Sometimes an anonymous commenter comes along who really makes me think. Which, in my opinion, is always a good thing. In his last comment, anonymous said, "I don't think it makes sense to say that society wants addicts in the throes of their addictions. Using behavior is unstable, expensive and anti-social."
The comment brings up a very good point. I don't think society, which is different by the way from the individuals that make up a society, consciously wants the addict in their addiction. The individuals in society don't think about it until it affects them personally, nor should they. But when the societal system is observed as a whole - objectively, it works that way. There are certain groups of people who continually get the short end of the stick. These groups are getting larger and larger in case you haven't noticed because they comprise what used to be our entire middle class.
When you say using behavior is unstable, expensive and anti-social I couldn't agree with you more. Here's the thing: everyone is addicted in this society. We're addicted to production and social mania and chasing our own asses in an ever-tightening circle. We're addicted to television, video games and Hollywood, and we're lazy. We've forgotten that good health is directly related to the foods we eat which is directly related to how we treat Mother Earth and all her creatures which is directly related to the lack of meaning most of us have acquired as a result of being part of a dysfunctional, addicted society - this society and this time, particularly.
When I write on Eclectic Recovery I'm holding a much bigger picture than myself and my little problems. This blog has never been just about me. My intent has always been to reach a certain audience who while often quite functional, is still having trouble maintaining sobriety and who is uncomfortable in the more prevalent recovery venues, i.e., AA. In the process of exploring my own issues with addiction, I've become more and more aware of how delusional our society has become as a whole and I've been following the crumbs to what could possibly heal the individual and society at the same time.
My friend, Chani, replied this to your comment: "Anonymous, I've been following this thread and I think you're not seeing the big picture. The way I interpret Angela's observation is in the more global social context. Does the social system we live in right now require an underlcass to survive? You betcha! This is basic economic reality. Addicts are judged and pushed into the underclass because there is a fundamental lack of compassion at the root of our current competitive system where some have to be on bottom for others to remain on top."
She's right. I'm always looking at how the personal relates to the global/social context. Or as my friend, Eric Francis puts it, how the personal becomes political.