Why Do I Have To Become Powerless?

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Power is a powerful thing. Jimi Hendrix once said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” As addicts and alcoholics in a constant power struggle with our drug of choice, we know the power of power. We might have thought at some point we had power over our addictions. Somehow, it always ended up that our addictions really had the power over us. The first step of the infamous twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous reads, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol; that our lives had become unmanageable.” A love for power is unmanageable. Our love for trying to extend power over our addictions was unmanageable. Admitting to powerlessness in the first step is critical. If we continue to live under the illusion that we have power over our addictions, we might be inspired to try using or drinking once more.

A recent study looked at how the idea of power and powerlessness affects the way people see themselves. It found that when subjects were prompted to imagine a powerless situation, their personality traits seemed to shift from one area of their life to the next. When subjects were prompted to imagine a situation in which they felt powerful, they seemed to be more authentically themselves. Inherently, there is power in becoming powerless, strength in weakness, and courage in fear. “The biggest implication of this sort of study,” the author wrote, “is that having power allows people to freely express themselves in situations where others might more carefully consider how their behavior impacts, or even harms, others.”

Many of us thought that drugs and alcohol revealed our true selves. Once we experienced those euphoric sensations, we were suddenly free to be who we truly were- who we didn’t even know we truly were. We find through the work of recovery, however, that we hadn’t really any idea who we were and that the “power” we were experiencing was a false pride. Returning back to our original states, we are challenged in our powerlessness to truly discover our authentic selves.

Avalon of Malibu overlooks the cliffside and coastline of beautiful southern California- a perfect reminder of the powerlessness we all experience. Surrounded by serene nature, Avalon provides a luxury environment for healing mind, body, and spirit. Offering programs for both substance abuse and mental health treatment, Avalon is able to work closely with each patient’s individual needs. Call us today for a confidential assessment 1-888-958-7511.

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