Step 1 of AA: Admitting You’re Powerless Over Alcohol

You might be avoiding taking the first step toward recovery due to myths and misunderstandings surrounding AA and its steps. Here are some of the most common myths debunked or explained. Step 1 of AA acknowledges the need for members to hit rock bottom to understand alcohol addiction’s destructive nature. The original version of the Twelve Steps and The Big Book makes numerous references to God, and this is largely because AA’s founders were Christians.

  • While we do like some of their program, the fellowship and support that they provide, we fundamentally disagree with the central tenet of powerlessness.
  • The brain chemistry changes dramatically even after just one drink causing the person to crave more and more alcohol.
  • At one time, our number one priority was to stay sober.
  • We strive to exceed patient and community expectations in every life we touch.
  • This pervasive stigma is a big reason why seeking help for substance abuse, or even admitting you struggle with substance abuse, is so hard.

This understanding of the word obsession explains why we keep going back to pick up the first drink or drug. It makes so much sense when we look back at our behaviors—the threat of relationships ending, poor health, work-life, bad decisions, legal trouble, etc. We’re powerless when our mind is obsessing, so it’s nearly impossible to make the right decision. The impact of drugs and alcohol on your body over time renders your natural brain functions and mechanisms powerless.

Family and Children’s Programs

I saw that I was worse than I knew, but understanding the problem helped me accept the solution. At one time, our number one priority was to stay sober. Today with the understanding of powerless, our number one priority is our relationship with our creator and how we can best serve. Because the journey to sobriety is full of forward steps and backward ones, it may be necessary for some people to return to this step multiple times. The path to recovery is rarely a straight line, but a series of twists and turns. You may be powerless over the effects of substance abuse, but choosing to be better every day is where that power returns.

«We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.» A crucial part of completing AA Step one revolves around admitting powerlessness. Step 1 of AA requires a great deal of strength and courage as you accept that alcohol has taken over your life. Humans naturally gather together, which is why group therapy remains a powerful therapeutic tool for alcohol addiction. Further, groups with trained leaders, such as AA sponsors, can positively promote substance abuse recovery. These include reducing isolation, providing a support system, and witnessing the healing of others.

Understanding Powerlessness

The family can become totally controlled by diseased thinking. Although the illusion of control may continue, their lives become unmanageable, because alcohol is really in control. Are you ready to achieve liberation and strength over your destructive drinking habits? If so, you must admit defeat, become powerless, and embrace Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) guiding principles, starting with Step 1 of AA. Quite the contrary, being able to admit that you can’t drink makes you self-aware and honest.

When you look up the definition of the word “powerless”, you will find that it means being helpless, without ability or influence, ineffective, and defenseless. When you are powerless, it means you don’t have enough capability to win over something or to control something. American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Our hope is merely to capture the spirit of the fellowships, and to approach people with the language they commonly use to describe the disease of addiction. This cycle of lies and keeping secrets can go on for years, and that in itself can create an atmosphere that actually causes the situation to deteriorate faster.

Do You Have to Believe in God for 1st Step AA?

The most effective way to stay sober is by using the tools of recovery. This includes attending meetings regularly, getting counseling, practicing mindfulness, and staying connected with others who share similar struggles. Step One AA acknowledges that not only are you powerless over alcohol, but your life has also become unmanageable as a result. This unmanageability often manifests in various ways, such as deteriorating relationships, declining physical and mental health and a growing sense of despair.

If they cannot stop, how are they able to tell themselves
they are in control? Even with the greatest amount of willpower and the sincerest
desire to stop using, being powerless means they have no choice, they cannot
stop using on their own, without appropriate help. I’m not going to dive into the medical explanation of why alcoholics are powerless over alcohol.

Why We Admit Powerlessness over Alcohol and Drugs

Admitting that you are powerless over alcohol does not mean that you are weak as a person. It does not mean that you don’t have the willpower and resolve to give it up. It also does not mean that you are not a strong person Learn What Spiritual Malady Is And The Role It Plays In Your Recovery to handle recovery. Your health insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of inpatient and/or outpatient rehab. Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous is often one of the most difficult for people.

  • Step One is just asking a person to acknowledge that they have the disease of addiction, and life is harder because of it.
  • They may feel like they have little choice but to continue using drugs or alcohol because they lack alternatives.
  • When you follow this format, you are participating in Step 1 and admit to the group that you may be struggling with alcohol addiction.
  • Our nationally accredited substance abuse detoxification & treatment center is one of the most highly respected programs in the country.
  • At that point, you may discover it’s easy to move on to Step 2 of AA—and all the ones that follow.

When you follow this format, you are participating in Step 1 and admitting to the group that you may be struggling with alcohol addiction. Letting go of the past, accepting your present and opening yourself up to a new way of living isn’t an easy thing to do, especially in the beginning. The 12-step road to recovery can appear pretty intimidating to someone who is just starting out, but solutions exist.

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