Charlie- Your story is just that — your story. I am 2 1/2 years sober and I do not struggle, I do not live day-to-day. I have my story and my experience. When I look back, I have to agree with the person that commented on your blog. For people struggling, and there’s more during the pandemic and its effects, I don’t think they should reject the “disease model” and embrace their selfishness simply based on your experience. There is a lot of work behind the disease-based addiction model and I found it meshed remarkably well with my experiences. I felt compelled to reply, which I seldom if ever do, because I think you may be unintentionally doing others a disservice and may dissuade them from getting the help from a science-based, medically supervised rehabilitation program that they may need to be successful in their story of addiction. Dave
I personally have never seen anyone become recovered by clinically addressing the so-called science of addiction with methods such as substitution drugs, relapse prevention or harm reduction, all while neglecting what lies underneath. Our problem is really not drugs and alcohol and whatever temporary bio-chemical changes that may ensue, as these elements are a mere side-show. Look deeply and you may discover that substances and substance use are byproducts or symptoms of an underlying soul sickness. They are a false solution to our true problem – Life. We don’t suffer from drug and alcohol use but from a spiritual/emotional malady that effects how we respond to nearly every aspect of life. Of course, part of this is simply the human condition, so we addicts are neither unique or special, nor do we deserve some sort of trophy or pat on the back for ceasing to do what we never should have done to begin with. All human beings suffer, but we are just a special kind of cowardice and obstinacy.
I might also check with your parents, spouse, children and loved ones and ask them if they agree that you should be rejecting the cause/condition/presence of selfishness. I reckon you will benefit longer-term by what they might have to say. I would also read the Big Book, ‘We Agnostics,’ ‘How it Works’ and ‘Into Action’ etc. and if that does not resonate with your experience than you are most likely not an addict or an alcoholic to begin with. If you can stop and get better on a non-spiritual basis then addiction isn’t your problem.
To simply run one’s life on self-will is selfish. No one is saying that is necessarily evil, but for the addict or the alcoholic, it does not work. We will fail each and every time. When we do not stop and ask God to guide us before rushing out in the morning, the rest of the day is, generally speaking, a complete disaster. Why is that? Knowing the answer to that question and what to do about it is the most important thing in the life of an addict. It is the very crux of our problem – self-will. Why? Because we are not okay. We are maladaptive. There is no neutral position for us. We are are either moving forward and getting better or moving backwards and becoming sick again. We cannot simply float by. Floating is sinking.
Try asking God to direct you throughout the day. “But Charlie, that’s nonsense, why would I do such a thing? God has nothing to do with it. I don’t even believe in God!” Because regardless of my story or your story, He knows better than me and He knows better than you. Do me a favor and write me back in another couple of years and let me know how it’s going with the medically-assisted program and the removal of personal responsibility via the disease model. I’m assuming by medically-assisted you mean Suboxone or perhaps other psychotropics under another false guise of ‘dual-diagnosis,’ which, by the way, is also convenient propaganda for the pharmaceutical industry et al.
Regardless, Thanks for reaching out. I appreciate you reading and commenting.