Emily’s Perspective: Step 1

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.

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.

2 responses to “Emily’s Perspective: Step 1

  1. I am Emily’s mom. Though some days can be a challenge, it is Emily’s commitment to sobriety that has made her successful. I hope that anyone reading her story can find the commitment to change their lives. People love you.

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