The perfect analogy is a teenager who drinks and gets high and is still having fun with it. Why would a clueless, cocky adolescent get better while he’s out there having a blast and hasn’t suffered any profound life consequences yet? They have no need nor any will to change because, let’s be honest, they don’t really have to yet. They are still in la-la land, and even when they have legal trouble, they usually get to walk right out. They haven’t lost their families, their bodies, their minds, and they have no understanding of money and the world, so they don’t feel the weight of survival and adult responsibilities. The twisted irony is that we don’t want to stop until we can’t stop – until we’ve completely lost control and no longer have the ability to stop.
I only went to detox and eventually up North because I was out of options. I was broke and in tens of thousands of debt. I was emaciated and my body was beginning to literally break down. I was beyond hope and no longer believed it was possible to get better and live a life again. The level of my depression/spiritual destitution was seemingly terminal. I was unrecoverable. At the bitter end, I was only using to stay out of continuous withdrawal. It wasn’t fun anymore. Nothing was fun. I had lost almost everything – friends, some family, respect, meaning, purpose, my soul. And if I hadn’t been this beat up, I can promise you that I never would have even considered going to a detox.
The sooner that using no longer becomes fun and is only a way to keep us out of continuous withdrawal, the better. Sure you don’t have to wait until you’re rotting away in a crackhouse with 5 STDs and one tooth left, but the truth is that the worse off we get, and not just with drugs but in every other facet of life, the closer we are actually getting to getting better. This is why enabling doesn’t work. Why would we ever change or stop when we have everything we need, when we can sort of manage our addiction year after year, when we have you wrapped around our fingers?
And by the way, tricks such as suboxone or methadone are just that – tricks. They allow addicts to bullshit you by managing their addiction until they either get bored, get some money, or until the mental obsession hits them like a ton of bricks, which it most certainly will. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. A good advertisement for active addicts would be, “If you want to completely bullshit yourself and your parents, get on suboxone or methadone. It works!” Substitution or harm reduction (which is nonsense) drugs enable drug addicts, which is the antithesis of true change, growth and recovery. How can we be truly honest with ourselves when we are doped out on synthetic opiates or some mind-numbing psychotropic that has rewired our brains? Maybe I’m just cynical but my golden rule (which doesn’t have to be yours) is not to erect any possible walls between me and God.
By the way, when I write about meds, I’m not talking about normal people or non-addicts. Normal people can do whatever they want. They are entitled to use medication because they haven’t lost control and take something with a completely different agenda than an addict. I personally wouldn’t go that route even if I wasn’t an addict, but the point here is that my formal analysis is limited to drug addicts. I try to only judge drug addicts, haha… because that’s what drug addicts do. Lol.
At any rate, the addicts who are truly desperate are the ones who are much closer to getting better and finding the solution. So we should want the active addicts out there to become as hopeless and desperate as desperate and hopeless gets. Only then might they see the futility in drugs and alcohol as a solution to their lives. And why do we often need to get so desperate? Because we are as stubborn and selfish and clueless and dishonest and delusional as they get.
Also see: Hitting Bottom, on fate and our blueprints, on the fruitlessness of enabling, and on the process of hitting bottom and the dangers of interrupting that process.
God, please help active addicts still suffering to become hopeless and desperate, that they see the futility in using, that they may finally reach out and find their way to You…