My parents and family have told me about my first steps. I certainly don’t remember them, but I am told I was an “early” walker.
Seems I was early at trying a lot of things-booze, girls, dope, motorcycles, lying, stealing, cheating! I was not early getting into a journey of recovery.
In many of my vices, I remember those first steps so well!
The first step on my journey to recovery I remember oh so well. The woman I loved announced she was leaving me, and in fact did so. This wasn’t the first step yet, but it sent me plummeting to a new bottom, a lower point in life than I’d ever been at.
I still had a house, still had cars, still had a job, still had some money, but had lost the person I cared most about. I went out of control emotionally. We sought a marriage coach because we loved each other, and it was this coach who led me to an addictions coach/mentor who got me to take that first step in the journey of recovery!!
Man, I remember that time in my life vividly!!
With a lot of help from others, I was introduced to a program of recovery, and worked with many others to take that first step; one of 12.
The first step told me that a group of people who had recovered, and many of whom were seemingly beyond help, had admitted that they were powerless over their addiction/or an addicted person, and their lives had become unmanageable.
Here I was a big shot in my own mind, seemingly reasonably successful to the outside world, all of the trappings. Me powerless? Me, the great manager, fixer, and controller of all around me, powerless?? My ego said no way, yet the small quiet voice said “Keith, it’s true, own it and move forward”.
That first step was real tough. Today I am properly proud that I had the courage to take the step, and follow the steps that gave me a spiritual awakening, a new purpose to life, and began a life long journey of loving life with no particular destination. As I’ve been taught, I’m trudging the road of happy destiny.
I’ve seen much discussion on the concept of powerlessness. Some say we are never powerless, and I can accept some of that logic. I have always had the power to make choices. When I made choices to take part in or use my mood altering “friends”, I was powerless over outcomes once I started. I had so many feelings stuffed inside of me that caused pain. I had no idea of how to identify these feelings and deal with them in a healthy way. My addictions were a temporary medication for the “soul” pain I felt, and at that first step, I was spiritually empty!
Unmanageable? Again, the outside world would look and think I had my “poop” together.
Few knew of the places I went late at night or the risks I took. I would hide my “dark side” and other life from people I knew. The love of my life was gone. I was crying a lot. My kids supported me the best they could, but were very concerned about my mental state and telling me I needed help. My good and loyal dog distanced himself from me (surprising how perceptive pets can be), I drove under the influence, people were pulling away from me, I suffered scrapes and bruises when I bumped into things; and more.
Unmanageable? My life?
In that first step, I remember accepting and then surrendering to the reality of the situation. It was humiliating and humbling, but the relief I got from that first step was indescribable. I didn’t have to lie and hide any more. Those who were coaching me and who had something I wanted told me that things would be OK, and that gave me hope!
I look back and remember each of my children, and now grand children, taking that first step. A little afraid, wobbly and uncertain, but knowing it was the time to do it and that they would be OK. Their first steps allowed them to explore a world bigger than anything they knew existed, and started them on a journey!
My first step in recovery began me on a journey to a life that I had not known as an adult, and I continue to walk this journey with determination, and humbled by the gifts of hope and serenity that I experience on a daily basis.
Is there a first step in an area of your life you need to take? I’m here to share and help.

Author's Bio: 

Keith is a Life Transformation Coach and Addictions Mentor working from Markham, Ontario.