Tuesday, September 8, 2015

There Is No Mystery

     The mystery of addiction is... there is no mystery.

     Look, everybody likes to feel good, everybody likes to feel pleasure and relief, but most people eventually grow up and become adults. Addicts do not. They remain in very juvenile, childlike fantasy land where real life and real problems don't exist, where the only concern is what kind of ice cream to choose, what video game to play, who said what and which friends are coming to the sleepover.

     When you grow up, I'll admit, it is sort if heartbreaking. The bubble of ignorance and innocence goes up in smoke as a new reality and new set of (real) problems begin to dominate your consciousness, such as figuring out who you are and what you are going to do.

     Adults must find a way to compete, survive, make a living, support others, pay ever-increasing taxes and obey ever-expanding laws. Adults must take care of themselves when they get sick, injured or diseased. Adults must find doctors, make appointments and stay motivated to follow through with treatment. Adults must take care of their emotional and spiritual well-being through exercise, athletics, prayer, meditation, intellectual stimulation, fun, friendships and intimate relationships. Adults must tend to others and project some sense of positivity in the world. Adults must suffer fear, insecurity, pain, heartache and loss, and walk through it all for no other reason than they are human and it's just the right thing to do.

     So addicts and alcoholics have but one, simple problem: LIFE. Our problem is that we don't want to confront the reality of adult human life... so we continue drinking and drugging until we become full blown addicts. Our problem is a stubborn refusal to grow up and live life on life's terms. Therefore, the process of recovering is simply the process of growing up, adjusting to adult life and responsibility, becoming independent and taking care of ourselves... all on our own.

     Just like we must eventually exit the womb lest we die, we must exit the bubble of juvenile fantasy. We must step outside of lala land, otherwise known as one's comfort zone. Most people grow up without becoming addicts. Most people stop sucking their thumbs at some point, if they ever did to begin with. Addicts do not. So when it becomes unacceptable to continue sucking one's thumb into adulthood, we just become drug addicts instead and start sucking on the bottle, the pipe, the needle and the butts. But, um, guess what? 

     No one said life was easy. Growing up is hard, but a) it's a predicament you can't get out of, and b) it's supposed to be hard. So how about we employ the oldest and wisest solution in the book? Face life. Grow up. Get over it. Life is uncomfortable sometimes.

     And yes, physically you are now screwed. You have officially broken your body and cannot ever safely drink or use drugs again, but hey, that's nobody's fault but your own... is it not?


  1. Being a junkie and coming up with 100 bucks for your habit everyday is a harder grind than many working adults have ever experienced

    1. Thank you for enlightening us, Jackie. Truly stunning insight ;-)

  2. If I went out to Kensington Ave and started telling junkies to grownup and get over it, not going to help. The modern compassionate treatment model you decry is more effective at getting people to approach treatment-the tough love will come from the,selves/God once they are clean enough for that voice to come back, but you have to bring ppl back in from the cold with warmth.


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