Powerful - concepts?

Old 02-05-2016, 03:01 PM
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Powerful - concepts?

Just to clarify - I respect anyone following twelve steps and I'm not bashing that or inviting a discussion about AA. That isn't the topic.

I just don't happen to subscribe to the "powerless" approach myself, and in fact I think my salvation/sobriety lies in connecting to my own power as well as collective support and other things.

So, looking at one aspect of that - connecting to my own power - I'm wondering what other people think or experience.

In my case, I've discovered my own power in the face of various life challenges. When it comes specifically to alcohol - I'm right at the beginning. The most basic question I have to ask myself is why my own power is so hard to even see.

I love irresponsibility. Not because I was spoilt as a child, more the opposite. I was massively controlled. Now that I can make my own choices my instant response to many situations is still a childish, and almost knee-jerk, rebellion. Even if the rebellion is against my own well-being.

And yet, I love the power I feel over other areas of my life. I want to feel powerful over alcohol too.

While I try to join the dots for myself here, does anyone have any thoughts or would like to share about what powerfulness means to their sobriety? Would love to hear anything anyone has to say.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:15 PM
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I can relate to much of what you've said.

It seems that once I removed alcohol as a viable "solution" to any problem, or as a reaction or response to X event or X state of mind, that is when I recovered my "power."

And you can equate power to freedom of choice or free will.

One thing about power -- for me, after getting and staying sober, I discovered my need to control things greatly diminished. Because at that point, I was much better at accepting reality, making necessary or desired changes in my life, and further, had very little desire to control or wield power.

I think empowerment, and especially for females, is a good thing. I feel empowered in my life these days. Feeling capable and confident is a big motivation for me to stay sober.
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:32 PM
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With me it's a mix of my own personal power and being humble at the same time. At almost seven months my personal power is more faith/ trust in myself and my thinking is more rational. I'm getting stronger every day but not in an aggressive egotistical way. It's a quiet pleasant sense of power.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:27 AM
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A big part of my turn around was finding a way to empower me. I found the 13 affirmation from Women for Sobriety and Rational Recovery to be instrumental to that. Empowering myself was not instant, though, I had to work to shed a lot of ideas I had acquired over decades. (I am a guy, but WFS also has a men's version.)

Powerlessness is not something unique to the world of recovery. In fact, most of marketing is trying to convince you that what is right for your life is external to you and only available from some business. We are bombarded from an early age that we couldn't possible have the answer on our own. So, it is not surprising that it is an issue so many of us face.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:04 PM
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When I said my own mind was the most powerful thing in the known universe and therefore my Higher Power it went down like a lead balloon.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:30 PM
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Rebuilding my personal power, stronger than ever before, was the key to my recovery. Powerlessness was the path to death, and more of the same since I already felt powerless to stop drinking, and look where powerlessness got me. That's partly why the 12-step approach never fit and would never have worked, I needed the opposite.

To me it's all about power, not powerlessness. I quit because I finally made and stuck to a decision to quit, and I finally made use of help that was available to me instead of trying to will my way out of the hole alone. I remain quit because I choose to remain quit, knowing full well that if I went back I'd quickly find myself where I was. I don't wish to go there ever again, and so I won't.

Different strokes. If powerlessness and reliance on an external "higher power" works, then that's all that matters. If powerlessness does not work, try the opposite and take total responsibility for your own future, you might be amazed at what you are capable of doing.
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