Sober living

What Are Some Examples of Powerlessness? STR Behavioral Health

Admitting powerlessness means accepting what is true and what is not. It encourages acceptance of the circumstances rather than denying them. Powerlessness is a lack of decision-making control over your life. It can arise from dependence on drugs and alcohol or in workplace environments with higher-up employees and lesser subordinates. Similar to this workplace dynamic, the ingredients for a situation where individuals lack power usually occur when there is a large divide between the decision-makers and individuals underneath. Engaging in spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, or journaling, can deepen the connection with a higher power and provide a source of guidance and support.

examples of powerlessness in recovery

It frees up mental and emotional energy that can be redirected towards seeking support, developing healthier coping mechanisms, and making positive changes in their lives. To recognize powerlessness over your addiction is to face the reality that you don’t have the self-control, discipline, or power to stop your addiction on your own. Usually this is highlighted by continuing addictive behaviors despite (sometimes severe) consequences for your actions. Maybe you’ve violated your personal values in your addiction, or you’ve gone further or deeper than you expected you would. You recognize that none of your efforts to stop have truly worked, and that the addiction has caused destruction and chaos in your life.

How Does it Feel to Lack Power?

Another way to overcome powerlessness is to get involved in your own treatment. Take an active role in choosing the treatment that you want to receive. Ask questions and get as much information as you can about your options. The more you know about your treatment, the more control you will feel over your life.

examples of powerlessness in recovery

When you start your path in recovery, you’re likely to find that your life is a bit unmanageable. Please don’t feel the need to surrender when you begin; this is an ongoing process, and it might take time to cope with everything that’s happening. Mindfulness and meditation are powerful practices that can assist individuals in developing awareness and acceptance of their powerlessness. By focusing on the present moment and observing thoughts and emotions without judgment, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their inner experiences. This practice helps to cultivate self-compassion and reduces the desire to control outcomes that are beyond one’s control.

Jan Powerlessness and Unmanageability

This could mean God, a general belief system or the recovery community itself. Recognizing your powerlessness over alcohol isn’t a sign of weakness but rather an acknowledgment of the addiction’s strength. Many who struggle with alcoholism have tried to control or moderate their drinking, only to find themselves repeatedly falling into the same destructive patterns. Step One AA emphasizes the futility of attempting to manage something that’s proven uncontrollable. Worldwide, alcoholics, addicts and treatment professionals embraced the Twelve Steps, and more than 35 million copies of AA’s Big Book have been distributed in over 70 languages. Powerlessness over addiction can be difficult to overcome, but it is possible with the right help and support.

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

Some Examples of Powerlessness

The path to recovery is rarely a straight line, but a series of twists and turns. You may be powerless over the effects of substance abuse, but choosing to be better every day is where that power returns. The impact of drugs and alcohol on your body over time renders your natural brain functions and mechanisms powerless.

  • Admitting powerlessness is what reveals your true strength, and our committed staff is ready to help you find it.
  • Step One AA emphasizes the futility of attempting to manage something that’s proven uncontrollable.
  • The original version of the Twelve Steps and The Big Book makes numerous references to God, and this is largely because AA’s founders were Christians.
  • What is the more accurate way of looking at your process in recovery, in light of powerlessness?
  • Addict and alcoholics are powerless over drugs and alcohol but in recovery, they are not powerless.
  • Instead of railing against powerlessness or relying on unhealthy ways of getting our needs met, we can simply share our struggles and ask for help in getting our needs met.

When I first begin abstaining from a substance or destructive behaviour I can’t imagine doing it for more than a day. There have been times when I thought I would die without someone, or a drink, or certain foods. The hold that “things” have had over my life was totally debilitating and all consuming. What is the more accurate way of looking at your process in recovery, in light of powerlessness? Choose statements from the list below to combat the mistaken or faulty beliefs you’ve identified from the overt or subtle ways of denying your own powerlessness above. Alternatively, you can use this entire list as a daily affirmation to support you in your recovery.

Regain Control of Your Life With Steps to Recovery

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 50 Sobriety Gifts Ideas, Effective Substance Abuse Treatment of substances despite the consequences. In many respects, being able to fully grasp the First Step is the best defense against relapse, because it clearly reminds the addict of what we are inviting back into their lives if they choose to use again.

examples of powerlessness in recovery

But this assumption of uniqueness minimizes the impact of your current addiction on yourself and others. When we choose to see vulnerability as an act of courage rather than weakness, we create possibilities and move more fully toward the person we want to be. Our fears of rejection and/or disappointment prevent us from asking friends, family, and folks in recovery. We in recovery are accustomed to living at the extremes of all or nothing. Many of us prove our worth by managing everything and everyone but not ourselves. Even in sobriety, many of us tend not to respect our limitations and we pay too high a price accordingly.

In sobriety, recognizing the futility of control and surrendering to the fact that addiction cannot be controlled is a crucial step towards recovery. It involves letting go of the belief that one can control their substance use and instead accepting the need for a new way of living. Addiction treatment centers often talk about “powerless” as a way to describe the feeling of being unable to control one’s life. This is different from the inability to manage one’s life, which is what most people think of when they hear the word unmanageable. In fact, many people who struggle with addiction feel like they have little power over their disease but still want to change. Acknowledging powerlessness over alcohol and drugs can be liberating for many people.

  • For those who decide to use the 12 steps in their quest for recovery, there is a lot to learn.
  • It allows me to focus more fully on what I am able to offer to myself and others that is healthy, sustainable, and satisfying.
  • Most individuals who end up in situations where they’re under the influence of substances are individuals with problems looking to overcome them in a meaningful way.
  • The first step of the AA tradition is admitting you are powerless and your life is unmanageable.