The Zero Step

The final step of Alcoholics Anonymous, virtually all 12-step programs, speaks of a spiritual awakening and carrying the message.

The journey toward the much needed awakening has to start somewhere. Step one reads, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (substitute: drugs, gambling, sexual additions, food)—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

The only desire for membership in a twelve-step program, is the desire to stop, stop drinking, gambling, tweaking, just stop. That desire comes about in many ways, but in each case, the predicate for recovery takes on a very personal awareness, one rooted in experience. That experience, a person’s story, begins long before finding a seat at the tables.

It’s almost as if there’s another step, one that accounts for that earlier awakening, the realization that something is amiss? Of course there’s no need for another step. The 12-steps work just fine.

Just the same, here’s the Zero Step:

“We believed we could quit at any time, until we tried.”

The religious man will say it was the hand of a higher power that led him to recovery. I like the saying, “we got sick and tired of being sick and tired.” In the past fifteen or twenty year, the courts have also played a role. Providence, persuasion, or to avoid punishment; somehow, millions of people have come to accept that their lives were unmanageable and the cause, or at least one of the causes, is powerlessness.

The Zero Step is so easy anyone can do it. We believed we could quit at any time, until we tried. Thing is, who even thinks about that if there isn’t already a storm brewing (pun intended) somewhere on the horizon?

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