I totally agree that Step 9 is the hardest step to complete -- AFTER the First Step.
My experience has been, that when I, or someone I'm trying to help has a problem with ANY Step,
it's a First Step problem. They don't understand, comprehend, and totally believe in their innermost self -- the gravity of the condition that's upon them. The heat gets off. Life seams to mellow out a bit. We're not struggling to not drink -- so, we get the idea that "I'm ok." Or, "I'm fine."
"I don't need to do this. I'll be okay. If someone is going to drink -- it will be THEM and not me."
A question I like to ask is: "Let's use an imaginary situation. Let's imagine, that you are straddling a big 90 foot razor blade that is suspended in air at a 60 degree angle. And, you're being held by a thread -- from sliding down the razor blade. Your only hope is 'to do a particular something' -- or, stay attached to the razor blade by the thread and hope like hell that the thread doesn't break. What would you choose to do?"
Then, I send them back to their First Step and tell them to call me when they think they've got the First Step down, and we'll start working on the Steps together again.