It took about six months of talking with my coworker, who is now my sponsor, to realize that I was sicker than I thought I was and living as a dry drunk. It took another six months to realize I needed to work the Twelve Steps. I would argue with my sponsor about how I didn't need to formally work the 12 Steps because I had already "informally" worked them. After all I had "controlled" my drinking.
When I was finally willing to work the steps, my sponsor continually pointed me back to the first step because I hadn't "gotten it yet". Then one day I got it. I was riding my bicycle (if the name didn't give it away I am an avid cyclist) thinking about why I wasn't able to progress past the first step. In my head I knew I was powerless and my life had become unmanaegable but somewhere deep inside me I still believed I could fix it.
During this time, there were some forest fires out west, and the morning of my ride I saw footage of flames approaching a house. They talked about people refusing to evacuate because they wanted to save their houses and the financial costs and loss of life associated with rescuing these people. People who realized that they were powerless over the fire put down their shovels and hoses and left. People who thought they could control the fire stayed ... and many died.
As I rode my bike I realized that I was like a man, whose house was in the path of a raging fire, standing in the back yard with a water hose believing he could save his house. People who are sane but the hose down. On that ride I talked to my higher power and put down the hose.
I've been tempted to pick back up the hose from time to time and each time I reminded that I am a man with a garden hose trying to put out a raging forest fire.