Step 1

“We admitted we were powerless over our compulsive, addictive behavior, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I  Admit to your Powerlessness

No one wants to admit they are unable to do something they must do. It seems so weak… “I can’t do it” sounds like “I’m defeated and I’m just going to give up.” Have you ever felt this way before? It’s not a great feeling, is it?

And yet, this is exactly what is suggested in step one:  Admit defeat. No matter how you may slice and dice it, no matter how convinced you are of your own strength, you are powerless to overcome this addiction. If you could, then it wouldn’t be an addiction… would it?

Here are some ways to approach this whole topic of powerlessness…

A.  Power of Addiction

a) Family Tree

Are there other members of your family who have an addiction?
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What about your mother, father, grandparents?
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b) Childhood Trauma / Abuse / Neglect

Were you ever abused? In what way?
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Is there evidence that you are coping with some form of childhood trauma?
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c) Other Obsessions / Compulsions

What other addictions and compulsions do you struggle with? ____________________________________________________
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B.  Personal Weakness

a) Unable to stop / control / choose

List the ways you have tried to control your compulsive behavior.
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Were you successful? (yes or no)
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b) Unable to Face the Truth

How long have you suspected you might have an addiction?
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Are you still not convinced? Why?
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c) Broken Promises

How many people have you disappointed by not following through with your promises? Who are they?
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II  Acknowledge the Unmanageability of your life

There is no greater evidence confirming the existence of an addiction as the chaos and turmoil of a life held in its iron grip. Need proof that you have an addiction? Look no further than the disorder and confusion of your own life.

The following are a few suggestions that will help you see if you are indeed living under the cruel and sadistic rule of an all-powerful addiction:

A.   Risk-taking and Chaos  

a) Jeopardizing Personal Safety / Safety of Others

What have you done that has been risky and jeopardized your personal safety and the safety of others?
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b) Strange Behavior(s)

What have you done that would be considered by others to be strange and unusual behavior?
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c) Run-ins with the Law

Have your ever been arrested or questioned by the authorities?
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Have you been involved in any illegal activity? Be specific.
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B.  Personal Losses

a) Financial

Have you ever been fired from your job? _____________________

Filed for bankruptcy? __________________________________

How has your addictive behavior contributed to your financial losses?
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b) Relationships

Have you ever been divorced, or separated from your family?
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How has your addictive behaviors impacted your social relationships?
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c) Faith in Oneself / Abilities

Do you doubt your own abilities? _________________________

Do you spend most of your time self-loathing? ________________
Do you blame yourself when things go wrong for you or others?
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Are you depressed? __________________________________
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C.  Collateral Damage

a) Physical

Have you experienced a physical setback or contracted a serious, life-threatening disease as a result of your addiction? Be specific:
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b) Emotional

Have you been damaged or scarred psychologically?
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How has this affected you emotionally?
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c) Spiritual

How has your addictive behaviors impacted you spiritually?
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Do you question your faith in God? Why?
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Have you lost your faith in others? Why?
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Do you still believe in yourself? Why? ____________________________________________________
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