Step 1 -Acknowledgement

They say that ever journey begins with a single step. The same is true in the journey of recovery.

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

There is specific reason and numerous discussions around why the first step is the first step, I think it’s rather simple to explain why. For everything we build, a solid foundation is key. The greatest architectural marvel, if built on shaky ground, is sure to be ruins in a matter of time. This applies to us building a life in recovery. The first step can be completed quickly, without thought or realization of the powerlessness and unmanageability of where we had ended up. Just like the concrete on a foundation should be given time to cure, we should give ample time to be thorough in working through our first step.

I would like to point out a couple of the less significant words in the step, and the significance that lies in them. Note that the step reads, ”…we were powerless, that our lives had become unmanageable’.   It does not say that we will always be powerless or that we have to deal with a life of unmanageability, this fact, in itself, gives us hope and motivation for a brighter future.  This was key for me to realize as I worked through the step.

So, on to the ‘big’ words of this step. In regards to powerlessness, this was a tough one for me. We all beleive that we have some power over the decisions we make, but as I looked back at some of the decisions I had made, I realized that in those situations, I felt that I had no choice, no power. By giving in to these compulsions, I had given my power away. I was powerless.

Similar to that is manageability, in the depths of our using, it is easy to recognize how out of control our lives had become.  From trying to build relationships to managing our health to growing in our responsibilities in life, we were floundering, out lives were unmanageable. And what happens when we can’t manage our own lives? Someone else does it for us, i.e. Law Enforcement, the courts, doctors and shrinks.

So, when you’re ready to work through the steps, my recommendation is to take your time, be thorough and work with your sponsor or someone who has been through it. And most importantly, enjoy the journey.

-M

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