There’s an expression that the first step is often the hardest. In my recovery, that’s certainly been the case.
Of the 12 Steps, the first – admitting I am powerless over alcohol – is one I take every day. Through treatment, I’ve come to realize that the truth is, I’m an alcoholic. I can’t drink. If I do, it damages every aspect of my life.
At the beginning of my recovery journey, it took everything in me to just give into that. My brain had so many excuses; it wondered why I couldn’t drink at a family event, why I couldn’t imbibe “just this once.” It felt so unfair. Why me? Why was I being punished in this way?
At one low point, I started feeling very selfish. I lost a beloved aunt to a disease she couldn’t control, and here I was, using a substance I knew was making me ill while surrounded by the people and the resources that could help me stop. Over time, I’ve learned that alcoholism is a disease. As soon as I knew I wanted to live, I was ready to take the steps required to manage the disease. There is so, so much more to life than just drinking it away.
Ultimately, I had to acknowledge that when I drink, life just gets worse. When I remove that variable, everything gets so much brighter. And I couldn’t remove alcohol from my life until I was willing to admit that I really, truly couldn’t have a single drop.
I now fully understand that alcohol is literally poison to my body and wellbeing. I’m not fighting reality any longer, and my acceptance of the truth is freeing. I recommit to the first Step every day – because without it, nothing else is possible.