- Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!

Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Postby leejosepho » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:14 pm

Dallas wrote:Welcome to the forum... but, not quote me and then mess with the quote by adding to it or taking away from it... and then, put my name on it! :wink:

Dallas


Thank you for the welcome, and I have made the necessary edits!
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Postby leejosepho » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:23 pm

ROBERT wrote:when I was ready to quit, REALLY ready,(I conceded) hyphen, no hyphen, yada-yada I wasn't looking for ways to complicate things ANY MORE--thank you very much :wink:


Same here ... but then, and as silly as this might sound to some folks, I could not figure out how to take Step One. My first sponsor had made it clear there were not two parts to it, but that was all he ever said about it. So, I just figured repeating it was good enough and I tried to move along in the Steps ...

Three months later I took a drink I did not want to take ... then twice more at about a year of "in the Fellowship" without having yet found my way into recovery.

Time for dinner at the moment here, then back to Step One!
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Postby leejosepho » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:36 pm

Without insisting anyone must agree, here is what I today believe Step One is all about:

"We admitted we were alcoholic (page 30) - that we were powerless (page 45) to do anything about that because we could not manage our own lives (page 60) into freedom from alcohol (page 85)."

With the latter sentence above simply expanding upon the other, such an overall statement only describes a single state of being: Powerlessness.

We cannot control our drinking once we begin;
(allergy drives us on)
We cannot remain abstinent after we stop;
(obsession, insanity and/or strange mental blank spots drive us back)
On our own, we are powerless to do anything about any of the above.

So, and finally in a moment of honesty:

"1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable."
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Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:47 pm

Thanks leejosepho... I appreciate the edit. :lol:

"Gee, look Ma! I've met another one like me!!!" :wink:

Where I screwed up on my understanding about Step 1... on my first trial run to land on AA Planet Sobriety... was... "I thought that powerless over alcohol only applied after I had the next drink...

It was logical to me that, yes... I could get drunk and lose control "after I started drinking"... but it wasn't logical that "something inside could force me to pick up the next first drink... after I was sober, and had been sober for a while!"

That's why I thought I didn't need to be concerned with the Steps and all that stuff... "just don't drink the first drink."

And, at 5 1/2 months sober, with no thought of "having the next first drink"... and having real heavy duty thinking of "don't drink!" ... without being aware of it... I started drinking again. And, I drank for almost two weeks... walking around drinking down in Mexico... telling everyone that I was a sober member of AA... and that I didn't drink!

I wasn't in denial... I was in a state of being that Dr. Silkworth, wrote about for the Dr.'s Opinion... "I couldn't differentiate between the true and the false"...... before OR after the next first drink!

Of course, I didn't understand any of this until after I had been sober a while on my next go round with AA. And, I didn't learn about it in meetings... because they weren't talking about it in the meetings that I was attending. (It's always a good idea to try out different meetings... you may find out that the meetings you've been attending... are carrying a different message! ).

If the problem centers in the mind... it centers in the mind regardless if I'm drinking or if I'm sober. When I'm sober... the problem is like a tiger inside my head... that's taking a nap.... and when the tiger moves around in my head... it wakes up the tiger in my gut... and when one or both of them are moving around... I'm on dangerous ground!

So, that's what I figured out about Step 1, that I wasn't hearing or understanding... "I'm powerless over alcohol WHEN IM SOBER!"

It makes no difference to be powerless over alcohol after I've started drinking... I'll drink and drink and drink and drink. So, why admit to something I already knew? That would be no big deal, to admit to something that I already knew.

The thing that makes the concept of powerless so powerfull... is the understanding I had, when it clicked in my head... and I could clearly see that, the real problem for me is.... I'm powerless WHILE SOBER!

Dallas
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Postby gunner48 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:41 pm

Hi Ya'll
Step one.
Powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable. I can only use my own experience to understand this.
I use to get off work and call home to let my wife know I was going to stop in for a QUICK drink before going home. With every thing in me that was my intention. No thought of having 2. Problem was that Once I had the first drink I had no control of what was to happen next. I did not want to have more but being of a alcoholic mind I had lost the ability at times to just go home. That was my unmanageabilty concerning the next drink. All the will power and good intentions I could muster couldn't override the mental twist of having just one more. I knew it was wrong, I didn't want to stay and drink but I did. On page 39 it talks of the actual or potential alcoholic will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self knowledge.
I have always done well with money, job, home and auto. Never been without so there were things I managed OK. Problems things aren't what we are talking about in step one. I am only talking about my inability to stop drinking based on what I know would be best for me. I'm alcoholic and still today if I take that first drink I can not tell you what I will do next. Therefore My life is still unmanageable with regards to the first drink.
PEACE AND LOVE
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Postby ROBERT » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:08 am

