Living With a Clearly Identifiable Illness – Working Step 1

Another AA member  in a meeting I attend developed a way to start working the Twelve Steps – using The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

I am passing along what I am working – step by step, and have inserted some Bible verses that both convict and comfort me.

Keep an open mind, and be willing to learn, or re-learn, some principles and program history, as you meet [again] some of the old-timers whose recovery is a source of encouragement and hope. It’s astonishing how these folks came together and did what had never quite succeeded before, one drunk helping another find sobriety, and staying sober themselves.

Recovery means being honest with myself – it doesn’t mean punishing myself for what I was powerless to control, change, or cure.

Recovery means accepting my disease, acknowledging my mistakes, and changing what I can. So when we write out the following, we are not condemning ourselves, or condoning past actions.

Note: it will help you to have a sponsor, even a temporary one, to work with you. You find sponsors at meetings — they are often friendly and compassionate folk, having traveled along most all our descents. (Look for folks whose program is sound.) If you are not going to meetings . . . well, you are missing out! Just a suggestion if you are serious about sober living.

Here we go:

Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had                                     become unmanageable.

  1. Read in BIG BOOK from xi to page 44. Keep a notebook handy.
  1. Underline what is important to you – Underline the “ MUSTS in the Big Book.”
  1. Write out the following – in a few short sentences the five worst things we did under the influence.
  1. How did you feel about yourself then – and how do you feel about yourself today?
  1. Write out the TEN things that are unmanageable in your life today (One sentence will be enough) Examples may include: not having enough money, fear of people, losing relationships, or not managing them well.
  1. Look up in a dictionary the words admitted, powerless, unmanageable.
  1. Practice rigorous honesty and acceptance of our powerless over people, places, and things.
  1. These are the principles in Step One. See if you can find other principles for you in this step, so that when we come to Step 12, we understand the phrase, “Practice these principles in all our affairs.

Acceptance and powerlessness are the principles of step. (Check out chapter 16, in the Big Book, Part ii, on page 407: Acceptance is the Answer. )


For your encouragement:

People with their minds set on you, [Lord, God]
you keep completely whole,
Steady on their feet,
because they keep at it and don’t quit.
Depend on God and keep at it
because in the Lord God you have a sure thing. ( Isaiah 26:3 The Message)


Thanks for stopping by — What do you think, friend?

Love in Christ,

Sober and Grateful


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Living With a Clearly Identifiable Illness – Working Step 1