What Does Step 1 of AA Mean For Your Life?

Recovery from addiction begins when the addict is willing to admit they have a problem. During the recovery process, there will be lots of firsts. This one is vital because it’s usually the catalyst that gets someone into rehab. Without this admission, the addict has an excuse for continuing to destroy their life.

Once in rehab, there are three components that comprise a reputable treatment program:

  • Detox program when necessary (moderate to severe addiction
  • Therapy and counseling
  • Aftercare programs like sober living and 12-Step meeting

Of course, therapy and counseling are the meat and potatoes of treatment. This is the platform where the addict gets an opportunity to look squarely into the eyes of their addiction, looking for the root causes. This is important because the causes of one’s addiction will dictate how coping skills can be improved to help prevent relapses in the future.

When it’s time for a recovering addict to leave rehab, the recovery process is still in its infancy. For the rest of the individual’s life, they will need to be diligent. That means avoiding temptation and triggers. When those things are unavoidable, that’s when the new and improved coping skills get put to the test.

Upon leaving rehab, reputable rehab facilities offer up access to a variety of aftercare programs. Sober living is a favorite option because it allows the recovering addict a chance to ease their way back into a normal way of living. While living in a sober living environment, a residential manager will help dole out responsibilities and privileges based on where the resident is with their recovery. Once the resident looks to be on square footing and able to deal with life on life’s terms, it’s time for them to fly the coop and give it a go on their own.

Of course, they never really have to go it on their own. The recovering addict always has access to support resources. One of the top support resources would be a 12-Step program. For drug users, the applicable 12-Step program is known as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) while alcoholics would typically use Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For what it’s worth, these programs are largely interchangeable. They are both based on the same 12 Steps of Recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Step 1

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women. The program was established in the mid 1900s with one primary purpose, to provide a support resource for people who want to stop drinking and stay sober. All over the world, AA meetings are available every night of the week. Some meetings are very small while others could have as many as several hundred people in attendance.

While there are several meeting themes, most meetings are what is referred to as “therapy” meetings. This is the traditional type of meeting where members get an opportunity to share about their lives and addiction. The premise of therapy is the notion sharing has the ability to help both the one doing the sharing and the audience that’s listening.

While meetings are the mainstay of a 12-Step program, the actual 12 Steps are why the program exists. These steps are designed to take a recovering addict through a healing process of sorts. About the 12 Steps:

  • No one step is more important than the other.
  • The 12 Steps must be addressed in order
  • Generally, it helps a great deal to “work” the 12 Steps with a sponsor
  • The 12 Steps focus on accounability
  • It’s always good to continue going through the 12 Steps throughout one’s lifetime

The healing process starts with Step 1. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” As indicated above, the 12 Steps focus on accountability. Nothing screams accountability than someone admitting they have a problem.

Nothing in AA is by chance or accident. The 12 Steps were designed as a sequence for a reason. Let’s look at the importance of Step 1 in your life.

Coming Clean

In the same way an addict won’t seek help until they are willing to admit there’s a problem, “admitted we were powerless” indicates the alcoholic recognizes they have a problem. Once they are willing to admit they have a problem, it empowers them to do something about it.

Coming to Grips With Being Powerless

While working this step with a sponsor, the member is focusing on understanding the meaning of powerless. No one likes to admit they can’t control some aspect of their life. This might be as a result of society putting so much emphasis on every one looking out for themselves for the betterment of society. Unfortunately, addiction takes away one’s ability to do that. There’s great value in someone to grips with the notion they are human and can’t control everything. It’s called being humble.

Setting the Table for Step 2

Step 2 states “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Translated in AA, that means that because the recovering addict is powerless, they need help. It becomes clear that a member isn’t going to be able to move on to step 2 until Step 1 is embedded in their soul. Again, it’s part of a healing process. The healing process allows the alcoholic to be vulnerable as long as they recognize their vulnerability and know what to do when things start coming apart.

If you are serious about your recovery, we would recommend you becoming a member of AA. There really is nothing more beautiful than one addict helping another. If you would like more information about this program or where to get help for your addiction, we encourage you to pick up the phone and call one of our counselors at 877-978-3148. You’ll never know the difference a call can make until you make it.