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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 Things I'm Powerless Over in Alcoholism

I have officially moved on to my second step.

"Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

Men's group was good. Fittingly enough, the topic was the second step. Later at the Rue my sponsor looked over my list of things I was powerless over in alcohol and said, "That's it." After that, we just sat and had a good, long conversation about our alcoholic careers. We're meeting again Friday. Here's the list. It's only 5 things, but there are many more he said that would come to me...

1) Drinking while knowing that it would ruin my relationship. I didn't drink to actually do that, but did so with the knowledge. That's insanity. Who would voluntarily ruin the single best thing that had ever happened to them? Someone who is powerless over another influence. That's who. That was me. I allowed myself to be a slave for way too long.

2) Drinking all the way up to about 2 or 3 hours before an important engagement. Work mainly. That led me to calling in quite a bit, and I lost quite a few jobs over it. Knowing that you have something important to do and jeopardizing it for a few more hours of numbness? That's powerlessness.

3) Drinking with the knowledge that it was literally killing me. That's borderline suicidal. That's how powerless we are when we aren't working a full recovery.

4) Sincerely resolving to stop after a binge or an allnighter then picking right up again. Alot of people will say, "Well why don't you just stop?" or "You must have weak willpower." Willpower alone doesn't stop an addict. At least not for long. We have to find a greater power outside of ourselves or statistically we end up going back.

5) Knowing that drinking is tearing the ones we love apart and doing it anyway. I have to make something clear. It's not that we don't love the ones we hurt. Most of us don't do it to hurt other people. Some may. I don't know. It's just that alcohol has such a powerful grip on our lives that we are blind and numb to it. We dare not face it. Even when sober and not working a recovery, many of us carry the same attitudes as when we are drunk. To the ones I love, I am so sorry. Especially you, Cupcake. You had a front row seat.

As I've learned in the Big Book and at meetings, it's not a moral decision or a question of ethics. It's truly being powerless over something that offers immediate gratification and escape. And it also ruins lives. Finding strength and getting the right kind of help puts us on the road to getting that power, and ourselves, back.

I've used the words "we" and "us" alot. For everytime I did that, you can substitute it with an "I". This isn't an unusual story for addicts, though. What I've discovered about myself in the first step has made me a stronger, more self-aware individual.

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