Why does the mainstream treatment community tell us that relapse is part of recovery when it has nothing to do with recovery? Newsflash: It’s not okay to relapse. Doctors, therapists, social workers, and so-called addiction specialists blindly recite the false text book mantra that “relapse is part of recovery.”
Because they simply don’t know anything else. The sad truth is that millions of professionals out there don’t actually know what addiction is (spiritual ailment) or how to treat it. Why is it okay to relapse when relapsing means another long and destructive cycle of lies, theft, sadness, pain, heartache and damage to countless others?
Treatment ‘experts’ say that triggers exist for addicts and alcoholics, and as such, treatment revolves around avoiding people or places or things that trigger us. Ah, you gotta be kidding me. First of all, triggers don’t exist. Flimsy excuses. Being alive is our only trigger. Nothing makes us want to use. We want to use ALL THE TIME.
Secondly, what sort of solution is that for a drug addict? So my solution involves desperately trying not to bump into this person, or walk by that place, or keep all drugs and alcohol out of my sight? If that is my only hope then I should just lock myself up and throw away the key, because I am doomed.
This sort of information is actually dangerous. To tell an addict that it is their triggers that make them use is to basically eliminate any personal and moral responsibility they might assume, which might then trigger them to go get better (pun intended). Furthermore, to teach an addict that it is someone or something outside of themselves that makes them go drink or pick up is unbelievably irresponsible and stems from pure ignorance. WE are the only reason. We drink because we like drinking and because we are selfish beyond belief. Nothing makes us want to drink. Our only trigger is breathing.
If I buy this notion and take this advice about triggers, then I basically have prevented myself from recovering. The world will forever be a dangerous place for an addict. I will be walking around subject to relapse at any point in time. I am cursed to struggle and fight through each day to stay sober. I will forever crave drugs and alcohol and fend off urges day and night. Mainstream treatment tells us that there is really no hope, that the addict or alcoholic never really gets better, and thus we never can truly recover.
That is complete and total bullshit.
We can recover fully and forever. We can live utterly free from any urges or desires to drink or use. We can become free and happy men and women. And this freedom means we can walk by any store, down any block, or sit there and stare at a medicine cabinet full of juicy meds. This means we can hang out with anybody, regardless of how fucked up they still are. This means we can have wine in the house for guests. This means we can even buy our friend a bag of dope just to get his ass to detox or treatment.
But Charlie, how can you say such things?!?!
Because we can deliver ourselves from our insanity. Or rather, God can deliver us. We can grow new minds and remain permanently free from the mental obsession to drink or use drugs. We can travel, work, and enjoy life without having to drag ourselves to five meetings a day until the day that we die. We don’t have to merely live “in recovery”.
We can become RECOVERED.
Personally, I took Steps to recover. I am now a free man. And the same can be true for any drug addict or alcoholic out there. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Don’t feed yourself a bunch of excuses. Don’t let yourself off the hook. And always remember:
Triggers don’t exist.
God, help me to remember that nothing outside of myself is responsible for my drinking or drug use…