Addiction & Recovery

     I recently wrote a guest post for a guy I respect who asked me to share some thoughts on the subject of big business recovery. Needless to say, there was some pushback, and some flaky assumptions made about my understanding and attitude towards addiction and recovery. So here are some addiction facts as I understand them… and I’m pretty sure I know what I’m talking about. Here is the link: Addiction Journal – Recovery, Inc.     

     Look, it’s not rocket science. I understand that without a comprehensive solution, without the total removal of the mental obsession, an addict will relapse. I have never said, because it’s not true, that active addicts who are suffering from this insanity can control it. Active addicts are without power, both physically and mentally. Physically, we will die without power over drugs and alcohol, but mentally, we do not have to.

     I also understand that for an addict to get better, he or she will need some reassurance that the solution they employ will provide some relief… that is to say, we’re only going to live a sober fucking life if we feel okay inside. Which is why I’m here to reassure you all that there is such a solution effective enough to both keep us sober AND feel good enough to want to live a sober life.

     But it is without question our responsibility to get better, given the extensive damage we’ve done to others. Failure to do so or failure to stay well once we have found something that truly works is wrong and is most certainly a moral failure. You just cannot get around that fact. It is wrong to continue hurting others and this “disease” is totally different than those beyond our control.

     We are not born addicts. Fact. We turn ourselves into them by using. Even if we have a genetic predisposition or proclivity to use, we don’t turn on that switch unless we drink or use over and over again. Come on, folks, booze doesn’t crawl its way down our throats, nor does heroin shoot itself into our veins. Let’s not be ridiculous. We use indulgently because either we are afraid to feel human and suffer like everybody else or because we just love it.

     And our suffering isn’t novel. We are no different from anybody else. That feeling everybody flashes like a badge of honor in AA meetings about never fitting in, never feeling a part of the world, never feeling connected, well um, we all have that. It’s called being human. We all suffer, it’s just that normal people walk through it while we addicts cower and use. We feel like we have the right to use because nobody feels the way we do or understands what it’s like to be us, which is just a pile of bullshit that we feed to ourselves and to everybody else to continue using the way we want.

     We don’t become addicts involuntarily. Fact. We make ourselves addicts by using repeatedly because we WANT to use repeatedly. THEN at some point we cross over that invisible line and can no longer control it. That’s when it becomes a reflex and a “disease”, if you will, but nobody is born a full blown, insane addict. That is just wrong and it is a justification that we use and that our parents and spouses use to explain and rationalize our using and our chronic (and very selfish) relapses.

     Using is selfish, folks, let’s face it.

     And just because we cannot control it, doesn’t make it not wrong.

Please also see: Fundamental Error, Origins of AddictionThe Truth About AddictionAddicts Are Self-Created, & Relapse is NOT Part of Recovery

2 thoughts on “Addiction & Recovery

  1. I've just read both of your posts and want to applaud you on this one.

    I am the parent of a heroin addict and believe as you do…the addict is selfish and a product of their own actions, it is not the “disease” that they hide behind.

    In my opinion, the disease discussion is similar to “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” You can go around and around with this theory and never come up with the answer. As in life, no one answer/treatment fits every person.

    A cancer patient puts poison in their body because they want to get well. A diabetic injects insulin because they want to stay well. The drug addict…because they don't want to face responsibility.

    I am constantly astounded by the approach of so-called counselors. My daughter's excuse, according to inpatient counselors…”she is seeking the love she doesn't get from me.”
    What a load of crap! This is an only child who was raised as if the world revolved around her. But, she now has her excuse thanks to the professional help we thought we were paying for.

    As educated addiction specialists you would think they know that the addict is always looking for an excuse and knows how to work the system thanks to those who went before them. As a POA I learned this very quickly. In fact, I just remembered meeting one her “counselors” who was happy to admit to being in recovery. While I am happy she found sobriety and a purpose, she had no formal training (county program-court directed). You would think she of all people would understand the addicts behavior but she just perpetuated and regurgitated all you hea/ read about why addicts use and how to help them.

    I STRONGLY believe that the best person to counsel an addict is a POA. They are cynical and won't/can't be manipulated any longer. Sadly, we know all the “tricks of the trade”.

    I don't claim to have any answers and believe there is hope for recovery but only when they really want it. She goes days without using so I know she can do it. She just CHOSES to continue using.

    It is at this point that my mind wanders to the concept of “unconditional” love. My daughter died the day she chose to put heroin in her body. She is no longer the child I borne and raised, therefore, how much of our lives do I sacrifice for someone I don't know and who doesn't want help?

    I so very tired…

  2. Thank you for reaching out here and your honesty. Please feel free to email me directly and I'd be honored to share any insight/resources that might be relevant from my own experience in recovering.

Leave a Reply