Rebellion: I need to control
When an addict joins a twelve-step group he/she begins the 12-Step recovery program. Many addicts balk at the notion of “God” or “Higher Power.” But that’s because they’re dealing with issues of control. Any rational person who is aware of his or her own limitations (i.e. admits that they are not God) recognizes that there must be a “higher power” above or within them. How can anyone think that they are the highest power in the universe? The one who is insane is convinced that there is no God, and indeed there is no one greater.
The addict has spent his/her whole life trying to control and manipulate. The world is an insane and scary place where no one can be trusted. ‘Acting out’ (or ‘using’) is a way of controlling how the addict feels; ‘using’ is mood-altering behavior.
But in a more sane and compassionate world there is a Higher Power, a power “greater than ourselves” that is ultimately in control. But can this “God” be trusted? Most addicts think not. And this rebellion leads to all kinds of desperate measures, the kinds of things that look – to the normal person – quite insane. And indeed they are. The definition of insanity is “continually doing the same thing – over and over – expecting a different result. I suppose you could say that we are all addicts to some degree in that we repeat the same things hoping for a different or better result. This is rebellion.
Trust is key to the 12-Step program. The addict doesn’t always see where things are going for them when they begin recovery and will often abandon ship along the way. When an addict first begins recovery there is a great deal of fear to overcome. Old familiar patterns that “worked” for them in the past are now forbidden. The addict who successfully works through the program has learned to trust the process.
When there is doubt, rebellion grows. If the crew on a ship no longer trusts in their captain, there is mutiny. And all war breaks loose in an attempt to remove those in charge. The captain is either thrown into a holding cell or made to “walk the plank.” When a government is no longer trusted there is anarchy and chaos as a new regime attempts to take over. Civil war breaks out and the struggle begins. Heads begin to roll as the new leaders emerge and displace those in charge.
This is the kind of rebellion that happens when people try to run their own affairs. Resistance to “Higher Power” is an act of rebellion. It is an attempt to take over the wheel and steer the vessel where they think best. It is an act of desperation.
We fail to realize our needs can be met by simple, expectant faith in a Higher Power, Someone greater who knows our needs and can meet them on a daily basis.
Tomorrow’s topic – Autonomy: The illusion of self