Monday, June 23, 2014

Warning Label for Addicts

     As you know, this blog is not intended for people who want it sugar-coated. It is not for people who only want to hear what they want to hear, who want validation for an easier/softer way, who want to sidestep total responsibility and total honesty. There is nothing easy and soft about solving addiction, nor should there be. Easy and soft will kill you. Addicts must change completely if they are to recover. There is no half-assing our growth if we wish to have any chance in hell of making it.
   
     That being said, addiction is characterized by a physical allergy to mood-altering substances. Thus, any mood-altering substance will elicit the phenomenon of craving, leading to more and more. Once the flip is switched, there is no stopping an addict and they will continue to use until they either go broke and wind up in detox, or simply overdose and die. Once we start drinking or using, we are talking about a physical event. Our bodies do not react the way normal bodies do. We cannot stop. We crave and crave until we pass out.

     Therefore, me as a drug addict, with the physical malady of addiction, shouldn't be taking any mood-altering substances. Sorry, but mood-altering substances include anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, Tylenol PM etc, and I hate to say it, but yes, nicotine as well. Cigarettes, while the effect on our mood may seem subtle, actually have quite a profound effect. With every drag, we are getting a small release of dopamine in our brain, which acts as an extremely effective mood-stablizer.

     To be perfectly honest, it floors me how absolutely stupid doctors are when they prescribe or recommend all sorts of garbage that is anything but safe for addicts and alcoholics. Doctors couldn't be more happy to give an addict a substance that sets off the phenomenon of craving, thus inducing a relapse. Aren't these guys supposed to know everything there is to know about the body? And if not, then why all the hubris? Why the God-complex when their advice might bury me? We are different from you. Our bodies our different. We have crossed a line and broken ourselves physically.

     All of these substances simply act as a brick wall between us and getting better, between us and our capacity to be honest, between us and God. Why risk putting up walls between you and your recovery? Don't we have the best shot to recover if we don't take anything that might keep us from getting closer to God? Don't we have the best chance to achieve lifelong freedom if we do the tough work that needs to done, if we walk through our feelings of pain and discomfort and depression? And isn't our work more pure if we don't sooth and self-medicate with more drugs?

    Trust me, the best chance we have to genuinely get better is by leaving any and all mood-altering substances at the door and jumping in with complete and total purity. If you truly want to change and you truly want to get close to God, and if you are willing to go to any length to get it, God will touch you. The Universe will conspire to fix anyone who really wants to be fixed and who will stop at nothing to get it.

God, please help me to topple any walls that may keep me from You... 

4 comments:

  1. I love this. I am going to send to my daughter, who is currently in prison for 1 1/3 - 4 years. She is clean from her drug of choice (heroin), but still smokes and continues to think that its ok if she drinks when she gets out because 'that's not her issue'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liz, thank you for reading and replying. Needless to say, I was rather obstinate myself until another recovered addict taught me about my illness. If we are honest with ourselves, we will admit that our allergic reaction crosses all lines. I am going to pray for your daughter now...

      Delete
  2. SUGAR! That counts as a mood-altering substance, right? It's been harder for me to kick sugar than it was heroin! This post reminded me why I need to for my recovery. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sugar is indeed a mood-altering substance. Nice work. In fact, this is one I have some trouble with myself. And as we age, sugar begins to effect us more acutely. You're absolutely right. I suppose all of us know in our hearts what people, places and substances act as a wall between us and getting better. I suppose the list could be quite extensive.

      Delete