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Old 02-08-2014, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default Step One by Father Joseph C. Martin

Step One

by Father Joseph C. Martin

The reason for AA's effectiveness is simple: it is COMPLETE. The founders of AA found that all 12 steps are absolutely essential. Those who "pick and choose" among the steps and try to justify omitting any of them, and then advise newcomers to do the same, will get only what they are paying for - fragmented and lumpy sobriety.

We begin the climb up the ladder of sobriety by taking the First Step. If you want to get well, acknowledge that you are sick. No one is about to take on a way of living that excludes the use of alcohol, unless he realizes that continuing to drink will destroy him. When you hurt bad enough to want to stop hurting, you will then do something to stop the pain. And that "something" is about as easy as self-surgery, because if it had been less painful, the alcoholic would have done it long ago. The "self-surgery" here is to stop drinking.

"Step One is the base of the pyramid of the rest of the alcoholic's life"

So the alcoholic about to take on a life without alcohol must admit he is powerless over alcohol, that his life has become unmanageable because of it. He must acknowledge not with just his head (intellectually) that he is an alcoholic; but in his guts and in his heart (emotionally) that he is indeed an alcoholic, and that drinking will kill him.

To me Step One is not just a step "to take" and then leave behind and go on. Step One is an awareness of one's condition, and it should be thought about and the realization deepened every day.

Step One is the base of the pyramid of the rest of the alcoholic's life. "I am an alcoholic" is the most profound statement that the alcoholic can make. It is the central fact of his life, and all else must be built around this fact.

As far as manageability of life as the result of one's drinking is concerned, some people have great difficulty seeing this. For some it is relatively easy. They see that alcohol has cost them their families, their jobs, their self-respect, or whatever. But many alcoholics have not visibly lost a whole lot, and therefore believe that their lives had not become unmanageable. But that is a myth that each alcoholic must see through if he is to get well.

When alcohol controls the mind, the mind is not managing one's life-the mind is being managed by alcohol. Every alcoholic's life has become unmanageable and controlled by a chemical.

What one must do is separate his mind from alcohol and then see what true manageability is all about; he will see that once his mind is not controlled by thoughts of drinking, then it is free to think other things and to do and plan other things that were impossible during the drinking days.

Admitting we are powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable is the most profound admission that the sick and suffering alcoholic can make. It is absolutely essential before he can begin to be free and walk tall. And so it is that the most important of all the steps on the journey to sobriety is the first. May you take the first Step.

(Excerpted from The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Father Joseph C. Martin)

TODAY is a new DAY in the free life of mine -
LORD, just like a baby "It's ONE STEP AT A TIME"
AND LORD, should I falter - "Don't let me hide"
Make me pick myself up with ONE step-not a stride.

- Dorothea M.

Love always,


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