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Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous AA

If you are truly addicted, that is not an option, and you can not compare yourself to those people. If you’re ready to get help with alcohol addiction, visit the AA website to find a support group near you. There are also many secular programs that may help you achieve or maintain recovery. So if you tell your sponsor or other safe person that you drank as soon as you can after sobering up, it can be a way of admitting you are powerless over alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the oldest and perhaps the most recognized alcohol addiction treatment program. With a history stretching back for decades, AA operates on its Twelve Steps method, which gives a roadmap for those seeking recovery.

You may have noticed your life in chaos—maybe you’ve lost your home, your job, your family, your possessions, or your self-respect. You may have seen the inside of hospital rooms or jail cells. Regardless of how you got to this point, Step 1 of AA is merely realizing that your alcohol abuse disorder was interfering negatively with your life, and you need to change. When you admit that you are powerless to addiction, you are empowered to reach out for support. By admitting that your life has become unmanageable, you open yourself up to letting go of control and gain acceptance of yourself. When a person begins using drugs or alcohol, it was probably recreational.

Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous

Most examples of powerlessness in sobriety have to do with admitting that you cannot change your behaviors on your own. Getting help from others at a treatment facility and in peer recovery groups can benefit your sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, asking for help can get you on the road to a better life. Ambrosia Treatment Centers offer extensive evidence-based alcohol and drug rehab treatments in West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Singer Island, Florida.

i am powerless over alcohol

We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. According to Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1981), “Few indeed were those who, so assailed, had ever won through in singlehanded combat. It was a statistical fact that alcoholics rarely recovered on their own resources” (p. 22). I take heart in William James’ words, “Faith is a bet you can’t lose.” If I choose to believe that things I’m powerless over can work out without me, then I have more peace. I worry less and cease searching for ways to not be powerless.

Thinking About Treatment?

In other words, “You’d drink too if you had my life” is a warning sign of powerlessness over addiction. So is, “How is taking a drink to calm down different from taking medication powerless over alcohol to calm down?” If you have to justify your use of the substance, you may have a problem. Alcoholics Anonymous Step 1 is the beginning of a 12-step program to get and stay sober.

If you justify your use of your addiction, you may be powerless over it. The problem is alcohol can kill you quickly in the event of an overdose or slowly in the form of liver disease. Medications are closely monitored to make sure they’re not causing potentially lethal problems. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use.

Recovering from Mental Illness

After all, while people with AUD are powerless over alcohol, their loved ones feel powerless as well. They can’t help you break your addiction, and they feel stuck in uncomfortable positions while they make excuses for your drinking. By admitting that you are currently powerless, you make room to restore power by seeking assistance. At that point, you may discover it’s easy to move on to Step 2 of AA—and all the ones that follow. The 12-step program is based on the belief that one day at a time we can take control of our lives by making positive changes. Many peer recovery groups use examples of powerlessness in sobriety to help participants accept themselves for who they are.

You can’t quit if you don’t believe you have a problem. But by believing you have a problem, you can begin to overcome it. There’s a big difference between prescribed medication and self-medicating. For starters, antidepressants don’t turn into formaldehyde in your liver like alcohol does, according to my psychiatrist. Another thing–antidepressants don’t work on people who don’t have a mental illness, whereas alcohol affects everybody. A third difference–you can usually predict how a medication will affect you after taking it for a while.


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