“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol- that our lives had become unmanageable.” Step One
What does this mean to you? For me admitting being powerless wasn’t an easy thing to say. As a woman I have been in situations where I was powerless and I hardly thought that admitting being powerless would lead me towards a life that will be happy, joyous & free. Powerless? Really? I wanted nothing more then to be in control, control of my drinking, control of my using and control of my life. I made the choice to use, therefore I had the control to stop. That’s what I thought, my own private island of delusion.
As an alcoholic I have to admit being powerless over alcohol, as a woman being powerless can be equated with being weak and the fight for sobriety is not a battle for those that are weak. I had to admit defeat. Alcohol had bested me, it was a foe that I could not beat, cunning and baffling it had total control, total power. This was how I ended up dealing with the word powerless. I am powerless over alcohol, but that does not mean that I am a weak woman. This is a distinction that every woman alcoholic that has issues with the word powerless in the first step has to realize. Being a woman alcoholic has more stigmas then being a male alcoholic. God forbid if you have children and are an alcoholic mother, society will not look at you kindly. There is a solution, admitting being powerless is the first step towards alcohol losing it’s grasp on you.
When one considers the history of the Big Book, they will notice that the language is geared towards men. There are resources out there that are written specifically for women, I have included some of them in the suggested reading section. Another option is to read the Big Book with an open mind, replace some He’s with She’s and realize that the disease of alcoholism is shared equally among men and women. Don’t get hung up on the language, read between the lines and listen to the truth of the message being told. This will set you free.