The first step in the twelve steps is the one commonly referred to as “Powerlessness.” Some alternative twelve-step addiction centers will refer to it as “Honesty.” The first step, as it was originally written is:
“We admitted we were powerless over our alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
You can insert whatever addictive substance you need to in place of “alcohol.” The point of step one is that instead of continuing to deny that there is a problem, the individual has recognized that there is a problem, and that the problem has gotten out of hand.
You, Yourself, Are Not Powerless
It’s important to realize that in this admission, that you’re not saying that you, yourself, are powerless. You have lots of things you do have power over – where you will go when you get off work, how you will interact with your co-workers, whether you will eat chicken or vegetable soup for dinner. But, when alcohol or other substance enters the picture, the cravings are so intense that it is almost impossible to resist them.
Life Has Become Unmanageable
Relationships have been destroyed. Losing a job may be involved. Missing an important milestone of a family member may have happened. Perhaps there was an incident where you drove under the influence. These are all large-scale examples of life becoming unmanageable under the influence of an addiction. However, your life doesn’t have to be out of control or at “rock bottom” for you to feel that life has become unmanageable.
All it takes is realizing that your addiction is causing you more pain than the pain you’re attempting to avoid by giving into the cravings and succumbing to the power the addictive substance or behavior has over you.
You Must Admit There is a Problem to Stand Against the Problem
To derive strength against the addiction, this first step is necessary. Until you recognize that the substance you’re craving is spinning your life out of control when you give in, you can’t stand up to it. Once you acknowledge this first step, you then also recognize that you have the power to say no. You have the power to get the help you need, and you have the power to become strong in the face of the addiction.
You Can Get Control Over Your Life Again
You can reclaim your personal power from taking it back from the hold the addictive substance has had over you and your life. Your life can become manageable again if you take the first step and decide that you will now abstain from the substance you were addicted to. In the interim, take some time for self-reflection. Ask yourself questions about how drinking has affected the different areas of your life – spiritually, socially, romantically, relationally with family members, career-wise, financially.
Should you wish to have help and a support team with you in your recovery efforts, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your recovery and self-care efforts.