Step one- is it too easy

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Brock » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:22 am

AA was built upon one man's spirituality, it was his choice, he was not simply following others.

I am not trying to pick holes in Ron's post, but as someone interested in AA history this goes against all that I have read.

Bill Wilson takes very little credit for the spiritual ideas in the program, he gives credit particularly to the Oxford Group, and the rector of the church in which it had it's headquarters in New York, the Rev. Sam Shoemaker.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Layne » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:46 am

Step one doesn't say to renounce our individuality. Step one doesn't encourage us to not accept responsibility for our actions. Step one also doesn't refer to alcoholism as a disease so the fact at other times alcoholism is referred as a disease shouldn't have any impact on the difficulty level of step one. My difficulty with step one was my ego which prevented me from being honest.

As to whether or not alcoholism is a disease and thusly can be used as a get out jail free card...in my case, that comes back to the same issue with ego and resultant lack of honesty. Having a disease doesn't take away my accountability any more than not having a disease does.

A few years back I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I followed suggestions. I changed my lifestyle. I took responsibility for my actions. My blood sugar levels are at better than acceptable levels today. My granddaughter, a young adult with diabetes, doesn't follow suggestions. Hasn't changed her lifestyle. Doesn't take responsibility for her actions. This summer she wound up in the ER a couple of times as a result of diabetic comas.

Step one is not about calling alcoholism a disease or not. It is about honestly looking at our past without any concerns over semantics.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby PuppyEars » Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:11 am

Step one is not about calling alcoholism a disease or not. It is about honestly looking at our past without any concerns over semantics.

Good lawdy....what!? Did you read the big book?
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Rain » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:34 am

I am glad someone has found Step One easy.
Truly it took (and currently takes) many hard knocks for me to actually understand and admit "powerlessness" in all its forms, shapes and guises for/by me

I've struggled with the first step for many years in early recovery as I thought "I don't think I have a drinking problem, its been what.. [enter my time stamp/my calculated time elapsed date].. since that time, no problems whatsoever" I brought this up with normies and most replied "Uh..K..you anniversary your last pass-out drinking binge..alrighty then.. most people anniversary their marriages, kids birthdays.. but getting hammered and sloshed ..uh.. yeah.." I made the assumption that normies should get my "normal" drinking.

For me, its the definition of my insanity, "I'll just moderate with one drink and that's it, I swear no big deal, just one and that's it. This will prove I'm normal, I'm okay. One drink, no worries" and ... that always doesn't end well.
What is the definition of insanity " doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." which for me is, "If I drink (in different ways) then I wont get drunk, here's how" and really its basic human biochemistry, any human who drinks alcohol will get intoxicated, but I assume I'm special - exempt. Or, there is a "non-drunk drinking exemption" and by God I will find it (my 'controlled-drinking' has already been there-done that and is not unique)

[/i]Step one to me is ongoing, when I first entered the program, it was mainly my body, sweet detoxifying sobriety (sucked hardcore) then into my mind and my spirit after being physically sober for a while. To me, its Body, Mind and Soul, at first its the obvious superficial liabilities, then to more deeper shortcomings/defects and now onto deeper memory-blocked rooted things that continue to lead me to resent and to the dangerous-possibility to drink, to pain kill.

Step one in a nutshell for me is keeping an ongoing eye on my things (Body, Mind, Soul) and cognizant of others around me
Without Step one: "it" re-begins for me to feel disappointed, then to depression, then to despair, then to self-destruction. Step one is truly knowing I do have limits, that I'm not alone and most importantly, I can ask for help.
Last edited by Rain on Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:52 am

Are we powerless? Or do we have the power but 'choose' to ignore it?


The whole point of needing a higher power is that, no, you don't have the power of choice. Thats AA.

If you do have the power of choice, you don't need AA.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Tosh » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:26 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:
Are we powerless? Or do we have the power but 'choose' to ignore it?


The whole point of needing a higher power is that, no, you don't have the power of choice. Thats AA.

If you do have the power of choice, you don't need AA.


It's confusing though; it felt like I had a choice like I'd changed my mind and chose to drink. "Just a couple will be okay to take the edge off it; I'll keep it sensible..." and then it all goes horribly wrong.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:46 pm

My choice was to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand God.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Ron27 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:17 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:
Are we powerless? Or do we have the power but 'choose' to ignore it?


The whole point of needing a higher power is that, no, you don't have the power of choice. Thats AA.

If you do have the power of choice, you don't need AA.


Such is the power of religion! The indoctrination has the person choosing to manipulate words and ignore others to justify their own insanity.

Having spiritual power but ignoring it is a choice. Substitution by religion, drugs or anything does not invalidate that truth.

If you see AA as a group of caring individuals that meet and tell their alcoholic truths so that one is regularly reminded of the dangers of that first drink, then many of us need AA.

If you see AA as a religion where the holy grail can only be found within adherence to its biblical text and at the cost of defying your soul, then you don't need it.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Ron27 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:34 pm

Brock wrote:
AA was built upon one man's spirituality, it was his choice, he was not simply following others.

