Over a million people have been helped to take that first step with this easy-to-read pamphlet. The author provides an in-depth understanding of the first step in the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Step 1: The Foundations of Recovery also provides a table that outlines the stages of addiction and recovery. This best-selling pamphlet has helped more than a million people take Step One. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care.
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Almost everyone has a problem with the word "powerless. No one likes to think of themselves as powerless or vulnerable. Some people actually take offense to the word, saying it's demeaning and oppressive.
They even use the word "powerless" as an excuse for not trying to work the Steps at all. But Step One doesn't say people are powerless. It doesn't say they can't take charge of their lives, or they don't have the ability to change; quite the opposite. What Step One does do is unlock a great paradox. The first Step, in its puzzling but simple language, introduces us to a source of power we didn't know we could find.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or a related issue like trauma, codependency, gambling, or compulsive behaviors, Step One is the key that unlocks the jail cell. It's not what we expect when we first encounter Twelve Step programs.
In fact, for most of us it was maddening. How does being powerless help me do anything? This is stupid. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that one. Working as an addiction counselor for many years, I've heard every form of resistance you can imagine, and then some. But as simple as the language of the Step might seem, it calls for a closer examination. It says we were powerless over alcohol, and that limiting phrase, that tight focus on the drug, is critical. Here's the great paradox.
In order to gain power over our addiction, we have to admit our powerlessness over the drug. Sounds weird, doesn't it? Sounds like we're giving up and falling into a bottomless pit. But that's not the case. We have to change our focus. We can't fight the addiction head on, if for no other reason than we've been doing that repeatedly without success.
In order to break our addiction, we have to admit that we can't change what it does to us. It affects our brain, our body, and our spirit; and there's no sense in denying it. We're powerless over the effect the chemical or behavior has on us. We're not going to get good at drinking or drugging, we're not going to get more rational about it. We're not going to get better at controlling. We've tried it a hundred times already.
If we want to get a grip on our problem, we have to admit we're powerless over the drug, that we have a medical condition called addiction, and get to work on remission. It's like admitting that we have tooth decay, and we need to go to the dentist. It's just a fact, we're powerless over that fact, and now we need to take action. Consider the star athlete who's just lost a big game. She's crushed, overwhelmed, dejected.
But there's another big game next week. How can she get over the loss? Welcome to Step One. She has to put the loss behind her.
The loss happened, and she has to admit she's powerless to change that fact. Whatever she does, she can't afford to bring that fact into her future. By admitting she's powerless to change that loss, she releases herself from its shackles and walks freely into her future, fully empowered to do things differently, and not repeat the same mistakes. As long as we try to control an issue, whether it's addiction, codependency, or a tough loss on the soccer field, we're bound to keep losing.
Step One puts it succinctly: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. Unmanageability is one of the ways we learn we have a problem. There are consequences to our addiction that are driving us crazy not to mention other people.
A businessman alcoholic may say, "I don't have a problem! I manage people and make a huge salary. The confusion arises from the fact that everything isn't unmanageable. He may be holding on to his job, but if he's honest with himself which he won't be, at first , he'll see that his addiction is making significant parts of his life unmanageable.
The great paradox tells us that we don't need to wrestle with those facts. We don't have to struggle with the drugs and we don't have to try to change the consequences. The first thing we have to do if we want to get better is simply admit we have a problem.
We have to accept the fact that the substance has whipped us, and that there are real consequences which prove it's going to continue beating us—if we don't change. We can't afford to play the blame game and we can't afford to make excuses.
If we want to get better, we have to get honest. It's not my parents' fault, it's not my spouse's fault, it's not my boss's fault; in fact, it's nobody's fault. I've got a medical problem called addiction, a potentially fatal disease. But at the same time, I'm lucky, because this particular condition can be put in remission. It can't be cured, but it can be put in remission. Nothing can be done about my problem until I admit I've got a problem.
Change doesn't begin until I accept the fact that I can't control it, and that it's costing me dearly. The other eleven steps will show me the way out of this mess, but none of them are meaningful until I internalize Step One.
The flip side of the coin we call acceptance is something called surrender. We have to stop fighting the battle. There is a way to beat this thing, but, paradoxically, it's not by fighting it head on. As stated in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions : "Step One showed us an amazing paradox: We found that we were totally unable to be rid of the alcohol obsession until we first admitted that we were powerless over it.
Of course, really accepting Step One will make you crazy. But help is on the way. Step Two will help restore us to sanity in a most unusual way. More on that next time. He is a certified addiction specialist, popular speaker and consultant, and co-author with Debra Jay of the best-selling book Love First. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and has served as president of the Terry McGovern Foundation and as a trustee for several clinical and professional organizations. On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology but it's more than The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults and youth, the Foundation has 17 locations nationwide and collaborates with an expansive network throughout health care.
With a legacy that began in and includes the founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction. We're open, taking patients and expanding virtual services. Facebook Twitter Linkd In.
June 15, BY: Jeff Jay. Admit the Problem. Spirituality Twelve Steps Alcoholism Recovery. Read More. Making Amends in Addiction Recovery On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology but it's more than All Rights Reserved.
Inside Step One
Skip to content. I am not trying to Fulfillment by Amazon FBA is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Step 1 Hazelden Worksheets - showing all 8 printables. I am not trying to 4th step guide fourth inventory big book study worksheets review of resentments jpeg. This popular Hazelden collection includes a pamphlet on each of the Twelve Steps.
Steps 1-3 for Newcomers
I recently walked into a Twelve Step meeting and, as usual, I was greeted from across the room by a bunch of my friends. As I made my way across the room to join them and catch up on what's new with everyone, someone I didn't recognize caught my eye. He was maybe in his early 20s, sitting by himself, not looking too happy, and his head was buried in his iPhone. I got the feeling he was either new to recovery, or that this was his very first meeting. Because I wanted to go catch up with my friends, part of me thought about ignoring this newcomer. Certainly he wouldn't relate to an "old guy" like me. I thought one of guys in the group closer to his age would go over and say hello to him, find out if it's his first meeting and so on.