A sponsor is a person who has completed working the 12 steps and now teaches others to work them. One common first step assignment is to read “How it Works” and “The Doctors Opinion” in the Big Book of AA. Another assignment is to write five examples of powerlessness over alcohol or drugs in our own lives. And so we have begun the journey of recovery with a sponsor who has managed to stay sober themselves. What this first assignment does is brings our addiction into the light by listing our powerlessness it keeps us from forgetting we are addicts and prevents us from lying to ourselves by saying…”Yes I can drink responsibly…this time.”
The Doctors opinion shows us that we are definitely not alone and we are not the only ones who have experience the powerlessness of addiction. Powerlessness and the “insanity” of addiction are hard to differentiate between. All powerlessness associated with addiction is insanity but not all inanity exhibits powerlessness.I promised myself I would only have one drink however I woke up after a three day bender asking myself “What in the hell happened?” I promised myself I would never drink or drug again but I did it anyway. I promised myself I would never hurt my loved ones by my addiction yet, again I stole money from my daughter’s piggy bank to buy crack. Ouch! That is serious powerlessness.
Premeditated and guiltless thievery to support my addiction is insane but it is not a show of powerlessness. Accusing my ex-husband of being the reason that I drink and drug because of the way he treats me is insanity but it is not powerlessness. Good luck with your step work!
When we write our examples of powerlessness we should write also how it made us feel. The thing is we addicts usually want to be in complete control. Most of us have intense control issues even. And so we internally beat ourselves to a pulp when we cannot stick to our own using guidelines. Simply put we are expecting ourselves to control something that we are completely incapable of controlling.
We find ourselves in a subconscious state of self-loathing by which we hate us and the world. We did not create our powerlessness nor did we sign up to become addicts. We have no right to condemn ourselves for our powerlessness. We merely accept it and move on to step two.
OUT OF THE PROBLEM INTO THE SOLUTION!