Are You Powerless Over Your Addiction? Here’s How to Know

At 5-foot-5 and slow afoot, I was never going to be a superstar in the NBA. Not going to happen no matter how many jump-shots I practiced on frozen mud under the hoop on the side of our barn. At some point, it is a matter of wisdom to recognize, acknowledge, and accept our individual limitations.

Submit yourself to the process of recovery and allow yourself the gift of patience while you wait for it to take hold. Often when you attend your first 12 Step meeting or read stories about others’ addictions, this thought can cross your mind. But this assumption of uniqueness minimizes the impact of your current addiction on yourself and others. The problem is alcohol can kill you quickly in the event of an overdose or slowly in the form of liver disease.

How Music Therapy & Substance Abuse Recovery Work

Getting sober this way sets you up for relapse because the deeper causes and reasons for your addiction aren’t being addressed, they’re just being avoided. Recovery is a multifaceted approach to addressing addiction that requires serious life reflection and commitment to change. We grow up our entire lives believing we can fix our problems. This is one reason it is so difficult to admit to powerlessness in addiction.

  • Many 12-Step programs are well-known groups that use the concept of powerlessness to benefit recovery.
  • Like AA members, NA members believe they cannot control drugs without the help of a higher power.
  • We may start to believe that things will never get better.
  • This pervasive stigma is a big reason why seeking help for substance abuse, or even admitting you struggle with substance abuse, is so hard.
  • If your addiction altered your life, then it has the power–you are powerless over your addiction.

When a person begins using drugs or alcohol, it was probably recreational. When we start, we believe it is fun (the extra dopamine that kicks in makes us believe this). Addiction means that one has lost the control in their powerless over alcohol life over whatever it is that they are addicted to. Wanting to stop spending all their time, energy, money, happiness—life—on finding the next fix. So many people chained to addiction actually want to get better.

Why Is Admitting Powerlessness the 1st Step in AA?

Medications are closely monitored to make sure they’re not causing potentially lethal problems. That everything happening is under our power of control. Learn how we can help your family by calling a Treatment Advisor now.

Although you can’t change your addiction, you can learn how to live a sober life in recovery. Although you may be powerless in the fact that you struggle with addiction and have no control over it, you are not powerless over the actions you can take because of that knowledge. By accepting the things you cannot change and understanding that it’s possible to change the things that are within your control, you open yourself up to options that can help you heal. Many more, however, truly are powerless to recover without help, either in the form of treatment, mutual support groups, help from friends and family, or from recovery literature. Many people want, every day, to be free of addiction, yet continue to destroy their lives, day after day. These people truly are powerless to overcome their addiction without help.

Simplifying The Steps: Step One And The Concept Of Powerlessness

The more you know about your treatment, the more control you will feel over your life. When someone is struggling with addiction, they may feel like they have no control over their life. This sense of powerlessness can be a major factor in addiction. Powerlessness is a lack of decision-making control over your life.

At this point, it is time for intervention and professional help if you want to regain control of your life. This belief assumes that you have enough power over your addictive behaviors to stop. It denies the reality of all the other unsuccessful attempts you’ve made to stop as a result of major consequences. This is the powerlessness needed to find recovery from addiction.

What Makes Addiction Recovery a Challenging Process?

Few people intend to destroy their lives and relationships by drinking or doing drugs, but that is what can happen with addiction. These substances literally rewire brain function, making the need to satisfy a craving take prominence over everything else in life–regardless of the consequences. The AA first step, admitting powerlessness and acknowledging the unmanageability your addiction brings, is a crucial leap toward lasting recovery. It’s a moment of profound self-realization and humility, opening the door to hope, healing and transformation. Remember, the 1st step AA is not the end but the beginning of a brighter future.

  • Addiction treatment centers often talk about “powerless” as a way to describe the feeling of being unable to control one’s life.
  • The Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Big Book states that “we were powerless over our drug problem” as its first tenet.
  • It takes real grit to live within the reality of who you are.
  • Let’s jump to a subtle area of powerlessness many people disagree with me about.

Whatever the reason, admitting powerlessness is to say that practicing self-control does not undo the effects of drugs or alcohol on the brain. Accepting this reality is what will equip you to seek treatment rather than deny that there is a problem in the first place. That makes “admitting powerlessness” a form of strength. It is admittedly off-putting to think of yourself as “powerless.” Many people see asking for help to overcome a particular struggle as a sign of personal failure. This pervasive stigma is a big reason why seeking help for substance abuse, or even admitting you struggle with substance abuse, is so hard.

If you have been able to admit it, the next step is finding someone who can help. At First Steps Recovery, we are able to take your call and assess the situation. And we are committed to putting you on the right road to the help you need. Powerlessness does not necessarily mean being weak; it simply gives an addict the opportunity to adopt a more humble attitude. Humility can be a great quality to have especially in recovery because it allows someone to be more open-minded and willing to listen or learn new things.

examples of powerlessness in addiction