Carry the Message II
By Brad H.
Drug And Alcohol Treatment Centers:
Step One: powerless and unmanageable.
The first part of Step One
is a conclusion I drew about myself after
learning the facts about my disease as
outlined in the Big Book.
After honestly relating my experiences drinking to the
“Doctor’s Opinion” and the first three
chapters I concluded, “Yes, I am an
alcoholic. I have a problem with drugs and alcohol.”
The second part of Step One
is an agreement I make with the fact that yes,
my life is unmanageable. I have a problem
living. Not surviving or getting by, but
actually living the life I always wanted to
live. One without the constant fear, guilt,
and remorse I lived with while drinking.
A life without constantly fighting everyone
and everything to have things my way.
One I didn’t have to prove myself to
anyone or live up to anything.
Until I could admit that I was both
powerless over drugs and alcohol
and my life was unmanageable, I wouldn’t need to try and
be sober. It’s that simple. I believe this
is what our book refers to on page 30 when
it says “We had to concede to our inner
most selves that we were alcoholic. This is
the first step in treatment.”
I was confusing wanting to be sober with wanting the
consequences of my drinking to go away.
For me, I knew I was alcoholic, but my life
just wasn’t unmanageable enough. When
I admitted complete defeat was when I hit
my bottom and was able to begin true
I was so self-sufficient it almost killed
me. I lost everything I cared to lose and
kept trying one more time to feel that ease
and comfort which comes at once by
taking a few drinks. The problem was I
just couldn’t get to that place anymore. I
was stuck in self-pity. I went to Valley
Hope Drug and Alcohol Treatment, I was doing aftercare,
attending meetings daily and couldn’t stay sober. I
wanted to be sober and feel at ease and
comfortable. That’s the big dilemma for
me getting and staying sober. The only
tool I had to make life livable was alcohol
and it quit working. I had to find a new
way to do things.
I had a chance to be with my family
Thanksgiving after a year of tough love. It
was a weekend I will always
remember. We were hiking in the
mountains and I was overcome with the
presence of His beauty and the
unconditional love of family. I was filled
with gratitude and the sense that I didn’t
have to live in the pain of my drinking
ever again. My eyes opened to the
possibility of a sober, happy life. I was
powerless over alcohol and my life was
unmanageable. I had taken Step One. I
was ready for recovery.
So what do I do? I work the remaining
Eleven Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
with a sponsor who has worked them.
Not a drug and alcohol treatment center, not aftercare, not
an Oxford House, not 90 meetings in 90
days, not anything else. Those things are
helpful tools but by themselves they cannot
keep me sober. If I could just not drink
no matter what--as it is often suggested
to newcomers, I wouldn’t have a
problem! It isn’t easy, but nobody said
life is. I had to quit feeling sorry for
myself, grow up and take action to save
my life. As soon as I recognized that
and quit fighting it got a lot easier.
May all of you struggling with Step
One find your way. Make this your
bottom and get on with the joy of living
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