Step One of AA

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I thought I was managing my life rather well. I was single. I was employed. I was self-sufficient since I was 19 years of age. I had traveled the world. I had moved away from home and relocated to the Bay Area on my own, without any help from my parents. I was, in my mind, completely functioning to the best of my ability.

What I failed to recognize is that I was slowly slipping away. I had dropped out of college. I was working as a bartender and waitress in San Francisco. I married a man I didn’t love. I avoided phone calls from my parents like the plague. I would drink copious amounts of alcohol during and after work.

It was a living hell of denial. Only I didn’t know what denial was or that I was living and breathing it on a daily basis.

If you had asked me what I thought about my life, I would have told you that it was great. I would have lied about how wonderful everything was—because I had to believe it in order to continue to do what I was doing.

Step One opened the door to a new way of living.

I learned, after finding my way to Alcoholics Anonymous, that I was living a life in an alcoholic glaze. Alcohol gushed through my veins, filled me with liquid courage, and gave me what I thought was excitement. Instead, it was perpetuating a cycle of drink, shame, guilt, repeat. I was stuck in a revolving door of shame. And the only way out of it was to admit my life was unmanageable and I was powerless over alcohol.

Luckily, by the time the blinders came off and the cloud of shame was lifted, I easily accepted that I was in trouble and needed help. I came to see that I was not a bad person, but rather someone who was in the grips of alcoholism. A shift in thinking and a new sense of gratitude was all I needed to welcome AA into my life. I quickly found peace with myself as I accepted that I was an alcoholic and that I was powerless over alcohol—that my life had become completely unmanageable. With this weight lifted, I was given newfound hope that a life worth living sober was out there waiting for me.

The benefits of Step One:

Hope.

Honesty.

Integrity.

Relief.

Life.