the resultant confusion and contradictions in our lives. We made a commitment to recover to the best of our ability.

 

ACTION - We prayed with our sponsor before beginning our Fourth Step:

 

Dear God (Higher Power), 

 

Please give me the strength to complete an honest inventory and appraisal of certain areas of my life so that I may continue my healing journey.  Please allow me to set aside all judgements and allow me to have a wider perspective regarding areas I identify still in need of healing.

 

Inventories:

 

  • Fears: Make 4 columns on a piece of paper, or on a computer page. Column #1: what am I afraid of? #2: Why am I afraid? #3: What part of Self have I been relying on which has now failed me? (Self-reliance, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-will). What does the Fear affect? (Self-esteem, pride, emotional security, finances, ambitions, relationships). #4: How have I let the fear (s) debilitate me?

  • Prayer: “God, please remove my fear of _____ and direct my attention towards what you would have me be.” Read about fear and trusting God in the AA Big Book on page 68. 

  • Resentments: 4 columns. #1: Person, institution or principle with whom we are angry, #2: Why? #3: What part of Self is hurt or threatened? (Self-esteem, pride, emotional security, finances, ambitions, relationships) and #4: Where was I to blame? Write out the exact nature of your wrong. Did it come from: Selfishness, self-seeking, dishonesty or fear?

  • People we have harmed: 4 columns: #1: Person I harmed, #2: What did I do? #3: What part of Self caused the harm? (Self-reliance, self-confidence, self-discipline, self-will, self-pity, ambitions, relationships, fear) and #4: What should I have done instead?

 

*After completed, share with sponsor.

 

ACTION - 4th Strengths – List 25 things you appreciate about yourself.

 

*After completed – share with sponsor

 

ACTION - 5th Victim – Please take one page of paper and write about the areas of your life you still feel like a victim

 

There are several ways we have found to stop feeling, even acting, like a victim. Each person has to work at this from whatever methods he is willing to. Some of us have found the below to help:

  1. Practice gratitude and random acts of kindness.

  2. Help someone, even backing off and letting someone in front of you in traffic or in a line in a store. Consider paying for someone’s groceries, or anonymously paying for another customer in a coffee shop or restaurant.

  3. Stop blaming others (people or situations) and realize when we say, “God, why me?” that He may be saying, “Why not?” The truth is that there are people far worse off than you.

  4. Be compassionate with yourself and others. Do the work to resolve your relationship with your inner critic. (Self-Therapy, by Jay Earley).

  5. Do something nice for yourself.

  6. Resolve your resentments using Step Four, working it as many times as you need to with as many sponsors as you need. Be honest and willing.

  7. Take responsibility! We may not be responsible for being where we are now, but we are responsible for how we go on from here!

 

*After completed – share with sponsor

 

ACTION - 6th Strengths – List 25 more things you appreciate about yourself.

 

*After completed – share with sponsor

 

ACTION - Finally, Please list 10 gratitudes:

1 through 10

 

*After completed – share with sponsor

 

STEP FIVE

 

5.    We found freedom by sharing our inventory with our Higher Power and another human being and accepted the responsibility to use all tools available to recover.

 

ACTION - We have shared our inventories with our sponsor as we have worked this step one inventory at a time.  After we have completed sharing all inventories with our sponsor we take up to one hour to take our inventory to our Higher Power in whatever way we see most fit.  For some of us this is a walk in nature, for others it is in quiet prayer and meditation and others have found other means and ways to take their inventory to their Higher Power.

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

1 through 10

 

After we have completed this exercise we check in with our sponsor.

 

STEP SIX

 

6.    Having identified both functional and dysfunctional character traits, we became willing to have  God (Higher Power) remove those that no longer served us and help us develop more positive ones.

 

ACTION - Please make a list of survivor responses: (for example: anger, hypervigilence, control, fear, etc.) – You may want to refer to your Step Four work to assist you with this.

 

ACTION - Am I willing, with the help of my Higher Power, to replace my survivor and trauma responses with healthier choices?

___ Yes  ___ No?

 

ACTION – If yes, please write one page in response to the above question. Outline how you will accomplish this. Specifically, what survivor responses that detract from your life could you let go of? What positive character traits are you willing to adopt?

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1-10 in a column

 

Check in with Sponsor

 

STEP SEVEN

 

7.    We humbly asked our Higher Power to help us eliminate the debilitating consequences of the trauma.

 

ACTION - Seventh Step prayer from page 76 of the AA Big Book – We prayed this prayer with our sponsor

 

God (My Creator), 

I am now willing that You should have all of me, 
good and bad. 
I pray that You now remove from me 
every single defect of character which stands in the way 
of my usefulness to You and my fellows. 
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, 
to do Your bidding.

Amen

 

ACTION - We also prayed the following TSA prayer with our sponsor:

 

God (Creator):

In my willingness to heal I ask you to relieve me of the debilitating consequences from past trauma so that I may live my life in alignment with my higher purpose.  I thank you Creator (God).

