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.
Look what Joss over at She-Who-Hears says in her blog:
“Unmanageability manifests itself in different ways and different degrees, but this part of the step furthers the admission of internal chaos with a direct admission of its manifestation into all elements our lives. We are not in control of ourselves, and our lives are now controlled by raw, insatiable need.”
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.
Joss’s post is well worth the read: Step One.