Why I Refuse to Believe Addiction Equals Powerlessness

I have a lot of mixed feelings about the term POWERLESS. I believe in the concept in some ways, but it's a hindrance in other ways. For those unfamiliar with that concept, it comes from Alcoholics Anonymous, the first of the 12-steps reads to admit that I'm powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable. "We admit to ourselves that our lives have become unmanageable and that we were powerless over our addictions." If you're in AA, you say powerless over alcohol.

When you're in Al-Anon, the AA version is for the family member. In that case, it reads, "We admit to ourselves that our lives have become unmanageable and that we are powerless over our loved one's addiction."

Why I moved away from this concept
Before I tell you why I've moved away from this concept, I want to tell you what I still like about it and believe in related to this term, powerlessness.

Most people, when they're in the beginning stages of trying to overcome a drug or alcohol problem, they go through years of this stage that I call bargaining. It's this trial and error process that we all go through where we think we can cut it back, or we can drink manageably, or we can only use it on the weekends, or we can only spend so much money on it.

Ultimately, we're trying to find a way to keep it in our lives but not let all the other negative consequences come with it. But, unfortunately, that doesn't work for most people, so that's where the concept of powerlessness can be helpful. "I'm powerless to manage an addiction in my life." We're powerless to do that.

So many people in recovery will tell you, but that doesn't mean you're generally powerless. It just means they're trying to cut it back and keep it under control. So the concept I don't like is that it gives off the impression that I'm a victim and can't help it and that there's nothing I can do about this problem, which is entirely untrue.

This is why you're NOT powerless...
Whether you're a person struggling with addiction or a family member, there are many things you can do to help overcome an addiction or help your loved one overcome addiction.

So if you're stuck in this idea of powerlessness, it's this, "let go, hand it over, what's going to be is going to be, maybe they'll hit their bottom, and they'll figure it out. So it's just waiting for the miracle thing to happen philosophy.

The problem is that addiction will destroy you and your whole family. And so, waiting for someone to possibly figure it out and decide that they want to change is not always the best way to go.

For those struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, I think if you look deep down inside, you know that there are several things that you could be doing to make the situation better that you're probably not doing. Maybe that's changing places you're going to or the people you're hanging around with.
That could be getting an accountability system. That could be getting rid of all the stash that you have left. I'll bet that deep down inside, you know there's a step you need to take, and you're not making progress because you're not taking that step. That's not powerlessness.
You do have quite a bit of power and control over it.

This step is essential:
What do you need to be more honest about? One of the significant steps you can take is straightforward and pretty fun. You can decide that you're going to learn more about yourself and figure out who you are. Figure out what's motivating you and what's keeping you stuck. You might get to know yourself better, and you can do this whether you are struggling with an addiction, you're early in recovery, or you have a family member struggling with addiction.

Enneagram & Love Styles test
One of the quickest, easiest, and best ways to get started is through Truity. Truity is an online site that will give you access to many online assessments to help you figure out those exact things. Truity is a sponsor of this channel because we love their assessments. My favorite one to use on Truity is the Enneagram assessment, which many of you already know.

I'm a huge Enneagram fan, and that's the one that will help you figure out your personality type. Not only is it going to help you figure out your personality type, but it's also going to help you understand everything about it: your strengths, weaknesses, and core subconscious motivators.
My other favorite test that you can take on Truity is the Love Styles Test. If you've ever heard of love languages, this test will ask you many questions to figure out how you best show others that you love and care about them and how you want others to show you how they love and care about you.

You can connect more effectively by getting the love styles to line up. And lots of you already know this, but connection is the cure for addiction. 
So if you want to empower yourself to take control of your family and life, start with this effortless step.

There are a lot of assessments on Truity; those are just my favorite two.

Amber Hollingsworth

Since we're figuring out our addiction recovery philosophy, I want you to watch this video next:

"If addiction is a brain disease, why do they say the answer is spiritual?"

Take the tests:
🧑🏻‍🦱Enneagram Test
💝Love Styles Test 


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