No one wants to admit that they have an alcohol problem. In fact, the reason so many people drink too much in the first place is because, well, they got problems. The unfortunate problem with the last two scenarios is that for most people their problems don’t get better when they start drinking – they only get numb to them. That is, until the numbness wears off and you have more problems.
Are you seeing the word “problem” being the operative word in the above paragraph?
If so, hands up! Hands up! It’s time to STOP! THE! RIDE! We’re not suggesting that you run out and join a 12-step group, but here are three steps from the famous Big Book that can at least get you walking in the right direction.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.
“Um, waaaa? Dancing on the tables/loads of friends/mistress of selfies me Powerless?” Yeah, you heard us sister, and we don’t blame you for reeling. That ideal is counter-intuitive to our power-hungry “I can do it all” culture. After all, most of us make our money or run our families by being in charge and using our brains. But if you struggle with alcohol, your best thinking got you in that car drunk, or naked on that couch, or worse, you don’t remember either of those situations. Newsflash: To quote the end of Step 1, that’s pretty “unmanageable.” The quicker you admit you admit you’re defenseless, the stronger you can grow. Think of Step 1 like Opposite Day, only you’re not buzzed on martinis and wearing your boyfriend’s jockstrap.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Translation: Give it up. You aren’t god of the universe. You’re not the sun. You can’t control the ocean. And maybe, just maybe, this sad fact is something that is making you drink. The bad news: You have to give up control. The good news: You never really had control in the first place. You just had ego which made you think you had control. (Fun tip: Did you know ego is an acronym for Edging God Out? See #3 – especially if you have God issues.)
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Calling all atheists! This is for you. You don’t have to believe in God for this step to work. You can believe that the moon will restore you to sanity. The main thing to realize is that you can’t do it yourself or you would have done that already. (You might also have married Hugh Jackman, but that didn’t work out so well for you either, did it?)
More 12-Step Info
For more information just Google “AA Steps and Traditions” and you’ll find a list like this one. If you choose to go to a meeting, here are some things to remember:
Tips for the AA Newbie
- Find an “open” meeting (some are closed only to people who identify as alcoholics.)
- You don’t have admit anything other than a desire to stop drinking.
- Stay open to what you hear.
- Consider this: AA is more than not drinking. It’s about thinking. Want to change your life? Change your perceptions.
- There is no failure in showing up to a meeting. There is more failure in not showing up for an authentic, rich, joyful life.
Andrea Frazer is a published TV, magazine, newspaper and blog writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 15 years, her two kids, a renter and one crazy but lovable rescue dog. Most days she can be found writing for several media outlets, thrift store shopping, ferrying her kids around town or promoting her upcoming book, Happily Ticked Off: One Mother’s Journey from Despair to Hope Over Her Son’s Tourette Syndrome Diagnosis. You can find her at blogging at Happily Ticked Off, on Facebook@ AndreaFrazerWrites or on Twitter @AndreaFrazerWrites.