For many, this acceptance comes in the form of the first step of AA or NA, which focuses on admitting feeling powerlessness over alcohol / drugs and that “our lives had become unmanageable” For plenty of other people, this measure is taken in various other ways as they come to realize that their lives cannot continue as they have.
So what does it mean to be powerless? Many describe it as a state of being defenseless against their drug of choice (including alcohol). One former heroin user tells his story:
“I knew I didn’t want to use, I knew it had to stop. I couldn’t keep living the way I was, lying and cheating to survive, and I couldn’t look myself in the mirror. But every day it was like I was on auto-pilot. I would get my money, fight with myself the whole way to the dealer’s house, and be yelling at myself, cursing myself for doing it – but I would go get my stuff and then I would want even more. Over and over and over. It just felt like it was impossible to stop.” -David P.
An alcoholic describes her loss of control once she took the first drink:
“I always ordered a drink when I sat down at the bar to wait for my husband after work, and I always promised myself I’d nurse it until he got there, I had about 20 minutes to wait. Every night, with the best intentions, I would finish that drink and think well, he should be here in a second, I’ll just order his drink now and I’ll get mine while I’m at it. Never fail, by the time he arrived I had cleared both my second and the one “for him”, and often one more, wondering why I did it again. I really didn’t want to get loaded, especially not in public, but I just couldn’t stop. My husband finally realized how much I was drinking at the bar when I forgot my purse and he was stuck with the tab – that was about three weeks before my DWI” -Betty M.
Life Becoming Out of Control
An anonymous recovering pill addict wrote:
“At first the pills were great – I used them for my panic and to get to sleep, but after a while I was just grabbing for the bottle constantly. I passed out in the grocery store once, I was so embarrassed, as soon as I got home I took more to sleep off the shame. I had to get a few doctors to keep up with all the scripts, and I was always afraid I was going to get caught, even though I kept telling myself it was ok, I knew there was something wrong and I could get in trouble. I was paranoid, I took prescriptions from even the same doctors to different pharmacies miles away from each other. I was always anxious and afraid, even though I was taking all this medicine that was supposed to get rid of that. The day I realized that I had to stop was when I woke up in a ditch. I’m still not sure exactly what had happened, but it’s a miracle I’m still alive and that I didn’t kill anyone else. There was a tow truck and a minor investigation, but nothing compared to what it could have been. I voluntarily, and gladly, went to detox in exchange for facing charges on that.” -anonymous
So is there a “cure for alcoholism” in a pill form? Some people think so, but in our opinion nothing solves it other than pure grit and power of will, plus a little help from the divine.