Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC
There is nothing more controlling than the disease of addiction. It controls our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of the people around us.
Often times people new to recovery feel like they are being controlled by their family, the law, their treatment program, etc… But the real truth is that it is their disease that is controlling them.
Addiction rules everything. In fact, if you are having this thought, then it is probably your disease trying to make you angry/resentful at some outside source so that you will then feel justified in using.
Recovery means being in control of yourself again. It means you get to decide how you will spend your money, who you will be friends with, how you will treat the people you care about, and what image you present to the world.
Yes, to get recovery, you will probably have to let go of some control temporarily, but in the end you are actually getting your control back. You have to allow someone else to steer the ship for a little while, because your disease has full control of you in the beginning. It may feel like you are making decisions for yourself, but if you are in the early stages of sobriety, then rest assured you are not in control.
This is a disease that controls the part of your brain that has the power to over-rule your thinking and emotions. Think of it like a pirate that has taken over the ship! Find a trusted source (sponsor, therapists, recovery group, spiritual adviser/mentor), and go with their decisions for a while, even when it doesn’t feel natural. This is what we call “Handing it over” (3rd step). This takes practice and diligence, but remember…. This is the road to freedom and it will ultimately put YOU back in the driver’s seat.
If it feels natural in the beginning, then you are likely doing it wrong. Be smart enough to know that your disease is driving you, so give the keys to someone else that you trust. Eventually the disease figures out it isn’t in control anymore and it backs down!
If you or your family member has not taken that step toward freedom yet there are many ways you can begin.