Remembering that I am Powerless: It Really is a Daily Reprieve!
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
As my mind cleared, as I worked the steps, and as I deepened my recovery, I realized that I was powerless over a heck of a lot more than just drugs or alcohol. I am, in fact, powerless over everyone and everything except for myself. Depending on the day, this thought is either a relief or a colossal pain in the ass.
I have so many examples of how powerlessness came up in my day today, it would take too long to write them all. Here’s just one example: I have a friend in the program who relapsed about 2 weeks ago, and she feels like she is coming apart at the seams. Her job is a trigger for her addiction, she cannot have a single conversation without crying, and her husband has said he is fed up with her. She is panicked about whether or not to leave her job, she has no idea how to handle her husband, and she fears she is losing control over her kids. And the harder she tries to hold it together, the more she seems to fall apart.
It’s an extreme example, but who hasn’t had days (or weeks, or months) like this?
In going through her story in more detail, the heart of the matter is that she cannot accept her powerlessness over anything. She wants so badly to control her addiction, her husband, her children, and her job, that the more she attempts to control, the more her world is crumbling.
The happy ending to this particular story: she shared about this at our meeting (which, by the way, was a Step One meeting), and the women present were able to stay with her afterwards and give her the support she needed to get through the day.
And, of course, I think, “there but for the grace of God go I.” I remember well the chaos of early sobriety. But just because those extreme calamities aren’t happening in my life, doesn’t mean that I don’t have to consciously revisit this step, examine my behavior on a daily basis, and remind myself that I am powerless over everything and everyone but myself. More important, when reminding myself that I am powerless over the people around me, I also have to remember that I do have power over my reactions to the people around me.
Being a sober support for a friend is the gift that keeps on giving.
Posted on March 29, 2013, in Recovery and tagged Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, Health, Recovery, Sobriety, Steps (group), Substance Abuse, Support group, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.