OCD and alcoholism can be linked in individuals who turn to drinking to reduce the compulsive behaviors tied to their… What does “powerless” mean when it comes to alcoholism/addiction? The dictionary defines powerless as being without the power to do something or prevent something from happening. Let’s think about this definition as it relates to alcoholism/addiction. Cravings can become very strong for a person who has an addiction to alcohol.
This kind of thinking prevents us from looking at our powerlessness. Accepting our powerlessness opens us up to the willingness for a Higher Power’s help. We then offer the problem over to a Higher Power. We let this Power remove the problem by practicing the rest of the steps as a way of life. Until we can accept powerlessness, we will not fully seek Power.
“Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check. The insane idea won out.” (Big Book, Page
Stop linking powerless to mental health weakness. The value of powerlessness is defining the problem. Unmanageability describes how that problem has affected your life. When we become helpless to unmanaged family, work, finances, health, or relationships, we experience a real sense of powerlessness. I have the power to engage in a program of recovery. I have the power to choose not to abuse substances.
Admitting you are powerless over alcohol, drugs or a behavior means accepting the fact that you have an addiction that exerts tremendous power and control over your life. Despite your best intentions, you’ve lost the ability to limit your intake of alcohol or drugs or stop the behavior. It’s no accident that 12 Step programs teach both powerlessness and complete abstinence.
Renewal Center for Ongoing Recovery
Cheryl is a Clinical Social Worker licensed by the state of Maryland with over 30 years of experience in the field. She graduated from The University of Maryland with a master’s degree in social work. As a licensed clinician, Cheryl stands ready to diagnose and treat a wide spectrum of mental, behavioral, and personality disorders that sometimes present alongside a substance use disorder. Being born and raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland, it was powerless over alcohol always a dream for James to start a program where he began his own recovery journey. Having faced addiction in his own life, and having worked through recovery, James truly understands what it takes to get sober and stay sober. James now has the opportunity to do what he loves and help others achieve long-term recovery. Although Alcoholics Anonymous was founded nearly a century ago, many of the teachings are still applicable in modern times.
- It makes so much sense when we look back at our behaviors—the threat of relationships ending, poor health, work-life, bad decisions, legal trouble, etc.
- It is not because of weakness or lack of willpower.
- Most recovering addicts, especially those who attend the 12-step program, are pretty familiar with the concept of powerlessness.
- A person with alcohol addiction is powerless over alcohol because his or her behavior changes in ways that would not happen when sober.
- My ego was rebelling against the idea of this suggested admission, but my heart and my spirit were so broken that I was open to believing that whatever worked for the people around me could work for me, too.