On page thirty of the AA basic text there is a statement that hit me hard. The book states “We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery”. What does it mean to “concede”? The New Merriam-Webster Dictionary explains that the word concede is a verb (action word) which means; “to admit to be true”. So if I have conceded to my innermost self that I am an alcoholic I hold this fact to be a truism in my life. No more excuses; no more lies; I am an alcoholic. I cannot drink alcohol like temperate drinkers. I have accepted that I am powerless over alcohol and, unlike some alcoholics that I hear at many AA meetings, as far as alcohol is concerned, I believe that I have no choice over that first drink. Like the AA old-timers of yesteryear, I have placed my drink problem squarely in the hands of my Higher Power. I didn’t even swear-off alcohol. I surrendered the problem into the Hand’s of my Higher Power. I do not ever again want to be deceived into believing that I have any power of choice with respect to alcohol. After many years of sobriety, I have witnessed time and time again that attitude invariable gets people drunk. And that is one result that I do not want for myself. I am a great respecter of what alcohol can do in my life and an even greater respecter of the Power of God.
In the 1930’s there lived a doctor by the name of William D. Silkworth. He was asked by the authors of the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous to write an opinion about alcohol and its impact on the alcoholic. Dr. Silkworth was a visionary. He held a theory “that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is the manifestation of an allergy (n. exaggerated or abnormal reaction to substances, situations, or physical states harmless to most people); that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker” (AA Big Book, pg. XXVIII). Where alcohol is concerned, the alcoholic is physically and mentally (I will get to that when I talk about Step Two) different than other people. Once alcohol is consumed, the power of the physical craving compels the alcoholic to continue to drink. The good news is that the allergy
can never hurt me if I don’t take the first drink. Sounds relatively simple doesn’t it? However more work has to be completed. So if “Lack of Power was our dilemma”; then what is our solution? It must be Power. So exactly where is it that we are to find this Power? Stay tuned. I’ll be exploring what I’ve discovered in my next article.
P.S. Step 1 – Described on pages XXV – XXXII and pages 1 – 43
(The directions for taking Step 1 are on page 30, para. 2, lines 1 – 3)