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What does power mean? If I have no power, how am I responsible for my decisions?

As an addiction professional, I have heard these questions more often than not when working with my clients. In recovery, powerlessness is the inability to stop the behavior/using despite the desire to stop and consequences. When you are caught in the endless loops of active addiction, the well intentioned family and support who tell you "just stop," "don't you want to stop?," "it's a lack of willpower." Furthermore, you hear "if you love me enough, you will just stop." When these statements of unmet expectations are collide with your reality of "I don't know why I can't stop.," "I can't stop.," "I can't get using out of my head.," you may feel shame and guilt that keeps you imprisoned. Shame evokes the belief that you are a bad person; you cannot do anything right; or, no one can help me because I am hopelessly bad.

Once the shame cycle starts, it is difficult to stop. There is help. There is a way to get out of the endless loops that take you back, again and again, to active addiction. Admitting is part one of the process, admitting that your life is unmanageable is the part two of the change in attitudes and behavior puts the admittance of part one and two into action.

An addict, any addict, can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.

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