Step One

1.We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step One Outlined

"Now we are learning a better way to own our power than being victims and being controlling. It begins by admitting and accepting the truth about ourselves and our relationships."

"I didn't know how to say no. I didn't have a life of my own. I had a backlog of feelings from childhood, and chances were great that whatever I was reacting to today was probably a patterned reaction from childhood."

"On Unmanageability"

"I felt so bad about myself, I hoped that if I helped enough people, God would start treating me good. That's when it dawned on me that I needed to start treating myself good. God wasn't making me do all these things. God wasn't stopping the good from happening in my life. I was."

"Our codependency, and our unmanageablity, doesn't always surround addicts and alcoholics. Many of us discover that our efforts to control another's behavior extend beyond that of controlling one person's addiction. Many of us get caught up in overt, and subtle, gestures to control many people--what they do, think, feel, and how and when they change."

"Many of us find ourselves trying to control others well into recovery. I have come to recognize that my need to control, or take care of another, is instinctive. It's my first reaction to people. It's no longer as obvious as it once was, but it's still there.

Controlling and caretaking don't work. Codependency doesn't work. It makes us feel crazy. It makes us feel like people and circumstances are driving us crazy. Our lives become unmanageable. Controlling and caretaking create unmanageability."

"The Roots Of Control"

"The belief that we have power over other people is a powerful belief--a destructive illusion that many of us learned in childhood."

"Many of us grew up believing it wasn't okay to have feelings... That was part of the control we were taught to have--repression of our emotions. Now we are learning that whatever we try to control gains control of us. If we try to control our feelings in an unhealthy way--which many of us were taught to do and learned to do to survive-our feelings will gain control of us and create unmanageablility."

"We don't know how to relax and detach. Some of us aren't aware of how afraid we are...Step One gives us permission to relax, stop controlling, deal with our fear, and take care of ourselves."

"...much of what I call codependency in life is a result of feeling frightened, trapped, and stuck in relationships because I don't know how to take care of myself with people."

"Step One does not imply irresponsibility or helplessness. We are not saying, 'I can't help myself because of what others are doing, or have done to me'. We are saying the opposite that we are responsible for our affairs. Others are responsible for themselves and their affairs--whether or not we like how they are handling them."

"When we accept powerlessness, we will become empowered to take care of ourselves...This step grounds us in reality and in ourselves. It centers us. It balances us. It brings us back home to ourselves."

"The Detachment Step"

"This Step helps us begin to identify the proper use and abuse of willpower. We begin feeling instead of running from our emotions. We identify how we have neglected ourselves, so we may better love ourselves in any circumstance."

"Often this step puts us in touch with our feelings--feelings of fear, hurt, or shame. It puts us in touch with grief. At first, the Step can feel dark and frightening. It doesn't have to, not for long. It renders us powerless over what we cannot control, so we become empowered. Once we accept whatever loss or area of powerlessness we're facing, we're free to feel and deal with our feelings, then move forward with life."

"Detach. Detach from the fear. Detach from the need to control. Focus on ourselves, and let ourselves be...Love and accept ourselves as is, no matter what our present circumstances. The answer will come. the solution will come. But not from trying so hard...The answer will come from detachment".

"This Step takes us to a safe place, a comfortable place."

The Source for this Step One outline: Melodie Beattie's: " Codependents Guide To The Twelve Steps"

  • Go To Step Two Outlined
  • Return To Main Coda Page