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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

The Importance of the First step (of 12-step recovery)

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

Some say that the first step of any journey is the most important. We tend to agree that step 1 in 12-step recovery is most important, as it is arguably the only step that needs to be done as close to perfection as possible. If that sounds like a big task, - don't fret -it's just a matter of some mental action followed by a natural physical response.

Those who listen to our podcast @ know that we surrender to each word of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. And the first step (found on page 59) suggests that “we admit that we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

So what is our admission ticket? We suggest that we 1) pick up our responsibility and 2) put down our response. Said differently, we admit we are screwed and start our journey with a commitment to abstinence - if for only one day at a time.

To get there, we probably need to look at the word “admit” and ask ourselves: if we have gone to the deepest level of honesty about our drug or alcohol consumption and the ramifications their consumption has had on our life. Some say that you need to admit that you're an alcoholic; we say that the real question is would your life be better without alcohol or drugs? Call yourself whatever you want, but admit that something harmful has a headlock on us that we cannot tap out of.

The second part of the exercise also identified the chaos that overconsumption costs us. Hey, if there are no consequences inwardly or outwardly, then you are probably looking at a case of casual consumption challenges. If your family, work, or circle of relationships is being negatively affected; or if mental anguish, regrets, remorse, and shame captivate your psyche, then it may be time to call yourself an addict; powerless over something that has filled the void in your life that delivers a constant cycle of havoc with whom you desire to be.

Are you ready to take the first step toward a better life? Or, for some, are you ready to retake a step toward health and mental well-being? Admit that drugs or alcohol or whatever your vice has you beat and that by your own strength, you can't get through it, and then abstain from that moment on, tackling only the moments in front of you. Stay clean, one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time! It is important not to focus on forever but on watching your near-forward line of vision.

Remember, the direction of the next step you take will set the course to your ultimate destination – choose wisely!


Ideas and thoughts for this blog post were taken and built upon from podcast Episode #1 Titled: “Step One - We Admitted –“ The podcast dropped on 4/7/2021 click here to hear the podcast


Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be thought of as a substitute for advice of healthcare professionals. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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