Growing Up in AA

Embracing Maturity in AA

An insightful oldtimer recently remarked, “when you boil AA down, it’s all about growing up and becoming a responsible adult!” Indeed, there is significant truth in these words.

Recognizing our Emotional Immaturity

The 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of AA highlight that many of us display characteristics of being “childish, emotionally immature, and grandiose.” As uncomfortable as it may be, it’s essential to acknowledge these traits in our journey to sobriety.

The Allure of Immaturity

It’s easy to understand the appeal of remaining in a state of immaturity. Why should we face harsh reality and become mature adults when we can chase windmills and believe in unicorns? However, the reason for pursuing maturity is clear: the steps in AA subtly guide us towards growing up.

The Steps Towards Maturity

Steps 4 and 5 serve as a commercial inventory, a “fact-finding and fact-facing process.” Understanding who we were illuminates the necessity for change. Step 9, alongside the principles of the program, outlines the changes we need to make and the direction we need to take to achieve peace.

Embracing Responsibility

Accepting responsibility, a quintessentially adult behavior, is at the heart of sobriety. It’s up to us to take responsibility for working the program. We can’t expect someone else to do it or want it more than we do.

Taking Action

Our responsibility in living sober includes proactive steps such as attending meetings, offering service, working with others, securing employment, and living within our means. Embracing these responsibilities, we discover they become easier over time, and a desire to take on more responsibilities develops naturally.

The Realization of Adulthood

Initially, the prospect of growing up and becoming an adult can seem daunting, especially for those newly sober and dealing with many problems. Yet by working the steps one day at a time, we eventually realize we’ve grown up – often in spite of ourselves!