Lots of great, from the heart sharing here.....this is definitely a we thing.....I will share my humble opinion, We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-----I cannot, thru my will, stop the effect alcohol has on me--"The phenomenon of craving"- will take place and I am powerless over that phenomenon that "ALCOHOL" creates---that our lives had become unmanageable. By my repeated attempts to have power over the phenomenon created by alcohol my life, by my own doings, is a wreck,---So, I'VE made-(NOT THE ALCOHOL)- a mess of my life-- trying to controll the impossible.
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Postby leejosepho » Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:04 am

Looking back, I had unknowingly and unwittingly taken Step One even before I had ever heard of A.A. (other than knowing it existed somewhere). I knew I could not control my drinking once I started again, and I knew I could not stay sober after I had stopped again. In other words, I already knew these following words I had yet to ever hear or read were completely true about me:

"This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery." ("The Doctor's Opinion")
"Many of us felt that we had plenty of character. There was a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it - this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish." ("Alcoholics Anonymous", the book, page 34)

My life was not unmanageable because I drank -- I was dying because I drank ... and I absolutely could not stop drinking! In fact, I had already even tried "one day at a time, sweet 'Jesus'" and still ended up drunk every time.

Then someone asked me whether I had a *desire* to stop, and I was afraid to answer him because I thought I was the only guy in the world with a problem like mine ... and I feared for my sanity if I might say "Yes" only to hear him respond with anything even close to "Well then, don't drink!"

There is much more to that little story, but I mean to share this for now:

I came to A.A. on the hope someone here could teach me how to live right after the drink issue had somehow been resolved ... and I now see how I had that part completely backwards!
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Postby DebbieV » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:16 am

Dallas Wrote:
The thing that makes the concept of powerless so powerful... is the understanding I had, when it clicked in my head... and I could clearly see that, the real problem for me is.... I'm powerless WHILE SOBER!



That was and still is the key for me. Once I take that first drink, or put alcohol in my system what so ever, the phenomenon of craving hits and I am no longer in control. So, what got me when I first got sober is, why do I put it there in the first place? Because, I didn't have a power greater than myself, and myself was powerless over alcohol before and after it went into my system.

1. I'm powerless over alcohol.

2. I need to come to believe there is a power greater than me, because I am powerless over alcohol.

3. Make a decision to turn my will and life over to that power, because I am powerless over alcohol.

Powerless: Before, during and after drinking.

After I got it through my head that I was powerless over King Alcohol and I got sober, I had to understand just because I took the alcohol out of my life and system, that did not mean that I still wasn't powerless over it. I was and always will be. So I live my life with that knowledge and have to remember that there is one who has all power and if I stay close to him and preform his work well then I don't need to worry.

That is how, in my opinion, that it is possible to have the 10Th step promises come true. (pg 84, 85 big book) "We have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol." I tried to fight alcohol for years and it didn't work, nothing I tried worked because I hadn't done the 3 steps to find the power that would work and 4-12 to learn how to keep that power, along with how to live my life without alcohol.

As I am writing this it all seems so simple. I remember being new and complicating the hell out of it, like I think we all do. I'm glad I have this site to come on and remember what it was like, what happened and what it is like now.



Debbie
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Postby leejosepho » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:53 pm

DebbieV wrote:Powerless: Before, during and after drinking.


Yes! Alcohol had seemed so good to me, but now I knew it was killing me and that I did not have the power by which I could live (page 45).

On a tape someone once gave me, I heard Clancy talk a little about how to know whether we are alcoholic:
Take the alcohol away and see what happens! Sober, my unbearable life quickly became unbearable.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:25 pm

leejosepho wrote:On a tape someone once gave me, I heard Clancy talk a little about how to know whether we are alcoholic:
Take the alcohol away and see what happens! Sober, my unbearable life quickly became unbearable.


I understand!

It was through Clancy... that I was able to finally figure out what was wrong with me. And, also through him -- that I figured out what to do about that spring in my gut! He has a way of saying things in a way that I can understand and relate and identify. I thank God for him and for the many that he has helped.

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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step One – the most often misquoted Step of the 12 Steps!



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