admitting vs accepting - step one

For recovery discussion
Post Reply
User avatar
Jackstraw
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 am

admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Jackstraw » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:12 pm

Hi all,
I was working through some step one worksheets tonight and at the end there was a question: have you admitted or accepted that you cannot use alcohol safely? The answer was revealing to me, and I thought it might help others who are wrestling with the early steps.

Have I accepted it?
I have all the examples of how my drinking increased rapidly, how it affected my relationships, and how I understand I was trying to drown out life with the alcohol. I have the evidence of a clear improvement in my relationships once I stopped. Passages of the BB feel like someone read into parts of myself I couldn't articulate, though I tried for years, and put them all out on paper for me to see. Yet still, part of me feels like I should deny I am an alcoholic. This small contrary kernel of my ego holding firmly to the final vestiges of a personality that did not/does not bring me happiness and intimacy with people that I love. That little bugger tells me I am not worthy of being called an alcoholic and that I am a fraud to try. I feel like I am not worthy of the support AA provides.

But I look at my wife, who stopped drinking when I did. She also spent a life partying and drinking. But she could also have a glass of wine and let the rest of the bottle go bad. I could never do that. When she suddenly stopped, she didn't come existentially unglued. She just stopped.

So have I accepted it? I know I should. I know I am entitled to it. I get the chair at the table is mine and I feel welcome and part of the fellowship at meetings. And when I think I have accepted it, I feel this weight lifted but then I start grasping to put it back. Martyrdom and suffering are what I know. So have I accepted it? Honestly accepted that I am an alcoholic, I guess am trying. Trying not to feel like I am not worthy enough to claim it. Trying to let go, trying to believe I am not simply alone in my head, disconnected from the world because of something wrong with me. Well, I suppose there is something wrong with me. I am an alcoholic. Trying to love myself, one baby-step at a time.

this S*** is hard. Thanks for listening, I feel better for sharing. Meeting tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it.
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
G.Harrison

User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Duke » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:11 pm

Thanks for sharing Jack. Always happy to listen. My experience is that self-honesty is essential. Sounds like you're getting it. Hang in there friend.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

User avatar
Tommy-S
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1696
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Norfolk, VA

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Tommy-S » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:07 pm

Thanks Jack... Ditto on Duke's comment

Hard...Yep. There is No 'microwave' sobriety.

I had my doubts early on also, but I took the suggest of 'coming back' & identifying instead of comparing. My mind was rather twisted and I had a hard time seeing myself as I really was. This is where a sponsor helped immensely.

He would give me a nudge when someone else was sharing 'my' story, remind me of progress I often couldn't see, and encourage me when things looked dark.\

And a big part of that was reminding me that it would be better to 'pretend' I had this Alcoholism and throw myself into AA, then to pretend I wasn't and end up worse off than I was... I could always go back to drinking if I ever proved to myself that I wasn't one of you.

Like you, I thought someone 'had been reading my mail' when we started on the Big Book... they knew all about me. It was uncanny.

As my head started to clear and I learned to listen, I knew I Not only had this 'illness', but that AA was my answer... It's been the best thing to happen to me as I have a good life now.

Hang in there... It's just One Day At A Time and We didn't get sick overnight, so we don't get well overnight. More will be revealed.

Thanks... Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1469
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Spirit Flower » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:52 am

When she suddenly stopped, she didn't come existentially unglued. She just stopped.
I completely lost emotional control after I stopped. It is the pain of being alive. That is "existential."
I was not one who did anything immoral or illegal. I just had no foundation for understanding why I am here.
I still think I am different from normal folks. But prayer meditation, review of my day help me.
...a score card reading zero...

User avatar
Jackstraw
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 am

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Jackstraw » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:26 am

Spirit Flower wrote:[I was not one who did anything immoral or illegal. I just had no foundation for understanding why I am here. I still think I am different from normal folks. But prayer meditation, review of my day help me.
I am the same way - it is nice to read that knowing there are others out there in my predicament. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
And I know how sweet life can be
If I keep myself free from the wah-wah
G.Harrison

Tom S
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Tom S » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:53 am

As I began to actually do what you suggested, as I began to read the actual words of the Big Book (and stopped trying to read between the lines), when I consciously admitted to myself that I wasn't different ( not better, not worse) than you; then, eventually, I came to realise that this new way of life was actually working in mine. Over time, I came to believe.
A slow, gentle process, where my old fears were allayed and a surprising never before experienced feeling came over me.
What finally overcame my internal resistance was faithfully and reliably doing what was laid before me, especially when I made a booboo. One day I actually started to seek to hear a Will other than mine.
Ain't been the same since.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5194
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:08 pm

have you admitted or accepted that you cannot use alcohol safely?

I ask the question in a different way. Am I convinced, left on my own devices, Have no defense against the first drink? That is what powerlessnes is to me.
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)

4thDimension
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:54 pm

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by 4thDimension » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:54 pm

I think the first step is a process. Admitting------------->>Accepting.

I think I knew I was an alcoholic after a while, but that didn't really change much for me. Admitting powerlessness was not so easy, that involved really understanding that alcohol was going to win every time. That isn't easy. Those of us with alcoholic minds think that somehow, someway, we will be able to drink like other people, and so we keep trying.

Acceptance for me was when I realized I was totally beaten, that I could never win, and that alcohol was stealing everything I had ever worked for or cared about, and was going to kill me. Acceptance really meant accepting the consequences of alcoholism. I am an alcoholic, alcoholics have 3 options only: recovery, institutionalization, or death.

When you own that last part, it becomes very motivating. One might even find themselves willing to go to any lengths.

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: admitting vs accepting - step one

Post by Blue Moon » Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:52 pm

I like to keep it simple.

I admitted my alcoholism. To admit is to surrender (whether it's to admit both powerlessness over alcohol and life being unmanageable, or admit a crime).

I accepted the recovery program. To accept is to receive.

Until I both admitted my alcoholism and accepted a solution, I was destined to drink.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

Post Reply