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- January 9, 2017 at 9:56 pm #4839051
After nearly 10 years of sobriety I am still as powerless over alcohol as I have been all my life. Once I pick up that first drink the obsession starts. I know I could pick up a drink today but I know that one drink for me eventually leads to way too many. What I do have power over is choosing to use the tools of the program of AA (the Steps, Traditions, sponsor, going to meetings, etc…), that is what keeps me sober and the obsession away. So yes, in answer to your question, I believe we never lose our powerlessness over alcohol. I can only keep it at bay.January 9, 2017 at 9:58 pm #4839062
@dratsab 2824262 wrote:
When I finally went into recovery, step 1 was easy for me. I knew that I, on my own, was completely and totally powerless over my addiction. My question is if you all think that this is always true throughout recovery. Will we always be completely powerless against our addiction?
I feel like I’m developing some good tools to battle my addiction. And they are working. So, I don’t feel so powerless. I don’t think addiction is something I can ever totally defeat, but I still feel empowered.
Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
I can tell you what that means to me…..and maybe that would help you…. I haven’t had a drink in almost 4 years and I’m still powerless over alcohol and my life is still unmanageable.
I’d challenge you to explore YOUR OWN truth though. What’s your experience been? Have you ever felt, in the past, that you had it together…..that you were strong again….feeling better…..and could control it? However, when you drank again, could you control it? If not…..is it safe to say that your previous feelings of power and control were delusional? That’s what I came to realize.
I fought all the steps….big time…..for whatever reason. With the help of a mentor in AA, I went back over my past and found lots and lots of times where I felt it’d be different this time when I drank again. Reality though, was that 99% of the times I did drink again, it was out of control. I finally got to the point where doing anymore testing, hoping for different results, didn’t make sense. ….but I kept drinking anyway. ….I couldn’t stop. From where I sit now though, there’s no desire to go back. I wouldn’t want to be a social drinker even IF I could be. I like drinking to blackout…..not to the edge of a buzz then stop.
Is my life still unmanageable? Hmm….lets see….. yes. No question about it. At first though, early in recovery, this was the difficult concept to get. I was so accustomed to living in pain that the life I was living seemed quite normal…….and manageable. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? I didn’t know what sort of life or lifestyle was possible because I never really had tried anything other than my parent’s version when I was a little kid and my version when I was out on my own.
– Ask for help? never – If I’m better than all of you…..why ask you for help?
– Rely on God? yeah, right…..get right on that – haven’t needed him so far other than a couple times and he left me high and dry (so I thought) so screw him. (I had a belief that there probably WAS a God out there……but that he had better things to deal with than me…….or that he didn’t interfere in human existence…..or maybe that there wasn’t a God afterall and I’d just been brainwashed by my stupid parents (and the rest of the religious world) who used the concept of God like super-duper Santa Claus to keep me at my best behavior)
I was the higher power, my word was final, I out-thought everyone, I don’t need or want your help, leave me alone and I’ll get this stuff sorted out on my own – and besides, you guys are stupid (proved by how often you won’t listen to me, do things YOUR way, and end up suffering) so why would I want your advice at all!!!???
^^^^that made perfect sense to me…..and it’s part of my insanity. Also part of my insanity is the delusional belief that if I ever go back to drinking it’ll be anything different than any of the 1000’s of other times. Another piece of it would be that MY beliefs on God (or anything, really…..) ARE the final authority. Hell, wasn’t I the guy who was so sure the next drinking/drugging episode would be ok? Wasn’t I the guy who did about a gazillion other things that I knew were wrong, got hurt, then did them again? What kind of dope am I to continue to trust me? Another part is that my beliefs on something like God or a Higher Power / Greater Power are even within the realm of reality. — I’m nuts…..and when I’m IN the action of being nuts, I don’t even realize it. I’m asleep, dreaming I’m awake, pretending I’m living life.
A big hindrance to my recovery has been my willingness to set aside my own ideas. My unwillingness to consider anything other than what I come up with on my own. I heard recovery requires flexibility….yet I remained as inflexible as I could. I heard recovery requires willingness….and the only time I was willing to do much of anything was when I was beaten into a corner by my own failures. I heard recovery would require me to do things I maybe didn’t understand or even want to do (like set aside my current beliefs and consider the other side of the coin)…..and I wasn’t willing to do much of either of those. Thankfully, my HP is very patient…..and loving…..and he/she/it let me run around in circles, digging myself deeper and deeper into depression until I finally ran out of steam. Bottom is a wonderful thing…in that you finally run out of options, tricks, scams, and lies. Once I realized I was ONLY going down……and ONLY getting worse…….I got a little flexible, a little willing, and a little less arrogant. Much to my surprise, when I tried doing the stuff I was told to do in the book/by my sponsor, life started feeling and getting better.
Hmmm…..my way (which SEEMS right) = pain, depression, frustration and futility.
Their way (which seems WRONG or just plain stupid) = I feel better and the pain, depression, frustration and futility dissipate.
–Seems like unmanageably to me, doesn’t it?
Now, was EVERYTHING messed up? of course not. But in recovery we learn to raise our standards. We learn to accept less and less pain – especially at our own hand. The more I inventoried, the more I realized how messed up my life was, the more I realize how unmanageable it is, the more willing I am to admit powerlessness, wake up, come to believe that there is a better way, and commit to trying the other path.
…..u dunno if that helps….kinda got rambling there but too lazy to go back and edit and maybe there’s something in there you can use. lol
MikeJanuary 9, 2017 at 10:30 pm #4839045
Well, I’m sober almost 34 years and I know for a fact that if I ever take that first drink, I’ll be right back where I was when I came into AA except 34 years older. Don’t kid yourself into thinking the disease goes away.
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