Starting Again, Working the First Step

January 8, 2021

We’ve finally made it to 2021—a new year, a clean slate, a great time to start over. Whether this is your first time or fifth time going through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, the very first step remains just as important every single time. The first step is the beginning of an exciting journey to healing and recovery.

We admitted we were powerless over drugs and alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is cunning and baffling. It speaks to you in your own voice and can lead you to believe that you can manage the complications caused by substances on your own. The truth is, you can’t out-think the disease. It fills you with shame, guilt, and other negative feelings that cloud your judgment about yourself and the world around you.

Attending a treatment facility or beginning to attend AA or NA meetings can be the start of the first step for someone suffering from SUD. Other times, individuals may begin doing those things to appease others such as their family members and friends, instead of truly seeking a genuine path to recovery. For recovery to “stick”, you must come to a full surrender. You must be honest with yourself, open with others, and willing to do the work that it takes as your time in recovery goes on.

In the circumstance of recovery, surrender is an incredibly powerful thing. In this vulnerable moment of truth with yourself when you accept that you cannot manage your disease alone, you open yourself up to begin your new life.

Though the word may play on some of your insecurities, powerlessness over drugs and alcohol doesn’t make you weak. Recognizing powerlessness actually empowers you to make a change in your life. The courage that it takes to admit this requires immense strength. In this humble moment of asking for help, you have given yourself the opportunity that is sobriety and recovery. Acceptance that you have a problem, and that you need the guidance and wisdom of a higher power and others to heal is the true beginning of the first step.

Step 1 doesn’t require you to immediately fix everything in your life that you’ve broken, it doesn’t ask you to do a massive overhaul and change everything right away or “get better” overnight. It simply asks you to accept that you have a problem, admit that you can’t fix it on your own and that you need help. It also is important that you seek these truths for yourself and no one else. The beautiful thing about the 12 Steps is that they are designed to lead you to a slow and steady understanding of recovery and rebuilding your life at your own pace.

You should talk to your sponsor or a close contact in your recovery network about working the steps. It is important to seek the wisdom of someone who can provide you with guidance and a full understanding of the situation–another person in the program (AA or NA) with afflictions similar to yours who is compassionate and can help you understand the meaning and importance of each step.

***

For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

Map