Why “Powerless No Longer?”

I’m not an addiction professional from the standpoint of education or training. What I am is an ordinary guy who had a problem, solved it, and would like to help others to do the same. This effort grew out of curiosity that began over twenty years ago, when I was attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, but didn’t buy the “higher power” concept or believe that I was powerless. I never worked a step, used a sponsor, prayed, or followed most of the other “suggestions,” except for one: I didn’t drink. Why was I successful when studies indicate that only 5 out of every 100 people stay sober for a year in AA? I drifted away after a few years, never to return.

It wasn’t until Mike Werner, one of the founders of SMART Recovery®, introduced me to their scientifically-based program a few years ago that I learned most addicts recover on their own, or with minimal informal help. Mike and I started a SMART meeting as co-facilitators that’s still going strong in Wilmington, North Carolina.

As I continued to learn more about the ways in which people actually recover from addiction, I became curious about how addiction works, why I behaved as I did when I was drinking, and why I had continued to drink even when I received little benefit from the drug. I did the research necessary to learn the answers to these questions, and many more, which clearly show that the conventional recovery establishment is based upon principles that have little or no relevance to how addiction works, or how addicts actually recover

Powerless No Longer is intended primarily for those who are currently in the process of questioning their own drug or alcohol use, or who have tried 12-step or other programs and not succeeded. Perhaps you have been told you are “powerless” over your addiction. I will show that this is simply not true. I will describe in detail a self-change method that works for the overwhelming number of addicts, three-out-of-four, who successfully recover on their own, and show you how to apply these principles in your own recovery.

What separates this book from others is the viewpoint and experience I bring to it as a recovered addict, and that I have combined in one place:

  • A detailed explanation of the bio/psycho/social aspects of addiction
  • The appropriate research and studies into how most people recover
  • A review of the current recovery methods, and
  • Suggestions you can use to take what’s currently available and construct a recovery program that fits your own needs and life situations

I will make some suggestions based upon the available science; there are no “musts” in this book. There is no single system or program that will work for everyone, there are only methods and principles that have worked for most and these have been uncovered in scientific surveys and studies.


About the Author Pete Soderman

Pete is an author, blogger, and podcaster who makes his home in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. His primary interest is in helping others recover from self-defeating behaviors.

Leave a Comment:

Bill Lindley says August 3, 2011

Pete, I started reading this last night but was tired and thought it better to review this morning when I’m generally/usually more allert. I thought it was well written and makes a lot of sense for the publlc as a whole. I would appreciate your sending more exerps of your work as it progresses. It has to be satifying to think that your writting efforts (book) when completed can make a most positive change in people that truly need help. I commend you for your efforts.

Your Friend …Bill Lindley

    Bill Lindley says August 3, 2011

    I just completed a reply. Thanks for including me in the progress of your new book.

    Bill L

scott fox says November 30, 2011

For years I was a stout member of NA, waving the Flag of 12 step programs. But none of it ever really made sense to me. I never felt I had disease, but said I had one. I never believed in a higher power that would keep my clean, but said I did.. and on and on and on. I still go to meetings today, but I go in defiance of the program in order to help newcomers realize that it is themselves that they need to learn to believe in, which goes against the whole 12 step tradition. After years and years of watching people come in and out of the program rarely seeing anyone succeed I finally realized that the programs ideals are more poisonous than they are any good. So I what I am getting at is this, I am glad that you are writing your book and I know that it will be very helpful. I spread the same ideas that you do when I go to meetings at the price of being a cast out and judged but I dont care, because watching people grow up and believing in themselves and staying clean is much more important to me than what people think about me at the meetings. So I will continue to spread the good word within the fellowship of lies while you continue your journey with your book. Keep up the good stuff.

    Pete Soderman says November 30, 2011

    Thank you very much for the kind words! I intend to keep on keepin’ on, and I hope you do as well!


Mike Massey says September 27, 2013

Hi Pete! This is Mike Massey, a SMART Facilitator. Your book is excellent. I’m unrepentant in my bias. Nonetheless your book is a great read. Flows well, informative, great explanation of SMART tools and approach. And, your personal experience is invaluable. I do think it takes one to know one in certain aspects of life experiences and addiction recovery is a prime example of this. I have referred people to your book and I think its a great reinforcement of SMART Recovery. Thanks for the pleasure reading it provided, including some of the amusing quotes I intend to repeat in the meetings I attend and facilitate.

Best of everything to you,


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