Addiction is bondage. Whether we're addicted to drugs, alcohol, a person, food, sex or the internet, the most precious thing we lose is our freedom. Living in a self-made prison is like being a hamster on a wheel, running and running and never getting anywhere, always looking for the way out through the same door that got us in. If we're lucky, we begin to realize that we've caged ourselves into a cycle of destruction that will eventually lead to our demise. If we're lucky, we'll take the steps necessary, whatever they are, to free ourselves from the hell that has become our life.
As you can see from the information on this blog, there are more and more ways to find your freedom. Twelve steps, sixteen, or none, the choices are growing for those of us with a desire to live life on life's terms, free from the self-deception and demoralization that come with any addiction. There was a time not too long ago when there were no choices. What happened to us then? We ended up in institutions, jail, a burden to relatives, on the street, or dead. AA changed all that and for the first time, alcoholics and addicts began to find sobriety and new lives filled with joy and purpose.
AA is a wonderful program. Until recently, however, it was the only game in town for recovery. It's still hard to locate any face to face meetings other than AA. The danger when something is the only option is that it can become fundamentalist and narrow-minded. It seems obvious that's not what AA's founders intended, but due to the wholesale acceptance of AA by treatment centers and professionals, and their lack of creativity in seeking alternative solutions that would fit for all people, AA became their business and in the process neither AA nor the recovering community was well-served.
As people with addiction problems, we are lucky that things are beginning to change, albeit slowly. AA will not be threatened by these changes; it will be strengthened. We, as recovering people, will be strengthed by the mindful choices we are able to make about our sobriety, and society as a whole will be strengthened by more and more people freeing themselves from bondage and living purposeful lives. What path will you choose?