Friday, July 13, 2012

Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol

By Lauren White, Pine Grove Alumni Services

Step One is the only step we have to do perfectly 100% of the time. The Big Book says we have to “concede to our inner most selves that we are an alcoholic”. Until we can concede we have to make a case for powerlessness out attempts to control our drinking, the preoccupation, and the terror we feel after a spree are all ways to present the case. Early on, my mind would tell me that maybe, just maybe, I don’t really have a problem with my drinking. I kept a few nuggets of information tucked away to pull out when I would have these thoughts. One being a twenty question worksheet entitled, “Are you an Alcoholic”. I answered “yes” to 19 out of the 20 questions when three would have been sufficient to diagnose me. I had to talk to the voice inside me that wanted to get me alone and drunk. The voice that lies to me and tells me that I am not like “those people” in the meetings. The voice that tells me that I can handle just one. I had to learn to differentiate the true from the false in my mind. I was only able to do this when I admitted that, as Bill W. says, “alcohol was my master” and I was drinking against my will. I wanted to quit and I could not.

Now, as far as unmanageability went, I was sure that I did not fall into this category. I still had a family intact who loved me. Being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic, I was overly responsible. My house was clean and the bills were paid. I showed up on time and was able to exercise regularly. I could go on and on…but what I realized was that I was not really “present” for any of it. I was somewhere else. I was preoccupied with drinking and I was restless, irritable, and discontent until I could get to it. I came to the realization that being obsessed with alcohol, a substance, or a behavior is, in fact, unmanageable. That is no way to live. It was the worst case of unrequited love in the history of the world. To this day, I still cannot believe that I don’t have to drink anymore. The obsession has been removed. The greatest problem in my life has been eradicated, because of the 12 Steps. What do you do to remind yourself that you are powerless?

Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs focus on treating gender specific chemical addiction including a specialized track for co-occurring eating disorders. Additionally, Pine Grove offers a focused substance abuse healing program for adults age 55 and over. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual and intimacy disorder issues. Pine Grove was established in 1984 and has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for over 30 years.

Visit or call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673) for more information.