For me, I experience it as two parts and both are true. I’m powerless over alcohol and my life’s become unmanageable (drunk or sober).
The ABC’s cover the 1st step as 2 parts as well: that we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
Steps 2 and 3 address the unmanageability: the insanity that ensues when I’m managing then making a decision to give up that management of my will and of my entire life to the care of a power greater than myself.
If it’s only unmanageable WHEN I’m drinking, then stopping drinking should restore order – and that’s not my experience when I just don’t drink.
In fact, I’ve learned through my experience that the powerlessness over alcohol accounted for maaaaaybe 10% of my life’s problems. The other 90% stem from my management techniques and my poor abilities to run the show….I don’t possess the necessary power to do it well.