The Twelve Steps Alcoholics Anonymous

But I had hit my rock bottom due to a tidal wave of emotions that sunk my ship. My life was a mess, and I had no idea how to contend with the internal rubble. So, finally, after about a million tears, I humbled myself. I realized that I was really powerless over addiction and my emotional life was out of control. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) operates under a set of 12 steps to achieve daily recovery.

  • You have to accept and understand that you can’t recover from AUD on your own.
  • Then, you’ll be ready to move through the remaining 10 steps, until you reach a point where your AUD is manageable.
  • You aren’t powerless when it comes to choosing not to drink or use drugs.

It’s your responsibility to stay engaged in your recovery and work with your sponsor. It’s your responsibility to be open and willing to treatment and growth. And if you end up drinking or using once sober, you have to take responsibility for that too. You can’t blame it on powerlessness–that is, the Nutrition Guide For Addiction Recovery complete inability to control your actions. The AA first step, admitting powerlessness and acknowledging the unmanageability your addiction brings, is a crucial leap toward lasting recovery. It’s a moment of profound self-realization and humility, opening the door to hope, healing and transformation.

Understanding Why Alcoholics Must Accept Their Powerlessness in AA

Accepting our powerlessness (complete defeat) is the bottom that an alcoholic and addict must hit. You might not be ready the first time you decide to attend a meeting. You may leave early or continue to deny that you have a problem—relapse rates for substance abuse tend to be quite high, and it can take many tries before you’re finally able to quit. But you may return at a later date when you are ready to take the first step and admit you are powerless over alcohol.

how am i powerless over alcohol

Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs. Ambrosia was founded in 2007 with a mission to provide truly individualized substance abuse treatment to every person who enters one of our programs. But the terminal stages of addiction will strip everything away, and an addicted person who refuses to recover will often be left with nothing. Self-empowerment pitches are misguided when the target audience includes chronic drinkers and drug users, all of whom already suffer the hallmarks of powerlessness. Our shame, guilt, despair and anger weren’t triggered because somebody told us we were powerless. It’s the human condition, the natural and foreseeable consequence of wrestling with forces beyond our control.

What Are Some Myths About This Step?

Yet I’d never heard someone with 20+ years summarize powerlessness so elegantly. The problem is alcohol can kill you quickly in the event of an overdose or slowly in the form of liver disease. Medications are closely monitored to make sure they’re not causing potentially lethal problems. Step 1 is simply the first step in AA’s 12-step program. By taking this step, you acknowledge that your alcohol use has come to a point where you cannot control it.

Dr. Alam is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has won several awards and has been featured extensively on radio and television. In this article, we’ll explain the language in greater detail and in simpler terms. And with the help of well-known recovery author Jeff Jay, we’ll also figure out how to actually work the Step and what it’s trying to teach us.

The Twelve Steps

The brain controls our movements, thoughts, critical thinking, coordination, speech, and walking. You may view alcoholism as a weakness of your character or will, but this view may hinder your ability to accept you have an alcohol use disorder. Your alcohol addiction is a physical compulsion beyond your control—a progressive illness that defies common sense. There’s not a simple pill you can take to cure this disease. Instead, the treatment available focuses on helping you manage your condition, so you can achieve sobriety and resist relapse to alcohol abuse.

how am i powerless over alcohol

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” This could mean God, a general belief system or the recovery community itself. 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.