- Step 1 Powerless over alcohol

Step 1 Powerless over alcohol




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

Step 1 Powerless over alcohol

Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 30, 2005 5:15 am

Step 1 Powerless over alcohol

When I was new in A.A., I thought that "Powerless over alcohol" meant that I was only powerless while drinking. That’s only part of the deal. I learned that for me, powerless over alcohol means that I am powerless over alcohol when sober!!!

If I were only powerless over alcohol while drinking... the solution to my problem would be simple. Just quit drinking. I wouldn’t need A.A., the 12 Steps, meetings, God, or a Sponsor! However, my real problem is alcohol-ism.

I am powerless over the next drink while I am sober, which means that I will ALWAYS have the next drink if my alcohol-ism is not being treated. The mental obsession, the physical craving, or the emotional compulsion, will draw me to the next drink just like the hidden energy in a magnet will attract iron to it.

Restless, irritable and discontented without a drink is only part of my problem. There have been many times that my life got so good and I felt so good that I went out to celebrate… just a tiny little bit. :lol:

On my own... I am doomed to drink again. But, "with AA’s help" I don't have to take the first drink.

Through AA’s 12 Steps, my obsession to drink has been removed. The physical craving will not come back unless I take the first drink. And, the emotional compulsion to drink was removed through the 12 Steps. And, I was able to make a conscious contact with a Power Greater Than Myself.... that could restore me to sanity, and provide the power that I need to take the actions that will lead me away from the next drink. That’s great! I must be recovered, right? Wrong! That’s what the alcoholic part of my brain would like me to believe. Recovered only means that I am sober today.

When I take Step 1, I am making a full unreserved surrender... It means "I'm licked". I lost the game. Now, I better find a new one. My old tools, methods, plans and techniques to try and control my drinking didn’t work. My old design for living didn't work. There were times that I could get sober… once, I stayed sober about six months, on my own! But I couldn’t stay sober. Sooner or later, against all my better judgment and experiences… I would pick up a drink again. And, even though it has now been more than 18 years without a drink for me… I will drink again… if I stop doing what I’m doing that keeps me from picking up the next drink.

This is why the First Step is the most important step. I will not be willing to take the other eleven Steps with the "vigorous action" that they require, nor will I be willing to surrender to a Higher Power.... if I'm not doomed…. While sober! :roll:

That’s why I go to A.A. meetings. In the A.A. meetings I remember what my problem is… alcoholism, and what the solutions is: AA’s 12 Steps. The meetings do not keep me sober. The meetings remind me of what my problem is and what the solution to my problem is. It’s the DAILY practicing and living the 12 Steps, and maintaining and improving on my conscious contact with a Power Greater than myself that keep me sober.

If I stop going to AA meetings, my head will forget what my problem is and it will forget what the solution is. On my own… I’ll come up will all kinds of problems other than alcoholism, and solutions other than Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps, and a Power Greater than myself. And, that’s very dangerous for an alcoholic of my type.

It would also be extremely dangerous for me to believe that I could substitute the Internet cyber-meetings for the real live A.A. meetings. There is no substitute.

Now, sober... I have everything that I was looking for in the bottle... peace, joy, contentment, serenity, confidence, happiness, comfort, a new attitude, a new outlook on life, a design for living that really works, and I do not have to fear....... as long as I keep doing what I’m doing!

Thanks for letting me share… And, Keep Coming Back!

Dallas
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step - 1, acceptance

Postby Rusty Zipper » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:07 am

tues. night's. i lead a Step meeting. there are a few people with some time that have worked all the 12 step's... most are pretty new, and a lot struggleing... Dallas, you know my thought's about "Powerlessness".. since this step is about "Acceptance" i try to lead the meeting in that direction... alot of the people are cross addicted. mainl'y, crack, and herion. real tuff stuff. so we try to keep the focus on the powerlessness over not just the substance. but
also, the people, place's, and thing's that lead us into temptation to drink, or drug. alot of u'm come from broken homes, dysfuntional families, live in shelter's. or on the street... geting to open them up to see the fact that the substance that was once their friend, their ticket to fun, to selfesteem. to "Power"... now has turned it's ugly back on us... we talk, that it's staying away from the desire to use.
it's ok to feel the need, to act , say, and do thing's alcoholic... we "ARE"!... accepting that is the first big step into not useing when the desire strike's. we talk of working through the rest of step's to help try to change the thinking process of the alcoholic. and that will come from change. changing old ideas, old reaction's and a new belief in a" power greater than "... the young one's that come in.... do we have to raise the bottom the rest of us had?... of course there are real horror stories... all the warped mind's, the sickness do to usage, the unmanagability of our live. jail, institution's... the divorce's the bill collector'sect. but most of all. the unmanagablity of our working mind's. we see thing's all out of wack. self centered based... me, me, me. by "Accepting" all of this. does the newcomer, and the people with a little time. have a shot at not picking up. " one Day at a Time... good wishes to Step12! one day at a time xoxo Rusty Z :wink:
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re: Powerless

Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:17 am

Hey Rusty, as always, I’m glad you’re here and I look forward to reading all your posts.
Thank you, that you keep coming back.

