Step 1

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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Step 1

Post by Rachlovesdogs » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:20 am

I can’t seem to comprehend what this looks like. Is step one the hardest??? I am here I want to admit I am powerless over my husband ... but I can’t seem to let go of the power.

Maybe if I am the prefect wife emotionally and sexually, maybe if I make him feel needed and anticipate his needs .... oh that didn’t work well Maybe if I ask him to leave. Maybe if I cry hard enough.maybe if in take his child away from him. Maybe if I say this one last thing. Maybe if I make myself sick enough.maybe if I pour my heart out one last time.... Maybe if I threaten to kill myself. Maybe then he will stop..... this is all crazy train... but I can’t seem to stop.
I want off but I can’t seem to take the leap.
The pain the anger to despair seems too strong....

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Re: Step 1

Post by Claytonmomof2 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:47 am

The 3 C's - I didn't cause it, I can't control it and I can't cure it.

None of those things you mention will make a difference. I've learned to focus on myself and what I can do to be the best me. Riding the crazy train is not the best me. I'm powerless over my AH and his choices on a good day, much less on a bad day with addiction. So I've implemented boundaries to protect me from his choices since I'm powerless over them. I can't make him stop choosing this lifestyle but I can make him not part of our lives while he chooses this lifestyle - that is my boundary.

In my AH's last "phase/battle" with addiction I made it my goal that I would continue to be the best me I could despite the horrific things happening in front of me. I let him live his consequences - I didn't make excuses for work, I didn't scream to get him out of bed to go into work...when he woke up at noon and had 11 missed calls from work and was late, I let his work chew him out. Not my job. Not my consequence. I had to let go.

Instead I continued to be the best I could - I stopped yelling at him, I would wait until the following day and have an adult conversation about his actions and the impact on me and the kids. But I continued on so as not to make myself part of the problem. I continued on so as not to contribute to the problem at hand. The problem is bad enough, I certainly didn't want to add to it. Also, addicts are masters at manipulation so very easily he would try to turn his unfortunate events somehow to be my problem especially if I was contributing to it. The last thing I wanted to do was give him an excuse to blame any of the craziness on me so I did my best to remain as sane as possible - even if that meant packing the kids up at midnight and leaving to avoid his craziness. That put all the responsibility where it belonged - on him. It was an awful time in our lives but one day he decided that he was "tired of waking up feeling like @%&*" and walked away from it. Of course he did it on his own and with addiction being a life long disease it snowballed into our current "phase/battle" of addiction - he needs treatment. But during those circumstances I found that to work best.

The greatest action sometimes we can take is to do nothing. And to do nothing is doing something. Finding my stability within myself when all else around me was chaotic proved to work for me during that year. It's not easy - hugs to you! Be kind to yourself...

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Re: Step 1

Post by DianeB » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:54 am

How's that working out for you?

Has anything you have done to create power over your husband worked?

I sure didn't have any luck.

Control is an illusion. There is no control. Can you control the weather? Nope, but you might look at it and say...well now, I better get out of the storm. You aren't powerless. You aren't helpless. You can act. But your actions are only about you. You can't control anyone else.

But maybe I am give an example of when your ability to control another human being has actually changed them in a permanent way?

Staying in your head with all the what-if's is actually a choice. You might not think so now, but it surely is. How to stop....redirect your focus on you and your child. What actions benefit you and your baby? What example do you want to set for your child to grow up healthy and happy? What can you do to make your life better? What do you have to do to live your own life in peace and serenity and be productive and happy? Doesn't sound like you are anywhere close to that.

So, I ask's that working out for you?

Going to meetings? Got a sponsor?? It is all in your hands.

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Re: Step 1

Post by LKSG8R » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:16 pm

I felt all those feelings once. I rode that crazy train. I finally had to accept that my husband was not responsible for MY happiness and security. Going to meetings and working the steps made me understand that my dependence on my husband, drinking or not, was a way to escape accountability for my own life.

By concentrating on my AH, I was letting my own life become unmanageable. I started looking at MY actions, and especially ways that I avoided to act. I started making my own friends, paying my own bills, keeping my own possessions in order. The slogan "Live and Let Live" starts with the word LIVE. Spending all my time dwelling on my AH was robbing me of my life. Not anymore.

Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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Re: Step 1

Post by janiemarie » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:01 pm

… and admitted that our lives have become unmanageable.

This was a big part of step 1 for me. I had to see and feel and admit how unmanageable my life had become before I was able to admit any powerlessness.

