Had another standard discussion with an MD recently, and though we shared some common experience, our paths diverged on the nature of addiction and the dynamics of recovery. A very nice guy, by the way, so to be clear, our divergence was contained, I think, to medicine, God and addiction.
Regarding the assertion that we need to start a new discussion and 'end the stigma...' um, why? In our new and insane world of cultural marxism where everything is offensive and no one is safe, the assertion that we should not refer to addicts as addicts, that to identify as an 'addict' is self-defeating and limits the scope of our persona, or something, is counter-productive. An addict is an addict and should be called an addict. We addicts should identify as addicts because it is humbling and humiliating... and yes, that is good for us. Letting addicts off the hook for their addiction and its attendant behavior is naive and it is a total disservice.
Along this vein, he appeared to be in the "End the Stigma!" camp (sorry I didn't idiotically put a hashtag before the social justice movement's key phrase), which I've written about previously in the post, Fight the Stigma??? Lol. Not to rehash the entire thing, but ask yourself why stigmas exist? They exist when certain behaviors, attributes and mindsets run contrary to an acceptable and healthy social norm. And since addicts create themselves by way of pure selfishness, why shouldn't there by a stigma attached to, say, becoming a toothless, STD-ridden crackhead? Sorry, but I just don't get it. Having a stigma attached to behavior that is ruthless and destructive to self and especially to others is a good thing, as it is one common understanding that will prevent us from wanting to live that way and to be that kind of person.
There was then an analogy made between addiction and Crohn's disease, which is absurd on its face. Same thing as saying addiction is analogous to juvenile Leukemia - that is a medical condition outside of our control, which is ridiculous. Additionally, medical intervention in the form of medication is crucial to surviving and to remain 'in remission,' as it were. Sorry, but to put addiction in the same category as ANY other disease beyond our control is nuts, let alone obtuse. It lacks understanding of addiction, and therefore recovery. I must admit that it was difficult to even decipher the presented logic of this argument.
K, so we are to liken addiction to a "disease" of which there is no known cause, one in which the victim has no control over, one where he or she will relapse by no fault or control of their own, and one that must be medically assisted with pharmaceutical intervention? None of that has any bearing to reality and it's disappointing that otherwise well-educated people have bought (among many other falsehoods and ideas), the liberal disease model of addiction and are using faux science and collectivist intellectual arrogance to seal this claim as fact.
There is indeed a known cause for addiction. It involves selfishly pouring booze down your throat or plying yourself with drugs like an indulgent pig until you develop the phenomenon of craving (a physical event), break your mind and shatter your spirit into a million pieces. As I wrote in The Privileged Addict years ago, the booze doesn't crawl its way up my chest and force its way down my throat.
We do not catch addiction in the air, nor are we born addicts. The notion that we are born addicts doesn't even make sense. Let's say I am supposedly born an addict but I never pick up a drink or use a drug and then die a sober man, am I an addict? Of course not. And no "addict" wakes up one day when they're 13 or 14 years old and spontaneously morphs into a fully blown heroin junkie. We turn ourselves into drug addicts and alcoholics (same thing) through a succession of selfish choices. As noted in the meme above, the process of losing choice IS a choice.
Furthermore, once we lose choice (that is, the ability to choose whether or not we drink or use) that itself is but a temporary condition. It is a loss of willpower. Sure an addict may never regain choice and willpower, but that is his or her choice as well. Those who do not recover their willpower (the power of choice) have chosen not to recover. Sorry, but that is the truth.
I mentioned that I've been recovered for 14 years and got a smile of sorts. To clarify, aside from physical sobriety (which is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement and it is our responsibility), I've not suffered a mere thought to self-destruct in 14 years. If the mind and heart of an addict is fixed, the body is irrelevant, rendering the so-called science of addiction equally irrelevant.
It takes but a drop of insight to realize that all of Western medical doctrine centers around the body of the addict, and thus symptoms of addiction, which are mere byproducts of an underlying malady that is spiritual in nature.
Drugs and alcohol are a side-show and have little to do with addiction. Addiction is the sad and disgusting result of the person we are, the person we've become. To be clear, the person who mutates themselves into an addict, such as myself, is a cesspool of selfishness, entitlement and dishonesty. He or she is concerned with nothing but their own comfort, even at the expense of those closest to us. He or she is a person who has zero concern for others, or for the human/spiritual responsibility to serve. He or she is a person who has no purpose. The pre-addict is a Godless person.
And herein lies one of the central problems with the progressive destruction of recovery. If you remove God and moral/behavioral destitution from addiction and its nature, you remove any and all hope of recovery. You remove recovery itself. There is no such thing as a miracle addiction drug. Miracles, and real, fundamental change, occur only in the absence of drugs.
Why complicate something that is simple? Why drink the Kool Aid and fall prey to the degenerate propaganda of victimhood? So we addicts are all just victims now? Nothing we do is our fault? Addiction is just an evil entity that takes over our children, parents, siblings and spouses? Nope. Before you excuse yourself of responsibility and generate a fistpump because you just drove by a billboard that says, Addiction is a Disease, It's not Your Fault (yup, saw that one Rt.1 outside of Boston)... talk to a few moms first... or dads... or spouses... or children of addicts...
...and then let's talk.
I am no victim of anything. I turned myself into an addict. We make ourselves into who we are. We are responsible for who we become, whether useless drug addict or courageous, productive hero. The choice is most certainly ours for the taking. This is the truth, regardless of whatever sugar-coated nonsense your doctor spews about addiction and recovery. Run from the office as fast as you can, become brutally honest, clean yourself of emotional poison and sin and delusion and fear and resentment... give tirelessly to others... make amends day after day after day... change into a good person... take right, moral, productive action over and over and over again and you will become free and know peace.
Sure there have been challenges - the death of my father, 3 surgeries, divorce, etc. But challenges are just opportunities to grow and get better. There is one reason why I stand today a free man with three beautiful children, an incredible woman by my side, a lovely, peaceful, happy home and a successful business:
Hard work and God.