We all have to start somewhere. Most people who are not in recovery assume it is a simple decision that needs to be made by the person struggling with substance abuse. Whether the struggle is with alcohol, drugs or both, the first step in deciding to get sober turns out to be a lot more than just simply making a decision. Confused yet? That’s ok, we are too. Most of us who struggle with alcohol and drugs have made the decision to get sober more times than we can count only to go back and continue to use within the next few breathes. Here in lies the problem. Admitting we are powerless. So, what does this mean?
In society, admitting powerlessness is accepted as being weak or defeated. Ingrained in my brain as a young boy I was taught to never give up and certainly not admit defeat. This learned trait is what actually contributed to keeping me sick for a long time. Admitting powerlessness didn’t come out verbally for quite some time but rather was screaming through my behaviors and multiple subconscious cries for help. What happens in silence is never heard but is always seen. Unfortu-nately I was the last one to finally see the prob-lem. My initial first step came through my first attempt at picking up the phone and calling a treatment center for help. I didn’t know what I needed to do or really who to call but it was the first time I admitted there might be a problem. So what happened next you may ask? No, I didn’t get sober and my life didn’t become amazing in that moment. Rainbows didn’t magically appear and white doves didn’t lift me off the ground into the clouds of serenity and happiness. Well, I was so proud of myself for taking a huge step that I decided a celebration was in order and ended up in the hospital within a week. Remember, it’s not as easy as just making a simple decision. The disease of alcoholism and addiction is very cunning, baffling and powerful in that sense. When it feels threatens it fights back. The point here is I was still trying to get better on my own. I didn’t tell anyone I made the phone call and I certainly didn’t follow through with the plan that was purposed to me over the phone.
As I lay in the hospital, for probably the 10th time at the point, I realized a pretty significant fact. What I was dealing with was way more powerful than anything I could deal with on my own. I’d never really asked for help with anything at that point in my life because everything else I could always surmount on my own. I prided myself on self-knowledge and the will power I could exhibit in every other area of my life.