Jun 03: Step One

Step One

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.

Jan 01: Step 1

Step 1

Happy New Year ladies!!! Given it is January, Step 1 Month, and the month of my AA sobriety date I would like to share my experience, strength and hope regarding Step 1.

Step One
We admitted at we are powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Who cares to admit complete defeat? Practically no one, of course. Every natural instinct cries out against the idea of personal powerlessness. It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us. (12 x 12)

Eleven years ago, I was fortunate enough to have “an act of Providence” completely remove my desire for alcohol on the 24th and 25th of December. The cravings prevented me from putting together more that 4 days of sobriety from March of that year when I started attending AA meetings, until the 24th of December, about 9 months in total.

“Alcohol, now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self sufficiency and all will to resist its demands.”

During those 9 months I didn’t understand why I couldn’t stop – I was going to meetings, got a sponsor, praying, reading literature, etc. But that amazing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – oh the relief to have that rapacious creditor off my back – it was that spiritual experience that AAer’s had talked about and it gave me a hope and faith that I had not known before that day. The cravings came back with a vengeance on the 26th and I white knuckled it for the next 5 days. They started to diminish the following week and on my 13th day of sobriety I gave in to the rapacious creditor and drank. It made my head foggy and I got no “ahhhhhhhh” feeling out if it, not even the first drink and I did not like the way it made me feel. On Jan 6, 2007, I started a new day of sobriety and by the grace of a higher power, following the suggestions of the program and the having the support of people in AA, I have been sober ever since and am incredibly grateful for the gift of sobriety.

When I look back, I was fortunate I wasn’t given that Christmas Eve reprieve earlier. While I knew I was an alcoholic at my first AA meeting, I had yet to admit complete defeat – and I had not accepted that my life was unmanageable. I hadn’t received DUI, lost my job, etc – in retrospect I think I still had some control underneath it all – it took utter defeat for me to become truly teachable.

I still remember an Episcopalian priest at my women’s meeting that would wish me a low bottom!!! What???? I loved this woman but couldn’t believe as a priest she would wish such a horrible thing on me! Aha, more will be revealed, right? Now I understand. She wasn’t wishing me a DUI, or the loss of my children – she was wishing me the gift of desperation so I would become teachable and the gift of humility so I would do whatever it took to ensure I never returned to hell in a bottle. I am grateful for my low bottom and the amazing life I have now even though it is not perfect.

I would love to hear to hear your thoughts on what Step 1 means to you and how it has impacted your life.

Thank you all for being here. I could not stay sober without you! You all enrich my life so much!!!