It’s been a while, but a very dear and wonderful friend has encouraged me to continue writing and speaking, so here I am. To note, the summer is non-stop work-wise, so I should have more time to write as things slow down a bit during the colder months. Time is the central issue, especially with the children, and once the day is finally done, I often have nothing left, such as creative energy, aka fuel for inspiration.
However, this should be part of daily life, like eating or sleeping, especially given the purpose behind it all, let alone the increasingly desperate need for truth and real solutions. It is so easy to become misinformed regarding addiction and recovery. So allow me to address a few memes that made their way across my email…
The notion that no “child” ever wanted to become a drug addict or an alcoholic, that he or she was afflicted by an evil disease that forced them to use and steal and cheat and lie, is all, well, total bullshit.
Addicts and alcoholics LOVE to drink and use. In fact, not only do we love getting addicted but we love being addicted. When you cross that line and become addicted, it makes using and drinking all the more worthwhile, as the ecstasy of getting more drugs or booze once we fall back to earth, feel human again and enter withdrawal, all while becoming increasingly bored, restless and nuts, is like no other (false) ecstasy. Remember the first time or first few times you do anything? If you’ve never used an opiate before and one day throw down 6 or 7 Vicodin, chances are it’ll just make you sick. But if you use enough and form a habit, then the real pleasure begins – if you’re lower than par, the drug will propel you higher. Their is nothing quite like being sick and then feeling instantly better. Normal people can know this by analogy.
Now of course, it’s not real pleasure or peace, which for an addict comes disguised in the instant after you get what you want and for a brief period you stop wanting. And needless to say, this is false, too, as the momentary, fleeting peace you feel of not wanting and needing is driven by gluttonous want and addiction. True peace lies in not wanting once everything is removed.
But anyway, the meme says, “Alcoholism is an illness and it’s not my fault.”
Um, yes, it’s definitely your fault. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this and believe me, one of the reasons I don’t always feel like writing about addiction is the consistent repetition. But common sense being uncommon and simple truths and concepts being so difficult to comprehend these days what with the advent and stupidity of new-age, relative intellectualism, it is what it is.
So sorry, but who wakes up one day and is suddenly a fully blown heroin addict? Nobody. Becoming an addict or an alcoholic requires an almost sociopathic phase of selfishness and self-absorption – a phase with zero regard for the personal or inter-personal consequences of our actions. Since all of us begin sober at the beginning, it requires that we ignore our conscious with purpose, that we violate our moral compass. When a human being first goes to drink booze, sniff coke, smoke meth or shoot heroin, he or she knows it’s wrong on some cellular/gut level. So sorry for the bad news but before we cross the physical line, we cross the moral one. Fact.
Another disservice and one with far more implications on a macro-cultural spectrum, is how these ads are used as propaganda. The idea today is to separate everybody into different groups and convince us that all “chosen” groups are victims merely by their existence. Addicts have now been added to one of the many concocted victim classes, and perhaps the most devastating effect of this is the elimination of the truth – the truth of how we got ourselves here and how we pull ourselves out. When an addict comes to believe (which is ironically just how an addict mind thinks) that he is a victim, you have promoted the worst mindset possible. Not only that, but when we disregard personal responsibility from the cause, we also eliminate it from the solution. What depths will the addict in recovery plumb when he or she wholeheartedly believes they are a victim?
Yup, that’s right, none.
Remove personal/moral responsibility and accountability, and you have removed any hope of real and lasting change and recovery. Have the progressive intellectuals no shame? You see, this is what happens when you think you know everything and everybody else is wrong. Chilling.
Billboard in Southie.
Addiction is not a choice? LOL. Then why I am okay?
Sure choice/control can be lost temporarily when an active addict is on the run of a lifetime. This simply means his willpower has been shredded beyond belief. But choice can be regained. We call that being recovered. I no longer suffer from thoughts to drink or use and I haven’t since I recited the 7th Step prayer before God late one night in the chapel up North. That was over 13 years ago.
Any one of us who comes to want spiritual growth and God more than drugs has solved the problem. He will come to naturally repel drugs as a poison that simply prevents him from growing and pushes him further away from his Creator, which to him is now the most hellish thing imaginable.
i was married to an alcoholic for thirty years. i finally moved on. thank you for voicing what i feel. God bless you and yours.
First off I want to say i love love love all your posts! There's something about what you say and how you say it that gives me a sense of peace and comfort, so thank you!!! The whole it's a choice BS has always bothered me because it, in a way, validates all the lies and excuses that spew from the addicts mouth when confronted about their behavior – it's always someone else's fault and they're never the bad guy. I compare it to smoking and lung cancer – i myself have used cigarettes to deal with stress so I'm not bashing any smokers out there ;). Anyway, no one grows up wanting to have lung cancer, however, people do make the choice to smoke, maybe because they're stressed out or whatever, knowing the potential health affects but never really thinking it would happen to them. This is how i view any addict. They have pain in their life and want it gone ASAP. Instead of going about it the right way and putting in the work to address the underlining issue and learning healthy coping mechanisms, they look for a quick fix – anything to make them feel better NOW being drugs, alcohol, etc. However since the relief is only temporary but the pain is \”permanent\” it's a never-ending cycle, then add in the addictive nature of whatever substance, and BOOM they're a full blown addict. So even though they didn't choose to become an addict, they chose to start drinking, smoking, etc to deal with their pain, knowing the potential negative side affects but thinking too much about themselves and their immediate relief to care. Fast forward 20 years and they're suddenly an addict who's ruined not only their life but their family's life in the process, leaving behind a trail of destruction, we're all told it's not their fault, they didn't choose this, they're sick. Give me a break! They were sick before they CHOSE to do what they did and they need to face the truth that they caused this mess and are responsible to clean it up!
This post is right on. My father has been an alcoholic my whole life. Has missed every single important event in my life due to wanting to get drunk. His family enables him with the \”he's sick and going through a lot\” BS….I'm tired of that excuse. It does nothing for me nor him except allows him to continue to hurt him and his other children(I have two half brothers I barely know do to him keeping us a secret from each other so our mothers wouldn't find out he was cheating on them). After 27 years I finally cut him off…I've blocked his number. He keeps calling to clear his conscience that his daughter still wants to deal with his abuse. No. I'm done…I don't want to talk to him again unless he's clean. My family including my mother and my husband say I should call him. They just don't know how much he's hurt me. I'm tired. I can't take it anymore; disease or not.