We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21.
It is no coincidence that the very first Step mentions powerlessness: An admission of personal powerlessness over alcohol is a cornerstone of the foundation of recovery. I have learned that I do not have the power and control I once thought I had. I am powerless over what people think about me. I am powerless over having just missed the bus. I am powerless over how other people work (or do not work) the Steps. But I have also learned I am not powerless over some things. I am not powerless over my attitudes. I am not powerless over negativity. I am not powerless over assuming responsibility for my own recovery. I have the power to exert a positive influence on myself, my loved ones, and the world in which I live. – Daily Reflections. © 1990. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 1 Recovery Prayer
I admit that I am powerless over my addiction.
I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it.
Help me this day to understand
The true meaning of powerlessness.
Remove from me all denial of my addiction. Amen.
“I am so grateful the holidays are over and behind me.” Anon.
“Alcoholism is a Progressive Fatal Disease for which the Cure is to Stop Drinking.” Shirley.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen. – Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).
The Story of twin brothers and their boxing careers.
Powerless – Rudimental
You held it all and I was by your side, powerless. I watched you fall … It’s really a sad story … .
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Rom. 7:18.
Finding Freedom from Guilt through the Blood of Christ.
Just as I Am
I come broken to be mended
I come wounded to be healed
I come desperate to be rescued
I come empty to be filled
I come guilty to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I’m welcomed with open arms
Praise God, just as I am.
Admitting powerlessness is absolutely essential to breaking the addiction cycle, which is made up of five points:
– Reaching out to an addictive agent, such as work, food, sex, alcohol, or dependent relationships to salve our pain
– Temporary anesthesia
– Negative consequences
– Shame and guilt, which result in more pain or low self-esteem.
Understanding the addiction cycle is important because it helps explain why the admission of powerlessness is the first step to recovery. Otherwise, we remain caught. If we rely on willpower alone, then the only thing we know to do is to escalate our addiction to get out of the pain. Step 1 calls us to do less – to yield, to surrender, to let go. – Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, p. 22-23.