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How Can the Idea of Powerlessness Impede Our Recovery?

One of the fundamental concepts in many addiction recovery programs is the idea of admitting our powerlessness over our addictions. The goal is to surrender our problems and our struggles, to stop fighting and resisting them, and to turn them over to our higher power to help us navigate them. The problem with this concept of powerlessness, however, is that it can detract from our own agency in our recovery. It can make us believe we’re powerless over our thoughts, feelings, choices, and behaviors, when in fact we have much more control over them than we think we do. How can the idea of powerlessness impede our recovery?

Surrendering the things we can’t control our higher power can be very helpful. It can strengthen our faith that we’re being guided, protected and cared for, and this can be incredibly reassuring and comforting. When there are elements of things we can’t control, trying to assert control over them can work against us, creating resistance and adding to our stress, anxiety, and worry. There are many things we can’t control in our lives, and for these things, surrendering them and surrendering to the flow of life can sometimes be the most self-loving, self-caring thing to do.

We’re not powerless over everything

We can direct our thought patterns and emotional responses. Our mental health issues can cause us to believe that we’re powerless over our minds and that our depression, anxiety, panic, and other challenges are something we have to resign ourselves to accept and live with. We learn with mindfulness that we can direct and choose what we think and therefore how we feel. We have agency in the choices we make, and we have control over our behaviors, even though our addictions might tell us otherwise. The more we heal ourselves, we actually can withstand our addictive urges, with practice, concerted effort, and mindfulness.

When we assume we’re powerless, sometimes we can become complacent. We stop trying to get better because we assume our efforts are futile. We throw in the towel, thinking that it’s no use to keep trying because we have no power, no autonomy, no willpower. We start to think that our resilience and conviction aren’t enough to help us get better. We can start to feel as though we’re just being carried along for the ride, rather than having a say in the direction of our lives. This line of thinking can be extremely detrimental to our recovery, and the more we realize our own power, the more we can align ourselves with healing and recover successfully.

Are you ready to take the first step on your journey to recovery? Call The Guest House today! 855-483-7800.