Step 1

Step 1

“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

A “first” of anything is a beginning, and so it is with the steps: The First Step is the beginning of the recovery process. The healing starts here; we can’t go any further until we’ve worked this step.

The Disease of Addiction

What makes us addicts is the disease of addiction-not the drugs, not our behavior, but our disease. There is something within us that makes us unable to control our use of drugs.
This same “something” also makes us prone to obsession and compulsion in other areas of our lives. How can we tell when our disease is active? When we become trapped in obsessive, compulsive, self-centered routines, endless loops that lead nowhere but to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional decay.


Denial is the part of our disease that tells us we don’t have a disease. When we are in denial, we are unable to see the reality of our addiction. We minimize its effect. We blame others, citing the too-high expectations of families, friends, and employers. We compare ourselves with other addicts whose addiction seems “worse” than our own. We
may blame one particular drug. If we have been abstinent from drugs for some time, we might compare the current manifestation of our addiction with our drug use, rationalizing that nothing we do today could possibly be as bad as that was! One of the easiest ways to tell that we are in denial is when we find ourselves giving plausible but untrue reasons for our behavior.

Hitting Bottom: Despair and Isolation

Our addiction finally brings us to a place where we can no longer deny the nature of our problem.  All the lies, all the rationalizations, all the illusions fall away as we stand face to-face with what our lives have become. We realize we’ve been living without hope. We find we’ve become friendless or so completely disconnected that our relationships are a sham, a parody of love and intimacy. Though it may seem that all is lost when we find ourselves in this state, the truth is that we must pass through this place before we can embark upon our journey of recovery.

Questions to ask ourselves:

Our addiction can manifest itself in a variety of ways. When we first come to terms with our problem , of course it was only drugs and or alcohol. Later on, we may find out that addiction is wreaking havoc in our lives in any number of ways.

  • What does “the disease of addiction” mean to me?
  •  Has my disease been active recently? In what way?
  •  What is it like when I’m obsessed with something? Does my thinking follow a pattern?
  • Have I given plausible but untrue reasons for my behavior? What have they been?
  • How have I blamed other people for my behavior and situations?
  • Am I avoiding action because I’m afraid I will be ashamed when I face the results of my
    addiction? Am I avoiding action because I’m worried about what others will think?
  • How have I compared my addiction with others’ addiction? Is my addiction “bad enough”
    if I don’t compare it to anyone else’s?
  • What crisis brought me to recovery?
  • What situation led me to formally work Step One?
  • When did I first recognize my addiction as a problem? Did I try to correct it? If so, how?
    If not, why not?

When answered truthfully, there would be no doubt that we have a problem!! And knowing that we are not alone may give a sense of direction!




Reference: Narcotics Anonymous “Copyright ~ 1998, World Service Office, Inc”

These worksheets are not officially produced or approved by Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.