movie setBeing an addict is like living life on a movie set.  It looks real, feels real, but is only a shell, a facade that is far from the parameters of reality.  The condemning problem is that the addict doesn’t recognize it.

In our minds the “set” is nothing but real.  We act out our fantasy life within the view of all around us maintaining a blind eye to reality.  We are convinced they will stay “on script” no matter how outrageous our behavior becomes.  That is impossible, they don’t have the script, only we do, they are living in the real world.

We may become (and most do) somewhat of an expert in controlling behavior.  Just as the movie director tries to take charge of the movie set to enact his or her vision, we spend our energies in trying to control outcomes and people.  The results aren’t all that great, our movies don’t win oscars.  They don’t turn out very well.

The scripts have common worn out themes.  We feel entitled, we should be rewarded.  We have a resentment, (a really good one) that justifies our self indulgence.  We are angry, (What the hell is wrong with people?) so angry, we can rationalize most anything.  Of course we are blind to all of that, the truth and reality have no place in our script.  We accept our distortions as reality.

I have a friend who is a “blusterer.”  He has learned that if he “blusters” loud enough he will get what he wants.  It is sort of effective, people do get out of his way a lot, but they all call him a jerk under their breath and pray for the day when he needs something from them so they can tell him to take a flying leap.  Sadly for him, no matter how impassioned his blustering is, it doesn’t make him right, it doesn’t alter reality and the movies’ ending is always very disappointing to him, the reason for which always seems to escape him.

Who doesn’t know “pity party guy?”  He throws world class pity parties.  The wonderful thing about a really good pity party is that when it is over, we get to act out.  Sadly, however, feeling sorry for ourselves does not change reality, whatever lying, rationalizing, justifying, cheating or self indulgence that was required to act out, remains just that.  We reaffirm, no matter the justification or rationalization, that we are liars, cheaters, and self indulgent addicts.

Recovery is the journey back to reality, moving our lives off of the movie set, tearing down the facade.  It is process of bringing enough awareness, acceptance and accountability into our lives that we begin to live and act in the real world.