Step Onejpg

Definition of Step One
‘Acceptance’: the act of accepting something

Synonyms of Step One
‘Acceptance’: acknowledgement, admission, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.


Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. –William James

Our First Step in this program introduces us to a radical idea – that accepting our powerlessness is beneficial. In surrendering to life as it unfolds, we find ourselves on an adventure. –Touchstones | More…


Admitting powerlessness over alcohol and unmanageably of our life is only intellectual until such time as we accept with total honesty the step before Step 1 which is ‘We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery.’ –Big Book p.30 | More…

Abstaining is not easy, but it is much easier than drinking!
The reason that we think it easy to drink is because drinking was a habit.

In actuality, processing the alcohol was hard on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When we abstain, we break an old habit and learn a new one.

The transition requires concentration and dedication. We abstain every minute of the day and night. Some of us apparently have to go through a certain amount of “white knuckled abstinence” before we arrive at the point where abstaining is easier than not abstaining.

Others of us are able from the beginning to relax and abstain comfortably. Whatever our individual experience, we each have available to us the Higher Power that sees us through. –Food For thought | More…


Our illness is more powerful than we are. We begin recovery when we surrender. Admitting defeat is our first step into a beautiful world. Like all first steps, it’s hard. –Keep it Simple | More…

This first step brings us into God’s world of care. We get love. We give love. We stay sober because daily we admit defeat. –Keep it Simple | More…

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colourful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.

By applying this passage to my sobriety, I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me by the A.A. program. Sobriety is a gift that grows with time.–Daily Reflections | More…

Only Step One, where we made the 100 per cent admission that we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.181)


The term tough love came into use to describe an attitude that aims to correct bad behavior by refusing to indulge or enable it. In the same way, we must recognize that there’s such a thing as tough honesty when situations require us to deal with unpleasant facts.

We have a moral obligation to practice though honesty whenever it is required. Being honest in this way with others is also a reminder that we should always be honest with ourselves. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

Compulsive behavior is characterized by the need to be better than, sooner than, bigger then, more than. This creates pressure which creates stress, which for us creates danger!That is why we take the slogan ‘Easy Does It,’ seriously. –Hour to Hour | More…

We admitted that we were powerless over ???????, that our lives had become unmanageable The First Step begins with “we,” and there’s a reason for that.

No longer must we try to solve the puzzle of our ??????? on our own. When we honestly admit our powerlessness over our addiction, we can begin the search for a better way to live. We won’t be searching alone—we’re in good company. –Just For Today | More…


It’s easy to let circumstances determine how we think and behave.
We are never given more than we can handle.

We can develop acceptance of any circumstances, but our success in doing so comes mainly through our reliance on God to show us the way. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

Something inside cries out, ‘Enough, enough, I’ve had enough,’ and then we are ready to take that first and often most difficult step toward dealing with our disease

If questions lead us to the doors of Narcotics Anonymous, then we are ready to move on to the next step toward a life free from active addiction.

If we have truly had enough, then we will be willing to go to any lengths to find recovery.–Just For Today | More…


Step One: We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

Honesty: It is vital to concede that we are alcoholics if we are to achieve sobriety.

The odds are against us if we don’t completely admit defeat and surrender.
This takes being truthful with ourselves.

The alcoholic cannot differentiate the true from the false. By learning to be honest with ourselves and admit an honest desire to be sober, we begin the spiritual program of action | | More…

We admitted we couldn’t lick alcohol with our own remaining resources, and so we accepted the further fact that dependence upon a Higher Power (if only our A.A. group) could do this hitherto impossible job.

The moment we were able to accept these facts fully, our release from the alcohol compulsion had begun. When I accept situations are, not as I wish them to be, then I can begin to grow and have serenity and peace of mind.  –Daily Reflections | More…


Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself. The most important of these is Humility.

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty. AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others

The Principles of the Twelve Steps

Step One: Honesty
Step Two: Hope
Step Three: Faith (Surrender)
Step Four: Courage
Step Five: Integrity
Step Six: Willingness
Step Seven: Humility
Step Eight: Brotherly love
Step Nine: Discipline
Step Ten: Perseverance
Step Eleven: Awareness
Step Twelve: Service (Charity)


The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker. The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society.

The five principles of the Twelve Step Program are; membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. –Alcoholics Anonymous | More…

Step One states the membership requirement of A.A. We must admit that our lives are disturbed. We must accept the fact that we are helpless before the power of alcohol.  –24Hours | More…


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