Need help? Call NOW 410-581-4900 Treatment works!

Resources

Articles

The First Step Takes Honesty. And Guts

Addiction, 12 Steps, Recovery

The First Step…

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”
— Step 1: The Twelve Steps

A person doesn’t typically wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll become a drug addict or alcoholic today.” In fact, most people won’t admit — or even realize — they’re caught up in addiction until the progression is well underway. For many people addiction builds slowly over time and realization doesn’t come until consequences begin to expose the unmanageability of their lives. Usually other people see it long before the addict does. Eventually consequences emerge that not even the addict can deny, at least not inwardly.

Outward consequences are things like relational difficulties with family and friends, job problems, legal issues, and often financial concerns. Inwardly, the consequences are just as severe: Emotional turmoil like depression and anxiety grows, physical well-being is adversely affected, and spiritual values like honesty, integrity, and truth-to-self suffers too.

These are all things that expose the reality that life has become unmanageable. It can be pretty amazing for outsiders looking in to see just how far the addict will let life spin out of control. The addict is often the last to realize, and certainly the last to admit, that he or she has fallen deep into the grips of addiction.

This is why the very first step towards recovery has to do with admission. “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction…” That “our lives had become unmanageable” is usually already evident by this point. But for us to admit this and our powerlessness over the beast of addiction, now that’s the watershed event — the very first and most essential step. The steps are numbered in order by design and it could be said that step one is the hinge upon which all the other steps swing.

Admitting powerlessness requires the full realization that the substance is greater than you. If you don’t have the disease of addiction, then you aren’t powerless. If you do have the disease, then you are powerless and it really is just that simple.

So, step one: Are you powerless? Are the signs of unmanageability evident to others? Are they evident to you? Then step one is to admit this. If you can admit it, there’s hope: You can live a life beyond your wildest dreams completely free from the chains and lies of addiction. But the first way to win is to surrender. Winning and surrendering seem like mutually exclusive themes but when it comes to addiction, surrender is the only passage to freedom and newness of life.

Ask yourself: Is this step relevant to me? If so, tell a friend in recovery. Or feel free to contact us. We’re always here to help.

Related Articles

We tried everything. Except this.

We tried everything. Except this.

Where did our best thinking get us? We concocted new ways to keep things going and the shame hidden. But at some point, the scorn of the ones who loved us most rang true. We had that moment when we quietly admitted to ourselves: “I’m stuck. And I can’t break free.” So...

Thinking that ‘slip’ all the way through

Thinking that ‘slip’ all the way through

You’ve probably heard sad stories about people who relapsed. Bob had 2 years and he relapsed. He took one drink went down hard, and fast. He lost everything all over again. And this time he lost his wife for good. We’ve all heard stories of relapse. Maybe it’s even...

We Is The First Word

We Is The First Word

“‘We…’ admitted that we were powerless…” -Word 1, Step 1. Maybe you’ve heard that your recovery should be “selfish.” It’s true. If your efforts aren’t foremost for yourself you’ll be very discouraged when those efforts aren’t met with the appreciation you hoped for....

The problem with reducing addiction to moral failure

The problem with reducing addiction to moral failure

Addiction is Complicated The frustration is understandable. But there is no redemptive value in labeling addicts as losers or casting them in other pejorative terms. The complex issue of addiction has more to do with neuroscience than ideas about morality. Addiction...

Steps

Steps

Some of us like to skip steps. We love shortcuts. If there’s a way to get something quicker and use less energy, sign us up for that. And in active addiction, this tendency is set to blast. It goes to ELEVEN. We want it now. If we don’t like the way something makes us...

To schedule an assessment/evaluation call our offices at 410-581-4900.