- 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.

POWERLESSNESS

Postby robbiechaos » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:33 pm

I Had a different problem with coming to the fellowship of AA than you did Dallas. But it did have to do with Step 1. You see I heard the word powerlessness and equated it with surrender. I am a warrior and in my life being relentless has saved my ass and the asses of my fellows many times. I dont SURRENDER, and even if I did commit the act of surrendering to an enemy it would be to save the lives of my men or others so technically that would be a sacrifice. It took a horrible tragedy for me to see the difference. On New years eve 2009 I was planning on going out to a party, my son called me and asked me if he could spend new years with my fiancee and I. Uncharacteristically I said yes he could and we stayed home. New Years Day we are watching the news and we see a picture of his friend Garret. He Died on the street in our neighborhood of alcohol poisoning. My son would have been with him if I had went to that party. That could have been my son,looking down at that boys casket I swore off alcohol. But it wasnt long til my son was trying to wake me up passed out drunk, this boy terrified that i too had died of alcohol poisoning. That is when I realized that I was powerless, that I would kill or die for my boy, but I couldnt stop drinking for him. Just like a heart is powerless to stop a bullet shot at it.The Heart does not surrender to the bullet it is just a matter of biology. So to once I take that first drink or drug I am powerless to control the amounts I use. I did not surrender my control. I never had any...
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Postby Dallas » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:49 pm

Looks like you are lucky to have a wise and caring son.
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Re: POWERLESSNESS

Postby leejosepho » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:01 pm

robbiechaos wrote:I did not surrender ...


Same here -- I simply stop fighting, then abandoned myself to someone capable of winning the battle.
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Postby ROBERT » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:21 am

The principle of surrender in step 1 is an important one for me---I seem to have that warrior mentality also-not a bad thing indeed, my misuse (non-use) of it is what caused,causes alot of trouble for me- I wanted to battle stuff I couldn't beat, and still do--I tried, in vain to control my alcoholism-something I am powerless over- I did not surrender my control either-just my attempts to......so when things get a little crazy (in my head) I find my self returning to the 1st principle that set the stage for my recovery.....surrender, letting go of my percieved control of things which I have none---this brings me back to reality, and there is where a solution is for me...this has never failed me...keeping my life simple & un-complicated is so very important to my serenity--1,2,3,10,11,12,--six core principles that aid in "Keeping it simple"...a lifestyle I'm learning,-(and getting better at)-one day at a time.
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My son is a fine young man

Postby robbiechaos » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:14 am

My son is a fine young man and much wiser than his years. The reason I dont like to say or think of it like surrender is that surrender denotes that I had a chance of winning. That I was simply defeated. When the truth is that I never had a chance to win. I have as much chance of defeating alchoholism as I have living unprotected in the vacuum of space. But whatever works for you brother, God bless you. I must always know that I never had a chance to defeat this enemy. That I require the protection and care of a higher power lest this enemy so cunning and powerful will surely defeat me. Just as sure as a bullet would go thru my heart. I can take the protection and care of bodyarmor with a titanium plate, a higher power, to stop thAt bullet. But if I take my armor off, My Heart is just as vulnerable. :shock:
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Postby ROBERT » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:38 am

So what "principle" do you draw from step one?--help me to see...robbiechaos, ya know I can be very sensitive at times and feel vulnerable, for a variety of reasons, for me this forum is not about a right or wrong way to do or see any thing-we are all different to a degree..so when I share, it is, "MY"experience, as it pertains to me, and how my use and perception of the program works for ME. ----How others go about it is, well, how they go about it, in my view finder ther is no right or wrong- different yes, and alot of times I learn from the different perpective, so to understand others point of view helps me to grow, and is a principle in and of itself- but I get to choose whether or not it is helpful to me...this is not a battle field. A mind field- for shore-
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principle of step 1

