What does Step 1 of the 12 Steps mean?
Step 1 of the 12 Steps is:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
This step is about admitting that you have a problem with addiction and that you cannot control it on your own. It is about surrendering to your addiction and asking for help.
For many people, Step 1 is the most difficult step to work. It can be humbling and embarrassing to admit that you are powerless over something. However, it is an essential step in recovery. You cannot start to heal until you admit that you have a problem.
Examples from Alcoholics Anonymous
Here are some examples of how Step 1 is used in Alcoholics Anonymous:
- A member shares a story about how their drinking has gotten out of control and how they have lost everything that is important to them.
- A member talks about how they have tried to quit drinking on their own many times, but have always failed.
- A member admits that they are powerless over alcohol and that their life has become unmanageable.
Examples from clinical groups
Step 1 is also used in other clinical groups, such as those for people with eating disorders, gambling addiction, and sex addiction. In these groups, members may also admit that they are powerless over their addiction and that their life has become unmanageable.
How to work Step 1
There is no one right way to work Step 1. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and to admit that you have a problem. Here are some suggestions:
- Write down your thoughts and feelings about Step 1. This can help you to process your emotions and to gain a better understanding of your addiction.
- Talk to a trusted friend or sponsor about Step 1. They can offer support and guidance as you work through this step.
- Attend a 12-step meeting or clinical group that uses the 12 Steps. This can provide you with an opportunity to share your story and to hear from others who are also working Step 1.
Step 1 of the 12 Steps is an important step in recovery. It is about admitting that you have a problem with addiction and that you cannot control it on your own. It is about surrendering to your addiction and asking for help. If you are struggling with addiction, consider working Step 1. It can be a difficult step, but it is an essential step on the road to recovery.
Additional tips for working Step 1:
- Be honest with yourself about your addiction. What are the negative consequences that it has had on your life?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or 12-step sponsor.
- Remember that you are not alone. Millions of people struggle with addiction, and there is help available.
- Be patient with yourself. Recovery is a process, and it takes time.
If you are struggling to work Step 1 on your own, please reach out for help. There are many people who care about you and want to see you succeed.