Step One As A Way Of Life
They say step one is the only step you have to do 100%, but if you ask ten different people how they are powerless over alcohol/addiction they will most likely all give you ten circumstances in their life where they have been powerless. That answer is mostly right, but how are we ALL powerless in the same way? What makes us alcoholic/addicts?
Powerlessness in a Nutshell
Lack of Control- If you are a true alcoholic/addict you have the inability to control how much you are going to drink/use once you put the first drink/drug in your body. Period. In the Big Book they call this the “phenomenon of craving.” After the first drink/drug goes into you, you crave a second, third, forth…ect. In fact, the more you drink/drug, the stronger the craving gets. This is really apparent with alcohol. Have you ever started out the night sipping and by the end of the night you are pounding drinks? You literally get “thirstier.”
Lack the Ability to Make Rational Decisions- You can make rational decisions in other areas in your life but when it comes to drinking/drugging, your decision making process is stunted. You get these insane thoughts or ideas that having a drink or a drug is a good idea at that moment, and you believe that lie (any thought that is telling you to use when all evidence in your life shows you that picking up is a really bad idea, is a LIE). Science tell us that the brain is literally highjacked.
So if you can’t trust your own body to control what you put into it, and you can’t trust your own mind to keep you away from it, where does that lead you? Powerless. Get it?
There is a beauty in “going with the flow” and turning the outcome of situations over to my Higher Power.
Powerlessness As a Way of Life
The 12 step model has been so successful that over 200+ fellowships use it. What is the basic premise with all of them? It all starts with being powerless over something. BUT if you read the big book you will see that they stop talking about alcohol somewhere in step two (We Agnostics). They flip the script and we quickly realize that it has been selfishness and self-will run riot that has caused all of our troubles. It’s not the booze, gambling, sex, over-eating ect. It’s US managing our own lives that has made it so unmanageable (that’s the second half of step one). We are completely powerless over EVERYTHING.
For a control freak like me that thought can be completely frightening, but there is freedom in it too. I’ve spent my whole life trying to control people, places and things in my life to meet my needs and the end result was I burnt my life to the ground and ended up in AA (thank God!). There is a beauty in “going with the flow” and turning the outcome of situations over to my Higher Power.
The Difference Between Apathy and Powerlessness
Admitting powerlessness doesn’t mean do nothing. That’s called apathy. If you need a job, go apply for it. If you are treated unfairly, advocate for yourself. By letting a Power Greater Than Yourself manage your life you are putting the outcome of those situations into It’s hands. No need to worry, your life is being taken care of. In a sense, we are being EMPOWERED by a Higher Power. So being powerless just means the power is no longer coming from us, it’s coming from a Greater Source. How amazing is that?
So relax, take it easy, admit you have no control and enjoy the ride. It’s a better way of life.
Powerlessness; good or bad?
Peace, Love & Sobriety,