Addictions / Relationships / Emotional Well-being

(503)325-2398 Office • (503)799-6102 Mobile
Pier 39, 100 39th Street • Astoria, Oregon 97103

Respectful, Friendly and Useful Help for Persons, Partners and Parents
Personal Coaching also available by phone.



"Tripping Over the First-Step"

By Dana DeDolph, MA LPC

The First Step of 12-step programs has to do with accepting the part of yourself that you have been trying to get rid of....and that is probably the part of you that just can't seem to do what you think it ought to be able to do...stop drinking and using...or stop trying to save those who do.

Self-acceptance is NOT, contrary to the popular myth, the result of success. Self-acceptance can, however, facilitate a great deal of success.

You don't qualify for self-acceptance... you don't get it after you are perfect.

Self-acceptance is the result of claiming the part of yourself you want to get rid of.

If you are alcoholic or drug addicted self-acceptance comes the same comes from accepting the experience of powerlessness rather than from defeating it. Because if you are alcoholic or drug-addicted you may still be drinking and using to prove you aren't.

In spite of what it looks like to other people you may be struggling to be good enough to be yourself.

If you are co-dependent self-acceptance comes AFTER defeat too.

Most of the time co-dependents FEEL out of control and powerless. The First Step is just admitting that what you are already experiencing is true.

If you are co-dependent self-acceptance comes from claiming the part of yourself that doesn't have what it takes to make somebody else recover.

Almost no one who is co-dependent believes he or she can't find that thing that is enough... until he or she can't.

Taking the First Step means accepting the truth of your own matter what it is that is defeating you.
That can feel like the worst news. It can be the best news.

It can be a surprising relief.

Self-acceptance feels good.

Being with people who accept themselves feels good.

Self-acceptance improves life because people who accept themselves don't have to waste their time focusing on what they can't do...or on can't be fixed or found anyway.

People who accept themselves can live.

They don't have to try to be somebody else. They don't have to qualify for love or happiness or security.

THERE IS ANOTHER SURPRISING BENEFIT THAT COMES WITH TAKING THE FIRST STEP... When you claim instead of disown the part of you that you don't want, that part of you loses the power to control your life.

When you admit that you are powerless, you may stop experiencing powerlessness.

When you admit you don't have what it takes, you may find that you do.

Self-acceptance is an incredible place to BEGUN and the crazy thing is most of us don't get there until we think we are DONE!

You are invited to share your comments and reactions by email
or by phone: 503-325-2398.

MAKING THE CONNECTION is published by Potentials,LLC who reserves all rights to publication.

Dana Dedolph, MA LPC
Dana has training in addiction treatment, DBT, Internal Family Systems, Analytical Psychology,
Developmental Psychology and Interpersonal Neurobiology.

Call: 503-325-2398  •  Fax: 503-325-5932  •  Email:  •