home -> 12 steps -> step 1

Step 1
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol
- that our lives had become unmanageable.

Is this surrender, or humility? Surrender is what you do in the middle of the fight, and you quit. But, if the fight is over, and you lost, it is not surrender, it is accepting reality. This is a big step, it is the foundational step.

Before you can use directions to get somewhere, you need to know where your starting point is. For example, the directions to getting to New York City, where I was born, start with where you are NOW.

If you don't know that alcohol, or whatever you "drug-of-choice" is, has beaten you beyond control, how can you get back into the driver's seat? If you say that you haven't been beaten, then you don't need this program, do you? It is not for those that can manage on their own, or are still trying to be a "Lone Ranger" in their spiritual walk.

This is why many people say that you are "talking-to-the-bottle" if the drunk hasn't hit bottom yet. If doing it your way is so good, why are you reading this?

This is why I pray that all drunks, addicts, etc. have it so bad that they do hit bottom. That's when they have a chance to turn their life around. Only when it can "get-no-worse-than-this", can they start upward.

Yet, if they think that they still can handle it, and that everyone else is hounding them, maybe they should read "The Big Book" and see why this was made the first step by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Not by preachers or doctors or therapists, but by people wanting their dreams and their hopes and their futures back from where they had been lost.

Oh, you are not insane? I see. If using your drug of choice has given you such a rotten life so far, isn't it insane to thing that it will do you any differently in the future? A friend of ours defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". Another has said, "we can not solve problems with the same thinking that created them."

* The Twelve Steps are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that A.A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that A.A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism. Use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs which are patterned after A.A. but which address other problems does not imply otherwise.

The complete Serenity Prayer is also available on this website.