Wednesday, September 16, 2009

About Powerlessness

For a long time, I believed I was powerless over alcohol. That particular belief has contributed to my chronic relapse history and has kept me from doing what I need to do to stay sober. I suppose I can understand why adopting the belief that one is powerless over alcohol helps some people stay sober, but in my life the idea of powerlessness began to permeate all my activities. A deep and uncomfortable sense of powerlessness is one of the emotion-states that initially attracted me to alcohol and drugs. The belief in my own powerlessness didn't come overnight; I nurtured it for years with the assistance of the 12 steps and the fellowship of AA. I think the powerless idea only works really well if you've already had a sense of your own power and my only sense of power up to that point was that the only control I had was to ignore it, pray about it, or drink at it. Intellectually, I understand that by admitting powerlessness you are then supposed to be better able to tap into a higher power, but it didn't work that way for me. Because I believed wholeheartedly in m own powerlessness, the power I did have became distorted. I think I am beginning to unravel that.

Surrendering to sobriety doesn't necessarily mean surrendering to powerlessness over alcohol or people, places and things. I can see how falling into powerlessness, into victimhood, has colored my life since I adopted it and how my inability to stay sober (because I wasn't really trying - why try if you really believe you're powerless?) has fed into that mind-state.

It's been brought to my attention that it's time for me to exert all the power I can towards my recovery, and I have substantial power even before I connect with that universal source of all power.

I feel as if I'm going through a spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical detoxification process. Information is coming in at a rapid rate, connections and synchronicities are everywhere. Concepts that I've known in my head for years are now making their way to my body and it's as if the heart/mind that lives in me is coming to life. I'm aware of myself and the world around me in a way I never have been before. My body is filled with energy that it's not used to and it's having a hard time keeping up. I know that this is a time to fold in, to rest and let the new relaxation permeate every cell, to allow my spirit to continue to be rejuvenated. I have the power to do that and all I really need to do is to relax into the process. When I forget that, I return to the present moment.


big Jenn said...

Being present is the easiest way to stay sober there is. We can choose in the present.jeNN

Anybeth said...

some might be powerless after they take the first sip, but the power to stay away from the first sip is all yours.

Diva Carla said...

Hi Angela,

How does the concept of Mastery sit with you, in this situation. Acknowledging and practicing your mastery of whatever skills and energy will bring you the results you desire.

It is little understood. This culture is in a perpetual power grab of one kind or another. ;o+

vicariousrising said...

Love this post. I feel much the same as you on the subject of powerlessness. When I went to AA meetings and talked about my approach to it, I'd get a lot of headshaking and rebukes. People told me I'd come around when I got smarter.

Maybe I'm still stupid, but 4 years later, I still feel like I need to hold on to my power and not relinquish it to my alcoholism. I must keep myself spiritually strong -- how can I consider myself powerless if I am capable of making life changing decisions? I don't believe a creator put us on this planet with free will only to ask us to turn that free will over to him or else we will suffer for our arrogance of SELF.

Whatever works for others to keep them from drinking is fine with me. But I know that feeling helpless was what my childhood was all about -- I know the consequences of turning your will over to someone else. I think I'm meant to do for myself, and then I am good with the universe.

Ack, I sound so effing holy. LMAO.

Angela said...

Thank you for all your comments. Love the new pic, Carla!

Anonymous said...

I am a 27 year old woman who has been fighting addiction for 8 years. I felt completly hopeless. I thought I would die an addict. Then my mom found Narconon. I have 1year and 3 months clean, and I am the happiest I've ever been in years! Never give up hope.

PMFAddictionTreatmentCenter said...

Thanks for the post.
Hey, your journey is your journey and whatever you need to do to stay sober is truly what it is all about. I know through AA it is progress not perfection. Staying sober is tough!