Examining the Steps: Step 1


shutterstock_266965340The first step in the 12-step process is admitting powerlessness over addiction. To admit powerlessness for some is to admit defeat, when society seems to promote individuality, managing life without anyone else’s help and finding ways to keep pushing through struggles. To admit the need for help is a first step towards receiving the necessary help to get better.


Getting Started

Every journey begins with a first step. Denial of the nature of addiction keeps individuals trapped in a cycle which is nearly impossible to get out of unless a person is willing to admit there is a problem. A person can admit addiction has taken over and feel powerless to stop the behavior. Without appropriate action, life will continue as it has with addiction at the helm. Step one means breaking through denial to accept that life as it is isn’t working and a change is needed.


Power of Addiction

The battle of addiction is all consuming for people who are trapped in the cycle. Step one offers an opportunity to take the first step of admitting the power addiction has over one’s life and asking for help. Full acceptance of the power of addiction allows the individual to move forward and take back control. It may be difficult to admit help is needed as human beings, by nature, take pride in managing their affairs effectively. The 12 steps are a full process of recovery but are ineffective without first admitting the power addiction has over one’s life. Old strategies of coping and dealing with addiction must be thrown away to rebuild new ones in hopes of building a life around truth and the reality of what addiction does.


Moving Forward

An individual who tries to break the cycle of addiction may slip in and out of destructive habits because:


  • trying to control drug or alcohol intake is not working developing a pattern of failure
  • an individual hits rock bottom and sees destructive nature but cannot stop
  • the ability to have a few drinks or use only this once is not realistic
  • a person’s behavior becomes unmanageable during addiction and forces realization of how actions are affecting everyone around but still cannot stop


Humility is not about weakness, but strength. The first step is about seeing the power of humility, admitting the need for help and that a person cannot do it all alone. When a person is humble, it is easier to listen to others offer new insight and information to change old habits and patterns. Step one is about surrender, a giving up of the old to make way for the new. Remaining open to the possibility this can work frees the mind and allows room to grow, and recover.
Lead Recovery is committed to the health and recovery of every one of our patients. For more information about our addiction recovery services, contact our front desk at 800-380-0012.