Step One of the 12 Steps

Step One of the 12 Steps

Sure, I would rather be alone than with a bunch of people but more often than not I questioned my sanity.

After many years of denial, recovery can begin for alcoholics and their families with one simple admission of being powerless over alcohol. This is the first step of the 12 step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon programs.

Step 1 of AA: Admitting Powerlessness Over Alcohol

We are not meant to go through this life alone and we need other people so we can be healthy, strong and independent. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” The easiest way to determine this is if you find yourself trying to control or manipulate to make something happen, it most likely isn’t supposed to happen. If you find yourself being in fear about what is occurring and reacting based on that fear, you are most likely experiencing self-will. If the situation feels comfortable and fluid, it is probably God’s will.

No one makes the conscious choice to lose control and wreck their lives. Many factors go into addiction development, from genetics to untreated mental health symptoms, for which some people turn to alcohol or powerless over alcohol drugs as a way of self-medicating. Acknowledging powerlessness over alcohol and drugs can be liberating for many people. It frees you up to focus your time and energy on things that are within your control.

Step 1 in AA – Why You Aren’t Powerless

We’re available to talk 24 hours a day, and we offer a wide variety of science-based treatment programs. In essence, you are making a conscious choice to stop lying to yourself. You accept that you can’t continue drinking alcohol or using drugs and that you have absolutely no control when you are using.

How do you accept powerlessness?

Accepting powerlessness frees up your energy for other, higher purposes. Offer the problem or the situation you're powerless over to God, your Higher Power, the Divine, or however you conceive of your Higher Power. Continually remind yourself that you are not a victim simply because you're powerless.

In the long term, maintaining abstinence from alcohol and drugs requires a lot of effort. The most effective way to stay sober is by using the tools of recovery. This includes attending meetings regularly, getting counseling, practicing mindfulness, and staying connected with others who share similar struggles. In this context, it means that someone feels like they don’t have any control over their life. They may feel like they have little choice but to continue using drugs or alcohol because they lack alternatives. Accepting my powerlessness did not mean I was accepting a life of defeat but rather claiming my victory over the things I cannot control.

Step 1 of AA: “Powerlessness”, the First of the 12-step Journey

Her primary focus is to provide all clients with a safe, structured environment while coordinating their care. Alexandra understands addiction from both familial and personal standpoints, as she is active in her own recovery. Alexandra is a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend and has learned the value of recovery and succeeding in whatever she sets her mind to. Her innovative approach as Director of Operations gives her clients a safe and compassionate place at The Freedom Center to begin their recovery journey.

Why is 7 Habits important?

Participants gain hands-on experience, applying timeless principles that yield greater productivity, improved communications, strengthened relationships, increased influence, and laser-like focus on critical priorities. The 7 Habits will help you: learn how to take initiative.

This cycle of lies and keeping secrets can go on for years and that in itself can create an atmosphere that actually causes the situation to deteriorate faster. Verywell Mind’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Are you Powerless Over Alcohol?

However, when the same behavior turned out fine, they didn’t mind taking responsibility for the behavior. This indicates that lack of free will is often an excuse for when things go wrong. Quite the contrary, being able to admit that you can’t drink makes you self-aware and honest. Knowing your limitations helps you to succeed and accomplish your goals. Try not to look at step one as admitting total defeat.

  • You accept that your life now largely revolves around maintaining your addiction and that your addiction is now the driving force behind all of your thoughts and actions.
  • It may happen hundreds and thousands of times in your sobriety, but don’t let that deter you.
  • You may have noticed your life in chaos—maybe you’ve lost your home, your job, your family, your possessions, or your self-respect.
  • My ego was rebelling against the idea of this suggested admission, but my heart and my spirit were so broken that I was open to believing that whatever worked for the people around me could work for me, too.
  • You have not only admitted there is a problem, but by also seeking help you have already begun to address the issue.

When he’s not busy treating The Freedom Center’s clientele, you might find Kevin engaged in his other passion as an actor/director in the local theater community. Kevin’s expertise and experience as a Primary Therapist, paired with his natural talents and abilities as a speaker and an artist, have uniquely equipped him to reach our population and render top-notch care. Cheryl is a Clinical Social Worker licensed by the state of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in the field. She graduated from The University of Maryland with a master’s degree in social work. As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder.

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