This may be a bit over the heads of some recent critics who caste me as hateful and offensive (lol), but the entire modern liberal attitude towards addiction and the disease model is actually harmful to addicts, not helpful.
When they speak of us poor, victimized addicts, stricken with the lifelong disease of addiction, what they are really saying is that we are damaged goods. Relegated to the ash heap of mediocrity, we are but poor, damaged snowflakes who must be coddled, medicated and subsidized like any other “oppressed group.” What this does is it limits the scope of recovery and change. Regardless of what we do, we will always be diseased and damaged, and as such, we will be showered with special treatment as if we have some sort of handicap or somehow suffer social marginalization. We are to receive compassion, kindness and hugs.
Do the bashers have any idea what this does to the mind of an addict who is not recovered, who is still mired in the mental and emotional poison of lies, deception, self-absorption, cowardice, fear and entitlement? No, they don’t, because it is impossible for them to engage in a discussion or hear arguments contrary to their own… oh wait, I meant it’s impossible for them to simply hear arguments, as they do not have an argument. All I can hear once they get triggered are hostile insults born from anger and self-righteousness. To note, intellectual arrogance is extremely unbecoming, especially when it is delivered by those of whom knowledge and wisdom is merely a facade.
For one, addicts who have been brainwashed to believe they are victims of a disease through no fault of their own will view themselves as yup, you guessed it, victims. This frame of mind, one of self-pity, will limit the vision, the will and the perseverance of the addict to embrace, believe in, reach for and fight for life-changing fundamental change. Addicts who are pumped with this patronizing nonsense of victimhood become attached to it emotionally, further sinking into the trap of self-pity, hopelessness and failure.
How is that inspiring?
The entire purpose of this blog is to inspire hope and to describe the spiritual solution as best as I can. Why? Because spiritual action is a comprehensive solution that will not simply leave an addict physically sober and holding on by a thread, but rather change one’s entire life that they may be catapulted into a miraculous life of personal growth, achieve amazing things, affect the world and serve.
For 15 years I shoveled in “science,” and it failed me in the grandest way. I went to McClean Hospital and was treated by classroom psychiatrists with no actual experience with addiction or recovery, and then diagnosed and medicated with a salad of useless psychotropics. I had so-called addiction specialists tell me to write down my triggers and then simply avoid them, knowing full well that triggers do not exist. Breathing is a trigger. I went to “compassionate” therapists who tried to dig for the REASONS why I used – mom, dad, trauma, blah, blah, blah, only to leave with a pile of wonderful excuses. I tried CBT, which might work for normal people but for addicts it is entirely useless. Our minds our insane. We are not capable of thinking ourselves into right action. The only hope for addicts is that we begin to act right and the mind and soul will follow.
Have you ever tried to work with a freshly sober addict? No? Please read The Privileged Addict as a testimony for right, moral action versus meds and theory… and no, I don’t care at all about selling it. Leave a mailing address and I’ll send you a copy of all three.
I majored in neuroscience and the “science of addiction” and I have learned through my experience that all intellectual pursuits regarding addiction were entirely useless and left me crawling into heroin detox an emaciated wreck. That said, when a handful of recovered addicts told me to begin taking right action and that doing so repeatedly will change me and induce an entire psychic change, I listened. I took action until I was touched by something much greater than myself (God) and then I continued to act, day after day, month after month, year after year. I do not suffer from recurring thoughts to drink or use. I repel drugs and alcohol as mere poisons that push me away from God. They have no power over me. I came to want God and goodness more than drugs and thus my problem was solved.
Second, addicts are masters in the art of lies, deception and manipulation. Telling an addict not to worry about it because they are victims of a disease is the absolute worst thing you can do. It is asinine, and I’ll tell you why. Addicts love drugs and alcohol. Fact. We want to use and drink as much as we can and it is our top priority in life. We will do anything to use the way we want to, including lying to you, betraying you, manipulating you, stealing from you, abusing you and breaking your fucking heart. Giving us some sort of clinical pass for our atrocious and selfish behavior is not compassionate, it is clueless. We will use this and any other excuse to ride the self-comfort train as long as humanly possible.
Addicts are like children who refuse to grow up. And if you treat us as victims, there will certainly be no growing up. Growing up and becoming a sane, responsible adult is the entire process of recovering.
As I wrote in a older post from which the above meme was extracted, “I actually find what I do to be considerably more kind than beating around the bush and hurling empty platitudes and frothy emotional appeal at some addict who is clearly ill and is all too willing to tell you EXACTLY what you want to hear in order to keep using the way they want. Real kindness and real love is not allowing an addict to continue lying to themselves… and then showing them a solution that actually works. Make no mistake that the lies an addict tells himself are the primary ingredients of a lethal overdose.”