“Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices.”
Translation: People can’t keep us sober or fix us. That is, nothing anybody says has the power to restore us to sanity… so trying to plead with an addict is entirely a waste of time.
“Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives... Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive, that while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks… and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, The Doctor’s Opinion, xxviii, xxix
“Charlie, why do you drink when you have so much potential?”
“Charlie, why do you use drugs when you have so much talent?”
Are you serious?
“Charlie, we love you so much. Isn’t that enough?”
“Charlie, now that you have this beautiful, wonderful wife and child, that should be enough, right?”
It should be, but you people have no idea how sick I really am.
“Charlie, with all of your loving friends and family, plus all of our resources and modern medicine at your disposal, you should be able to get sober and stay sober, right?”
“Charlie, the doctor says you will die if you continue to drink.”
Um, can I borrow some money? Oh, and thanks, that’s great about the doctor thing.
Unfortunately, non-addicts don’t understand addiction. It doesn’t matter how much shit I have, or who I have, or what potential I have. You could give me a billion dollars, my dream job, a mansion on the water, an angel wife, two beautiful kids and the best of friends… and I think I’ll go get jammed out of my fucking skull. I’m an addict. I use. That’s what addicts do. No pile of “frothy emotional appeal” is going to do the trick.
Here’s the deal: Yes, addiction is plain and simple a physiological disease. We have broken our bodies and can never again use normally. But the reason why we can’t STAY sober has nothing to do with our bodies. There is no physical craving of drugs when we’re sitting there butt sober. We only begin craving drugs or alcohol AFTER we start drinking or using.
So no, the reason why we can’t stay sober has nothing to do with the bio-chemical illness of alcoholism or addiction. The reason why we can’t stay sober is because we have a spiritual problem. We have a moral problem. Yes, a moral problem, along with the insanity of the mental obsession. Do me a favor… go out there and try to stay clean while acting immorally. Try to stay sober while lying, cheating, manipulating, being selfish, angry, depressed and abusive. Good luck with that. You will need luck because it doesn’t work.
Once we become addicts and realize that we have a serious problem, the only thing keeping us actively using is doing the wrong thing. If we were living by spiritual principles, there would be no need to use. We would know how selfish we are, and we would go and fix our broken minds. We would have an entire psychic change, find God, restore ourselves to sanity, and never again suffer from the random mental obsession to drink or use drugs.
So if you’re an alcoholic or an addict out there and you plan on staying sober after you pat yourself on the back for going to detox, you better change the person you are. You have no chance of staying clean if you do not embrace spiritual principles and live a moral life. Drinking booze and using drugs is 100% connected to morals, or lack thereof. Do we really think the average alcoholic, heroin addict or crackhead out there is living right? Please. So when you get a pamphlet or an article that some clueless PhD wrote about how addiction is not a moral problem but rather purely a physiological phenomenon, you are absorbing information that will undoubtedly lead to relapse, and perhaps your eventual death.
God, teach me to live by Your principles of love, honesty, patience, tolerance, courage, compassion, strength, honesty and service…
Man, Nail hit on head. This is pure AA in it's finest form. Bravo..
Thank you for every word you write, this one really hits home.
Thank you for every word you write, this one really hits home.
fucking trash didn't help at all you are a dick head for this..
Well I just stumbled onto this while learning the principles of the Drs opinion lookin up frothy appeal and from what ive read so far I think is great and will continue to read this thank you
My thoughts on this are that it's part of our human nature to have a tendency for addictive behavior. I think everyone is an addict by nature. Each person chooses the object(s) of his/her addiction(s). If I choose God, I've made the only beneficial choice. If I choose any other thing to be addicted to, it is unhealthy and will cause problems. So it's easy to see why the world is such a negative place when there is only one healthy choice and an infinite number of unhealthy choices. Many people choose unhealthy addictions, and I have been no exception. Although I love God and choose God, I oftentimes will fail at consistency and steadfastness in this choice. I become confused and think I can choose God AND other things too. So we have to be careful about the level of attention we give to any other thing. Never should our attention to other things, other than God, ever rise to the level of worship. Addiction is really worshipping an unhealthy choice other than God. We need to be careful with our worship and how much we rely on other things and people other than God. A good spiritual practice may be to practice, in a period of time, just relying on God alone. Fasting is such an effective spiritual practice, as it allows for a singular focus, contemplation, commitment, and worship of God. We can fast from any thing we choose. Thanks for the opportunity and place to express my contemplations on this as spurred by your writing.
I think that most alcoholics are not morally challenged in some way — I think they are more likely to hold themselves to a higher standard. One thing about AA and group therapy is that it lets them see themselves from the point of view of other people. I don't know how many times I've told someone, “if your child did the thing you are talking about, would you hate your child?” And yet they hate themselves for it. The change required is partly to do what that the inner voice tells us is the right thing to do, but it is also partly to know when to tell the inner voice to shut up.
I simply am in sync with all your posts….being recovered and restored to sanity puts me on the same wave length as others that are there too. Sometimes that puts me out there where others will shun or belittle me for a lack of understandind and/or insight, which is just a fancy way to say, a lack of experience. A question came up regarding \”Are we deserving of sobriety, given the facts that most of our pasts are peppered with less than moral behaviors…..I had to quickly reply with a firm..HELL YES I AM DESERVING, I HAVE WORKED MY BUT OFF FOR THIS GIFT….I would like to hear some of your experience on this subject Charlie