1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Before moving on to Step 2, there is an important point to be made about Step 1. It has to do with the last entry on Friday when I created an imaginary church where the regular crowd was worshiping upstairs while the AA group was meeting downstairs. It’s important to make this point clear because the whole of our study depends on it.
I made the point that we all have addictive personalities — we are all addicted to many things, if only to sin. I then went on to list some of my own addictions as an example of how to think about this, and then I proceeded to set myself apart from the alcoholics downstairs. I stated that because I wasn’t an alcoholic like them, that I could keep my addictions under control. Because I was dead serious about my addictions in the first part of that Catch, some people thought I was also serious about setting myself apart from those downstairs. A few of you with experience in AA felt it was necessary to disagree with me and write about how proud and happy you were to be downstairs. I understand; you should be.
I was serious about the addictions; I was facetious about the cover-up, because I was trying to get you all to think about how the “upstairs” people hide and isolate themselves from their addictions and from each other. The upstairs people are better than the downstairs people. They are not; they just think they are. The point is that the people worshiping upstairs in church are just as addicted to unhealthy things as are the people downstairs at the AA meeting. We’re all powerless to change ourselves and the upstairs worship experience would be so much more real and effective if it could embrace for its people what is going on downstairs. That, in fact, is what we are trying to do here.
If you don’t plan on agreeing that you have a problem with addiction and that your life has become unmanageable and you are powerless to change it, then you might as well take a break from the Catch until March. All the steps hinge on this one. You can’t skip this and go on. Nothing else in this study will make any sense if we don’t all start at the same place.
It’s been said that religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell; spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell. If this is true, then spirituality is more likely to take place downstairs, but then again, I think we can all be happier` in the basement.