Someone else said everything I’ve been trying to say about powerlessness

And it’s here.

Back soon with a proper post.


7 thoughts on “Someone else said everything I’ve been trying to say about powerlessness

  1. I read this article a couple of days ago and enjoyed it. Overall, I think that because we’re all unique, our recovery styles/strategies are going to be different too. I like the authors “take what works and leave the rest” attitude. That’s what I’ve been doing by exploring all the different recovery approaches and seeing what fits for me.
    As a woman, saying that I’m powerless doesn’t feel very good to me. Yet, I can see how feeling powerless over controlling alcohol can help one to stop trying to control it and just stop! Yet I also feel that if I can stop- like I have been able to for the last 39 days- then I am not really powerless over it. Yet, what got me here was surrendering control. It’s a bit of a conundrum, isn’t it? 🙂

  2. “In their rightful place as mutual aid organizations, 12-step programs shine. But when forced on people, when misused by those with their own agendas and when treated as the One True Way, they can be very destructive.

    As a result, if we are to see addiction as a genuine medical problem, the primary treatment approach cannot be meeting, confession and prayer, nor can people whose only experience of the condition is having had it be recognized as experts. Social support is critical to health and to recovery from virtually all psychiatric disorders—but it isn’t medical care. Twelve-steps groups are not treatment—and separating the two will improve the health of both.”

    i am completely against 12 step based rehab and believe forcing meetings on people via the court system is wrong.
    I am also a member of AA who has found the steps beneficial in helping ME to stop drinking. That’s because I wanted this approach, and I appreciate the way it works for me and countless others.
    But not everybody…I know many people who are sober and never went to a meeting…whatever works.

    Powerlessness is an often misunderstood concept….and here is the gist of it: I am powerless over that first drink. If I have the first glass of wine or shot of jack i have absolutely no idea what might happen. I may stop. I may have another. I may drink a 5th and be sick all the next day…I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.
    However, that is ALL that I believe I am powerless over. (Well, obviously time and space, but you know what I’m saying). That is ALL that I have been told I am powerless over, that is all I have read that I am powerless over in AA literature, and that is all I pass on to others in terms of powerlessness.

    And right here I am speaking only for myself, the only person who can possible speak for.

    In my opinion…that is the way the AA program works.
    I’m not her to be an apologist for AA, but I do see value in it and it does work for many. And if I find something being misconstrued or misunderstood, I have to open my yap…

  3. I can get with the concept that I’m “powerless over alcohol.” Because, as Mishedup points out, I don’t know where that first drink will lead me. How many times have I set out to have “a drink or two” only to end up functioning in a blackout and waking up feeling like I got hit by a truck? Then, trying to remember what happened the night before? And as with any open group there will be weirdos. I joined a running club and had unwelcome advances from several creepers! As for the “brainwashing” – if it saves me from driving after I’ve been drinking and getting a DUI or killing someone, then I’d say there are worse things to be worried about. AA works for many people and it doesn’t work for others. Plus, a little common sense never hurts. As a newcomer, I would never invite a male AA member to my HOUSE to discuss the 12 steps. Stranger danger!

  4. Interesting enough I have found that majority of people that I know that came in to the rooms did not come in willingly, nor many people go to rehab completely willingly, either. What ends up happening is that the many people that did come in thru the court system actually get some hope and are able to see that recovery is possible and they end up staying. Anyone can judge any program, there is good and bad about all of them. I am just not sure why the bashing seems to be so huge towards AA, when for some it maybe the only means of ever having a chance at sobriety.

  5. really useful article, Allie, thank you. and, I thought, very balanced. It and the comments reminded me of Churchill’s* remark:

    ‘It has been said that democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

    democracy and AA both being made up of imperfect humans…to a certain extent, I do not feel qualified to comment on AA having never been through the programme. but then if one has been through the programme one’s experience of it will colour one’s judgement. I consider that society’s view of people with an alcohol dependency is based very strongly upon the AA model, because that is the one that is most well known. and personally I do not wish to be thought to have a life-long addiction problem. I think society has the life-long problem. without wishing to sound arrogant – I have solved mine 🙂

    *and that may be the first time that Churchill has been quoted on a sober blog 😉

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