Journey To The End Of Night
Adventures in Active Addiction and Recovery — A Philosophical Perspective

I Stand At A Crossroads

I wish I’d begun this blog six months ago. It would be nice to be able to look back and trace my development. I’ve come to a crossroads in my journey. For several months I chaired meetings, did H&I service work, attended meetings nearly everyday. Nevertheless, as I said before, my awakening departs from the norm in that it has confirmed my atheistic viewpoint and lead to my departure from most points of program doctrine. The program has been good to me, more than good. I can honestly say I’ve yet to meet an asshole. The people are wonderful. It’s just that I disagree with so many of it’s fundamental tenets that I’m starting to feel like an imposter.

The question of the day for me is: Should I stay or should I go?

For a few months, I worked a slightly unorthodox (let’s say ‘ultra-conservative’ — imagine a Hassidic Jew who wears the black and everything but, say, doesn’t keep kosher all the time. That’s the best analogy I can think for my former program) but for the most part, standard, ‘Basic Text’ program. I forced all my reservations into the back of my mind, ignored the more unsavory aspects of the literature, and forged on full speed ahead. The results have been nothing short of spectacular but I’ve grown increasingly certain that this beautiful transformation I’ve experienced is not attributable to anything apart from ( 1. ) my own efforts, which included seeking help, ( 2. ) Suboxone, ( 3. ) abstinence from all other opioids, amphetamines, and psychiatric drugs, ( 4. ) the psycho-physiological healing properties innate to all human beings, ( 5. ) a good therapist, ( 6. ) supportive family, and, most importantly, ( 7. ) a little help from my friends.

I do not attribute my success to divine intervention, step work, or abandonment of ‘self-will’. I was not ‘beyond all human aid’. My very well being today attests to the fact that I am not, nor have I ever been, ‘powerless’ over my addiction.  Nor was I ‘unable to manage my own life’ before coming to the rooms. I was not ‘incapable of consistently making good decisions’.  I find such melodramatic depictions of addiction degrading, especially when applied to all in such a blanket manner.  Now I’d never deny the fact that some of this may be true for some.  The literature, however, uses the all inclusive term ‘we’.  Some might argue that this is ‘just’ a matter of semantics.  I’d reply that semantics are important.  Words mean things. If you cannot say what you mean then you will never mean what you do say!

I’ve begun to notice — with disturbing frequency — that some of the most chronically relapsing, unhappy, guilt ridden, past-focused persons in the program indulge in the most step work and often have worked the steps multiple times — apparently to no avail! Is this a form of insanity, a cycle wherein one repeats the same mistakes over and over, each time expecting different results?

A universal theme at meetings is the notion that the twelve step path is the sole practical and efficient means for recovering from addictive disorders and remaining drug-free. Nearly all American treatment modalities are based on the notion that ‘complete and total abstinence from all mind and mood altering substances’ is the only way — that moderation is impossible, beneath consideration.

So I intend to take a deep look at whats available, probe into some of the more obscure ‘alternatives’ ( alternatives are only ‘alternative’ from the mainstream side of the street), maintaining the premise that self-recovery is not only possible, but is the norm, that this fact is not to be confused with critical necessity of support. One of the first options I’ve come across is Rational Recovery and AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Training).

Many will find this blog unpalatable and I’ve actually been hesitant with it. I don’t want to lose any friends over this — for now I’ve shared with just a few. Nor do I want to turn anyone off to what may be working beautifully for them. As I said before, the focus here is on myself, my ideas, my explorations, my journey, my search for the truth. I’ve lost the desire to use. My only goal now is to get as close to the fact of these matters as possible. I’m inquiring of my experiences: What really caused this? What was really moving inside when that happened? What was essential? What superfluous? Hopefully, this may be of benefit to other addicts and their families whose thought has been running along similar lines.

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One Response to “I Stand At A Crossroads”

  1. Hello.I just read this blog today (Oct 25 2009).
    I have been scouring the web trying to find a viewpoint on Atheism and AA that is compatible with mine and have absolutley(perhaps a bad word choice..)found it.
    I have attended AA meetings in an effort to stop drinking which has for the last 6 years been a catalyst for drug use.
    I ll comment further if this response is reached,as I see your post was several months ago.


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