SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information - View Single Post - Step 1 interpretation - Discussion
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:03 PM
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JenX
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 22
Thumbs up Step 1 interpretation - Discussion

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.

Right here, right at the start, is a giant problem. I am not powerless over alcohol, not even close. I have almost perfect control over alcohol. I can drink it or not, I can let it sit on the table and look at it, and I might even be able to juggle it. I can also drink enough to kill myself. My choice.

The second half of that sentence says that my life is "unmanageable". Ummm, no, that isn't quite right. If I drink alcohol, my life becomes a disorganized mess I drink too much alcohol, and I get more or less addicted to it, and I get behind on the rent, and the utility companies turn everything off, and I starve, but I still wouldn't say that my life was "unmanageable" because I was "powerless" over alcohol.

Step One might be halfways true if it said that us alcoholics couldn't manage our lives very well while drinking alcohol. And Step One might be true if it said that it was ultimately impossible for us to continue drinking alcohol and still have a happy life. But that isn't what Step One says.

Step One is a setup for surrender to the cult. Since you are powerless over alcohol, you will need somebody or something else (like a sponsor) to be your keeper, and take care of you, and tell you what to do, to keep you from drinking. This step encourages dependence on the cult instead of self-reliance; incompetence and failure instead of competence and success.

Margaret Thaler Singer considered inducing a sense of powerlessness and guilt to be one of the five essential conditions for an effective mind-control, or "brainwashing", program. This step, and the next two, where you confess that you are insane, and then surrender to "Something greater than yourself", do a fine job of inducing a sense of powerlessness. And then the following steps, Steps Four through Ten, induce plenty of guilt.

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