I have spent much time on this blog indicating the deleterious effects of alcoholism and addiction. I am sure at many points I have embarrassed some individuals. But please know... embarrassment is a key to recovery. In fact it is essential.
EMBARRASSMENT Nobody gets "into the rooms" (AA) on a winning streak. Embarrassment and shame aid the recovering person as they serve as stark reminders as to the way things used to be. Every single addict and alcoholic has been forced to live through these memories.
NUMBNESS Active addicts become numb. It's as though the disease takes a piece of one's conscience away. People become very mean when they are numb because they lose the ability to empathize. True leadership over people is transformed into raw fear. This is the least effective form of leadership. There is no respect for the leader. WHAT CAN RESULT?
What can happen is the very tortured result of a drug house being "held open" seemingly forever on McLean Street because a certain chief had a relationship with his "heroin honey." This folks is INSANITY. It is also part of the denial process that the cops had to be part of. They were scared to speak up. WHERE WAS MIKE DESSOYE?
TERMINAL UNIQUENESS This is a term used for those addicts who feel they are "different." Some people feel they are set apart from the rest due to their status or position. This is the big lie. Think about it... we are talking about Luzerne County, Pennsylvania! In the grand scheme of things there are no true "big shots." Alcoholism plays no favorites.
FISH IN WATER Have you heard the phrase "a fish in water doesn't know it's in water?" In similar fashion, many long term alcoholics have never experienced recovery. This arouses fear. You have a disease telling you that you need your favored substance to survive coupled with no earthly idea of what sobriety feels like. Who wouldn't be scared?
BOTTOM People need a bottom. Either you hit the bottom your self or "a bottom" comes up and "hits you in the ass." An example of this would be:
- Your employer threatens to fire you
- You spouse threatens to leave you
- Your Doctor says to quit or you will be dead within a year.
DETOX/REHAB Detox is critical to get the substance out of your system. Almost no one has successfully detoxed themselves. Rehab is important for structure and to get you set for AA. A rehab has done its job if the patient successfully attends meetings after discharge.
MIRACLES You can expect miracles in recovery. Your problems (legal and otherwise) are usually halved. We live in a country of second chances. Courts tend to treat those in recovery very benignly. Relations you thought were over often reappear. Your relationships with your children will be transformed. Of course this doesn't all happen with a "snap of the finger."
FRIENDS I don't think I trust a group of people more than those I met in recovery through out the years. There is an unmistakable bond that forms between people who have been to hell and back. The loneliness and scheming of the active addict is near incomprehensible. You will lose friends. Your drinking friends. They will not support you and may in fact try and pull you back in.
But you friendships with sober people will be richer than you ever imagined.
THE "SYSTEM" For certain people in certain positions, it does not appear there is a mechanism to get people help. Judges, Magistrates, chiefs, Mayors, and elected officials are - to put it starkly - left to die. It is the low level retailers like Family Dollar, Turkey Hill, and Weis markets that show more true concern by drug testing. Drug testing, when seen clearly, has no downside. If everyone were tested the disease could be arrested immediately. Instead some people live and die entire lives in alcohol and drug hazes.
HAD ENOUGH? My prayer is that those who are addicts/alcoholics can read this and decide for themselves - "It's time!" If not, you will die an ignominious death knowing that you were too much of a coward to at least try. Please look at your children and spouses when asking if you are willing to try. Their happiness lies in the balance as well.