My life was a mess, and I had no idea how to contend with the internal rubble. I realized that I was really powerless over addiction and my emotional life was out of control. Alcoholics who are trying to get sober sometimes feel deeply ashamed if they slip up and have a drink. But keeping your mistakes to yourself only makes it appear like you are in control when you’re not. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the SoberNation.com hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.
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- Powerlessness should not be a cause to become discouraged, or be understood as saying we have no control over our actions and can do nothing to get better.
- When drinking has become the priority and your career, relationships, finances, and other aspects of your life are suffering, these are signs that your life is unmanageable.
I leaned on alcohol for years, then replaced booze with a drug called love. In my mid-30s, I encountered a traumatic event, the emotional dam broke, and all the feelings I’d stuffed powerless over alcohol examples for decades flooded out. Yes, Step 1 was tough for me at first because I did not want to think that my addiction, attitude, and actions caused my life to become unmanageable.
Working Step One
When drinking has become the priority and your career, relationships, finances, and other aspects of your life are suffering, these are signs that your life is unmanageable. Accepting that your life is unmanageable is often easier than admitting powerlessness over alcohol. 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. This clearly suggests that as someone who is addicted, you have
no control over your use of drugs or alcohol. After admitting that you are powerless
over your addiction, the next steps are geared to relying on others.
Accepting our powerlessness opens us up to the willingness for a Higher Power’s help. We let this Power remove the problem by practicing the rest of the steps as a way of life. Until we can accept powerlessness, we will not fully seek Power. Accepting our powerlessness (complete defeat) is the bottom that an alcoholic and addict must hit. Erin has a master’s degree in management from University of Maryland, University College, and a bachelor’s degree in special education from Townson University.
Work With A Counselor And/Or Get An AA Sponsor
With that said, there is often some confusion about apprehension towards the steps and the concept of powerlessness. For those who decide to use the 12 steps in their quest for recovery, there is a lot to learn. Not everyone uses the 12 steps, but those who do generally are very passionate about their program. According to Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1981), “Our admissions of personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built” (p. 21).
It also made me realize that I’m not a bad person or a weak person. I saw that I was worse than I knew, but understanding the problem helped me accept the solution. Today with the understanding of powerless, our number one priority is our relationship with our creator and how we can best serve.