Edwin’s Perspective: Step 1

In Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

My name is Edwin and I am an alcoholic and addict.

Why am I here?

I am here because I have no other choice. Yet, today I am free. 

I joined these anonymous programs because addiction controls me, not the other way around.  

When I am in active addiction, I am no longer a brother, a son, an employee, a taxpayer, a law-abiding citizen, a friend, or a boyfriend. What I am, is a vessel for my addiction.  

My whole being exists solely for the purpose of getting high. That’s it.  

If my stash was running low; or you, or anything outside or my drug use was in my way. Watch out, an amends had to be made cause I had to get high. (Enter explicit here) you, get me high then I’ll work; then I’ll listen; then I’ll grocery shop; then I’ll hold your hand; then I’ll talk to you; then I will listen to music; then I will eat; then I will sleep. 

That’s why I joined. Not because I wanted to, believe me you, but because I wasn’t living a life worth living.

Due to this treatment centre, and these anonymous programs, today I stand as a free man, standing on my own two feet – not conforming to anyone else’s ideas or routines.  

My sister with whom I have a relationship today as a result of this program, calls these anonymous programs a cult. Little does she know that I was dying one use at a time, and this “cult” saved my life. I tell her that this cult gave your brother back, an uncle to her children, a son to my parents, a friend to my friends, an employee for my employer. All this would be lost if I take that first hit.

That the groundhog effect of going to sleep with a solemn promise that this will be my last joint. Only to wake up, to walk my drug buddy with four legs to a dispensary and get my next hit made me suicidal. It was a pain like no other, and my will was non-existent.  

This cycle repeated itself over and over again to the point where I contemplated and even more dangerously planned suicide off a viaduct.  

Powerless? Yes, you bet. Insane. Yep.  

So for me, I was left with three options, continue to live in groundhog day contemplating death, being institutionalised or accept spiritual ideas.  

I didn’t have time or energy to think of what God is or isn’t. Rather I saw people who smoke like me, more importantly, felt like me get sober. Not only getting sober, but living a life full of freedom, happiness, and serenity.

Therefore, I had to forgive myself, before I could even begin to think of forgiving others. The steps are meant to be taken in order, once they’re worked on. I can safely forgive myself, and then ask for the forgiveness of others for the damage I’ve done.  

About the Authors

Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email alumni@renascent.ca.