Control in Recovery

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[k uhn- trohl]
to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command: The car is difficult to control at high speeds. That zone is controlled by enemy troops.
to hold in check; curb: to control a horse; to control one's emotions.
to test or verify (a scientific experiment) by a parallel experiment or other standard of comparison.
to eliminate or prevent the flourishing or spread of: to control a forest fire.
Obsolete. to check or regulate (transactions), originally by means of a duplicate register.

Hi it's Dermot again. If you read my last blog from 12th April, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a "Recovery from Addiction Series", If not read on:


When I was drinking, I was a control freak!!! Yes at the time if someone had told me that I would have got very angry, me a control freak. In hindsight now, and it did take a few years in recovery to admit this, I had to be nothing but a control freak. When you try to control the uncontrolable, what else are you going to be. I thought I was in control of my drinking, where as in reality, my drinking was in control of me.

At a subconscious level I knew this and knew that I was not in control, I was trying to over compensate in areas where I was falling down.

Addiction is all about control, the addict tries to control their drinking/drugging, or at least thinks so. The family tries to control the addict, or at least think they are.

In early recovery a power struggle can ensue within families as the addicted person, now in recovery wants to assume more responsibility. In a lot of cases the other family members, who were managing everything before, might be resistant to let go. Resentments can occur and the risk of relapse is high. It is vital that everyone sits down and talks through everything, at this stage. Boundaries have to be set and agreed on by all.

Powerlessness doesnt come into the equation, and that is the complete opposite of control, letting go and allowing does.

So lets take a point by point look at control in addiction


1. Defence Mechanism.

2. Over Compensation


1. Enables Addiction.

2. Fear of being challenged.

3. Attack as a means of defence.

4. Denial in its most destructive form.


1. Types of Behaviours to look at:


Using self pity to seek attention,

to avoid being challenged.


Silent treatment,

Standing off,

Controlling at a distance.

Silence is judgemental






Person on receiving end is victimised,marginalised & blamed


Inflicts fear on others which leads to alienation & loss of more control.


Change the subject.

Not taking responsibility.



Fault finding.

Never good enough.

Quick to blame.

Pass judgement.







Making excuses.

There are many different ways we control other people, things & situations, we even do it out of habit or even sub consciously. Just remember that if is fear that drives it all. Confront your fear and you will have absolutely no need to try and control anything. 

My next article is on Denial & Delusion, stay tuned.

The articles in "Recovery from Addiction" Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the blue box below.

Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me, but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.

I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through on line marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.



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