Step 1 tells us that there is no recovery without an admission that on our own we are powerless; we cannot control our addiction, and that our lives, as a result have become unmanageable.
In order to be able to admit that we are addicts, we need to first ask ourselves: What is an alcoholic? Who is an alcoholic? Am I an alcoholic? To find the right answers, we need to be willing, open-minded and honest with ourselves.
Addiction is a disease of behaviors. Our addictive behaviors are not our problem; they are the solution to our problem. According to the Table Mate, we eat, drink, use in order to escape from situations, feelings or circumstances which we cannot accept and find intolerable – because we are restless, irritable and discontented. If we are honest, we may not even really need a reason to pick up or use. For whatever reasons, we refused to tolerate, even temporarily, unpleasant states of mind such as boredom, sorrow, anger, disappointment, worry, depression, dissatisfaction, and feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. “I want what I want when I want it” seems to express the attitude of many alcoholics toward life. We have unreasonable demands for continuous happiness, ease, comfort or excitement. In short– we are not comfortable being uncomfortable.
Once we admit that we are powerless over our disease, we have only 2 alternatives:
- Total permanent abstinence.
- Chronic alcoholism with all of the handicaps and penalties it implies.
In other words, we have gone past the point where we had a choice. All we have left is a decision to make.
The solution is to change our way of thinking. The Table Mate outlines the following solutions:
- We must realize that each morning when we wake, we are potential drunkards for that day.
- We resolve that we will practice A.A. for the 24 hours of that day.
- We must study the other eleven steps of the program and practice each and every one.
- Attend the regular group meeting each week without fail.
- Firmly believe that by practicing A.A. faithfully each day, we will achieve sobriety.
- Believe that we can be free from alcohol as a problem.
- Contact another member before taking a drink, not after. Tell him what bothers you – – talk it over with him freely.
- Work the program for ourselves alone – – not for our wife, children, friends, or for our job.
- Be absolutely honest and sincere.
- Be fully open-minded – – no mental reservations.
- Be fully willing to work the program. Nothing good in life comes without work.
The Table Mate