July 18 – Powerlessness

Healing and recovery require us to admit our powerlessness over our addiction. Whether addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, or sex—or in the case of workaholics, staying busy and productive—we cannot stop even when our addiction negatively impacts our lives. It is a slow, painful process for us to realize change is necessary. Especially hard is the act of admitting we do not have control, when the perfectionist in us longs to be, well, perfect. When we feel the pain badly enough though, we recognize the need and commit to change. 

beautiful view of moraine lake

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“For those of us who are workaholics, rushaholics, and busyaholics, it is almost impossible to admit that we are powerless over our disease. Slowly and often painfully we become aware that we simply can’t stop, even when we would like to. If we are not busy doing something, we feel anxious and unworthy. We have arranged our lives around our work, and we simply cannot stop. This is powerlessness. We become progressively aware that our busyness and our working are interfering with our lives. Our lives are becoming unmanageable. There is just too much to do. 

It is difficult for us to admit powerlessness, because we can do more than others and we pride ourselves in having things under control. As we become aware that our control is out of control, we may be ready to start on a path of recovering our lives.”

Before recovery can begin, we must recognize that our lives are out of control, and be willing to ask for help. We must admit our powerlessness to a higher power, as well as others. They say it takes a village to raise a child; it also takes a village to care for each other. Addiction is made worse, if not caused, by a lack of connection. Our connection to others in our community, at work, and at home are a direct influence on our happiness and well-being. Connection helps us to heal, and that requires us to first be brave, to put ourselves out there and be honest with others. When we reach out for help, we let the healing process begin. We have to admit our flaws and lack of control though. It helps to remember that it’s okay to need help sometimes. No one has it all under control!

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