For people struggling with alcoholism, going to Alcoholics Anonymous seems like a reasonable course of action to consider.
AA is a 12-step program, which is designed to help people struggling with their alcohol addiction get their life back on track. There are certainly steps in the program that mean well and work to help alcoholics move past denial. If nothing else, alcoholics will find the strength to make amends for mistakes they’ve made, during their time at AA.
Despite the renowned reputation, there is a major defect in the basis of AA’s 12-step program, which reinforces alcoholism, rather than fighting it. This core flaw can result in dependence in combination with the idea that the struggle must be lived ‘one day at a time.’ The problem is, the structure of AA’s program leads to a ‘one day at a time’ struggle that never ends. It all starts with the very first step.
If you’re not familiar with the program, the first of AA goes like this: ‘We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.’
Maybe the critical error didn’t jump out at you right away, and the phrase may even appear supportive. Yes, it is true that an addict needs to acknowledge that they have a problem, but one word in the first step’s phrase breeds danger.
The word ‘powerless’ positions addicts, and anyone else for that matter, for failure.
The mindset that you have no power against alcohol will not help you overcome addiction. In fact, by encouraging this way of thinking, AA is contributing to a state of learned helplessness. What that means, is that even when you have the perfect opportunity to change, you probably won’t take it because you believe that you’re helpless. When it comes down to it, this admittance of being powerless weakens the resolve of addicts instead of strengthening it.
Choose Empowerment to Overcome Alcoholism
Are you trying to overcome an addiction to alcohol? Then the first step you need to take is empowering yourself by accepting 3 truths:
- The power and determination you need to overcome alcoholism are inside of you.
- You are in control of what you put into your body.
- You gave alcohol the power it had over you, and you can take it back.
Just embrace the fact that the innate willpower you need to beat alcoholism is already yours. Once you change your mindset to recognize this fact, alcoholism and its negative consequences will begin loosening their hold on your life.
Reaching out and taking your self-empowerment is just the first step in reshaping your lifestyle to be alcohol-free. Once you take this step and change your core beliefs about your power, everything else will come more naturally. I seriously urge you to completely evade 12-step programs like AA, which weaken your resolve, while empowering the addiction.
Choose yourself and the power you have within you. Think of your alcoholism as something that was part of a past version of you and decide that today is the day you start living life in full.
So, are you ‘powerless’ against your alcohol addiction?
Absolutely not! Quite the contrary, alcohol is powerless in your life.