Step1 – We admitted that we were powerless over ___________, that our lives had become unmanageable.
You can probably fill that “blank” with many things. What is the one thing you do more than anything else when you need to get out of yourself? Some of us fill it with food, others sex and of course there are those who fill it with drugs and/or alcohol.
AA fills it with alcoholism, NA (Narcotics Anonymous) fills it with “our addiction”, and CA (Cocaine Anonymous) fills it with, “Cocaine and all other mind altering substances.” Many meetings of AA only want to hear from people who are “alcoholic” and not drug addicts. The others are trying to accommodate anyone who wants help. AA is focused on what they refer to as “singleness of purpose.” You focus on helping one problem and solve it, and there is something to be said for the fact that someone who only drank and didn’t do any drugs may very well have a difficult time relating to and for that matter getting help from someone who was shooting up with heroine or smoking crack. There are different dynamics. My personal opinion, and this is after recently working with a sponsor who feels that cocaine addicts should focus on helping cocaine addicts (like AA for Alcoholics) is that once I get into the solution, it really doesn’t matter what the “substance” was. That only matters at the very beginning.
I know I can take just about anything and abuse it if it makes me feel good. That’s because I have an obsessive personality, but that isn’t what makes me an addict. As I mentioned in my last post on addiction what makes me an addict is that once I start doing it, there is no telling where/when I will stop. If you look closely at the 12 steps this is the only one where any specific substance is mentioned. The rest of the steps are about the solution, not the “problem”. Then again we find as we do some work on ourselves that we only thought drugs and alcohol was the problem. When I had the drugs and alcohol removed from me I found out that the real problem was just beginning. Me! I used drugs and alcohol to avoid dealing with things responsibly. I used them to avoid myself. It worked for a long time, too. I had fun, didn’t have a care in the world, and bonded with other people who shared my passion for getting loaded and believe me it was a passion. That was my identity. I was a guy who got high. For a time I was a guy who was able to do a lot of drugs and still get good grades in school. This didn’t last forever though.
In the end my life was a mess. I couldn’t make it to work and just about lost a government job which you have to try and do. I found myself in and out of 3 rehabs before I was finally able to get clean. My friends all either didn’t understand what was wrong with me, wanted nothing to do with me, or just lost touch. My family had no idea what was going on. The closest people, my parents and my brother knew “something” was wrong and probably could’ve guessed, but didn’t dare say anything for fear that I might react as I often did in those days, with anger.
Anyone can stop doing something they don’t really want to be doing
The bottom line was that I WAS powerless. I couldn’t stop once I started and when I did manage to stop, it was only for a period of time. Then stone cold sober I would do the most insane thing ever. Take the first hit knowing full well what was going to happen and doing it anyway! So the only solution to this was to find power. This is true for anyone who is doing something more than they really want to be doing it. I used to find myself literally driving to the dealer and telling myself, “Seth turn the car around. Just go home!” Only another addict will understand what I mean when I say that I just had no power to do it no matter how conscious I was of it. That’s the best explanation I can offer and a “normal” person, whatever that is will say it’s just will power. Will power is what kept me out finding ways and means to get more when I desperately wanted it, but “WILL POWER” was not a strong enough power to overcome my addiction. I needed something much more powerful in my life, but I had no idea what it was or where to find it.