I finally understood what an alcoholic and addict really is. I saw that I was worse than I knew, but understanding the problem helped me accept the solution. At one time, our number one priority was to stay sober.
Is alcoholism a form of escapism?
Drugs and alcohol may be escapist strategies; however, they also change the individual and their abilities to face the realities of life on physical, mental, and psychological levels. Over time, drugs and alcohol used to escape from reality can completely take over, creating an addiction.
We will be able to take control of things again – remedy our wrongs, pursue our personal goals and become the functional member of society we always knew we could be. Most 12-step programs start with admitting powerlessness. The entire idea of recovery and sobriety begins here. For example, alcoholics Anonymous programs say that those who still believe they have control over their drinking will drink again. Only when you surrender control will you be on your way to mastering step one of the 12 steps. Believe it or not, “normal” people – meaning people who are not suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder – will stop using as soon as they begin to experience interpersonal consequences.
What Does Powerless Mean In AA?
We are beginning to believe that we are capable of living in a different way. Many people want to quit alcohol in order to start the new year off on the right foot.
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I would only dine out where there was a diverse selection of beer and wine on the menu. Initially the drink gave me pseudo power when I never felt I was enough. Power to boldly walk in front of my peers; not filled with fear. Alcohol truly served as my personal wolf in sheep’s clothing. This magic elixir, a cure all for my plentiful emotional ailments. My perceived social faux pas and devoted mask to face my biggest foe; self-imposed social scrutiny. For three weeks prior to this event, I wrote and rewrote countless versions of what I would say.
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You are also embracing your need to learn what led you to become addicted in the first place, the thoughts, and behaviors that fuel your addiction, and what you must do to achieve and maintain sobriety. Once you accept step one, you do something about this feeling of powerlessness and gain back your power. Recovery is about gaining the insights, tools and skills so you feel empowered and able to understand and overcome your need for substances. We are not meant to go through this life alone and we need other people so we can be healthy, strong and independent. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” After many years of denial, recovery can begin for alcoholics and their families with one simple admission of being powerless over alcohol.
There was a major difference that stood out to me when reading these definitions. Many people who are struggling with alcohol use are often in denial that they have a problem. You’ll often hear things like “I don’t have a drinking problem”, “It’s just one drink”, or “I can handle a beer”. Before they know it, they cannot stop drinking and have lost the ability to function. Because they are in denial, they still think that they have control over alcohol. That they have the power to stop drinking and manage their behavior with alcohol. This could be very dangerous because as long as you don’t admit that alcohol is in fact the one in control, you won’t be able to quit entirely.
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Despite your best intentions, you’ve powerless over alcohol the ability to limit your intake of alcohol or drugs or stop the behavior. As we abandoned responsibilities, our problems began to mount. Ashamed to admit failure, we began hiding our use from the same people who tried to help us, and then we pushed them away. We started doing things to support our habits that we never would have dreamed of doing before, sometimes taking risks with our health or crossing the law. We lost jobs, homes, and businesses, not to mention our self-respect. We beat ourselves up inside with guilt and shame because our best efforts just weren’t good enough, and we didn’t understand why. A cloud of doom and foreboding hung over us, as did depression and, for some of us, thoughts of suicide.
If you or someone you love is in need of medically monitored detox, give us a call today and we will begin setting up a date for admission. Basically, we are saying, “I can’t do this on my own, I’ve already tried. This can be tricky, seeing as active addiction is a disease of denial. We go to great lengths to convince ourselves that everything is peachy keen and we can handle things on our own. For most addicts and alcoholics, reaching out for help and admitting powerlessness is the most difficult part of the recovery process by far.
The paradox of powerlessness
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