Powerlessness: step one towards recovery

Admitting that we are powerless… Hmmm, at first sight this seems like defeat. Most people like to believe that the people places and things around them are under their control. Especially the addictive behavior of someone we love, or who is dear to us. Powerlessness seems to turn the word into a scary place, filled with unpredictable uncertainties and hurt. And we don’t like that.

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Blame: a lesson in accepting reality

[:nl]When we blame ourselves, other people, places or things, we can be sure of one thing: we are not happy with reality as it occurs. And the same is true for others, when they blame us. This is undeniably insane, since reality, the now, has already occurred and we cannot change the past.

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Denial

Sometimes things happen in your life that are so painful that you put them away in the deepest realms of our mind. Sometimes you even deny them. This denial protects you from having to feel or relive pain or suffering. Read more
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About al-anon’s “step one”

To get rid of unhealthy habits many people turn to so-called 12-step programs, such as AA, CA, Al-Anon, to name just a few of the more than 50.

Regular meetings in which the participants suffering from the same habits share their personal stories and experience form the basis of these programs.

It is common practice to have a so-called “step 1 meeting” when there are newcomers in the group. I remember my first al-anon meeting vividly (note: al-anon is a 12 step program for people living or having lived with an alcoholic partner, family member, parent , child, friend, colleague, etc.) and it may be worth while to share this experience with you.

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The truth about higher power

In 12-step programs such as AA, Al-anon, CA, XA, SLAA (and there are many more) the basis for recovery is the belief in a “Higher Power as you understand him” or “God”. So what to do with this when you consider yourself to be an atheist or when you are not a Christian.

In many conversations I have had with people suffering from unhealthy habits I commonly hear – or sense –some form of anger or frustration when talking about this notion of a Higher Power. Some people are outright pi..ed off. How can it be, they ask themselves, that there is so much (personal) suffering and misery in their lives and in the world if there is a God. Why does the Higher Power let this happen?  If this is how you think, then this post is for you.

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Addiction farewell

[:nl]I do not like the words addiction or addict. It makes me think of commonly used labels, such as “disease”, “powerlessness”, “patient” and the need for a “higher power”. It creates a sense of unavoidable dependency and despair, taking away the incentive for an active personal involvement in working on recovery, on healing. I prefer to talk about unhealthy habits, and that includes the way you think.

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Co-dependancy: being addicted to the addict

Co-dependancy

When we are dealing with the chaos and suffering that are the consequence of the addiction of a loved one, friend or colleague, we tend to focus all of our attention on the addict. We solve his or her problems, we want to control the addiction. We fight it. As you may have learned through this blog or through other resources, such as 12 step programs (e.g. al-anon), we obviously cannot.

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About anger

One of the topics that regularly comes up during the 12 step meetings I attend is anger. One of the things that I have learned is that anger is not a state of being but rather a feeling. This is an important notion. When I say “I am angry” what I’m really saying is “I am feeling angry”. Anger is an emotion, a response. The good thing is that these responses are caused by your mind, your thoughts, and guess who is in control of those? Exactly, you are.

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