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When we’re in recovery and working to maintain our sobriety, one of our greatest challenges is the powerlessness that we feel over our addictions and emotional difficulties. We feel overwhelmed by our addictive urges and compulsions. We feel overcome by emotional triggers and overpowered by the temptation we feel to return to our drug of choice. We feel that our challenging emotions – for example, our sadness or anxiety – have gotten the better of us. Sometimes we feel as though we have no choice in the matter. We may have resigned ourselves to the fact that we’re addicts, with no recourse against our addictions and no way to fight back against them. 

We can, however, at any moment, remind ourselves that we DO in fact have the power of choice. We have the choice of whether or not to feed into our addictive patterns. We have the choice of whether or not to take the drug that haunts us and give in to addiction. We have the choice to not perpetuate our self-destructiveness and continue to hurt ourselves. 

“I Have a Choice”

Some recovery programs use “I have a choice” as a slogan for self-empowerment, to remind us that we always have the power of choice. But sometimes we feel so powerless over our addictions that we come to believe our ability to choose has been taken away from us. We sometimes take on a victim mentality and assume that everything difficult in our lives is part of a grand scheme – by life, by the universe, or by a higher power – to victimize us. We come to believe that we have no control over the events, circumstances, and outcomes in our lives. We feel as though all of our difficulties are working against us, as part of a larger conspiracy to keep us down. We forget that we hold incredible manifestation power, and that our energy, thoughts, and feelings can actually influence the direction of everything that happens in our lives.

When we feel powerless or overcome with emotion, we can remind ourselves that we always have a choice. We can choose different thoughts to help ourselves feel better. We can choose new belief systems and shed the limiting beliefs that have held us back and fueled our addictions. We can choose to go to a meeting or call our sponsor when we feel an addictive urge coming on. When we feel most tempted by our drug of choice, instead of immediately giving in to our temptation, we can choose to take time to meditate, to repeat some calming affirmations, or to practice an energy-healing technique such as tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique). We can choose to get help for our addictions instead of living in denial and secrecy. We can choose to allow ourselves to be supported in our recovery, instead of trying to do it all on our own.

 Feeding Our Addictions

Our addictions feed on our tendency to give away our power. We give our drug of choice power over us. We give our power away to unhealthy, toxic relationships. We give our power away when we decide that we’re powerless over our addictions instead of fighting back against them. Our addictive patterns thrive when we give up on ourselves. They feed on our complacency.

We’re feeding our addictions when we decide that it’s easier to stay stuck in them than to do the hard work of extricating ourselves from them. We’re giving our addictions more power over us when we decide we don’t want to do the work to recover. Our addictions convince us that we have no power in our lives – that once we’ve developed an addiction, there’s nothing we can do about it. As part of our recovery, we can make the conscious decision to keep reminding ourselves that we do have power. We always have the power of choice.

Personal Inventory

Let’s take a closer look at our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, choices, and belief systems. This is part of the personal inventory work that is so important to our recovery. Becoming more mindful of how we operate in our daily lives can help us see when we’re feeding our addictive patterns and consciously put a stop to them. Are we feeding this idea of powerlessness through the ways we live our lives, or are we affirming to ourselves that we have the power of choice? Are we fueling our addictions with our complacency? Have we given up on ourselves? Have we resigned ourselves to feeling that there’s nothing we can do about our addictions, or are we committed to fighting back against them?

Let’s remind ourselves as often as possible that we always have a choice – much more so than we realize. We can make conscious choices about everything we do, every thought we have, every emotion we feed into. We can decide that we’re capable of recovery, or we can decide we’re a lost cause. We can decide to fight back, or we can give up. We have the power of choice, and reminding ourselves of that power is one of the most important healing tools we can give ourselves in our recovery. 

The Guest House Ocala focuses on guiding you as you discover the underlying causes of your actions and behaviors, while reducing and reversing any harm that your self-defeating habits have caused. Call 855-483-7800 or visit today to begin healing.