January 5, 2012

Step One, Powerless Over My Emotions. What Next?

Step One in EA reads, "We admitted we were powerless over our [emotions,] that our lives had become unmanageable."

Some folks in our Program use this Step in a disciplined fashion, by admitting POME-ness daily. 

If I have reluctance in speaking these words, I can ask myself, "Am I diminished when I  admit I am powerlessness over my emotions?"  If I feel diminished, it might be my  thinking that is making me feel like junk.  I personally think Step One "admits" me into the human family. Aren't we are all powerless over something at one time or another?
In completing the first Step, what I do NOT admit is as important as what I do admit. "I do not admit I am a failure." Sure, I may FEEL like a failure. But program stresses that "feelings are not facts." H.OW. I think about my emotions can help or hinder me in my recovery. Feelings are very real, and dealing with them is important.   

There are other things I refuse to admit when admit my life is unmanageable. "I don't admit that I am a bad person." Yes, it feels bad when my life has become disorderly, attempting to "maintain the delusion of exercising power where I am powerless." Having such delusions is only an error, not a crime! Through my thinking, I have just "temporarily lost control of my life." Taking the First Step simply helps me begin to regain my serenity.

As I move on from Step One,  I find Step Two encourages me to rebuild my life using a balanced perspective.  

Quotes from January 4th's reading in Hope for Today


  1. I've been in step one -supposedly- for months although it wasn't a disciplined effort. While I've come to think of that time as getting my bearings, instead of a step one, I did come to terms with my powerlessness over externals. NOW for a real official step one I'm finishing it off by looking at internals. I'm looking at and logging my reactions to things, mainly emotional reactions, looking for patterns in them and also patterns in motive. I find I am powerless over my spontaneous reactions, and with good reasons. And I'm not diminished by that. I love what you said! "Step One admits me to the human family!" Indeed :) ! And I'm also not helpless in the face of my powerlessness. With Al-Anon I'm assimilating not only a new way to interact with the world, but unearthing a new me to do the interacting. It's so exciting... Much appreciate your post. This particular meditation was referred to in a meeting I was at last night and expands nicely on our discussion. Thanks...

  2. Timbre, I want to say that Step One is an Evergreen step. We keep coming "round" to begin again at Step One, or it "swings" round to scoop us back up, when we need the momentum or something like that.

    Sometimes I really think this program could simply be a circular course, a cycle, a way to ride. The use of the Steps is a training program. From my place at the center of my life, maybe I connected to each of the (Steps) spokes on a wheel that is my evolving, revolving life.

  3. In this post you nailed it when you said "If I feel diminished, it might be my thinking that is making me feel like junk." I believe that with all my heart I was never going to kick my addiction to pills until my thinking changed. I had heard the pretty quote saying "Change your thoughts, change your life". Then I moved on with my life. Guess what though, I changed my thoughts through long hard work under the worst circumstances I can think of and I changed my life. The words are true. No, the words point to the truth, they are not the truth.

  4. And as you say, Jonathan, the distance between saying the words, "change my thoughts" and doing it. is a lot of work. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. It was your tuition for a better life, just like mine with the psychiatric system was my tuition for a life I am happy to live!


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~