“Daily” is a keyword in the system because it sets out to construct a new lifestyle in the individual. The admission of powerlessness is the beginning of this lifestyle. If you have an alcohol use disorder (AUD), you’re not alone. Some other differences–taking your medication typically keeps you out of the hospital. Taking a medication is designed to prevent self-endangerment, while there are no guarantees with an abused substance. That’s a warning sign that you may have a problem–if you can’t deal with life without the addiction in question.
“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” When you admit that you are powerless to addiction, you are empowered to reach out for support. By admitting that your life has become unmanageable, you open yourself up to letting go of control and gain acceptance of yourself. The founders powerless over alcohol of AA understood that for alcoholics to truly take ownership of their recovery, they needed to accept that their life had become unmanageable due to their addiction. Excessive alcohol use not only leads to more than 140,000 deaths nationally each year but can also cause lives to spin out of control. There is a reason that the first step in the 12-Step program
is admitting to being powerless.
Understanding Why Alcoholics Must Accept Their Powerlessness in AA
They can’t help you break your addiction, and they feel stuck in uncomfortable positions while they make excuses for your drinking. By admitting that you are currently powerless, you make room to restore power by seeking assistance. At that point, you may discover it’s easy to move on to Step 2 of AA—and all the ones that follow. In essence, in Step One AA you’re making a conscious choice to stop lying to yourself. You accept that you can’t continue drinking alcohol or using drugs and that you have absolutely no control when you’re using.
Many who struggle with alcoholism have tried to control or moderate their drinking, only to find themselves repeatedly falling into the same destructive patterns. Step One AA emphasizes the futility of attempting to manage something that’s proven uncontrollable. Ask yourself whether you can control your use of addictive
substances. Most people will say that control is impossible, at least for any
length of time.
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Then, you’ll be ready to move through the remaining 10 steps, until you reach a point where your AUD is manageable. Recognizing powerlessness over an addiction is the first step to freedom. When you recognize you are out of control, you can regain control. But by believing you have a problem, you can begin to overcome it. The main criterion for a successful First Step is a person’s acceptance that they do, indeed, have the disease of addiction.
- Another thing–antidepressants don’t work on people who don’t have a mental illness, whereas alcohol affects everybody.
- While admitting powerlessness over a substance may seem at odds with efforts to hold addicts responsible for their behaviors, the opposite is true.
- That’s a warning sign that you may have a problem–if you can’t deal with life without the addiction in question.
- What does “powerless” mean when it comes to alcoholism/addiction?
- The problem is alcohol can kill you quickly in the event of an overdose or slowly in the form of liver disease.
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. While admitting powerlessness over a substance may seem at odds with efforts to hold addicts responsible for their behaviors, the opposite is true.
Christian Drug Treatment and Rehab Blog
In other words, they’ve had to adopt their own version of denial. Addiction treatment centers discuss the concept of powerlessness in therapy to help people recover. If you’ve struggled with alcohol addiction for years, you’ve likely made many excuses to work around your disorder. You have lived in denial, believing you can stop using alcohol at any time. For that reason, addressing your misguided thoughts is crucial. That’s why admitting that you are powerless over alcohol is critical.
Insisting that you can overcome your addiction
on your own is not healthy or effective. When you are addicted, you have lost
the power of choice. When you start your path in recovery, you’re likely to find that your life is a bit unmanageable.
A Lifestyle That Is Not Compatible With The Drink
No matter how strongly you might will
yourself to act in a certain way or to do (or not do) a certain thing, you will
find that you are not able to carry through with it consistently. You have
become powerless over your addictive behaviors and your life has become
unmanageable. For people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol,
powerlessness means using
against their will.
- Addressed those challenges by explaining that every member was welcome to interpret God to mean whatever higher power they chose to believe in while working the steps.
- Our comprehensive treatment programs and addiction specialists at Lighthouse Recovery Institute can help you find the right path to recovery.
- We are committed to an integrated quality of care that is comprehensive, person-centered, and recovery-focused.