Principle One: Honesty
It is vital to concede that we are alcoholics if we are to achieve sobriety. The odds are against us if we don’t completely admit defeat and surrender. This takes being truthful with ourselves. The alcoholic cannot differentiate the true from the false. By learning to be honest with ourselves and admit an honest desire to be sober, we begin the spiritual program of action.
So begins the Principle behind Step One: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable." Without this admission, there is no recovery. And without recovery we’ve no chance of achieving true sobriety.
As Bill W. himself wrote in The Grapevine back in August of ‘61:
“How truth makes us free is something that we AAs can well understand. It cuts the shackles that once bound us to alcohol. Truth continues to release us from conflicts and miseries beyond reckoning; it banishes fear and isolation. The unity of our Fellowship, the love we cherish for each other, the esteem in which the world holds us – all of these are products of such integrity as, under God, we have been privileged to achieve. May we therefore quicken our search for still more genuine honesty, and deepen its practice in all our affairs.”
Being dishonest destroys our chances of living with integrity. Whether it's because of self-deception, reckless truth-telling, half-truths or inexcusable denials. And that's why we at Recovery Boot Camp believe it is necessary to be vigorous in our self-examination and prudent with the truth toward others. We must allow honesty to blossom within us. This way it may take root without us ever having to lie again.
(This is a companion piece to the Tuesday 12 & 12, itself inspired by -- and taken from -- Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.)