superstorm sandyAddicts generally come into addiction recovery, thinking that it is no big deal. The higher the intellect or IQ of an addict, the more likely they will believe that the war with addiction will be won in a matter of days or perhaps on the outside weeks.

Here’s the reality. If this were a remodeling project, (and in a very real way it is the rebuilding of a human being,) we would talk not in terms of paint, cleanup and decorating, but in the wholesale gutting of the building and the complete rebuilding of the infrastructure. If you are a ship we would put you in drydock. As a patient in the hospital you would be in intensive care.

This is the reality of recovery, we must make wholesale changes in the way we think, in the way we behave, and in what we believe about ourselves.

“Half measures avail us nothing.” In fact, I believe, that I can scientifically prove that three-quarter measures achieve us nothing either! This is an “all in” deal.

There is a reason we act out in our addictions. We have our own peculiar emotional benefits from using our drug of choice. We’re quite invested in the process, it means everything to us, it is how we manage our emotional lives. Giving that up is no small thing. My granddaughter resists with all the energy she has when she thinks I am trying to take her blanket away from her. Addicts don’t fare much better. When they are truly faced with giving up their addictive behaviors their resistance manifests very clearly.

Well, very clearly to everyone but the addict. You see the addict has a wonderful denial program built-in to the system that justifies, rationalizes, supports and protects the addiction. As one social commentator said when talking about the male reaction to suggestions that porn viewing may be harmful, “Men get angry when they think you’re taking away their porn.” All addicts feel that resistance, it can only be overcome by humility.

Addiction recovery is often the most difficult battle encountered over the lifetime. It will take all we have, in fact it takes more than we have. We only can make up the difference by relying on our higher power.