Step one- powerless

5 08 2008

I have been thinking about AA and how the program inspired me to live a spiritual way of life.

When I first came to AA in 1977, I did not know if I believed in God or not. My mind was quite scrambled from several years of drug and alcohol use. My sponsors suggested (rather strongly) that I find a power greater than myself. That seemed ludicrous to me. At the time a doorknob had more power than I did. But, to humor them (and just in case they were onto something), I complied. I had to ride the coat tails of my sponsors on this one because I was at a loss to comprehend what this higher power might be. So, Ruthie told me that I could use her higher power. I was to pray to this higher power every day and ask it to help me stay away from a drink and a drug just for that day. This is where I began to humor them albeit a bit rebelliously. The first few times I would get up in the morning and go directly to the toilet. While seated I would ask Ruthie’s God to help me stay clean and sober for that day. As silly as it sounds, it worked. I knew it was Ruth’s God keeping me sober because I had tried to do this before and failed within hours. This time, I was putting several days back to back without a drink OR so much as a joint. Did I want to drink? Heck yeah! Did I have opportunities to take drugs? Oh yes. They came right to my front door. During this short period of time, I even found the strength to give away my prized marijuana plant. I grew it from a seed and it was a big sacrifice for me to give it up. I decided that I would follow every suggestion these people gave me because they could not do anything worse to me than I had already done to myself. Just maybe this AA would work for me.

My sponsors wanted me to get into the 12 steps right away. I mean by the time I was 3 months away from a drink they had me at a step meeting. Step one says, we admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.

The key words to working this step are:

  1. open mindedness
  2. willingness

Ruthie told me that I would not be able to stay sober for very long if I could not accept that I had no power in myself to stay away from a drink. Weird, I thought.  I tried my best to understand my powerlessness. Some one at a meeting put in such a way that the little light bulb over my head flashed on. They said, “When I drink, one is too many and 100 is not enough. I have no control!!! “

That is why people die of alcoholism. Alcoholics don’t have a shut off valve. We drink until we break!

Ding, ding, ding. We had a winner! I got it.

Once that first drink was in me, I had no control or ability to decide when to stop. I could not stop. I drank until I fell down. I was powerless over alcohol. Alcohol became King in my life and alcohol called all the shots. Alcoholism could kill me. My life was truly unmanageable.

I told my sponsors, “Well this sucks. Let’s not leave me here for too long.” In their wisdom, they said, “You are now ready for step two.”



One response

8 08 2008

There was a moment wen I said, ” Well this aint working so well any more… what the Hell Now!”


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