To hold an addict’s hand is to cripple and paralyze them. They will never get better when relying on hand-holding measures to accomplish something or to do the right thing.
Don’t ask me why, but I used to work day and night with teenage addicts, which required quite a bit of hand-holding, as you might imagine. I chased them around at all hours to get them better. Trust me, chasing cognitively undeveloped ingrates around is an entirely fruitless endeavor. Most of them are doing just fine in their state-funded (i.e. rapidly becoming impoverished taxpayer-funded) recovery school texting their way through mindless public education classes and weekly piss tests.
There were a few of them who actually changed and succeeded. How? Simple, by growing up, becoming men, and bringing themselves to say, stare their character defects right in the face and write a fearless moral inventory of their entire lives. Or by understanding and accepting utter defeat when it comes to self-will and using drugs. Or by confronting someone they owe an amends to who they were especially humiliated to see. Or by swallowing their pride and self-seeking to reach out to someone in need. Or how about just by going home, helping out around the house, and finally stop blaming everything wrong in the world on mommy and daddy. These are the sort of acts that changed them and turned them into grown, recovered men.
Same goes for me. The family members who held my hand, the therapists who empowered me, the psychiatrists who crippled me with drugs, and the spiritually sick, untreated AA guys who chased me around trying to 12-Step me… all of it just prolonged my self-induced paralysis. It wasn’t until I decided to grow up, act like an adult, take rigorous action, and kick my own ass day after day after day that I started to actually change and recover. Trust me when I say that God happily looked the other way when I allowed others to hold my hand and do things for me. He only reached out to me when I started doing things for myself.
If we ask the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world, they will all say the same thing about success. First they will tell us to positively believe in ourselves as successful. Most of us think that ultra-successful people are a different species, that it could never happen to us. Well, we’re definitely right that it doesn’t just happen. We have to adopt the right attitude and go make it happen. Second, they will tell us that we have to stop relying on others, on the system, on job security and government programs. We have to take risks and do it ourselves.
Relying on others for anything, whether it is our recovery, our spiritual health, or our pay checks, is a losing proposition. Plus we are worse off down the road, because each time we depend on others, the state or the government, we cripple ourselves more and more, becoming less and less independent and self-sustainable. Next thing we know we have lost our authentic selves and can’t do anything on our own, and at that point, we might as well just call it a day. Drug addicts, along with our culture in general, seem to be forgetting just how dangerous hand-holding and collectivism really are. And yet, collectively, we are swinging in just that direction.
God, teach me to think, speak, act, and care for myself…