The Power in the First Step: Accepting Powerlessness For Recovery

Rather than pushing you to believe in spiritual power, Step 1 of AA gets you to the point where you trust in the possibility of recovery. Then, you’re ready to believe you can manage your AUD with help from outside sources. Sometimes alcoholics keep their desire to drink secret because they’re ashamed or think that deciding to quit drinking means they aren’t supposed to be tempted. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the oldest and perhaps the most recognized alcohol addiction treatment programs. With a history stretching back for decades, AA operates on its 12 Steps method, which gives a roadmap for those seeking recovery.

However, if you closely examine Step 2, the source of that greater power is open to interpretation. Defining that source of power is less important than accepting its ability to move you beyond your powerlessness. In other words, Step 2 of AA offers the direct and immediate remedy for the Allergic to Alcohol? 10 Common Symptoms of Alcohol Intolerance problem you admitted in Step 1 of AA. In the meantime, you can explore AA in combination with your current therapy routine. Because it all begins with Step 1 of AA, it’s very important to understand why you can’t skip this step, even though it doesn’t require specific physical actions.

How to Maintain Long-Term Recovery From Addiction

Additionally, the principles learned in Step One contribute to a reduction in the stigma surrounding addiction, creating a more accepting and understanding society. Vulnerability is often considered a weakness, but in the context of Step One, it becomes a source of strength. Opening up about your powerlessness and unmanageability takes courage. It’s an act of vulnerability that can lead to profound connections with others who have faced similar struggles. Alcoholics Anonymous does not require that you define “Power” using religious terms. All you need to do is admit that Power overcomes powerlessness.

  • I’ll just have one or maybe two; I can drink just one more day then stop, I’ll just smoke marijuana that’s not that bad, or I’ll only drink on the weekends, etc.
  • We’ve had good reasons to quit for good, and we continued drinking or using drugs anyway.
  • It’s an act of vulnerability that can lead to profound connections with others who have faced similar struggles.

Other 12-step programs include Al-Anon, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and others. These groups use similar principles, but each has its own unique approach. It’s not easy to admit this, but if we don’t accept that we are powerless, then we won’t be able to move forward. You might be avoiding taking the first step toward recovery due to myths and misunderstandings surrounding AA and its steps.

Why Does AA Use the Idea of Powerlessness?

A crucial part of completing AA Step one revolves around admitting powerlessness. Step 1 of AA requires a great deal of strength and courage as you accept that alcohol has taken over your life. Humans naturally gather together, which is why group therapy remains a powerful therapeutic tool for alcohol addiction.

  • You may continue to make things work and, therefore, be part of the sickness.
  • Addiction treatment centers often talk about “powerless” as a way to describe the feeling of being unable to control one’s life.
  • Because the journey to sobriety is full of forward steps and backward ones, it may be necessary for some people to return to this step multiple times.

This is because you still need to take action to overcome addiction. Your health insurance provider may be able to cover all or part of the cost of inpatient and/or outpatient rehab. Those who are trying to get sober sometimes feel ashamed if they slip up and have a drink. But keeping your mistakes to yourself only makes it appear like you are in control when you’re not. As a brand, we prefer to use person-first language to avoid defining people by their condition and the stigma that may come with it. That said, we understand the language of Alcoholics Anonymous often does not avoid using the term “alcoholic.”

Common Withdrawal Symptoms

We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. The main criterion for a successful First Step is a person’s acceptance that they do, indeed, have the disease of addiction. A person shouldn’t consider themselves weak-willed or incapable when they admit to their powerlessness, and they don’t have to do anything about their addiction yet. Step One is just asking a person to acknowledge that they have the disease of addiction, and life is harder because of it.

powerlessness over alcohol

Understanding powerless, that I had no choice, changed my life. It wasn’t until I had a full understanding of this word that my spiritual journey really was able to begin. It also made me realize that I’m not a bad person or a weak person. I finally understood what an alcoholic and addict really is. I saw that I was worse than I knew, but understanding the problem helped me accept the solution.

Is Alcoholism a Disease or Choice?

This step remains relevant in every stage of recovery, continually reinforcing the principles of humility, surrender, and self-awareness. Throughout your journey in AA or NA, you’ll find that the sense of community and support is invaluable. You’re not alone in your struggles, and there are people who genuinely care about your well-being. Attend meetings regularly, engage with your sponsor or mentor, and be open to forming connections with others in recovery.

powerlessness over alcohol

Swap alcohol for non-alcoholic beverages such as mocktails or soda water with lime. You may experience improved digestive well-being as you abstain from alcohol. The irritation alcohol inflicts on the stomach lining, often causing nausea and discomfort, diminishes. With heavy drinking, the liver and pancreas can become inflamed, leading to digestive issues. However, drinking less can reduce inflammation in these organs, improving digestion. The rate at which the liver breaks down or metabolizes alcohol depends on several factors like your genes, age, and weight, how much alcohol you consumed, and what you’ve eaten.

Admitting powerlessness is essentially waving the white flag and recognizing that you cannot try to drink anymore. History has proven that you have no control once a drop of alcohol enters your body. If you can grasp this knowledge, you will become a recovering, strong person. Remember, recovery is not being weak or less of a person. Recovery is about accepting that alcohol does not add to your life.

powerlessness over alcohol

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