What the 12 steps are: Admitting powerlessness

We thought it might be informative if we walked through the 12 steps and talked about why they might be successful, based on what we know.

For clarity, Drinker’s Helper is in no way affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, and is a completely non-religious sobriety app (and moderate drinking app).

The first of the twelve steps is: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

We admit, initially we cringed at the idea of admitting powerlessness. After all, the core idea of a quit drinking app is that there is something you can do about your drinking.

But wait - doesn’t Alcoholics Anonymous also help people quit drinking? By existing, AA also, in its way, says there is something you can do to stop drinking (which is to attend AA meetings). But AA solves the problem of this powerlessness by suggesting that a higher power can help you to control your drinking where you have failed on your own.

Ok, so why is there a benefit to admitting powerlessness, even if you don’t believe in a higher power?

Based on everything we’ve seen and read about quitting drinking, it’s this: if you admit you simply have to stop drinking alcohol, you’re fully committed to changing. You are saying your life is intolerable with alcohol in it.

Often, when people fail to achieve sobriety, or relapse, it’s because part of them was never convinced sobriety would give them what they needed in life. That means some small kernel of thought in their minds said: alcohol is doing something good here; you can’t do without it completely.

It is infinitely easier to quit something when you’ve decided absolutely to do so. This is true not only for drinking but for other addictive behaviors and other habit changes.

Thus, even though at first blush this step makes us uncomfortable, we like the underlying premise: you have to be sure, in order to achieve the desired results. Drinker’s Helper is meant to accommodate people of any religious faith or none at all, so we don’t believe you must on a higher power to supply the determination you need to quit drinking. We do, however, believe you have to be sure. If you’re firmly decided to quit drinking, or to cut back to a healthy drinking level, please check out the app today - we’d love to help you!