When I first heard the song, I too was touched by is honest reveal that we don’t always have the answers. It was the singer/song writer’s words “Step One you say we need to talk” that would not and will not leave my mind. I learned early in my recovery the first step is a place you only come to after trying everything else. If it was easy to admit we were powerless, then we would all be healthy, healed, whole. It is hard. I have learned it does not come out in the language of step one. It comes with emotion, anger, pain or despair, and always with no other choice available. I remember when my son came to admit his abuse of illicit drugs. He said, “Mom I need to talk about something.” My dad called upon release from jail, crying and begging me to come over “and talk.” Me, I showed up at my doctor’s appointment and said, “There is something I need to tell you.”
I think we feel there has to be gnashing of teeth, an arrest, or a complete breakdown. While that does happen, it also occurs many times without incident. The very admission of powerlessness over anything is the incident. I was so depressed when I came to the realization that my life was unmanageable, I could only sit and stare at the doctor and my family with a hollowness I figured would never be filled.
Step One still means the same as it did years ago in my first realization of its necessary application for me. I am powerless over the ravages of mania and depression. I get filled with hope when I return to the first step. Having used them in 12-step therapy, I know they work. Sometimes I think I have this philosophical reason as to why they work. I don’t. Someone asked me one time what about the steps worked for me. I replied, “I had nothing else, so I surrendered.”
I decided to trust in the first step. “I need to talk.”