Monday, February 22, 2010

Doing the Right Thing

A big part of my thought process about the causes and solutions of addiction have long included the thought that individuals don't do addiction alone. I know I had plenty of help, plenty of sweeping it under the rug, plenty of handing it to me on a platter and then blaming me for eating the whole thing, plenty of not minding how fucked up I was as long as I kept doing what you wanted me to do. Plenty of people who as long as they had me to point the finger at didn't have to take a good look at themselves.

The only "publicly sanctioned" program for addiction is based on the central premise that all addicts are self-centered, egotistic maniacs who go through life with the intent purpose to get all they can, damned the people in their way and damned the consequences. It seems mighty convenient to the existing paradigm that two white, male, affluent businessmen began this program which in my opinion only further served to ostracize the addict from society, especially the female, ethnic or poverty-based addict. This program fit perfectly with the ruggedly individualistic, god of our fathers mind-set which has gotten us all right where we are today - on the verge of collapse.

Then we threw the baby out with the bathwater by creating programs based solely on addiction as a medical disease with thoroughly medical solutions when nothing could be further from the truth. This has led to much in-fighting within the addictions field with camps both professional and lay caught up around the "disease" concept. This has now become part of the problem and as long as we're focusing solely on defining the problem, we're not putting enough effort on solving it.

Addictions are flourishing as fast as the programs meant to put an end to them. I don't know, but I think we're missing something here.

I've been following what feels right to me in my efforts at sobriety for many years now. True, I have fallen flat on my face and failed miserably, many times. I would propose that that's how true change happens. I would propose that there's something to be said for refusing to go numb in order to get well. I would propose that change is dirty, messy and quite ugly and I'd rather be part of change any day than stagnantly safe.

Society is producing more and more addicts with more and more addictions the same way they helped produce this one. I believe most alcoholics/addicts are actually quite sensitive, caring and fair-minded individuals who find no home on this planet. If you're not tough and abrasive and absolutely drooling at the mouth to live out the American Dream, well, you must be sick. And so we get sick. Because we live in an isolated world where technology and consumerism replace human touch and real caring about other human beings.

I reject it. I've been looking and exploring and testing and I think I've found a big solution. A solution to so much more than addiction, but it will take care of a lot of that, too. The question is: does anyone care??


Anonymous said...

I care.

What's your big solution?

Sherri said...

Wow, Angela, sounds exciting. What is it?

Olivia said...

I care too, Angela. Tell us more, xo, O

thailandchani said...

Waiting to hear the solution! :) Of course I agree with all you say about addicts being a bit more sensitive in a culture that doesn't support it. Somehow, we manage to find each other though and create communities.


Carolyn said...

I feel this way too, everytime I attend these damn meetings! I have to keep telling myself I am a worthy and valid human being, and I am also a female with low income, and that is all right, I do not fit into a mold, never have, never will, and I am too damn sensitive, but I know I am better sober today than what I was.

Bobby said...

Each individual must find an addiction treatment that works for them. There are many different programs that are now available to treat addiction. Most of these rely on the experience of working with addicts over a long period of time. They have come up with a program based on what has worked and what hasn't. Then there are others that are blazing a new trail and offer more holistic forms of treating addiction. The most important thing is to find a program that actually works.