At all the face-to-face meetings I’ve attended, Step One is a frequent topic because it is the foundation upon which sobriety is built. If we are to prosper in the program, newcomers must fully understand the power of the disease of alcoholism. One way we try to foster that understanding by telling our own stories.
The first time I arrived at AA, I knew I was an alcoholic, but I didn’t believe my life was unmanageable. Others were convinced about unmanageability but questioned if they were really alcoholics. Telling our stories exposes new people to a wide range of personal experiences, at least a few of which they will hopefully be able to relate.
For me, it was hearing people with sobriety describing my own behaviors that helped me accept my powerlessness. The outstanding one was when a man said he knew where every 7-11 store was within a five-mile radius of his home, and he never went to the same store twice in a row because he didn’t want the clerk to know how much he drank. That statement hit me like a brick because it described me. There were many more aspects of my life that I didn’t recognize as unmanageable until I heard AAers describe them as consequences of their drinking.
Hearing your stories made all the difference for me, and I hope it will be helpful to our members who are new to or struggling with sobriety. Therefore, I invite you to share on the first step this week.
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.