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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

10 Things I'm Powerless Over in Alcohol

I've been looking over some old posts. It's a great thing when you can look back and tangibly see how much you've grown. Here's one of my favorites from back in October...

This one is going to be a downer. It will sound like a pity party (and perhaps it will be). Any active users out there can take it as a cautionary piece, though. So I'll print it.

I met with my sponsor after work. Showed him my list of things I felt powerless over in active alcoholism. I decided to show it to him before posting it here. He liked it, and we discussed it in-depth, but he was looking for something a little different. I'll go into that in a minute.... And show you my list.

After we met, I called Teresa and dad. Talked to them for a few.

After I got off the phone and continued walking back to the place, an overwhelming feeling of loneliness came over me. It was a very palpable, almost physical feeling of pain. I say "was". I mean "is". These past few weeks have been horrendous in some ways. An emotional roller coaster. Not everything has been bad, though. I've had some really good times. I haven't let the bad effect my recovery. Actually recovery helps. I don't know what I'd do if I weren't active in the program. Well. I do know. I'd be drunk right now.

It's a beautiful day, it's Halloween weekend, and I have no one to share it with. Or that wants to share it with me. It's nobody's fault but my own. I know that. But it still hurts like hell. Words can't describe how horrible it feels to have friends and the person you love most turn their backs on you. To be an outsider and no one will allow you to even look in. Take that as a word of advice that I can give if you are out there currently suffering the disease. It may not happen, but usually it does. You lose people over your addiction.

When I was active, I was powerless over just about every aspect of my life. I showed my sponsor my list, and while he thought it was good stuff, he wanted something more specific. I think it's important to note that these are things I feel I was powerless over because I was too damn stubborn to work a real program and fix them. I'm not using "powerlessness" as an out or a justification. The list doesn't exactly match up with the subject, either, but I still got a lot out of writing it. Maybe you could consider them more symptoms of a disease I was powerless over.

1) Lack of control over emotions. Anger, frustration, anxiety. When active or even sober and not recovering, I've found that I crumpled to these emotions very easily.

2) Finding solace and escape in trivial things. Facebook, Doctor Who, video games. My sponsor said they weren't bad things to enjoy. Just not as a crutch and not to get away from feelings and reality.

3) Inability to express emotion or love. This is something that has developed over many years and was compounded by alcoholism.

4) Taking things like hobbies, etc. to extremes. Example: Being on vacation and spending more quality time with the camera than the one I should be enjoying it with.

5) Compulsive and impulsive behavior. Regardless of the consequences.

6) Withdrawal and seclusion from social interaction and from those I love. Such as coming home from work and automatically going to hide in my own little world to avoid facing people or situations.

7) Doing things that hurt the ones I love. Whether intentionally or not, I still did some very hurtful things. Lying, manipulating.... You name it, I am accountable for it.

8) Complacency. Before I realize it, it's already been there for a while. This has seriously hurt any attempt at recovery I've made in the past.

9) Losing interest in things that seem too challenging.... or even scary. Facing my problems head-on being a big one.

10) Lack of patience. Desire for instant gratification.

I was told that these are problems almost every alcoholic faces, and was assured that it gets so much better as you work the steps. I'm on number one now. I was also told to keep the list and make a portfolio from all my written work. As I progress, I'll be able to look back and see just how far I've come.

My new assignment is to write at least 5 (more specific) things I'm powerless over. The first one that came to mind was "drinking while knowing it would destroy my relationship". He said that that was what he was looking for. We're meeting again in the middle of the week.

4 comments:

  1. I'm an alcoholic on step 2 with my sponser and i related to almost everything you said, this list helped me clarify my own. Thanks so much for posting it.

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  2. Taking note of the negative things alcohol can bring you is really helpful. It can help you figure out why exactly these things trigger your desire to drink. It can also be a good self-help method for those who are trying to turn from the influence of alcohol. I wish you could also share your steps on how you are coping up and staying sober. All the best!

    Donnie Benson @ Midwest Institute

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  3. Thanks for your honesty!

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