Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Step 1 (Part 1)

Another post by Josh. He is such an amazing and insightful person, I hope that someone can get something out of his words!

Step One:
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

It is easy to say the words, but we need to look at exactly what we are admitting to.  Saying I am powerless over my addiction, isn't just saying that I am powerless over drugs (including alcohol).  The using of drugs is just one of the many symptoms of my addiction. 

My addiction is my obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviors in wanting to control anything and everything around me.  My addiction is my inability to handle life's stresses and even good times in a positive way.  For me, my addiction reached into every single part of my life, so when I admit that I am powerless over my addiction, I'm really admitting that I am powerless over my life. 

This is what my addiction has done to me, taken control of my life, which for me led to why my life was so unmanageable.  Each of us has to decide on our own the various ways our lives have become unmanageable, and all the ways in which we are powerless over our addiction.  We all had our own journeys and experiences in our active addiction, though many of us have experienced many of the same things, we each have our unique stories and places our addiction took us. 

 For me, my addiction affected everything, so I became powerless over everything.  My unmanageability was easily seen in many areas, but when I really looked, I could see how my entire life had become unmanageable.  Work, being a responsible father, friend, my health, relationships, and many other things were unmanageable in my life because of my addiction. 

Most 12-Step groups consider this first step, to surrender.  This in no way means that we have given up.  It means that I have decided to stop fighting my addiction and trying to do things on my own, because everything I've tried on my own hasn't worked.  It's humbling myself and finally being honest that I am not happy with my life and I want to change.  I wouldn't be where I am at today in my recovery, were it not for taking this first step. 

How can I expect to solve a problem, if I am not even willing to admit there is one in the first place?  By admitting my powerlessness and unmanageability, I begin to surrender to my ways of thinking and dealing with my life.  I admit that I am not happy with my life, and want to change.  That's all you have to do with this first step. 

There is no timetable or due date when it comes to recovery.  We work each step, one at a time, and in the order that they are written.  Let step two wait until I know I've worked step one to the best of my ability, because it's not going anywhere. 

 I try to live step one every single day, and remind myself of my powerlessness and unmanageability that came with my addiction.  My power today, comes from my surrender, and asking for help; which there is plenty of in many different forms if I look and ask for it.

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