Understanding Powerlessness and Acceptance in Early Recovery

Rationalization, denial, and other defense mechanisms provide a smokescreen to obscure the truth that is in plain view. Denial is a classic symptom of addiction, https://trading-market.org/nutrition-guide-for-addiction-recovery/ especially in the form of justification. In other words, “You’d drink too if you had my life” is a warning sign of powerlessness over addiction.

The power of admitting powerlessness is that it is the first step to taking back your life. This step of accepting powerlessness from the 12-Step process of recovery essentially highlights the power of drugs and alcohol over our lives. Few people intend to destroy their lives and relationships by drinking or doing drugs, but that is what can happen with addiction.

Which Treatments Complement Working the 12 Steps?

This is not an excuse for continuing down the same destructive path. Therefore, lack of control over alcohol use is part of the disease of addiction; it is not that you have a lack of willpower to control your use. This criteria is mostly likely to be present if you have moderate or severe alcohol use disorder. Our nationally accredited substance abuse detoxification & treatment center is one of the most highly respected programs in the country. Susan is no stranger to the fields of behavioral health and addiction. She has over 25 years of experience, working in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, acute stabilization and nearly all other settings in the realm of addiction recovery.

  • Learn how we can help your family by calling a Treatment Advisor now.
  • This includes attending meetings regularly, getting counseling, practicing mindfulness, and staying connected with others who share similar struggles.
  • Couples therapy and family counseling is often a part of alcohol treatment since drinking likely impacts your relationships with those in your life.
  • But the terminal stages of addiction will strip everything away, and an addicted person who refuses to recover will often be left with nothing.

Here’s an exercise that can show you the value of being powerless. For example, other people’s actions, the reality of addiction, the past, other people’s emotions, and the list goes on. Admitting powerlessness requires getting honest with yourself about reality, The Missing Piece: The Spiritual Malady instead of the “stinkin’ thinkin’” (delusion and denial) that enables your addiction. It involves realizing that your attempts at self-control are not cutting it, and that you need to rely on others to support you in gaining discipline and control.

What I can’t stop doing forever, I can stop doing for right now.

The number one character defect for most of us is that we are control freaks. If we don’t feel like we’re in control of everything in our lives, we feel like we’re out of control personally. Alternatively, you might feel overwhelmed by the idea of taking on all the work of recovery. You might beat yourself up for missing a meeting or having a slip and then throw out all your other positive, recovery-based practices with it. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting perfection, because perfection in this process is impossible. Minimizing the importance of these consistent practices of recovery is a recipe for slipping back into addiction.

  • Many factors go into addiction development, from genetics to untreated mental health symptoms, for which some people turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of self-medicating.
  • Every mistake I made before I became sober I’ve replayed and created sequels for while in recovery.
  • One skip becomes two, which becomes five, and before you know it you’ve gone months without receiving the support you need for your recovery.
  • Today, we’ll explore how you can gain control over your addiction by learning how to identify your triggers and create a plan for recovery.

You may be powerless over addiction, but you aren’t powerless, period. Once you realize what you can and cannot change, you’re actually quite powerful. The obsessive nature pertains to the overwhelming desire to pick up a drink or a drug and the lengths that the addict goes through in order to getting their next fix. The compulsive nature–where the unmanageability comes into play–is the continued use of substances despite the consequences. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable. You’re not alone—almost everyone has a hard time with Step 1 when they first get sober.

Addiction and Mental Health Resources

It denies the reality of all the other unsuccessful attempts you’ve made to stop as a result of major consequences. Other 12-step programs include Al-Anon, Gamblers Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and others. These groups use similar principles, but each has its own unique approach.

examples of powerlessness in addiction

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