Admitting that we are powerless, and that our life is unmanageable (the First Step) is not an admission of failure. It is a celebration of the beginning of the end of our struggle over trying to force other people to change so that we can be happy. This admission frees us to make choices that are good for us and not because we are trying to manipulate or force someone else to change. It is simply the right thing for us to do.
Knowing and accepting that we are powerless to change another person does not mean we are surrendering our life to a degrading situation or that we have to be the victim of their destructive behavior. We can’t change them but we can change our situation to protect our safety and well-being and to ensure our right to be treated with dignity.
In the beginning I had so much pent-up frustration, anger and resentment that I could not grasp this program. It sounded like I was being told that I had a problem and my alcoholic was being let off the hook because he had an illness. I cried to my sponsor that it was not fair and to my surprise she agreed with me. She told me that he was not being let off the hook – his alcoholism was destroying everything in his life. But whether it was fair or not was not the issue. Fair or not it was my reality and I had a choice of letting his illness rob me of my life or I could get to work on me.
Recovery programs can have a profound affect on our life if we want it. But not everyone makes it, believe it or not some people come and never come back, some come and stay stuck in their misery, wallowing in their sorrow and grief of allusions and unrealized dreams. How does this happen? Why do some people blossom and grow and others seem to be walking on the treadmill of misery? Why? Because not everyone really wants deliverance from their bondage, healing and restoration bad enough to do whatever it takes to get it. Others are still arm wrestling with God over control They want recovery but on their terms only.
The first step, of taking the first step, is wanting to heal bad enough to do whatever it takes. We don’t have to get it right the first time. We don’t have to do it perfect! But, we do have to want it bad enough to surrender to this process. Recovery programs are not for everyone – only the people who want recovery bad enough to do whatever it takes to get it.