Yup, so much “resolve”.
A.A. certainly has it right, especially the first step.
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
We alcoholics are a stubborn bunch. It’s taken me YEARS (like 15+) to admit to myself that I am powerless over alcohol, that there is nothing that I can do, think, imagine, manage, plan– absolutely nothing that I can do to free myself from alcohol’s evil grasp. The only thing I can do is throw my hands up and admit defeat. Admit defeat!? Even now as I write those words I can feel a resistance within me, a little voice down deep saying, “Admit defeat? Are you kidding!? Never ever give up. You can do it boy, you can do it! Just try a little harder, do a little more this and a little less that. You’ll die before we ever admit that you can’t do this!!!” And that’s where the little voice gives its true nature away, when it says, “We’ll die before WE admit defeat!”. Die? Ah, excuse me, but I don’t think that’s what I signed up for. I don’t want to die from drinking myself to death. No thanks! And, who exactly is this “WE” that is being referred to? Hmmmmm. Maybe my addiction is something separate from me, from my self? Hmmmmm.
Alcohol is “cunning, baffling and powerful”. It does has a spirit of its own. Funny that we call liquor “spirits”. For those truly addicted to alcohol, it is something separate from us. And it’s like having a long term contract with the devil. In the end, it will take our soul. In the meantime we mostly have fun! We love to drink, while we’re doing it anyway. How quickly we forget the hangovers! And as it progresses, we start using the alcohol to help us get over the hangovers. Then before we know it, we are drinking 24/7. That’s the nature of the beast. The ultimate goal of any addiction is to get us to kill ourselves–and have fun doing it! Strangely, we fully consent to this. We consent because the fact is–we are powerless. It deceives us for as long as possible, to convince us until we drop that we have control of it, but we DON’T.
Why is it so difficult for us to realize and admit that we are powerless over alcohol? For one, it’s normal human nature to think that we are in control of our lives. The nature of addiction, however, is that it cannot be controlled. It is beyond our power and ability to control it. Look at every other mental/emotional psychological disorder; depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, obsessive compulsion etc., etc. All of those can be successfully treated, even cured, with medication and or psychotherapy. Not so with addiction. Why? We don’t know why. That’s just the way it is. That is the nature of the beast. Perhaps one day there will be medication that will be able to cure us. Even now there are some medications that hold promise, but until then the only hope we have is to see the nature of the beast and admit we are powerless over it. That’s the first step, and that’s why A.A. has made it “Step 1”.
Today, after more than 15 years of struggle, I finally get and accept that I am powerless over alcohol. A part of me still doesn’t want to accept that! That’s the nature of the beast! That’s all we need to completely understand.