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Not approved NA step one

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"We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable."


The first mistake that many of us make when we come into the program, is that we think drugs are the problem. When we say to the newcomer that drugs are only a symptom of a much deeper problem (addiction), it is hard for them to understand this.


To get a better understanding of addiction, we must look at the disease concept of addiction. From that point of view, addiction is a disease of attitudes, personality and a general negative outlook, that is rooted in fear, insecurity and low self-esteem. The main ingredients of addiction are obsession and compulsions. Obsession - that fixed idea that takes us back time and time again to our particular drug, or some substitute, (substitute being anything that makes us feel good and get instant gratification, such as money, power, sex, food, anger, etc.) to recap the ease and comfort we once knew. Compulsion - once having started the process with one fix, one pill, one drink or one substitute we cannot stop through our own power of will. Because of our physical sensitivity to drugs and anything that makes us feel good we are completely in the grip of a destructive power greater than ourselves.


Looking at addiction from this point of view, we see how addiction makes our lives unmanageable with or without drugs. At this point we must surrender and accept how powerless we are over our addiction. When we do this a very strange thing happens, we begin to gain power through the (WE) part of the program and the next Eleven Steps. It has often been said that the First Step is our past and the things of our past that are with us today. And the next Eleven Steps are our future.


Now that we have a better understanding of our addiction, let us look at some ways we can apply the First Step in our daily lives. The most obvious is that we can't pick up that first drug or our lives will become unmanageable. We must accept and surrender to this JUST FOR TODAY. Let's now take a look at some non-chemical ways we must apply this Step in our lives.


1. You go out to your car in the morning and it has a flat tire. Rather than feeding into the addiction attitudes of anger or frustration, which will create unmanageability, we must accept and surrender to the fact that the tire is flat and take action to correct the situation. As addicts we tend resist the act of surrendering and using this Step on every day problems making our lives unmanageable. 
2. Another situation could be you go out to your car and you start it up and the motor dies. It can't be fixed. You need it for your job. You must be able to apply the first step to this situation. Accept and surrender that the car cannot be fixed and you then gain the power to find alternate transportation. Or you can refuse to surrender and apply the Step and let your life become unmanageable. The choice is yours.


The First Step can be and must be applied to all areas of our life. This is called Living the Steps. The bottom line is that drugs are one symptom of our disease. The only relief we get from our disease is by working the Steps. It is a new and exciting experience that will bring many changes into our lives. The following questions you are to write about on a separate sheet of paper and return to your sponsor.


1. What do you have to give to the "we" of N.A.? 
2. How have you been isolating? 
3. How good are you at being a part of? 
4. How many times is the word "admitted" in our steps? 
5. Why is this word so important? 
6. How good are you at admitting? 
7. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "admitted". 
8. Write your own definition of "admitted." 
9. What is your definition of powerless. 
10. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "powerless". 
11. What does the word "were" mean as used in the 1st step. 
12. What is "our addiction"? 
13. Look through the 1st ten chapters of Basic Text and write down all definitions for addiction. (Stated or Implied) 
14. What is the disease of addiction? 
15. Why is being clean not enough? 
16. How was my life unmanageable in my addiction? 
17. How is my life unmanageable in recovery? 
18. How do I apply the First Step in my life? 
19. How are our Steps different than any other 12 Step program 
20. Am I willing to accept the Steps as a way of life? 
21. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "addiction". 
22. Write out how you were powerless over your addiction when using and in your recovery. 
23. What does "had become" mean when used in the 1st Step? 
24. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "unmanageable." 
25. Write out your definition of "unmanageable." 
26. How was your life unmanageable when you were using and in recovery. 
27. Who managed your life when using and who manages your life in recovery? 
28. What does sponsorship have to do with the 1st Step? 
29. Write out benefits of accepting your powerlessness over your addiction. 
30. Write out the benefits of surrendering your life to N.A.


One last thing that must be pointed out is the WE portion of this Step and all our Steps. All our Steps begin with WE except the 12th, which has the word WE in the center. This makes us different than any other 12 Step program. Narcotics Anonymous is a WE program not a me program. Part of our strength and power comes from WE. Together we can. I can't, WE can. This is why we need meetings for the rest of our lives. This is why we need contact daily with other recovering addicts. A statement many newcomers may' ask is, "If I stop using,, I should be cured and I don't need the program or meetings anymore." The only way I know to clear up this denial is to answer this way. A non-addict (a non-addict is a person who does not have the addictive personality) who goes to the hospital for an operation is given a physically addictive drug for pain during a period of two weeks. He becomes physically addicted. They detox him and he goes on with his life without any problem. However, addicts with the disease of addiction, having addictive personalities are unable to just stop with no problems, we were addicted long before we used.


-- monk

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