One way to let go of our illusion of control and begin to recognize our powerlessness is to look at the endless cycle of our addiction. We use alcohol to change how we feel – to numb our pain or to feel better about ourselves or to forget our problems. But the change is only temporary. Reality swiftly returns when we wake up the next morning with the same feelings and the same problems – along with a hangover and perhaps guilt about what we had done while drinking.
We swear to ourselves that this will never happen again. But in spite of our best intentions, we find ourselves drunk again, caught in a cycle of drinking and regretting. drinking and regretting – the endless loop that is known as addiction. Having lost control, we feel frustrated, despondent, hopeless, even disgusted with ourselves. There is a saying in AA about being sick and tired of being sick and tired. When we reach this point, we are ready to recognize the truth.
The truth is, no matter how desperate we feel or how sincerely we believed we so would “never drink like that again,” we couldn’t force ourselves to stop. We can’t overpower an addiction. An addiction is beyond our power to control. Only when we admit we are powerless over how we use alcohol can we begin to be free. Only when we realize we can’t quit any time we like do we finally have a chance to stop the cycle.
“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. ”
― Rainer Maria Rilke