Step One of the 12 Steps

Second if you are told that something cannot be done by an authority figure, most times, we don’t try to do it (eg Alanon and Powerlessness). So, if we are told that we need to wait till the drinker is ready change because we cannot do anything about it, then most likely we will not try. However, after finding out you are powerless people tend to stop trying. On the one hand although it can clear partners of any guilt, it can greatly limit what they feel they can do and leave them helpless and hopeless to affect their own lives. Also, importantly, it flies in the face of all the principles of social psychology.

Whether we admitted it or not, everybody and everything else assumed secondary importance. It would be one thing if alcoholism or alcohol abuse just struck one day, like waking up with the flu, but it doesn’t. In other words, they’ve had to adopt their own version of denial. Powerlessness is often mistaken for weakness, but this is actually a step of strength.

Alanon  and Powerlessness

You may have noticed your life in chaos—maybe you’ve lost your home, your job, your family, your possessions, or your self-respect. You may have seen the inside of hospital rooms or jail cells. Regardless of how you got to this point, Step 1 of AA is merely realizing that your alcohol abuse disorder was interfering negatively with your life, and you need to change.

what does it mean to be powerless over alcohol

The only way to break that vicious cycle is by getting honest about your relationship with alcohol. It’s about admitting that alcohol controls you, and not the other way around. The only way to heal an illness is to admit that it is a disease, which is exactly what you do when you embrace Step 1 of AA and admit that you’re powerless over alcohol. Understanding powerless, that I had no choice, changed my life.

“Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out.” (Big Book, Page

At The Kimberly Center, we know that acknowledging powerlessness isn’t easy, but we want to help simplify the recovery process. Call us now at KCENTER so that we can 20 Natural Alcohol Detox Supplements and Vitamins help you tackle the first steps of your recovery. We are committed to putting you and your recovery first. At the Kimberly Center, you are in safe and trusted hands.

The first step is about powerlessness over behavior that makes the individual’s life unmanageable. Whether you are attempting to get sober for the first time or you are returning to sobriety after a relapse, it can be scary or embarrassing to admit that you are unable to stop drinking on your own. Some AA meetings give all participants a chance to speak. Before speaking, the participant is required to state his or her first name and say that he or she is an alcoholic. When you follow this format, you are participating in Step 1 and admit to the group that you may be struggling with alcohol addiction.

What Does It Mean to Be Powerless?

The memory
of the humiliation and suffering you experienced just a week ago is probably
already lost in your memory, but try to think about how you feel when you are
using drugs or drinking. If you or someone you love struggles to manage their drug and alcohol addiction, it is vital to seek drug addiction treatment. Our comprehensive treatment programs and addiction specialists at Lighthouse Recovery Institute can help you find the right path to recovery. Sometimes alcoholics keep their desire to drink secret because they’re ashamed or think that deciding to quit drinking means they aren’t supposed to be tempted. By admitting to at least one other person that you’re having a hard time with your sobriety in Step 1 of AA, you acknowledge that you are having difficulty maintaining control in regards to alcohol.

  • Alcohol was not my saving grace that brought me peace and serenity – it was the enemy!
  • Whether you’re looking for treatment or for aftercare options, we can point you in the right direction.
  • Step 1 of AA is crucial because it’s not just about you and your recovery journey.
  • They are certain that next year will be different, even though they live on an annual floodplain and their recent, horrific experience is identical to every year they’ve ever lived there.
  • Admitting to being powerless over alcohol will help a person to recognize that he or she does not have control with their drinking.

According to Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1981), “Few indeed were those who, so assailed, had ever won through in singlehanded combat. It was a statistical fact that alcoholics rarely recovered on their own resources” (p. 22). By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website.

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