STEP 1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and/or mood altering chemicals – that our lives had become unmanageable.

The First Step is the foundation of recovery. The following work paper is designed to assist you in proving and accepting, on a gut level your individual powerlessness and unmanageability.



What is your definition of POWERLESSNESS?



Examples of powerlessness over alcohol and/or mood altering chemicals: Write at least three specific personal life experiences under each applicable area that show how your behavior is out of control and how you couldn’t control or stop your using even though you were getting into trouble.

  1. Blackouts:



  2. Preoccupation or mental obsession with chemical usage:



  3. How have you tried to stop or control your usage and failed?



  4. How have chemicals placed your life or lives of others in jeopardy?



  5. How have you lost self-respect due to your chemical usage?








  6. What is it about your behavior that your spouse/family/friends object to most?




  7. What type of physical abuse has happened to you or others as a result of your chemical usage?



  8. What is your current physical condition? ( Heart/liver/etc.)



  9. What convinces you that you no longer can use alcohol or drugs safely?





What is your definition of unmanageability?

Describe how each of the following areas have been affected by your inability to stop or control your use of mood altering chemicals.

  1. Destructive behavior – accidents and/or dangerous situations caused:



  2. Emotional condition – examples of emotional harm to self or others ( i.e. rage, depression, severe mood swings, paranoia, panic, holding grudges).




  3. Family condition




  4. Financial condition


  5. Legal condition








  6. Social condition



  7. Spiritual condition



  8. Business or work condition



  9. Physical condition



  10. What goals have you set for your life?




  11. How will continued drug/alcohol use affect these plans?



  12. What crisis besides the one that got you into treatment now would have eventually happened?




  13. What convinces you that you no longer can use alcohol or drugs safely?













2nd Step: "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."


Who or what is my higher power?




Why do I need a Higher Power?




How have I been insane?



How can my Higher Power help me become sane?



If I am accepting my substance abuse, what specific behaviors will change?




What have you learned about a Higher Power in places other than treatment?




What happens to you when you try to be your own Higher Power?




How do you stay in touch with your Higher Power each day?











Have you decided to get sober?



What needs to happen for you to turn your will over to God?



How has your will hurt you?



What is God’s will for you?



How can God, as you understand him, help you to stay sober?



How has God shown his care for you?



If you have made a decision to turn your will over, how do you show it?


A Moonlight Ride
(unknown author)
Jenny was so happy about the house they had found,
For once in her life ‘twas on the right side of town.
She unpacked her things with such great ease,
As she watched her new curtains blow in the breeze.
How wonderful it was to have her own room.
School would be starting, she’d have friends over soon.
There’d be sleepovers and parties; she was so happy,
It’s just the way she wanted her life to be.
On the first day of school everything went great.
She made new friends and even got a date!
She thought, " I want to be popular and I’m going to be,
Because I just got a date with the star of the team!"
To be known in this school you had to have clout,
And dating this guy would sure help her out.
There was only one problem stopping her fate.
Her parents had said she was too young to date.
"Well I just won’t tell them the entire truth.
They won’t know the difference. What’s there to lose?"
Jenny asked to stay with her friends that night.
Her parents frowned, but said, "All right."
Excited, she got ready for the big event.
But as she rushed around like she had no sense,
She began to feel guilty about all the lies.
But what’s a pizza, a party and a moonlight ride?
Well the pizza was good, and the party was great,
But the moonlight ride would have to wait,
For Jeff was half drunk by this time.
But he kissed her and said that he was just fine.
Then the room filled with smoke and Jeff took a puff.
Jenny couldn’t believe he was smoking that stuff.
Now Jeff was ready to ride to the point,
But only after he’d smoked another joint.
They jumped in the car for the moonlight ride,
Not thinking that he was too drunk to drive.
They finally made it to the point at last,
And Jeff started trying to make a pass.
A pass is not what Jenny wanted at all
(And by a pass I don’t mean playing football).
"Perhaps my parents were right, maybe I am too young.
Boy, how could I ever, ever be so dumb."
With all of her might, she pushed Jeff away:
"Please take me home I don’t want to stay."
Jeff cranked up the engine and floored the gas.
In a matter of seconds they were going too fast.
As Jeff drove on in a fit of wild anger,
Jenny knew that her life was in danger.
She begged and pleaded for him to slow down,
But he just got faster as they neared the town
"Just let me get home, I’ll confess that I lied.
I really went out for a moonlight ride."
Then all of a sudden she saw a big flash.
"Oh God, please help us! We’re going to crash!"
She doesn’t remember the force of the impact.
Just that everything all of a sudden went black.
She felt someone remove her from the twisted rubble.
She heard, "Call an ambulance! These kids are in trouble!"
Voices she heard… a few words at best.
But she knew there were two cars involved in the wreck.
Then wondered to herself if Jeff was alright,
And if the people in the other car were alive.
She woke in the hospital to faces so sad,
"You’ve been in a wreck and it looks pretty bad."
These voices echoed inside her head,
As gently they told her that Jeff was dead.
They said, "Jenny we’ve done all we can do,
But it looks as if we’ll lose you too."
"But the people in the other car!?" Jenny cried.
"We are sorry, Jenny, they also died."
Jenny prayed, "God, forgive me for what I’ve done,
I only wanted to have just one night of fun.
Tell those people’s families, I’ve made their lives dim,
And wish I could return their families to them.
Tell Mom and Dad I’m sorry that I lied,
And that it’s my fault so many have died.
Oh nurse won’t you please tell them that for me?"
The nurse just stood there, she never agreed,
But took Jenny’s hand with tears in her eyes,
And a few moments later Jenny died.
A man asked the nurse, "Why didn’t you do your best,
To bid that girl her one last request?"
She looked at the man with eyes oh so sad,
"'Cause the people in the other car were her mom and dad."