Step 1 of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous states as follows:
“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Starting the Journey to Recovery
The first step of any endeavor is a beginning, and this one is the beginning of the process of recovery. Moreover, this is the first step to a healthier, more fulfilling life, and when healing finally begins.
Engaging in the 12 steps is also referred to as “working” them because it requires motivating, effort, and direct action. The 12 steps of AA has been compared to markers or milestones put out thoughtfully on a path by people who have come before us to guide us on our mission. The journey is often scary from the viewpoint of an individual at the beginning, but, luckily, we are only asked to do this one step one day at a time.
If we are fortunate, our journey now has us arriving at the point of surrender. For some, the road a person has walked that led to the first step has been enough to establish that complete surrender is the only valid option for recovery.
For many in recovery, walking into an addiction treatment center or AA meeting for the first time is a significant part of “working” the first step. This simple act of requesting help is, essentially, an admission of powerlessness and the inability to have control over alcohol.
Most alcoholics and drug addicts have intense feelings of guilt, shame, regret, and self-hatred when they walk into an AA fellowship meeting. They’ve also become accustomed to concealing the extent of their problem from almost everyone. Thus, opening up about the nature and intensity of one’s alcoholic behavior is unfamiliar territory. It may even feel quite unnatural, and people often don’t want to do it.
By sharing one’s experiences and loss of control, one can remove the burden of dealing with them secretly and alone. Revealing secrets can liberate a person and help them move forward into a better life. For many, the simple act of sharing in an AA meeting is the true beginning of the recovery process.
Critically, achieving abstinence from alcohol is also a requirement for starting work on the first step. The first step is about examining the effects of alcoholism in one’s life and what is needed to be sober. A person will have to find a way to stop addictive behaviors with an attitude that isn’t muddied by alcohol use.
If you’ve been sober a while already, then the first step is about admitting powerlessness over the behaviors that have made your life unmanageable. There are many things alcoholics can do to work through the first step thoroughly. Most of the work is intended to discover one’s complete history of abuse.
Responsibility and Acceptance
It is each person in recovery’s responsibility to remain actively involved in sobriety and follow his or her sponsor’s recommendations. It is our responsibility to foster and increase our willingness. It’s vital to understand that you are not entirely “powerless,” however.
We all have the ability to engage in the process of recovery, and we have the power to choose not to use drugs or alcohol. The truth of the matter is that you are powerless over drugs and alcohol if you decide to put them in your body.
Acceptance occurs when a person experiences feelings of hope and peace in acknowledging our addiction and the need for recovery. We no longer dread a future filled with meeting attendance, sponsor communication, and working through the steps. Instead, we begin to realize that recovery is indeed a valuable gift, and not meant to be the bane of our existence.
Engaging in the steps can foster serenity and help a person to embrace the fact that AA is not just a program where suffering people get well. It is a means of living that is rewarding and fruitful in and of itself. Having a solid foundation in recovery through working the steps can give an individual a loving, understanding fellowship to accompany them in their journey.
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship that has helped countless individuals recover from addiction over the last few decades. However, evidence has shown that recovery outcomes are dramatically improved when group support is used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program, such as those offered by Recovery By The Sea.
Our caring staff are trained in all matters of addiction and mental health and are dedicated to providing our clients with the tools and support they need to enjoy a full recovery.
Are you ready to begin your new life? If so, contact us today. We can help you break free from the chains of addiction for the rest of your life!