Ohio police recently took this photo of two supposed parents overdosed in the front seat with their 4-year old sitting in the back:
A friend posted this on FB and most of the comments read something like, “Oh those poor, suffering parents,” “I pray for those sick, suffering parents and the child,” “I hope those parents get the help they need,” “Oh the poor victims of the disease of addiction,” “I hope they get better.”
The only victim is the child. The parents are not victims. The parents are depraved. They define what it means to be selfish. Yes, I was the same, but that does not change the fact that they are presently ruled by self-indulgence and cowardice. Imagine what the child is feeling as he sees his father behind the driver’s wheel unconscious and seizing from a heroin overdose. Then he turns to his mommy for help and reassurance and she is also unconscious and seizing. This child has been terrorized.
I mention this story as a follow up to the last post where my buddy James referred to me as uncompassionate and showing no understanding for suffering addicts.
So why do addicts refuse to get better? Is it because we have a genetic disease and cannot get better? If so, then how do we explain all of the addicts who do recover, change as people, and never use again? Recovery sort of blows a hole in the “victim of an involuntary disease” argument.
The reason addicts don’t recover is a simple refusal to accept human life on the terms of human life. To recover, an addict or alcoholic must simply walk through his or her (sorry for not recognizing 31 different non-biological genders every time I need to use a pronoun) feelings of fear, anger, depression, boredom and angst. The addict must refuse to give in to his selfishness and fight for himself. He must never, never, never, give up.
Last but not least, there is no room for whining and complaining. We are not victims. We make ourselves who we become. If we have become drug addicts, it is because we have made ourselves drug addicts. If we become heroes, it is because we have made ourselves heroes. Nothing external is responsible for our addiction.
But Charlie, why you don’t understand how tough it is and you don’t understand what it’s like for me?
Please. I do understand. But I also understand that to recover, you have to get off your parent's couch, work hard and grow up into a responsible adult. Why is that such a terrible injustice? Why do we continue to make excuses to use drugs and drink like gluttons just because we are addicts?
Being an addict is not an excuse to continue being an addict. This we must smash into our heads. The badge of honor that addicts dress themselves in during meetings that we are somehow different than everybody else is such nonsense. We are simply choosing to believe that we are different for the purpose of rationalizing the difficulty in recovering. We must not smirk with satisfaction because the nanny state has now excused us from our atrocious behavior. The PC lunatics are all too happy to declare us victims, excusing every facet of our behavior and compulsion as beyond our control. It’s as if we were somehow innocently struck by some plague blowing through the air.
I just don't see any excuse not to recover, for me or anybody else. We can manufacture all the excuses we want, but the truth is they are all just excuses.
So there is no actual reason that prevents us from sitting with our horrible thoughts and feelings. There is nothing that actually prevents our from working on our selves thoroughly and fearlessly. There is nothing that prevents us from having enough courage to put our spiritual health above all. There is nothing that prevents us or anybody else from putting God first in our lives – only selfishness.