Of course it gets even worse when they “suggest” that you surrender your will and your life in Step 3, thus rendering you powerless in every other area of your life as well.
But let’s just stick to that first wretched declaration.
There is no doubt that quitting a drinking dependency is a monumental bitch. The longer and harder you went at it, the more difficult an albatross it became.
It’s a behavior and the more times you reinforce any behavior, good or bad, the stronger the pull is to repeat that behavior. It becomes almost automatic after a while. While the emphasis here is on alcohol, for example’s sake let me take smoking for a second to show how this type of response often manifests.
Just about anyone who has ever smoked will have these shared experiences in terms of the automatic-ness of their HABIT. The after a meal smoke, the get in the car smoke, the post sex smoke, etc…
It’s an engrained response after 1000’s of repeat performances (Well in the case of sex we can always hope right?-lol)
Why is it when people quit smoking people don’t call them recovering or say that they were powerless over it in the first place. It’s probably due to the fact that smoking isn’t seen as an incurable “disease” much like drinking is. It’s seen more for what it really is, a habit and a behavior. Drinking should be viewed the same way.
Why do we have cravings and why is it so easy to relapse after quitting? Again, because you conditioned yourself into that response for so long that it’s almost second nature. If you haven’t smoked in years but then have one after a friend offers you one at let’s say a concert, it rekindles the memory or can very easily trigger that almost automatic response. After the concert as you get into the car, all of sudden that “get in the car smoke” sounds really very tempting and almost natural. The response is easily rekindled. Same with drinking, the occasions and habits are somewhat different but the same process is involved.
So the draw exists and the pull is not crap. But are you powerless over it? No, not in a million years. The compulsion or the cravings or whatever can be unbelievably strong and for some people it is almost irresistible to the point where it’s close to impossible not to cave in. But the bottom line is that it’s NOT impossible and you are not POWERLESS to just say no.
Easy? Hell no but not impossible at all. Think about it, they don’t say that you may have “less power” than others in controlling it or not engaging in it, they say that your are power-less, meaning that you have absolutely ZERO. It’s just not the case.
The fact that people quit drinking and smoking every day after decades of those near automatic responses proves that it really comes down to making the decision to change your behavior and to resist those cravings and pulls. The more times you refute those cravings and the longer you do it, the easier it becomes. Can you lose sight of that and find yourself back in that pattern again in the future. Sure but only if you go there and even if you do, the process to arrest it is always available to you because you are NOT powerless….