First Step and What it Means to Admit Powerlessness in 12 Step Programs

Step 1 – What it Means to Admit Powerlessness

The Philosophy behind the First Step

The 1st step is an incredibly powerful one. As our problems with addiction grew, we hid them from others and ourselves. We pretended that we had the answers and could control our behavior. When we hurt others, we often blamed them. As we did so, our instincts and judgement led us astray over and over.

Our addiction has bled us dry. Many of us lost careers, marriages, friends, and ourselves as we succumbed.

Part of the problem is that we are taught to always remain in control and to win at all costs. Admitting you are a powerless addict seems like a form of defeat and something inside our very being rebels against that notion.

Don’t worry. This is only a partial admission of defeat. What you are admitting is that the means you have used so far to control your life have failed. But you are also getting ready to walk on a new path of recovery, one which will ultimately see you overcome and defeat addiction.

The 1st step is where we let go of this pathology. Our attempts to control our own lives have fallen short. When we fail to gain control, our instinct is to try to hold on to control even tighter. However, in this step we act counterintuitively and let go instead.