Admitting powerlessness was directly attached to my deadly need to control and fix. And until I took a long hard look at this deadly need in me and my part in all this there was no way I could admit any powerlessness much less let anything go.

The whole process of working the steps for me has been ebb and flow. Growth and plateau. Falling down and picking myself back up. Baby steps and sometimes backwards! But as long as I kept at it and kept working and working and practicing and practicing the concepts I was learning I would begin to see glimmers of peace returning to my life which helped me to know I was on the right path.

Be kind to yourself
Found a sponsor yet? I also found that there's no way my sick mind would allow me to look at the things in myself that I needed to look at.
Keep coming back
It works if you work it
and they don't call it 'workin it' cuz its easy!
“And this too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”
--- Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Step 1

Post by lovingwife64 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:53 pm

I just posted on an almost similar post. Step 1 really is the hardest step. Admitting you can't love them clean, or that you can't do anything to make them want to be clean is the hardest to accept. But its true. I don't remember where in the SESH book I read it but I do remember something I took away from a reading was that my life was important to. My life mattered.

As I said in the last post - there is life after addiction. It may not be the life you thought you had in your future. But there is life. I found when I started working the steps with a sponsor at my f2f meetings is when I was able to fully grasp and work through the steps.



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Re: Step 1

Post by endoftheroad » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:33 pm

I wanted to be all powerful over my darling addicted son's life too! What a great frustration it was as a recovering addict and a mother to learn that I had no control over his sobriety, his choices, his life!!!!! Why on Earth should a mother not be able to control her son!

I learned that HP was in control, not me!!!! And that my son had a spiritual connection too! But it was up to him to tap this power, I could not find his HP for him!

How do we do this? Through the wisdom and kindness of others who have walked our walk, (meetings, program buddies), trudging our way through the Steps slowly with someone else, and tons of or F2F. It is not a divine miracle that we gain sanity, we must walk the walk too. And talk the talk until we come to believe it! You have been around awhile! Pick up that phone and start to make a difference to yourself! One day at a time!

Keep coming back and the miracle will happen sister!!
This is the easier softer way.....

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Re: Step 1

Post by SDIN2T » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:54 pm

I don't know if step 1 is the hardest, but I have accepted my powerlessness because I tried everything imaginable to exert my power to control the people I loved that were suffering from addiction.

Accepting my powerlessness is the foundation of my recovery and I literally remind myself of it everyday. Everything is built upon my powerlessness and I know in my heart and head, that without a solid foundation, my recovery would collapse like a house of cards.

Keep coming back

And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

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Re: Step 1

Post by judyg » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:12 am

Quite the super power you have there! If your tears can change other humans, please use that power to make folks more compassionate, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, and to create world wide peace. Why waste it on such things like trying to get your husband to do something you want him to do? Seriously, though, it's step one for a reason. Recovery isn't possible as long as I thought I was all powerful. I suggest meetings and lots of them. Just listen at first. Keep going. It will come. I know because I used to think I was all powerful too. Over time I came to understand that this false sense of control was just part of my denial and my excuse to keep living a life where I did not have to be accountable for myself.


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Re: Step 1

Post by MissingHim2016 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:27 pm

I stopped trying to control my ALO when I realized I never had control in the first place. (and I never will).
Now I take care of the one person I can control...ME! Hope you keep coming back for YOU!! ((HUGS))

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Re: Step 1

Post by run5203 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:59 am

Speaking as a newbie, I think the concept of powerlessness is difficult to grasp because, honestly, people do change people all the time.
We listen to a speech by a politician and we are moved to follow their ideals.
We talk to a friend or a relative and they can change our moods.
We go to work and are molded by our employer, manager, etc.
If people's tears didn't change other people, and influence them to do things, there would be no need for all those starving children in Africa commercials.
If nobody had the "power" to change -- or at least influence --- anybody, the world would come to a stagnant halt.
Now yes, I get it that we can't change our ALOs. But that doesn't mean it isn't a terribly hard concept to come to terms with in light of the fact that many other people, I hesitate to call them "normal" people, but I'm not able to find a better word--that many other "normal" people can and will change when presented with the unhappiness or concern of someone they love.

I'm struggling with it personally, and it's hard not to take it personally. It really is.

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Re: Step 1

Post by Flash01 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:38 am

Step 1 was two parts to me.
I had no doubt that my life had become unmanageable. Easy to recognize and accept.
Accepting that I was powerless took a lot longer.
Working it over and over; reading SESH; going to meetings.
It probably took me a good year to even accept my powerlessness.
Good luck on your journey
You are clearly not alone.
Love, Donna

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