Powerlessness and a state of unmanageability

“Lack of Power, that was our dilemma.”

Big book of Alcoholics Anonymous page 45

This is really like saying, I am powerless, as powerlessness is a lack of power. It’s been my inability to accept that lack of power that can still make my life uncomfortable today. My inability to accept my alcoholism led me to believe that I could control it, control being just a matter of finding the right combination of circumstances. Alcohol continued to weigh me down the harder I tried to control it.


Powerless, as defined, meaning we are without ability, influence, or power, in a situation. This can be a difficult thing to accept. Lets say I am late for work or school. When I offer my reason for being late, even though it may be completely reasonable, I may still be subject to reprimand or ridicule. I have no power over how others react to circumstance, in effect, I am powerless. If I accept that powerlessness, then I can go about my day without dwelling too much on the event. It is when I don’t accept my powerlessness over something, that creates conflict, inside of me, and within.

It is my opinion that for the most part, control over anything is an illusion. When I am trying to control people, places and things, whether it is in my actions or in my thinking, my level of serenity, goes down. So when I can let go of control, allow people and places to be as they are, and let the universe decide, then my peace within goes up.

With sobriety and life through the steps, I have found new freedom. The steps and a relationship with a power greater than myself, and has helped to refill my cup sort of speak, and keep my batteries charged.


AA Bigbook Chapter 4

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