Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.
This step is single handedly the most important step in my mind. It is the building block in which all the other steps build upon. Anything growing needs a foundation and step 1 provides that for us. The way it was written and meant to be used was to “deflate” the ego. Really, truly bring you to the understanding you can’t handle this on your own. You need help. A lot of the steps might be able to be done in a slightly different order but step one is step one.
One of the questions asked in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions by Bill Wilson was why must every A.A. hit bottom? I think the answer to this question is when you hit bottom you run out of options. When you haven’t hit bottom yet, if you’re an addict still trying to get high and you still can go to people for help you’re going to continue that until that source runs dry and then you move onto the next. When I was a drunk I had no reason to quit. I didn’t care that I lost my girlfriend. I had a place to live and a car. Mom helped every now and then but I was mostly self sufficient. I was one of the top performers at my job. This wasn’t affecting me I thought, so why should I quit?
Then came the news I was going to be a father. One night my ex-girlfriend and I got into a huge argument. I had a few drinks because I was going to rehab within the next few days and the guy on the phone at the rehab facility said in the meantime don’t go cold turkey because it was dangerous. He said he wasn’t saying go get hammered, but just don’t cold turkey it on my own. My ex-girlfriend and I got into a huge fight in which I smashed her phone and at one point had her cornered before she ran off and I didn’t go after her. Thank God. This was my low point. I was out of control and I needed help.
I hit my bottom. As far as choices I couldn’t quit on my own. I also tried the same things that so many before me have tried. Switching to beer, then switching to wine and then only to go back to liquor more than before. I was falling down fast and had no other options on the table. I couldn’t do this alone.