It is such a common belief amongst so many active alcoholics and drug addicts that when certain conditions finally get met in their lives, that they will kick their disease and their lives will be just fine. Sadly, that belief is quite far from the truth of what will actually happen so long as they maintain this belief.
I bring this topic up because I came across this very situation just last week at a local Detox center where I run a 12 Step recovery meeting every Wednesday evening. There, a 30-something gentleman argued incessantly with me that once he gets his GED, he’ll start making money, and once he starts making money, he’ll save enough to move to Los Angeles, and once he moves to Los Angeles, he’ll finally be living the life and the dream and be good to go. Unfortunately, he, like so many other active alcoholics and addicts, don’t realize that those dreams rarely get achieved so long as the addiction goes untreated.
How can I say this? Simple. I’ve lived it.
No matter how many times I moved from city to city, state to state, or even to another country, no matter how great of a partner I had, no matter how much money I amassed, no matter how great of a job I worked at, and no matter what amount of physical possessions I accumulated, I was never, EVER, able to outrun my addictions. Wherever I went, so did my disease. Whomever I spent my time with, spent it with my disease as well. And whatever I did, I did with my disease too. More simply put, my addiction always remained active within me until I became powerless enough from it to see my life had become unmanageable, as it was then I finally knew I needed to place my sobriety before anything else.
It is such a grand illusion in this world that some person, place or thing can save someone from an addiction, yet that’s exactly what the ego wants them to keep on believing, because so long as they do, they will forever remain a prisoner to their disease, constantly seeking out something external to themselves all in the hopes that it will eventually make everything better for them.
Trust me when I say that’s the biggest lie we addicts like to tell ourselves when we are active in our disease. The fact is, there is no outside solution! There is nothing outside of ourselves in this world that will ever save us from an addiction that’s plaguing our lives. The only solution I’ve ever found that works is to place my focus in life on my sobriety first.
That’s why I found it extremely sad and difficult to listen to this guy at the Detox last week. He was so convinced that getting his GED, some money, and an eventual move to LA would fix his brokenness. And nothing I said from my own addiction experiences was able to change that belief. So, where he goes from here, I’m not sure, but the general outlook for most in his situation isn’t good, as many end up in jails, institutions, and sometimes even death.
So, in light of that, beyond the sadness for him, I felt a lot of gratitude to God because I’m not living in that illusion anymore. But I will pray that this gentleman, and any others like him, will one day wake up and see that it is their addiction that needs attention and healing first and foremost. Because placing anything else in front of that, will only be chasing one’s tail and living in a vicious cycle until something truly breaks them down into a place of powerlessness and unmanageability, as it’s then where they will finally be able to see through this illusion.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson