Step 1 of Narcotics
The 1st Step on Narcotics Anonymous
requires us to admit our powerlessness over our addiction because our
lives have become unmanageable. When I came to Narcotics Anonymous and
began working the 1st Step, a total transformation occurred in
my life. I began to feel alive again. No longer did I have to live in
chaos and negativity. My life had undoubtedly changed for the better, and
for that I am forever grateful to the program of Narcotics Anonymous.
Before coming to NA, I lived a destructive lifestyle full of lies, anger,
hopelessness and guilt. I felt separated from my true essence, and I knew
that I couldn’t go on living in this manner. I discovered the 1st
Step on NA, which began my progressive journey of recovery.
I finally admitted my
disease of addiction and became willing to follow the simple guidelines of
this proven program. I learned that I had to become honest with myself,
my addiction, and with my complete powerlessness. I had to surrender my
will, my addictive patterns, and my self-centeredness to begin anew. I
was finally tired of always feeling inadequate and unworthy; and, most of
all, I was tired of living a meaningless existence separated from God. I
came to realize that surrender, acceptance, honesty, open-mindedness,
willingness, and trust were essential for the process of recovery to
begin. Surrender is the foundation that all other spiritual principles
and growth derive from. Daily, I had to surrender my powerlessness and
unmanageability to set the stage for personal growth to transpire.
As I practiced applying
these spiritual principles, I gained a new freedom and peace that I had
never dreamed possible. I honestly started working and applying the 1st
Step to my daily life. I discovered that I wasn’t alone in this fight for
ongoing recovery. I didn’t have to face this by myself. The loving
Fellowship of NA had my back. I was filled with hope, and a true desire
for change. As my recovery progressed, I began to feel alive like never
before. I began to learn how NA works. I noticed that other members were
living happy, successful lifestyles. And if they could do it, then I knew
that I could too. I dedicated my life to grow spiritually, mentally,
physically, and re-align myself with my Higher Power. I obtained the
drive and strength necessary to continually move forward in my recovery.
My journey commenced, and I haven’t stopped growing since I began working
the 1st Step.
After applying the 1st
Step of Narcotics Anonymous, I learned to focus my attention upon the
truth. No longer did I have to deceive myself. I was positively driven
to emerge victorious in the battles I faced as I began to live life on
life’s terms. With clarity of mind, I could now align my energies toward
righteousness. It became apparent that concentrating my mind on doing
right brought me continuous success. I learned to rid myself of all
degrading, impure and negative traits that would hinder my forward
progress. I was compelled toward righteousness. I had finally awakened
from my drug-induced haze that I for so long couldn’t live without. Total
abstinence was priority. As I embarked on this journey, my obtainable
horizons expanded, providing me with endless opportunities for further
growth and achievement.
To successfully complete
Step 1, I had to be totally honest with my addiction and myself. I had to
adhere to the suggested guidelines in order to stay clean one more day. I
had to be credible for my actions, and how I carried myself. I had to be
straightforward in order to fully receive the direction I needed to remain
clean and serene. As I was open and sincere on my journey, I gained the
strength and knowledge necessary for fastidious allegiance with truth and
uprightness. I gradually became genuine and forthright in my search for
personal freedom. I honestly applied the suggestions offered in NA to
better my life, and all aspects of my being. My inner spirit awakened,
finally emerging to assist me in my journey. My true essence came forth,
overcoming all obstacles that held me in check for so long during my
addiction, and self-centered existence. Displaying acts of candor and
decency became admirable traits. My new, positive moral values ascended
beyond the limitations of my past. Righteousness took the wheel, steering
me towards an unknown land full of opportunities and chances to excel.
After working Step 1 of Narcotics Anonymous, I began to notice the
positive changes that were taking place. All of this had occurred in my
life because I became truly honest in all aspects of life.
Open-mindedness is another
quality that must be practiced to remain clean and sober. Being
open-minded unlocks the doors to success. We become tolerant and inclined
to absorb all ideas, thoughts, behaviors, and actions that will bring us
growth in our recovery. Being open-minded means being receptive of
suggestions that can elevate us to a different realm. Being lenient and
easygoing during our journey will allow us to adhere to the principles
that will enhance our ability to remain clean. Being open-minded means
that we are accepting towards anything that will promote our new, healthy
way of living. Open-mindedness is important in the process of change and
Once we become open-minded,
it is necessary that we acquire the willingness to act upon the positive
influences that we encounter. To obtain willingness is to be favorably
disposed in mind; to be ready, and prompt to do the necessary tasks to
enhance our well-being. We must contain the willingness, and desire for
change in order for us to follow through in action to achieve positive
change. We must not be reluctant, but eager and without delay to do what
is necessary to remain in recovery. With enthusiasm we venture into the
realm of life, and all that it entails.
Another positive attribute
of Step 1 is the process of acceptance. With a consenting mind we step
forward, unafraid of failure, but courageous in nature. We receive with
favor the many facets of our disease. We come to understand that we are
addicts and learn about our disease, knowing that we have the ability to
make the required changes that are necessary to move onward in our
recovery. We learn to adjust and coexist with reality. We endure the
trails we encounter, always remaining in hopeful expectancy and
anticipation that good will prevail. Remaining long-suffering and
uncomplaining we march on, ready to battle the perils of life, while
armored with the spiritual principles of Narcotics Anonymous.
