Physical vs Mental Powerlessness

     To avoid confusion, we must distinguish between mental and physical powerlessness...

     To put it simply, we are physically powerless once we start drinking or using drugs and they enter our system. Addicts and alcoholics are physically powerless for LIFE and will experience the phenomenon of craving (a physical event) every time we drink or use. There is no getting around our physical powerlessness. You can turn a non-addict into an addict, but there is no turning an addict back into a non-addict, physically speaking. Recovery groups who preach the idea of future moderate use for true addicts and alcoholics are completely insane.

     Active addicts and alcoholics, as well as sober yet untreated addicts and alcoholics, are mentally powerless until they have regained the power of choice, i.e. their willpower. When we get sober, we continue to suffer from what's known as the "mental obsession", which refers to thoughts or ideas (about drinking or using) that do not respond to ration or reason. In other words, the addicted mind is insane, and remains that way until it is restored through consistent right action and enough spiritual growth to induce a fundamental psychic change whereby guiding principles, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that have haunted and driven us for all of these years are suddenly cast aside and an entirely new set of principles and motivation is adopted.

     The point is that we die physically powerless. Our bodies are forever broken once we break them. We call this the "allergy" to drugs and alcohol, and by the way, it crosses all lines. There is no, I'm just an alcoholic but I'm not addicted to my wife's benzos or I just love dope but I'm def not a cocaine addict yo... I could do cocaine all day long, son. Oh, okay.

     So we can never safely use again, and guess what? That's a GOOD thing. Knowing we are physically powerless keeps us sober. Also, why would we need to drink or use moderately? Are you missing out on something? If we enlarge our spiritual lives and begin to experience the magic of this new way of life, who gives a shit about missing out on recreational drinking at some dinner party? Personally, I'd much rather have the life I have now and the incredible journey I'm on now more than sailing through the world as some mundane zombie.

    So while physical powerlessness is a permanent condition, mental powerlessness is (potentially) but a temporary condition. That is, one can go from being mentally powerless to regaining mental power (or willpower) over drugs and alcohol. And once that is achieved and maintained, the body of an addict is irrelevant. This is why addressing the physical aspect of addiction is such a useless and ridiculous endeavor, but hey, do whatever you want, I guess.


  1. Hello! I,personally, may be responsible for an uptick in hits on your a few days ago I referred to your site again and again in my comments on a blog that drives me insane.Its a blog called Recovering Shopaholic. The author writes about her own compulsive shopping disorder along with where the next big sale can be found , and what she has added to her wardrobe after tossing a few items. Her commenters pat her on the back and follow with the strangest tales of worship at the Nordstrom alter. It is the strangest thing I've ever read ! These people have real problems, and yet are so enabling of each other. Makes you want to pull your hair out in frustration...and I admit I went off on a few comments and kept mentioning coming over here to read about what being in recovery....or even trying to be in recovery might look like. Oh does have some entertainment value, I suppose.

    Thanks for all you do. Your words can be so helpful in many different areas of life!

    1. You are so welcome, Gloria. Thanks so much for reading and sharing. We certainly do live in the age or moral relativism, don't we? Sort of reminds me of a pothead whining about social injustice or something... um, so you're opposing the system with a 6-foot bong coming out of your mouth...? But then I have to ask myself, why does it annoy me so much??? ;-)

  2. I am a food addict. I was thinking about why I have such a hard time getting back into recovery with the 12 steps of OA. A thought occurred to me- "addicts are cowards" I googled that phrase found your blog and have been a huge fan of yours since then. I am getting back into program and keep reading your blog. Keep it up! Kim

    1. Thank so much, Kim. I'm grateful. Ironically, I was just writing about being powerless over food in the new book I'm working on... the point being that anyone can lose power over anything and employ the same set of actions to regain power. Anyway, great to hear from you ;)


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