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Step 1 Let Go Of The Steering Wheel

Let go in snow

12 Steps 101

Step 1 Let Go Of The Steering Wheel

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Step 1 Let Go Of The Steering Wheel

When I was a new driver in the snowy Midwest, I was terrified that my tires would lock up on icy roads. My Dad taught me to turn into the skid instead of fighting it. This reminds me of Step 1. In recovery, learning to let go is the first step.

Sometimes, life comes at us 100 miles per hour. Obstacles that appear out of nowhere turn our world upside down. The same thing happens to Indy car drivers. In May 2017, Scott Dixon’s life was saved by letting go. Coming out of turn one, another driver crossed into Dixon’s path. He had no control over his car. He was powerless to avoid a collision. His only course of action was to let go of the steering wheel.

Dixon’s crash wasn’t the only one of the day. The commentators repeated the same phrase, “All he could do is just let go of the wheel.” One of the racers even described himself as a passenger in his crashing car.

When Life Spins Out Of Control

AA’s 12 Steps are so powerful that many other groups including Al-Anon use them to guide their recovery. In Step 1, we admit we were powerless over alcohol. Our lives are unmanageable.”

Before taking Step 1, my life was spiraling out of control. My sister was dying from terminal cancer. As she grew sicker, I tried harder to gain control, but nothing worked. I was just a passenger in an out of control life.  Finally, I was miserable enough to let go. I was ready to take Step 1.

Letting go didn’t undo the aftermath of her death. It didn’t fix any of my problems or repair any damages, but it stopped me from making things worse. It let my Higher Power reach down and scoop me up.

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Pam is the author of Co-dependent In The Kitchen, and she's a contributing editor for Recovery Guidance. She's a recovery advocate who likes long walks on the beach and chocolate.

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