Postby robbiechaos » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:32 am

I have known that I was an alcoholic for over a decade before I came to the fellowship. And I focussed on the word "POWERLESS" as the reason I would not take the 12 steps. Or even step foot in a meeting. In my big book(fourth edition) on page 568 the quote from Henry Spencer describes a principle I had in me that kept me in everlasting ignorance- That principle was contempt prior to investigation. You see I equated powerlessness with surrender and never bothered to investigate it further. In my Faith surrender is not an option. So I used this as an excuse to not take these steps because to do so would invalidate my belief system. Powerlessness, I see now, is just a truth. My flesh is powerless against the steel of a blade. That is a truth. Surrender is an action, a choice. Some may say that I surrendered to the truth of my powerlessness, I would still argue. That my thinking that I wasnt powerless was a kind of insanity. Just like if I believed I was bulletproof. That would be insane. Step 1 came for me when my God forced me to see what everyone else could plainly see. That I am powerless to control my addictions. I always was powerless. I didnt have to surrender to that the fact that I was powerless. It is a truth about me. Just like the truth that I need air to breathe. Or a better example is that If I am stung by a bee, I will go into anaphalactic shock. Others may be stung by bees and not die. But for me a bee sting means death, if I go untreated. I never had to surrender to that truth. And I dont need to surrender to be powerless against alcohol. What amazes me is how this insane thinking kept me from doing what I needed all those years. But I see now that the principle that kept me ignorant was contempt prior to investigation.
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Postby ROBERT » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:21 pm

Right on dude---that is my story---that is how it was for me, they couldn't reach me cause a new idea can't be grafted on to a closed mind--I already had my mind made up--until I reached that jumping off place-couldn't see life with or without --and the loneliness was indescribable, then I was ready to learn what this program was offering-only then did I become teachable, Thanks robbiechaos..I love being able to c-o-n-n-e-c-t with people thru experiences only real alkis can understand. Sounds like you may be a REAL alcoholic too!
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Postby Dallas » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:49 am

Yep. He sounds like the genuine type, don't he? :lol:

I've heard some speakers say "I didn't start drinking to become alcoholic!"

I'm sure that most alcoholics probably did not start drinking to become alcoholic -- but, I do remember as a young teen -- one of my goals was to become alcoholic.

Of course, I had no idea what it really meant to be alcoholic. I only knew that my heros were called alcoholics. They were tough. Bad asses. They were real men. They didn't cry and they could withstand anything!

So, I got me a bottle of whiskey, bought me a guitar, and changed my birth certificate that said I was older -- so that I could go get a drivers license. And, I left home at 13 years old.

I didn't have time to be a kid. Life was kind of tough -- and I needed to grow up really fast so that I could survive.

And, whiskey did me good for a bunch of years. It did for me what I couldn't do for myself. And, it was that way up until the last days when my drinking seemed to start turning on me.

For me to give up alcohol was like a normal man giving up his God. Mentally I was hooked. Physically and emotionally I was hooked. And, then to be told that I had developed an abnormal reaction to the thing that was sustaining me -- was like being told that I had developed an abnormal reaction to all foods, water, and breathing!

"How will I ever be able to live without it... let alone act normal or be normal without it?"

For me, drinking seemed like the most normal thing that I had ever done. It felt like my legs had been chopped off -- when I discovered that my only option -- if I wanted to live -- was to let go of the drinking.

For me, it was like letting go of the best relationship that I had ever had in life. As I look back now, I can see that I went through a grieving process about it... besides the crazies and the itching and scratching and things crawling on me and inside me... and the horrible dreams, waking up being so wet that it was like I just stepped out of the shower!

I felt like "you know... if I can make it through the next 24 hours... I'll be able to make it through anything... But, I didn't believe I could make it the 24 hours without a drink.

Thanks to God, and to AA, they were able to do for me -- what I could not do for myself... and today, I'm free... and reasonable happy and sane... without drinking.

Dallas
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Postby ROBERT » Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:14 am

That is a true alki story...just like mine, it is as if we alkis have are own comic book series...not always funny---although at one time drinking was fun but oh did it turn and turn bad....sure can relate Dallas.....THANKS,--
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