I’ve been in recovery for over eleven years now. Like most of us, the 12 step model was my first port of call once I accepted that my life was unmanageable. As I grew and matured within myself, the 12 step model as it is originally written, did not ring true for me. I had a lot of trouble with many of the concepts especially those of powerlessness and defectiveness. For many women, powerlessness has been a dominant feeling and experience in our lives. Recreating those concepts within a recovery situation can cause further problems. However, I found a solution in A Deeper Wisdom – The 12 Steps from a Woman’s Perspective.

Enter A Deeper Wisdom

I came across this book by Patricia Lynn Reilly very recently having been republished by The Girl Good Books. I’m sorry to say that it was the first time I’d heard of it. And what a joy it is!

Twelve Step Recovery was a large part of the authors life from the end of college and into her married life. She attended Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Over Eaters Anonymous. While she received many gifts from Twelve Step community, the emphasis on ego-deflation, was a concern for her. This concept, designed by men and their own experience did not bode well for her . Self-loathing and self-criticism was at the heart of her problems and further ego deflation seemed daunting.

A desire for a “non-shaming, non-hierarchical framework” inspired her to rewrite the 12 steps from a perspective she related to. And so A Deeper Wisdom – The 12 Steps from a Woman’s Perspective came to be.

Releasing Shame.

For many women, shame has been a tool of control and coercion our entire lives. This book approaches recovery from a place of “original goodness, self-love and self-trust. It emphasizes developing trust in ourselves with our own healing as opposed to fundamental sinfulness and defectiveness and handing our power away.

Patricia says ” Whether or not you have ever set foot in a recovery meeting is irrelevant. This book is for all women. We have all lost our way at times. We have all wrestled with habits of thought and behavior that troubled and challenged us.”

This books 12 step concept can be applied to all recovery situations regardless of how your addiction presents itself. It invites you to take a deep and loving look at how you interact with the world. It helps you understand how your own behaviors help or hinder you and how to improve your experience of the world through deep, nourishing insight.

We have the opportunity to work through our issues and in some cases rewrite the steps from a very personal viewpoint. We are invited to keep a journal and meditate while working through the steps. The book encourages us to spend quality time searching our own heart and soul for the answers to our problems.

I would encourage all women to read and work through this book. Over the next few weeks I will take different aspects of the book and discuss them and hopefully find new perspective and healing for myself also.

The latest print of this book has been endorsed by Dawn Nickel, PhD founder of She Recovers Foundation and can be purchase the book from The Girl God Books and at Amazon.




Nicola is a Health & Wellness coach with 20 years experience helping people heal and find their path. She is a qualified Reflexologist, Masseuse and Life Coach. She has created content for intherooms.com for 7 years. She was Editor at iloverecovery.com and has written for many recovery publications online and in print. She is also an author at The Girl God books. She has lived with type 1 diabetes for 38 years, since she was 7 years old.

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