People often say, “Wow, congratulations on beating addiction!”
Given that’s very generous and all, I don’t pat myself on the back just because I stopped hurting people. Beating cancer is 100% different than beating addiction. The cancer (in most cases), we don’t give to ourselves. The addiction we do. That is a just a fact. And to falsely use the disease model to abscond us from mutating ourselves into addicts sets a terrible moral hazard. So I’m to believe it doesn’t matter that I started off just fine and decided to run away from feelings of discomfort and boredom to go get plastered night after night until I finally broke myself and became an alcoholic? Really? Come on, that is just so naive.
Remind me again what was so offensive about humility?
Alcoholics Anonymous was a spiritual program of action. The point wasn’t even alcohol (or drugs). The point was to rid our inner selves of the filth and poison that brought us down, to find God and establish an appropriate relationship with Him. AA laid out a series of actions to clean us out and help us grow along spiritual lines. The Big Book rightly stated that we have a life problem, a selfishness problem, a spiritual problem. “Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.62.
Rarely have truer words been spoken, as it is not alcohol and drugs that ail us. The very thing that weighs us down, narrows our world, chains us in darkness and cripples us with fear and cowardice has nothing to do with alcohol or some brain disease. We have a different kind of poison inside, one that enslaves us until the very minute we decide to humble ourselves before our Maker. For alcoholics and drug addicts to be free, we must rid ourselves of this other kind of poison, one that taints not just our bodies, but our entire lives and everyone around us.
Until we ignore the true malady behind alcoholism and drug addiction, there is no hope. Billions will be wasted on treatment that focuses on drugs and alcohol and all of the ensuing details like ‘triggers’ and other such nonsense, when drugs and alcohol have nothing to do with our true problem. That problem is spiritual. So next time you feel like patting yourself on the back for beating drug addiction, don’t. We didn’t beat anything. The only thing we’ve done is to stop hurting others and destroying ourselves spiritually.
And please, don’t try to convince me otherwise because I know what I suffered from, what I did to myself, and how many people I hurt. The only cure for walking backwards is to start walking forward, and fast.
And maybe run instead of walk.