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"(WE) Admitted that we were powerless over the effects of Trauma... that our lives had become unhealthy/unmanageable."

Many of us think our Trauma is the problem. When we say to the newcomer that the Trauma is only a symptom of a much deeper problem (directly related to emotions), it is hard for a newcomer to understand.

In order to better understand Trauma, we must look at the behavioral concept of Trauma. From this point of view, PTSD is rooted in Fear, Insecurity, and Low Self-Esteem. The main ingredients of PTSD are Obsession and Compulsion. Obsession - is a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an idea or feeling: an emotion or idea causing a preoccupation intensely or abnormally. Compulsion - Caused by or subject to Psychological Compulsion. We are completely in the grip of a destructive power greater than ourselves; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Looking at PTSD from this point of view, we see how past Trauma is only a symptom making our lives unhealthy/unmanageable. At this point, we must surrender and accept how powerless we are over our Trauma. When we do this, a very strange thing happens; we begin to gain power through the (WE) part of the program and working the next Eleven Steps. It has often been said that "the First Step is our past and the things of our past that are with us today, and the next Eleven Steps are our future".

Now that we have a better understanding, let us look at some ways we can apply the First Step in our daily lives. The most obvious fact is that we can't live in the past, or our lives will remain unhealthy/unmanageable. We must accept and surrender to this JUST FOR TODAY, JUST FOR THIS HOUR, or JUST FOR THIS MINUTE.

Examples to Ponder

We tend to resist the act of surrendering and using the Step's on every day problems; making our lives unmanageable.

You must be able to apply the Step's to this situation. Accept and surrender that the car cannot be fixed immediately and then you then gain the power to find alternate transportation.

Or you can refuse to surrender and apply the Step's. The choice is yours. The bottom line is that our behaviors are but a symptom of past Trauma(s) We get relief from our PTSD by working the Steps. The Step's can and must be applied to in all area's of our life. It is a new and exciting experience that will bring many changes into our lives. This is called Living the Steps.

The following questions you are to write about on a separate sheet of paper and return to your Sponsor/Therapist.

Step 1 Worksheet