I am not trying to pick holes in Ron's post, but as someone interested in AA history this goes against all that I have read.

Bill Wilson takes very little credit for the spiritual ideas in the program, he gives credit particularly to the Oxford Group, and the rector of the church in which it had it's headquarters in New York, the Rev. Sam Shoemaker.


You have a right to your beliefs. It is interesting that they include discrediting Bill's spirituality whilst promoting his lack of anonymity, curious!
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Ron27 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:58 pm

Layne wrote:Step one doesn't say to renounce our individuality. Step one doesn't encourage us to not accept responsibility for our actions. Step one also doesn't refer to alcoholism as a disease so the fact at other times alcoholism is referred as a disease shouldn't have any impact on the difficulty level of step one. My difficulty with step one was my ego which prevented me from being honest.

As to whether or not alcoholism is a disease and thusly can be used as a get out jail free card...in my case, that comes back to the same issue with ego and resultant lack of honesty. Having a disease doesn't take away my accountability any more than not having a disease does.

A few years back I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I followed suggestions. I changed my lifestyle. I took responsibility for my actions. My blood sugar levels are at better than acceptable levels today. My granddaughter, a young adult with diabetes, doesn't follow suggestions. Hasn't changed her lifestyle. Doesn't take responsibility for her actions. This summer she wound up in the ER a couple of times as a result of diabetic comas.

Step one is not about calling alcoholism a disease or not. It is about honestly looking at our past without any concerns over semantics.


As a diabetic I too changed my lifestyle on diagnosis. However I am glad I listened to my body and did not simply follow the texts. I knew that carb restriction was important despite educated nutritionalists saying otherwise.

'Shouldn't' is a cognitive distortion that is reflective of your beliefs. Mine differs.

Honesty reflects adherence to beliefs and virtues held by each individual.

Truth is a journey of discovery, it is a deep subject and worth studying. Nietzsche had interesting beliefs. We know that we are socially programmed from birth and think we know all at 17. Finding your truth is to find yourself and means challenging the indoctrination of others.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Layne » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:46 pm

Good lawdy....what!? Did you read the big book?
Yes. Why?
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Layne » Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:32 pm

'Shouldn't' is a cognitive distortion that is reflective of your beliefs. Mine differs.
Everything that I type is reflective of my beliefs. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't view the use of the word "shouldn't" as being a cognitive distortion because I don't feel that it feeds negative emotions. Nor do believe that the use of it leads to an overall negative outlook on the world and thusly contributes and perpetrates a depressive or anxious mental state.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby PuppyEars » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:18 am

Yes. Why?

If I am unable to call into memory the suffering and humiliation from a week or month ago, how is step 1 a time to dig up my past? :shock:

Step 1 as I learned was about being powerless because when my type pours alcohol in our bodies, we trigger an alergy that makes us crave more. It was also hammered home that I will have this allergy for a lifetime. My experience with staying away from booze and picking up again time after time confirms this.
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:19 am

My experience with staying away from booze and picking up again time after time confirms this.


Yes, this is the mental part of the disease. We loose the battle here. Just prior to taking that drink. Thats why the recovery section of the book doesn't pay too much importance to the craving part.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Step one- is it too easy

Postby Brock » Wed Sep 28, 2016 6:47 am

You have a right to your beliefs. It is interesting that they include discrediting Bill's spirituality whilst promoting his lack of anonymity, curious!

You joined AA a month ago, we are happy to have you here, you make a statement - “AA was built upon one man's spirituality, it was his choice, he was not simply following others.” (emphasis added).

Bill Wilson described himself as a “conservative atheist,” and someone who never looked at a bible, until in his search for a solution listened and wondered if his old friend Ebby was onto something, when he told Bill, 'I got religion.' From then on it was a series of people, some I mentioned like Rev. Sam Shoemaker, who Bill wrote to in 1963 saying this - “The Twelve Steps of A.A. simply represented an attempt to state in more detail, breadth, and depth, what we had been taught–primarily by you, without this, there could have been nothing–nothing at all.” And others like Dr. Bob, a bible scholar who greatly influenced his thinking, and Rowland Hazard, who Dr. Jung had told in Switzerland his only hope was a spiritual transformation.

We are quick to put down AA's religious roots and I agree, because it should be promoted as a spiritual program rather than religious. But make no mistake, in the early days things were quite different, our co founder Dr. Bob describes early meetings as “old fashioned prayer meetings,” and when anyone asked him a question about AA he usually replied “what does it say in the good book,” and it wasn't the big book he was referring to.

I don't believe I was “discrediting Bill's spirituality” or “promoting his lack of anonymity,” and if anything is curious, it's how a newcomer here has all the answers. Anyhow it does show you have stones, but maybe need to take the condescending tone down a notch or two, and coming from me that's saying something, since it's also a 'fault' of mine.
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