Tony A. Version of Step 1 as found in his book, The Laundry List
We admitted that we were powerless over the effects of living with alcoholism and that our lives had become unmanageable.
from page 56 of The Laundry List:
“When we lived with our sick family we had no way of avoiding the destructive forces of the illness. We were deeply affected by their insanity and sick behavior. Much of what we were taught as children now makes our lives unmanageable. We have taken on many of the destructive characteristics of the disease. We need to acknowledge that this is so, and be willing to commit ourselves to a recover program.”
ACA Official Step 1
We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
Alanon Step 1
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
Taken from pages 45-47 of How Al-Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics
“Each of our lives has been devastated by someone else’s drinking. We cannot change that fact. We have been profoundly affected by the disease of alcoholism. … As long as we persist in the delusion that we can control or cure alcoholism, its symptoms, or its effects, we continue to fight a battle that we cannot win. … Our misplaced concern for others becomes intrusive, meddling, resented, and doomed to failure. Instead of helping those we care about, we demonstrate a lack of respect for them…
With is First Step, we admit that we did not cause, cannot control, and cannot cure the alcoholic, the disease of alcoholism, or the fact that we have been affected by this disease. In fact, our attempts to exert power over alcohol [and the alcoholics in our life] have made our lives unmanageable.
The battle against alcoholism has become the basis for many of our relationships. Putting an end to this battle requires completely redefining what we believe about ourselves, others, and our relationships. Many of us have confused love with interference. We don’t know how to show affection or support without giving advice, seeking to sway another’s decisions, or trying to get those we love to do what we think will bring them happiness. We confuse caring with controlling because we don’t know how to allow others the dignity of being themselves… without realizing what we are doing. … Even when there are no alcoholics directly involved, the effects of alcoholism continue to dominate [our lives].
Only when we finally stop, take stock of what our efforts have produced, and admit that we have been pursuing an illusion, can we turn in a direction that will actually meet our needs. Likewise, when we let go of the illusion of power over alcohol and over other people, we move in a more positive, productive, and rewarding direction.”