We must answer once and for all these three puzzling questions-
What is an Alcoholic?
Who is an Alcoholic?
Am I an Alcoholic?
To get the right answer the prospective member must start this course of instruction with-
1. A willingness to learn. We must not have the attitude that “you’ve got to show me.”
2. An open mind. Forget any and all ideas or notions we already have. Set our opinions aside.
3. Complete honesty. It is possible-not at all probable-that we may fool somebody else. But we MUST be honest with ourselves, and it is a good time to start being honest with others.
Briefly stated – dependance on drugs and alcohol gets worse over time if we CONTINUE to use. However the AA founders have proved that once ADMITTED to our inner most selves that we are and will always remain powerless over alcohol and drugs, something almost mystical begins to happen. We are not sure why it happens, we just have a 79 year history of watching it happen in recovering people. Through working the steps, COMPLETE honesty, surrender, acceptance the urge and obsession to use leaves us. If we are willing to dump our personal belief that we can control our drugging or drinking and we can admit that we are defeated, completely and utterly, by drugs and alcohol…then we can start to climb up out of the hole we have dug for ourselves in life.
We are NOT responsible for being addicts and alcoholics. It was encoded into us when we were born.
We ARE responsible for doing whatever it takes to begin to recover. You must admit you are powerless over drugs and alcohol and at that point you give up misery, pain and discomfort for a lifelong journey of self discovery.
Admitting and understanding our powerlessness over drugs and alcohol is the firm foundation for any successful recovery. It is now our responsibility to start a recovery program. We do that by unlocking old patterns of thought and behavior, by finding and keeping in our lives an atmosphere of care and concern and constantly keeping in our vision our powerlessness over addiction.
The second part of the First Step is unmanageability. There are really two kinds…social and personal. Social unmanageability is when you get drugged or drunk, drive your car and perhaps injure yourself or others. Personal unmanageability involves the much more subtle and hard to see attitudes and beliefs about ourselves, our environment and the people we live around. This is usually present years before we pick up.
Putting the cork in the bottle is simply not enough. Putting down the drug just won’t do the trick. We need to rebuild our personalities.
The same person will drink again, we must change ourselves.
· How would you summarize the powerlessness and unmanageability of your life in the face of your addiction?
List five times you have been unmanageable in your life. Keep in mind that step one is the most important step because it is the one that allows us to accept and develop in our sobriety.
Write down five personal promises to yourself that you can keep. Such as I will attend a meeting a day, or be honest… etc. Include an affirmation. Keep these promises with you written in your phone or piece of paper to always look at during rough times.
How would you summarize powerlessness in your life in the face of your addiction?
Journal your gratitude and how you feel right now such as positive… etc.