I know that we’ve had discussions previously on “powerlessâ€
Dallas
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no judgment

Postby Rusty Zipper » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:45 pm

good morning Dallas.hope all is well in sobriety land :wink: Dallas, thank you for not passing a judgement on me. at times it would be nice to have you right here in person. communicating is another one of the key's to the door of willingness. there have been way to many times in my past that i would not, or, could not communicate. drink or drug my feeling's or thought's away. Dallas, i believe you have some trust in me. Dallas, i now have some trust in a "Power Greater Than Me"... for me it's kind of like, Trusting is to Believeing, as, Accepting is to Addmitting... no, no, no, Dallas what i meant is that, first i have to compleatly addmit to the fact that i am a alcoholic. cast out any "Denial" denial is my ego's way of trying to let my addiction's back in. they will alway's be there. the trust in my H.P. help's keep them at bay... we have discussed this in the past Dallas, if i do not "Accept" the fact that i am an alcoholic, and with that come's all the crap with it. the behavour's, the lie's, the about me's, the manipulating, the crazy thinking process, ect, ect, ect. oh yes, cant forget denial!... so Dallas, i am compleatly "Powerless" for the rest of my life with my alcoholism. my disease want's me to say that i can drink, like the sensible one's. no, no, no can do... so Dallas, when i can "Accept" all of this. "Accept, Accept, Accept"... i can now have a real good shot at not picking up a drink, or drug... of course, One Day at a Time Dallas i hope this clear's the air, around the east coast it can be a little polluttted around here :lol: best wishe's to everyone's road to recovery, i love you all Rusty :idea:
Last edited by Rusty Zipper on Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thanks Rusty

Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 01, 2005 5:47 pm

Hello Rusty!!! Happy Monday!

Thanks for your post! I had been up all night and it was 5 a.m., in the morning when I replied to your post.

As I mentioned there, I knew I was a bit tired and needed some sleep.

Well, I got some sleep and feel much better now. And, guess what? I got up and read your reply and I understood it. Gee. It’s amazing what some sleep will do for me!

Your message helped me understand what you were saying. Thank you!

I am looking forward to the day when I can come up and visit CT, and see you and meet your sober buddies! And, go to the flea market with you, and have coffee and catch some meetings and stuff like that. It would be wonderful to do that. And, now, that I’m free of taking care of my mother, I can start to do some travelling again like I used to. So, don’t be surprised when someday I write to you and say “Hey Rusty!!! I’m on my way!â€
Dallas
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Help me!!

Postby JR » Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:39 am

Wow! You guys are intense. This is the step I am on and I appreciate your insight. I need to do some more reading and absorbing of all the information in the BB and 12X12 on this.

I know I am powerless over alcohol. I know it. I don't like it, but I know it. I wanted to be one of the beautiful people with a glass of wine, but I just ended up drinking the whole bottle and needing a second (bottle not glass). When I drank prior to age 21, I just DRANK. This time I thought I was older, 41 and wiser and could drink like a normal person. Didn't happen. In fact a head full of AA really really takes the fun out of drinking.

My life is unmanageable? What? What part, just the drinking?

I managed myself right back to the bottle because I wasn't relying on The Higher Power. So, I have to get back to God being the manager of my life. I am out of practice doing this. It is amazing how little time it takes to forget everything you ever knew or were taught or even taught others. The alcoholic mind is really something.

I'm planning on reading your posts several more times during my study of this step.

I'm not leaving!!!!!
JR
 
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powerless, always

Postby Rusty Zipper » Sat Sep 03, 2005 6:29 am

JR, nice to see you here. its 3:50 am out east. was wandering around. recov. buddys and i little saying, when we get up in middle of night. just read your post. yea, we can be intence. alcoholism is intence!. there is alot of happiness, and fun in recovery too. as Dallas mentioned up top. i will get a bit more rest before replying to your post at lenght. need clear head. mabe Mr BB might beat me to itl! lol... JR, that man Mr BB ### #### has helped many a person in recovery over the years. including me. and we have not yet met formaly. so JR, keep an open mind, keep the willingness, remain teachable! chances are that you have a shot to a road of Happy Destiny! good wishes JR! kcb Rusty, aka PC :wink:
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Postby Dallas » Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:29 pm

Hey JR,


JR wrote:I need to do some more reading and absorbing of all the information in the BB and 12X12 on this


JR wrote: I know I am powerless over alcohol. I know it. I don't like it, but I know it.


