Friday, January 21, 2011


     
     Happy New Year!  I hope you are enjoying your sobriety journey in 2011!  This year is full of possibilities great and small and I hope to help you seize the moments of growth through the 12 Steps this year.  I will focus on one step per month. 
     January is a time of new beginnings.  It is a time to reassess the areas of your life that you long to see changed for good.  It is a time for resolution, re-commitment, and re-dedication of your life to sobriety and recovery.  Let’s take a look at the step for January: Step 1!
     Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous reads, “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.”  To admit personal powerlessness is very difficult because you risk having to embrace the truth of your admission.  You risk ridicule.  You risk rejection.  You risk judgment.  However, risk it anyway!  The only way you will ever get better is a no, holds barred assessment, understanding, and admission of your powerlessness over alcohol and/or drugs. 
     About the word powerless…this is important to understand.  Powerless is not an excuse to stay drunk or high.  It is not a cop-out.  It is not a “woe-is-me” sentiment.  Rather, it is a declaration of the truth, namely, that you cannot beat this stuff by yourself.            
     For example, if someone pushes you in a pool and you can’t swim, a couple of things can happen.  First, you may by chance or luck find a way to keep your head about water and get out of the pool.  Second, you will learn very quickly how to tread water.  Third, you will drown.  Last, you can call for help and I, a once certified lifeguard, can dive in and rescue you.  However, any trained lifeguard knows to never approach someone who is kicking and thrashing and screaming in the water because they will drown you too!  However, if I ask you to remain calm and slowly act like you’re riding a bike, I can swim behind you and pull you to safety.  You must first relax, accept, and admit your powerlessness before you can be rescued.
     So, why not adopt a similar attitude in regards to your addiction.  Take this month of January and reflect on all the times you promised yourself (and others) that you were quitting for good this time.  Count the cost (financial, relational, emotional, mental, spiritual, physical) of the bill that substance abuse has sent you over the life of your use.  And decide that you need help.  Decide that you would be quit if you had the power by now.  Decide you need someone/something else to help you do for you what you could not do for yourself: stay clean.  There is power in powerlessness…give it a try! 

Chris Newcomb, Aftercare Coach/Coordinator

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