Facing Your Powerlessness in Addiction Recovery

I take heart in William James’ words, “Faith is a bet you can’t lose.” If I choose to believe that things I’m powerless over can work out without me, then I have more peace. When we choose to see vulnerability as an act of courage rather than weakness, we create possibilities and move https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/sobriety-sucks-you-will-definitely-feel-better/ more fully toward the person we want to be. Acknowledging powerlessness therefore means that we stop trying to do the impossible. While the statements above might be obvious refusals of powerlessness, you might more readily identify with some of the subtle ways denial can creep in.

Submit yourself to the process of recovery and allow yourself the gift of patience while you wait for it to take hold.

Here’s what author and interventionist Jeff Jay has to say about Step One and being powerless:

The first step of the AA tradition is admitting you are powerless and your life is unmanageable. What’s wonderful about this first step is the word “We.”  Bill Wilson and Dr. Smith chose these words carefully when developing the steps of recovery. The concept behind the references to God or a higher power in the 12-step program is to support addicts in the understanding that they need to find a source of strength that is greater than themselves alone. This could mean God, a general belief system or the recovery community itself. Regardless of what addicts identify as their own personal higher power, it’s an expression that means they are accountable to someone or something, that is bigger, more powerful and more influential than themselves.

It’s important to remember you are not your addiction, you are more than this and you just need to get back to yourself. In next week’s post to this site, we will continue our discussion of the 12 steps with an examination of step 2. Can you recognize the signs of meth addiction in a loved one or friend?

The Concept of Powerlessness: Why Do People Struggle?

Admitting you are powerless over alcohol, drugs or a behavior means accepting the fact that you have an addiction that exerts tremendous power and control over your life. Despite your best intentions, you’ve lost the ability to limit your intake powerless over alcohol of alcohol or drugs or stop the behavior. It may seem like admitting powerlessness is giving up, but the exact opposite is true. Powerlessness isn’t meant to lead to hopelessness, but rather to a greater sense of hope and agency in your life.

examples of powerlessness in recovery

The FHE Health team is committed to providing accurate information that adheres to the highest standards of writing. If one of our articles is marked with a ‘reviewed for accuracy and expertise’ badge, it indicates that one or more members of our team of doctors and clinicians have reviewed the article further to ensure accuracy. This is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure FHE Health is trusted as a leader in mental health and addiction care. Spero Recovery Center is a peer-based residential recovery program. It is not a substitute for clinical treatment or individualized therapeutic services. Our hope is merely to capture the spirit of the fellowships, and to approach people with the language they commonly use to describe the disease of addiction.

How to Maintain Long-Term Recovery From Addiction

There are people who care about us and want to help us recover. These people can provide us with the support we need to overcome our powerlessness and take back control of our lives. Once you realize that addiction is a disease, you can start to see yourself as someone who is sick, rather than someone who is weak or morally flawed. Powerlessness is a feeling that comes from not having control over something important in our lives. We can feel powerless over our addiction, our mental health, our relationships, or our finances. Powerlessness is a normal and human response to stress, but it can also be a sign of depression or anxiety.

These groups use similar principles, but each has its own unique approach. The Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Big Book states that “we were powerless over our drug problem” as its first tenet. Like AA members, NA members believe they cannot control drugs without the help of a higher power. In the pandemic, this might involve resetting our expectations of what we can achieve, and acknowledging the limits of the situation. “You might recognise that you have to lower your standards, and that it’s not because you don’t want to work hard, but because you simply can’t do everything you used to do before,” says Homan.

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