Impotence. It is when you recognize that you only have no power against the obsession and compulsion that characterize addiction. The “only” is important because, as it says in It Works How and Why, p. 13 (1993): “I can not, but we can.” That is, the admission of impotence is not despair but the reception of a Higher Power that the group provides you. against addiction.

Honesty. It is when you admit your impotence, your lack of power, against addiction or dependency. It is your tool against denial and rationalization that allowed you to deny your problem and justify your insane behavior. It is when you “break the veil of lies” and you grant, perhaps for the first time in your life that you can not, that obsession and compulsion won and you will always win.

Surrender. It is when you stop fighting against addiction and admit without reservation, without conditions, that you can not control your consumption or dependence on any person, place or thin.

Open mind. It is the good will or disposition that you show when you follow the suggestions of your sponsor or the group and do things in a different way.

Courage. It is when you are able to be honest, you admit that you have a problem, you surrender to that reality, you look for help and you do things in a different way.

Impotence, honesty and surrender go hand in hand. First you are impotent. This perhaps leads you to the “gift of despair” and forces you to honestly see your reality: your inability and lack of power. Faced with that reality you surrender, you recognize it as a problem and with that you open your mind and you are prepared to do things in a different way: in a group, under the guidance of a Higher Power. Needless to say, this requires a lot of value. It’s almost a miracle.

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