 

Amen

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

STEP EIGHT

 

Sponsor may remind sponsee that in incidents where he/she was a victim, he/she may not responsible for any harm he/she did either under coercion or in an effort to save himself/herself from further harm. Victims of childhood abuse may not owe any amends to their abusers. 

 

8.   We made a list of all persons we had harmed, including ourselves, our inner family, and others and became willing to make amends to them all.

 

ACTION - We reviewed all inventories and all previous Steps and made a list of all persons we had harmed, including ourselves, our inner family, parts, and others so that we were able to see this list in written form.

 

ACTION - We then took a sheet of paper and listed three columns and placed the names we had written on one of the following columns.

Column #1 – Those I am willing to make amends to, this is the NOW COLUMN

Column #2 – Those I may be willing to make amends to, this is the MAYBE COLUMN

Column #3 – Those I feel I am never willing to make amends to, this is the NEVER COLUMN

The goal here is to not have any in this column. As we work through the Steps and spend time discussing them with our sponsor and at meetings, we try to find ways to move those in the NEVER column to the MAYBE or even the NOW column. We don't want to be stuck in eternal resentment without a way out. We remember that we don’t make amends for times when we were a victim.

 

Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

After these action steps, I check in with my sponsor.


 

STEP NINE

 

9. We made direct amends wherever possible, except when to do so would cause physical, mental, emotional or spiritual harm to ourselves or to others.

 

Sponsor reminds sponsee that the word, ‘amend’, means to change. We help them realize that some amends are direct, perhaps verbal or financial and some are ‘living amends’, meaning that we change the way we live and specifically the way we treat others. We also encourage our sponsee to ask the person to whom he (or she) is making an amend, what they can do to make it right. We carefully review each amend with our sponsee before encouraging them to actually make the amend.

 

ACTION - We then set out to make amends and if willing did so to ourselves, our inner family and our parts first.  Experience has taught us that starting with self amends first is an action that gives us the strength to make amends to others.  We gave ourselves permission to be creative with amends to ourselves and our inner family. Some of us wrote a letter to ourselves promising a living amends, others addressed each part, and others made amends in other ways.  The purpose of the self amends is to begin to live differently. Remember that the word amend means to change.

ACTION - We then made amends to others on our list. We reviewed each one with our sponsor and accepted his or her experience, strength and hope.

 

The options we had for the amends to others were:

  1. Making it face to face

  2. Writing a letter and sending it.

  3. Writing a letter and not sending it.

  4. Constructing a way to make a living amend.

 

When making amends to others we often used “I was wrong.” If appropriate, we stated the grosser character defect that was at play at the time (selfishness, fear, self-centeredness, etc..).”  If appropriate, we then asked how we could make things right and, if willing to accept their answer, assured the other that we would do so if it was in our power.


 

During this amends process we checked in with our sponsor regularly.  

 

Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

ACTION - After we made our best attempts with making all amends we revised our list to amends to be made in the near future and constructed our living amends (to our self and our parts as well as to other people) plan on one sheet of paper.

 

We shared this with our sponsor.

 

STEP TEN

 

10.    We continued to take responsibility for our own recovery and when we found ourselves reverting to old patterns of thinking and/or behavior still dictated by the trauma, we promptly admitted it and sought ways to stop the regression. When we succeeded, we promptly enjoyed it.

 

ACTION - We took a pen to one piece of paper and made a map of how we wanted to live our lives moving forward and listed how we were going to be responsible for our own recovery.  We have a number of ways members have mapped out this step.

 

We made our best attempt to live a new life and wrote how we were to live a successful life as defined by ourselves.

 

When we fell short, we had in our plan an immediate map of how to get back on track.

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

When finished we shared this with our sponsor.

 

STEP ELEVEN

 

11.    We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power and with ourselves, asking for knowledge of our Higher Power’s will for us and the power to carry it out

 

Use how to listen to god handout from TSA website

 

ACTION - Meditate 20 minutes with your sponsor and then share with each other.

We made a commitment to ourselves and to our Higher Power to live each day in this step to the best of our ability. We wrote one paragraph outlining how we would remember to connect with our Higher Power at least once daily, the goal being to stay connected as close to all of the time as possible. Some of us already had methods for this, such as reading spiritual literature every morning, getting on our knees morning and/or evening to pray, attending daily meetings (12 step or other spiritual groups). We committed to continuing, adding to, or beginning practices that would help us maintain spiritual health and conscious contact with our God (Higher Power).

 

Please list 10 gratitudes:

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

STEP TWELVE

 

12.    Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps and the work we are doing in recovery, we carried this message to other trauma and abuse survivors, being sure to continue in our own recovery. We practiced these principles in every part of our lives.


ACTION - We listed on one sheet of paper the ways we were now more spiritually awake and our thoughts of how we may carry this message to other trauma survivors.

 

ACTION - Please list 10 gratitudes:

 

Number 1 through 10 in a column

 

We then shared what our plan was moving forward with our lives with our sponsor.

 

Copyright TSA 2018

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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