Gaining Power By Admitting Powerlessness

After a myriad of experiments to drink and use like a normal man, the evidence was too clear to deny, that I was powerless over drugs and alcohol. This admission to my innermost self changed the way I live my life today. The fact that I know that I am powerless over drugs and alcohol grants me the willingness to do whatever it takes to stay sober today.

No matter how many times I tried to convince myself that the way I was drinking was normal, the truth was too blatant to ignore. Coincidently this is Step One in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholic’s Anonymous—the only step that I need to complete perfectly and rigorously—thus giving me an entrance into the steps and a chance for a new way of life.

In essence admitting I am powerless is the only way I will stay alive and keep the willingness to change my ways in order to live a spiritual life. I like to think of myself as a man who burnt his hand on a hot stove and said to himself, “I can touch this stove again, it won’t burn me this time.” The man repeats the same ritual over and over again, trying all sorts of odd ways to touch the stove and not burn his hands. Eventually, his hands are too burnt and scarred to be of use to him any longer. No matter how hard he tries, his hands always seem to burn when he touches the stove. Sooner or later the thought came that, “Maybe I can’t touch the stove and be alright. My hands are useless to me and they have never been given time to heal, I think rather than trying to touch the stove and not burn them, I need to not touch the stove at all.” This is a revolutionary thought to the man. He is excited and believes that he cannot touch the stove on his own devices and manages to remain clear from the stove for a while. But the thought once again comes back. Maybe because he has not touched the stove in so long, it will not burn his hands this time? Once again his spirits are crushed as he burns his hands. The man finally admits to himself that no matter what, he cannot touch the stove. He becomes willing to do whatever it takes to change his ways and not suffer from a burn again. Drugs and alcohol are my stove.

Once I admitted I was powerless I was shown that I needed to change my way of life in order to abstain. With this new way of living I am given other ways to deal with life on life’s terms, rather than turning to a drink or a drug to deal with the daily trials and tribulations of life.

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