Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable

The truth is that most addicts that I have met are not in denial about their addictions. They are aware of it and they are aware that it is bad. What they are in denial about is the effects of their addiction.

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Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable

The truth about addiction is, initially, painful. It isn’t something that we can easily admit. Looking at the above step (from the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual), it is frightening to admit that we are powerless to overcome our addictions. We cherish our agency and are loathe to believe that it can be lost or, probably more importantly, that we have lost it.

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From the AA Big Book:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

From Heart t’ Heart:

1. We admitted we were powerless over compulsive/addictive behaviors — that our lives had become unmanageable. Admitted that we of ourselves are powerless, nothing without God. (Mosiah 4:5; Alma 26:12)

From the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual:

1. Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

The First Step is, to some degree, about admitting that you just might have a problem.  With addiction comes denial (and a host of other problems).  You recognize that you are making wrong choices (if you don’t recognize them as wrong choices, you have problems more serious than addiction).  You also recognize that you haven’t quit them.

Maybe its because you’ve never really taken the time to focus on getting rid of them.  Maybe its because you have an important calling or position and it would hurt too many other people if your problem became public.  Maybe you are just embarassed.  In any case, you know that you have a bad habit, but you believe that you could quit it whenever.  It’s just a matter of applying willpower, after all.

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The life of an addict

July 21, 2006

Some people scoff when others self-identify as addicts.  They feel it is self-defeating.  If you think of yourself that way, it is like a self-fulfilling prophecy.  You are going to lose.

Of course, you could point to the thousands (probably millions) of alcoholics who attend weekly meetings, stand up, and declare themselves alcoholics who haven’t drunk a drop for years.

What is an addict anyway?  Well, I haven’t looked it up.  I gave you a version with the Indiana Jones example yesterday.  I suppose I should try to be more formal today.

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Request for guest-posts

July 20, 2006

If you are interested in writing about your interaction with addiction or with 12-step programs and posting it here, please send me an email at anon.johnc at gmail dot com.  Any information given will be kept strictly confidential and anonymity in posting will be strictly maintained.  Thank you.

Who am I to talk?

July 20, 2006

Hi, my name is John and I am a sex addict, food addict, and a codependant.  I also have other cumpulsive tendencies.

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THE 12 STEPS

Step 1

Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

Step 2

Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

Step 3

Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Step 4

Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.

Step 5

Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.

Step 6

Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.

Step 7

Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.

Step 8

Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restitution to them.

Step 9

Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.

Step 10

Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.

Step 11

Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.

Step 12

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.

These are the 12 steps found in the current LDS Addiction Recovery Manual or ARM (which can be downloaded here). Read the rest of this entry »