Suggestion: Rather than spend too much time reading and absorbing and studying... I would suggest that you take your experiences, especially the last one, and take the Step rather than study it.

Start with your last experience: Why did you start drinking again? Were you sober before you started drinking again? How long had you been sober before you took "the first drink" of your last drinking experience?

Now... make a list of at least 25 times in your life time, that either:

1. You drank more alcohol than you had intended to drink?

2. Your drinking caused some sort of problem in your life?

3. That regardless of how many times you had experienced difficulties as a result of your drinking... you ended up picking up another one?

Then, you can take this test: Write out why you think you took the first drink of your last drunk?

When you post your answer... I'll let you know if you passed the test to know if you've really taken the First Step.

Some people make much-a-do about Step 1, and split it up into two parts trying to swallow the whole Step.

They say something like "Well okay, I can admit that I might be powerless over alcohol... but this business about my life being unmanageable... or which part of it I want or should manage... etceteras"

Ask yourself these questions:

"If I know, that I am an alcoholic and powerless over alcohol, and I am subject to the insanity of the first drink returning, and time after time, this alcoholic has proven that eventually... they'll get drunk again... and create a bunch of wreckage over it... And, if I were looking at this objectively, from the outside looking in, as though I was someone else...

1. Do I want that person running and managing my life?
2. Do I want that person managing my physical security?
3. Do I want that person managing my financial investments and banking?
4. Do I want that person to be managing my family or children?
5. Do I want that person managing my future?
6. What will happen to me... if that person keeps running my life?"

Dallas
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No reservations

Postby JR » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:31 pm

Thanks Rusty for your insight. I will try to find the ref. about the guy who went out.

As the BB says there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol. I think I have proven that to myself over the last 2 years.

The experiment with alcohol really proved to me all AA says about the alcoholic drinker. I was unable to bring into my consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of my previous drinking career.

I drank from age 17 to 21. By the end of it I had been to jail, totalled a car, alienated everyone, experienced pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. I never really lost anything because I never had anything. I kept people at a distance. I didn't have long term relationships.

In sobriety, I got together with another newcomer and we stayed together for 16 years. We didn't have children because I didn't want to pass the disease onto anyone, although we raised his 2 sons. AA was a central part of our lives. When we divorced in 1999 I stopped going to meetings.

I realize now that meetings are part of the way we can remember the terrible toll alcohol takes by listening to other peoples stories. From 1999 to 2003 I didn't drink on my own. Slowly but surely I stopped practicing the principles in all my affairs. I convinced myself that it would be okay to try drinking. It was INSANE thinking. I gave up 20 years of sobriety for a drink. But, if it has taught me that I really am an alcoholic, all is not lost.

I'm 43 years old and have drank 6 of those years. As the BB says it was worth a bad case of jitters to once again get a full knowledge of my condition. Plus, my husband who is a normal drinker was a witness. He certainly has not let me off the hook and he has let me know all about my behaviour while drunk and/or blacked out.

Step one is where I am at. I've been studying my BB and 12X12 and going to meetings. Also, my ex-husband and I conducted a step study for many years and I have all my forms and notes from that. So, I am starting from scratch. I'm looking for a sponsor. I don't feel that I can move on to step two until I have gone over step one with a sponsor.

The delusion that I am like other people, or will ever be, has been smashed. I know I am a real alcoholic and will never be able to control alcohol (although this really annoys me).

I still need help on the unmanageable part.

I have seen people die from this disease. It happens all the time. Wonderful people who you think 'have it' go out and die. I don't want that. I have a good life. The promises as a result of working the steps did materialize in my life.

I am grateful that I have been given another shot at sobriety. It is very humbling to be a newcomer again. I'd like to keep this feeling forever, but I know the alcoholic ego likes to stretch its wings. Practicing humility daily is probably the toughest part of the program of action.

Gotta I go, but I'm not leaving!!!!
JR
 
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Assignment

Postby JR » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:33 pm

Thanks for the assignment, Dallas, I'll do it and get back to you.
JR
 
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 1 Powerless over alcohol