Thursday, September 22, 2011
Night Crawl To Light
I'll never get used to it...never. No matter how many times I get to witness a person who was once hopelessly addicted find recovery, change their life and move on I'll never get tired of seeing that scenario played out over and over and over again. But the other side of the coin often times is just as prevalent when you have relationships with addict/alcoholics. Those junkies that for whatever reason just never can get long lasting recovery. I won't ever get use to watching them rot away...and die.
You want to know what feeling powerless is like? Try "willing" or convincing a practising addict/alcoholic into recovery. It cannot be done without divine intervention and their desire...their conviction to stop fighting it and quit. It is the most frustrating experience a recovering person can have because in our hearts and minds, we KNOW it works and how amazing recovery can be. The addict never sees things that way....
No, recovery...quitting represents defeat in their minds and is not acceptable. Often they are so physically ill that they can't control themselves...they HAVE to drink or dope. They feel like they will die if they don't. And I remember well what that feels like...you want to quit but you can't even imagine how it's possible to live without the booze/drugs.
A practising addict/alcoholic will give you a million reasons why they can't or won't stop using. There is a fellow on the psych floor of the local hospital right now who is basically dying in front of our eyes and he isn't convinced that he needs to stop! He keeps ending up in the hospital, nearly a vegetable, unable to speak clearly...sobers up a bit, his head clears and he is ready to go out and try it again...it's insane. And heartbreaking to watch because he seems to be the only person on the planet that doesn't realize he is going to die if he doesn't stop.
I've been in almost the exact same place he is and frankly that has made contact with him (he is a friend I've know for several years) that much harder to take because it is like I'm reliving this nightmare all over again by watching him go through it. I know the sceptical among readers out there will chuckle and roll their eyes but only a miracle, Divine Intervention is going to stop this runaway train of addiction that he is on.
I had to survive a harrowing set of circumstances leading up to those final weeks and a suicide attempt before I would seriously even TRY to stop. And in all honesty...if they would have let me walk out of the hospital after I woke up from my suicide attempt, I have no doubt that I would have used drugs and drank again.
But there was a window of opportunity to present the facts to me while I was hospitalized. I had been beaten into submission by my disease and did not see any possible way that I could recover but because I was willing to admit that I was hopeless and helpless, I'd try anything to change. So I listened to what others had to say and gave recovery a chance, one day at a time. To this day I still don't really know how it happened that I was willing to try but I was and more then 5 years later I am sober today...
So that is the reason we keep working with folks who just don't seem like they are ever going to get it. Because there may come a time, after all the chaos, heartache and disillusionment when the addict suddenly makes a real attempt to change and everything happens...BOOM at once and they find recovery. And man, that is the way it goes sometimes too.
The other side of that is by sticking with people, you watch a lot of people suffer when you are powerless to help them and some of those folks die. You never EVER get used to it. But I figure if you never try...then more will die, perhaps without ever knowing their is an alternative, a way out.
So tonight we go visit our friend and see whats going on this time...it could be more of the same excuses, denial or just apathy. Or he may surrender and find recovery...so we just gotta keep going back.