As an addict I HAVE to come to terms with the word powerlessness. One of my main character defects is the need to control. I needed to control my feelings, my environment, my peers and even other peoples’ perceptions about me. This proved to be a tiresome act, because in reality I have no control over any of those things. Being an extremist in all areas, controlling feelings became a desperate fight to change any sort of perceived negativety. Drugs, sex, food and even computer games were used as tools to shut down or change the way I felt.
Controlling my environment manifested itself in OCD-like behaviour. Super cleanliness, order and structure needed to be followed so that I could feel good about myself and in control.
Controlling my peers became a game of cat and mouse – if I could out-think, out-wit and out-smart everyone then I could control them and I could control the outcome of every interaction. Needless to say this was 90% my perception of the situation; and during active addiction, truth be told, my perceptions were warped fantasies. Nothing was real except for the insanity that they speak about in Step 2.
Controlling peoples’ perceptions of me was even more tiresome. I was constantly fighting and juggling a double life. The one side was a young guy who had the world at his feet: confident(arrogant), smart(grandiose), charming(manipulative), in control(unmanageable).
The other side of the coin, the secret side, was a different story. I suffered from low self-esteem. I was highly sensitive and extremely critical of myself. I was totally unmanageable and that made me dangerous.
The reason I’m talking about control is because the moment I understood Step One and that means understanding powerlessness and unmanageability, is the moment my life changed. When I let go of the need to control everything around me, I found serenity. Understanding powerlessness goes far beyond my drug use. Considering my drug use was just ‘one’ of the ways my addiction manifested itself. I needed to apply my powerlessness to my ADDICTION, not my drug use. I believe that is where people fall short. So often I hear about the drug abuse and barely anything about the obsession manifesting itself in other ways. It’s like addiction is a tap – if I try to plug it with my small finger, water still sprays out. Covering just one area is not enough in my opinion. I’ve got to address ALL the addictive behavior.
Looking at my unmanageability was just the evidence I needed to see my powerlessness. My life was unpredictable, reckless, selfish and destructive. It was clear to everyone that my way of living was not working. I lived for the second, for the next hit and the next chase. The future did not feature in my plans and thats because deep down I knew that there was no future in active addiction. The drugs I was using and the behavior I was engaging in was killing people all around the world on a daily basis. What made me different ?
All I can say is that God has a plan for me and I truly believe that. I truly believe in the power of spirit, I truly believe that as long as I put my faith in God’s hands everything will turn out okay.