We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.
It can be scary and challenging to take the first step and admit that you have a problem with addiction. However, the only way you can start down that path toward sobriety is by taking the first step forward. Step 1 in AA can be one of the hardest to take, but also one of the most rewarding.
What Does Step 1 in AA Mean?
The 12 steps of AA is a healing process and the step one of Alcoholics Anonymous is a new beginning. The day you start working this step is the day your healing begins.
Step one is all about the idea of admittance and acceptance. In order to make a lasting change, you need to first admit that things are not working as they are. Admittance isn’t enough to make a lasting change; it’s simply acknowledging that this may be true. To really impact your life, though, you’ll need to come to fully accept the situation. Accepting the situation means looking at the deeper meaning.
When trying to accept your situation while working the first step in AA, you need to recognize the value of the impact you’re making. How are you impacting your own life by continuing to let addiction control you? How could you impact your life by getting sober? What about your loved ones, how do both of these situations impact them?
With true acceptance of the situation comes a feeling of peace. If you’ve accepted your situation, you’re no longer dreading the idea of going to regular meetings. Instead, you’ve begun to come to terms with your addiction and realize that recovery is a precious gift.
How to Work Step 1 in Alcoholics Anonymous
Anything new can feel scary at first, and this is no different. The good news is that by simply realizing your old way of life is no longer sustainable, and committing to achieving recovery, you’ve already begun working this step.
Beyond simply walking into treatment, most of the work involved in step one in Alcoholics Anonymous is meant to take a hard look at your history of alcohol or drug abuse. Some of the questions you could consider asking yourself include:
- Am I willing to give recovery my best shot?
- What would my life be like if I completely surrendered?
- What kinds of consequences have come out of my addiction?
- How many examples of “powerlessness” can I think of related to my addiction?
- How many ways has my addiction created chaos in my own life and the lives of my family and friends?
Recovery is a very introspective process, but there are some outward things you can do to work step one in Alcoholics Anonymous, as well. These include:
- Speaking up during your group meetings
- Finding a sponsor to help you work through your program
- Telling someone if you feel like drinking or using again
- Telling someone if you do drink or use again
Many people don’t work step one just one time. Some may have to return to it after a relapse or slip in sobriety. Others find it helpful to come back to step one every so often to remind themselves where they started from and review their strategies for staying sober.
Powerlessness vs. Responsibility During Step 1 in AA
Step one in AA requires you to admit that you’re powerless over alcohol or narcotics. However, it’s important to understand that you’re not completely powerless as you move forward. Yes, you’re powerless to substances when you put them in your body, but you have the power to choose not to abuse them in the future.
As you’ll come to learn very quickly, 12 step programs place a heavy emphasis on personal responsibility. It’s your responsibility to stay engaged in your program and continue working the 12 steps as long as you need. It’s your responsibility to work with yourself and your sponsor to keep you on this positive path.
Need Help Following the Twelve Steps?
Whether we’re talking about recovering from an addiction, starting a new exercise regime, or anything else, that first step is always the hardest to take. If you’re ready to take the first step toward lifelong recovery, we want to help.
At Any Length, we strongly believe in the healing power of the 12 steps and we use this methodology to help men and their families find freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. If you’d like to find out how we can help you recover, rebuild trust, and rediscover purpose, give us a call today at (512) 746-7036.