During the first stages of
my recovery, it was very difficult for me to set aside my pride and
self-centeredness. Through patience and diligence, I learned the
importance of acting with humility. Being humble is to be free from pride
and arrogance. Humility is the act of submission. It is to have a
consistent mildness of temper, while lacking conceit. Acting with
humility is to be subservient, to be obedient and compliant with spiritual
principles and the Steps of NA. As we yield to our Higher Power, we gain
freedom from our excessive pride. I learned to be compatible with living
these principles. To be humble is to have a lack of vanity, and it is to
be menial. When I learned the true nature of humility, I finally obtained
serenity and peace of mind. I never thought I would be able to reach a
true state of serenity. Well, I did! And it was quite simple too. While
being humble, accepting, open-minded, willing, and honest I began to
notice and feel all of the positive changes that were occurring in my
life. From that point on, I knew that recovery was surely for me, and
that through the suggestions and guidelines of NA and the 12 Steps, I
could obtain success and fulfill all of my deepest desires. All of this
understanding and enlightenment took place after applying the 1st
Step of NA to my life.
Through personal reflection
after first entering the rooms of NA, it was made clear that my
powerlessness over addiction was uncontrollable. I had to accept
responsibility and take charge of my recovery. Open-mindedness and
willingness enabled me to apply the spiritual principles of NA, and
provided me with the tools necessary to honestly work the 1st
Step. As I recognized the destruction and horrific qualities of my
addiction, I came to understand the importance of surrender, acceptance
and honesty. The 1st Step allows us the opportunity to stray
away from our selfishness, and learn to become God-centered. Becoming
less self-centered encourages new, healthy ways of living without the
insanity of obsession and compulsive behavior. No longer does fear,
doubt, isolation, confusion and the feeling of separation from life has to
control us. In recovery, we strive to get back the sanity that we lost in
When I came to NA, I always
heard the familiar slogans: “Let go and let God,” “Keep coming back,” Easy
does it,” “One day at a time,” and “Don’t leave before the miracle
happens.” These sayings made a lot of sense, especially in the first
stages of recovery. Through these simple suggestions, I discovered new
ways to adjust to life on life’s terms. Through time, I started to
reclaim control and hope, while obtaining the ability to detour around
temptation, isolation, seclusion, and alienation. Strength of mind and
spirit enabled me to attain the power to live. By observing and listening
to the experience, strength, and hope of other recovering addicts is an
indication that miracles do happen to those who devote their energies and
focus towards ongoing recovery.
To completely surrender, I
had to yield to a Higher Power, while admitting defeat as I
whole-heartedly abandoned self. By surrendering, we release the chains
that bind us. Those things that we cannot change no longer have to
torment us. Surrender becomes victorious over our powerlessness.
Open-mindedness removes us from the pits of despair. Uncertainty no
longer has to cloud our vision. We can now move in the direction we
choose. We must never become “powerful” again, or we will fall back into
our old ways of chaos. Acting responsibly severs the course of insanity
that controlled us. Remember, if nothing changes, then nothing changes.
As we move forward, we
become aware of our triggers and all situations that initiate our demise.
We learn to steer clear of all circumstances that would hinder our further
growth, and spiritual advancement. In our recovery, we improve our
well-being, our happiness, and we rise above the seclusion of the past.
We gradually begin to act out of love, respect, and anticipation that out
Higher Power will see us through. When we let go and let God take over, a
newfound strength emerges from the awakening of our soul. I’ve learned
that spiritual advancement necessitates enduring the things that we cannot
change as we surrender, learn, and apply the Spiritual Principles offered
in the program of Narcotics Anonymous. We can be assured that by NOT
practicing spiritual principles, we would be cut off from further growth.
Applying spiritual principles will seize unsound patterns of
self-absorption and intemperance. Expanding the quality of our
uprightness, gaining enlightenment, becoming aware of our spirituality,
and by releasing fear we transform into spiritual beings.
During my active addiction,
my spirit seemed inaccessible. I had separated myself from all life. I
discovered that NA is full of practical advice and suggestions that help
us get out of our own head and recognize our disease of addiction. I
learned that by removing my destructive thought patterns, behaviors, and
qualities that promoted my insanity, I could uncover my true nature, get
to know myself, and become a power for good. A sense of meaning and
purpose was finally reachable through the uplifting process of spiritual
growth, awareness, enlightenment, understanding, and personal freedom.
Commitment together with action leads to transformation and conversion
from impure to responsible. Positive expectations overcome misery and
anguish. Faith in our Higher Power to do for us what we couldn’t do for
ourselves, brings us assurance and hope that the impossible is possible.
For the newcomer working
the 1st Step: Keep it simple, surrender, admit defeat, abandon
all destructive forces, form new beliefs, heighten your strength of mind,
be honest and open-minded, willing, faithful, and hopeful. By living in
the moment, we receive the ability to be strong, firm, steadfast, and
dedicated to the renewal of our mind. I hope that my personal experiences
and beliefs regarding the 1st Step of Narcotics Anonymous has
brought you enlightenment, and knowledge of this first step that begins
our journey of recovery. Next time I will discuss Step 2 of NA, so until
then, I am glad to be of service. Thank you, my name is Terry, and I am
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