Admitting powerlessness over anything can be stressful and disheartening. It is like losing the ability to have power over what is happening. When someone admits they cannot control everything, they are able to finally move forward in recovery. Alcoholism is an insidious disease, making people think they can do it all on their own. They soon find out they cannot do that and can only navigate recovery with help.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a process of recovering from alcohol addiction within the first of the 12 steps. The first step states that people must admit powerlessness over alcohol and that their lives were not manageable any longer. This first step is hard, scary, and difficult. It means finding a way to let go for positive change and seek support. AA provides a safe space to explore the vulnerabilities that need to take place in order to find hope in recovery.
How Step 1 Works
When people work on 12 steps, they are doing a lifetime journey of figuring out how recovery is going to work for them. Some people have to go back to step one if they are lost in recovery and slip up. It happens to many people, there is no shame in it. People are simply powerless over alcohol and need some tools and strategies to keep themselves sober. Admitting powerlessness means there is less able to manage what is happening, but people who are alcoholics can keep following the program and working the steps as they go along. It is not a linear process. They don’t go from one to two to three and so on. Sometimes they return to steps on the journey to work harder through them as life continues throwing curveballs. Some additional ways to follow the steps can include:
- Speaking up more at meetings and pushing yourself to speak about personal experiences with addiction and recovery
- Telling people if craving or trigger occurs to drink, including a mentor or sponsor
- Working with a counselor to get a sponsor by seeking help for alcoholism. This includes admitting powerlessness to stop drinking
- Letting someone know if alcohol becomes a problem again and drinking behavior returns. Keeping mistakes aside and not sharing them can make things harder and may begin the cycle of keeping secrets, not sharing, and feeling shame instead of healing
Hope is one of those things everyone has to dig deep and find for themselves in recovery. The first step of AA is the most difficult one. Regardless of the attempts to get sober, it can be scary to admit there is a challenge to stop drinking. Without thinking about it too hard, step into what is necessary and feel right at the moment. If intuition, sponsors, friends, and others are sharing that it may be time to seek additional support, at least consider it. If a loved one is struggling, pay attention and notice what they seem to need in the moment. This can be a sign they are ready to get help for their addiction, relapse, or other issues that are popping up. Hope is built around a community that supports people and offers healing space in the midst of challenges.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.