I Am…

It was recently pointed out to me that the statement “I am ___.” is the most powerful statement in the world. If you say “I am depressed”, I am powerless” or “I am an alcoholic” you are just setting up a self fulfilling prophecy.

AA likes people to be powerless because then AA can claim to be their higher power and the salvation without which they will die. AA empowers itself by disempowering its members. This is what makes the first step of AA dangerous. Never say that you are powerless.

This is also what makes AA members so vocal in claiming that AA is the only way. Since they have abandoned their personal self-efficacy to a group, they truly do believe that they will die if they have to rely on their own power instead of AA. This is what cults do and this is a basic brainwashing technique. It is very efficient at creating extremely vocal converts; however, it is not very good at helping people to stop drinking. In that area the success rate of AA is often found to be about the same as an untreated control group. Contrary to popular opinion, alcoholism is not a progressive disease and the normal outcome of addiction is recovery without treatment. Check out this link for verification:


The good news is that “I am ____” statements can be used for empowerment as well as disempowerment. Our newest HAMS exercise is to fill in the blank of the “I am ___” statement with something empowering like “I AM POWERFUL, ALCOHOL IS POWERLESS!”

Try it yourself today. What do you want to fill in the blank with? Repeat to yourself five times and that will help you to become what you desire!

Copyright © 2011, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network


About Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. He is also the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.
This entry was posted in 12 steps, AA, Alcohol, alcoholics anonymous, harm reduction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Am…

  1. Massive says:

    I just listened to your most recent show. It was wonderful. Keep up the good work.

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