Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The all important first step.....

"We admitted we were powerless over Alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable" -AA Big Book

At the "We are not Saints Group" meeting that I lead this was the topic of our discussion last Thursday night. It was interesting to hear everyone's point of view or interpretation on this step. To a lot of people it meant just getting in the doors of AA. To other's even when they were in AA they didn't realize they were powerless. For me it was resolved before I ever walked through those doors. I really had no concept of AA. I knew what I saw on TV or in movies, but had no real understanding of the program. I knew that or I should say I assumed that when you went to AA you never drank again. With this knowledge it took me years to get there. I really could not imagine my life without drinking. I knew what was happening to me. I knew I didn't drink like other people but I would see people enjoying glasses of wine and laughing and I just wasn't going to give that up. Not until my life became unmanageable. Not until I couldn't stand to be in the escape that I used to avoid my own life. I had to get that low in order to do something. This baffles a lot of people but another alcoholic will smile and nod their head. They know it takes a lot to finally surrender. So I knew AA was there but I wasn't there yet. Then one day like a ray of sun shooting in through the blinds a thought came to me, "would it really be so bad to never drink again?" Would my life really be so bad without alcohol?" And for the first time ever I said no, it wouldn't be so bad. As I began to digest this thought my higher power began to fill my mind with the possibilities that I might actually be able to do this. So that was it. I was done. I knew I was going to be done. I walked through the doors of AA knowing I was powerless, that my life was unmanageable and that I would never drink again. I never entertained the idea of a relapse because I had come to the conclusion that I am not capable of ever drinking responsibly. However I see people who have not reconciled this decision. They relapse constantly. They come back ashamed and angry but go right back out there. To me it's hanging on to some shred of hope that tells you you just my be able to drink like everyone else. But because alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful you can't. You need to lay this :Isaac" down. To drop it, to settle the fact that you never had, nor never will have, any type of control over alcohol. I truly believe that this needs to be a done deal before you move on to step two. It breaks my heart to see people relapse but it's the fight for control that keeps them falling. I considered myself very niave when I first came to AA. But I am grateful for the childlike understanding I had. If I went to AA I couldn't drink anymore. For myself it's not an option. I have worked very hard in this program. I guard my sobriety like a priceless piece of art. I walk side by side with my HP to make this happen. I have spent numerous hours with my sponsor to work through the twelve steps. It's not an easy deal. But I do know that admitting I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable was a day that changed my life forever......and for that I will be eternally grateful.....


  1. it is this way with many a sin...the letting go..we can fool our selves thinking we have it under control....

  2. I am glad that you are where you are in recovery. You get it. So many don't.

  3. This resonated with me. Although I think my problem is that I'm under no illusions that I'm in control, it's that I don't care that I'm out of control. Believing that I deserve sobriety and a good life is challenging for me. I'm glad I ran across your blog. Thank you.

  4. Amen. Powerless is safe in the arms of a HP. I am glad you walked through those doors. I am grateful that I walked through the doors of the program too.
    Great post.