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“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction…”

Understanding and accepting that you are powerless is the key to recovery from alcoholism and addiction.

Many ask what is powerlessness?  

It is to be without ability, influence or power over an addiction to either alcohol or drugs.

But what does it mean in terms of addiction?

  • No power over addiction.
  • No control.
  • Can’t help myself.
  • One is too many but a thousand is never enough.
  • Once I start I can’t stop.
  • The inability to stop using even with the greatest will power and the most sincere desire to do.
  • Will power alone is insufficient. 

What does it mean to you?

Powerlessness means different things to different people and it is a vital thing we find an understanding that is meaningful.

But perhaps the description that recovering addicts can relate to the most is having no choice.

Ask yourself this – when do you get the choice back?

One will get it back when you stop justifying any use and see the reality and depth of your addiction.

Denial prevents me from seeing my powerlessness

Powerlessness does not mean impossible, but you can ask for help!

This means we need HUMILITY!

  • Lack of pride
  • Modesty
  • No arrogance
  • Listening to others

I am aware of my limitations e.g. as an addict I am powerless over my addiction!


My life is unmanageable. Understanding and accepting powerlessness is the key to recovery. I cannot sort myself out if I am not clean.

What is the cause of the unmanageability in your life? 

What are some types of addiction?

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Co – Dependency
  • Gambling
  • Sex (relationships; flirtation; the act of sex)
  • Shopping
  • Exercise
  • Money
  • Eating (over eating; starvation; under eating; Anorexia; Bulimia)

Anything that can be done obsessively

Addicts must know they cannot substitute one drug for another. Addiction is the abuse of any substance and can act as a stepping stone back to your drug of choice. You need to move from a culture of addiction to a culture of recovery and develop a healthy, balanced life style. (Work, sleep, exercise)

Key point to take away

Staying clean and sober hinges on accepting that you are powerless over my addiction. It has nothing to do with will power, promises or attempts to exercise more control. In fact powerlessness defines the addict or alcoholic and is the very feature that separates addiction from social or recreational use.

By Natasha Curtis

Equine Specialist
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