AA Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
When I was ‘working the steps,’ I spent a lot of time and energy questioning whether or not I was really powerless over alcohol. After all, there was that time at my sister’s wedding when I turned down a fourth drink. And that other time when I was so hung over that I voluntarily turned down a glass of tepid wine (because I didn’t think I could hold it down).
All kidding aside, I could sometimes sustain periods of controlled drinking. And I started out as a normal drinker. But in hindsight, none of this mattered. All it did was send me into endless rounds of deciding if I was really an alcoholic, and if there was any doubt, I could continue to drink. I used this doubt to undermine every attempt I made to quit.
But there was no denying that my life had become unmanageable. In fact, unmanageability was manifesting in every area of my life. I should have concentrated on this part of the statement instead of allowing my ego to convince me that I didn’t really qualify as a true alcoholic, and therefore none of what followed applied to me. I could have saved myself many more years of drinking.