Relax. Nobody’s gonna take it from you. Nobody can. Knowing addiction is knowing this. Only a fool would try. Anyone else is just foolish. You just reassemble details, chronology, right? Even amateurs know this. It’s all subjective, one’s existential point of view. It depends on a lot of factors. The day. What’s going on. Inconvenience, fear, a relationship, no relationship, shame. Having to make a phone call.
Everything has a backstory, rich with plausible, irrefutable, factors. It’s just until you get over this, or that. Not everyone gets it. They have those easy, cookie-cutter, lives; had parents that actually parented.
They don’t have to figure it out themselves, feel inadequate, not do it right. Their default is to give a fuck. You only go around once! Or around the corner once or twice, depending on who you’re telling. Or why? To level, or increase, the playing field, dynamics, read for the necessary role. Never mind the play. Long as it runs. If it does.
Again, nobody’s here to take it away. No-one can. Them’s just the facts. To know addiction is to know this much.
Maybe that’s just how you like it.
But if it’s addiction, and knowing addiction that’s not the whole story.
Addiction is a disease of loneliness, and has a susceptibility to blame. Relationships, responsibilities, simple cause and effect—the company they keep: themselves. The rarely consider that the consequences of their addiction are caused by being addicted. Much less by what they are addicted to. Oh, they have friends. Alcohol can be a social thing, but being social can also be a beard. It’s their friends who really partake, though socializing otherwise would be self defeating.
The funny thing is, that the best thing that could happen would be for you to be shipwrecked on a deserted island for 6 months. Not because it would force you to get sober, but that it would show you that you can be sober, and just fine. Probably, actually better. In reality though, that’s the dilemma. You don’t need to be shipwrecked to not drink for 6 months, but the possibility of doing so, feels as possible of actually being shipwrecked.
Ah, addiction, the great impassioned impasse.
How many addicts does it take to change a lightbulb?
One. But the addict has to want to change. Even if the addict knows the addict doesn’t actually want to. This is why no one else can take it away: No one else has the gift addicts have:
Lying. Good liars know the trick to lying is believing their lies. Advanced liars, like addicts, go a step further, believing lying to others is separate from lying to themselves. Because truths can be meddled with, they require lies to protect them. Getting sober then can either be an addict getting honest with themselves, or making use of an acquired talent.
Some call this, faking it till you make it. Because isn’t this what you have been doing? It’s the difference of reverse engineering: Strive to make it, by using a familiar tool, self deception, but for a different purpose: eventually believing.
If addiction is cunning and baffling, it also isn’t above throwing a sucker punch and when you’re not looking.
You can continue waiting for a perfect time, a fatalistic sign, or a turn of events, like being shipwrecked. But while you’re relying on things being different to change, although in the meantime, repeating the same behavior. This is called insanity.
No one is going to take it from you—no one can, remember? At the same time, don’t forget no one can give you a silver bullet either. What they can do is offer you their ear, a clean relationship, and a reflection of yourself as you are now, as well as will be.
Someone who values understanding and not trying to fix. Addiction is cunning and baffling, and willing to do anything to survive—including selling you out. You know it would. It has before. Getting help isn’t admitting weakness. It’s acknowledging the strength of your opponent to best face the challenge. You don’t have to do it on your own, just decide on your own to do it. Having someone in your corner—it could even be a therapist, watching your form, recognizing and reminding you of your potential.
Because it’s you against it.
One of my areas of experience is working with men around addictions. If you or a spouse faces these issues, I am happy to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation to discuss or answer questions you may have.