FB DISCUSSION ON ADDICTION: THOUGHTS?

A friend of mine posted this video and asked others to give their views. What followed was, from my vantage point, an excellent exchange of ideas. I’ve excluded names and some personal exchanges within the comments.

I’d Love to know your thoughts as well!

MLMB…
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Initial Post:

This is really harsh and will probably bother some of you but I would like opinions on this because I have my own.

https://youtu.be/UG1A3cfqcWw
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C:
Some of this was very very harsh. I do believe in the beginning it’s our choice but once u r sucked in its not just as easy as saying oh I don’t think I’m gonna do that today. I believe some people’s brains are just wired differently. I don’t consider myself weak in any way becAuse I came back from something a lot of people don’t. Do I believe people look for excuses to continue to use, absolutely. U know my journey did u think posting this may have bothered me a little 😢 u have always supported me through everything and love u for it!! A disease, well im just not sure how to answer that.
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Me:
Folks with addiction “issues” – call it whatever works for you – already are mired in shame… and often it’s from that very basis that the addiction begins. And thus continues the shaming cycle of something that may have started for underlying reasons that were never dealt with when attacks such as these are made.

From what I’ve witnessed, I’ve yet to meet a single individual with an addition who has actually sought out to be an addict. Not to mention the licensed pill pushers who got so many addicted with their promises to alleviate pain that trapped the patient and only improved their office cash flow.

A lot of people I have met would give anything to be free of addiction and I’ve also witnessed a lot more STRENGTH than weakness. I know it’s hard on a family because I come from one of generations of alcohol abuse. But blame and shame help no one.

Great conversation starter. Silence is where shame thrives.
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A:
Yes, agreed! I do not believe in blaming the addict either or them blaming anyone. I feel it gets to a point where it doesn’t even matter anymore where it came from or why it happened but what matters is understanding and the strength to do something about it.

A:
The problem with this video now that I’ve watched it again is the the “angry guy” who is pissed can be perceived as a person who has never been addicted to anything ever. So in that view he sees anything like that as “weak”. Which does show that there is an ignorance when it comes to addiction. If you’ve never been there yourself or close to someone who was, then I suppose you would have no idea. I think some people are just blind.
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Me:
Agree. And I think there may also be some who choose not to see… or maybe who choose not look a bit closer? Not finding the right words I think… but I’ll do some of my mulling. Lol Always Love your
passion!
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J:
I may get in trouble for this myself. But I loved the video. I do indeed feel sorry for people who are struggling, but I’m having less sympathy these days for people with self-induced problems. I’m 42 years old and there was not a point in my life where I did not know what would happen if you started doing drugs. It’s the same reason why I didn’t even start smoking cigarettes. No one wants to be or chooses to be stuck on something like that. I don’t want to get hit by a car but that’s why I don’t play in the street. I realize that addiction can come accidentally, such as being addicted to prescription medication that was prescribed to you by a doctor after an accident or surgery. But by calling it a disease I believe the individual is dodging the first step, taking responsibility for their actions.
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Me:
No harm no fowl. Your contributions always welcomed and I’m sincerely proud of for you the wise choices that you’ve made along the way.

I would only add that I was hit by a car at five years old while merely crossing (not playing in) the street and was in traction in the hospital for six weeks. That and two other accidents (other cars hitting me) pretty much did a number on my back and has caused a lot of damage to and pain in every inch of my spine. Unless I’m having a particularly bad day physically, most folks think I’m in pretty good shape.

But more than that physical toll, there’s a lot about a person’s history – any person – (generational, family of origin, social, etc) that can bring about a great deal of internal pain that is much more invisible and soooo much more insidious than the physical in most cases. And those pieces of a person’s history that they do not choose and cannot be seen can run so deep that sometimes these invisibly broken people don’t even know why they are making the unhealthy choices they continue to make.

So maybe I AM one of those who was snared in the pill mill population and I just recently (May 11th) finally got myself off of the fentanyl patch after using it as prescribed for fifteen years. But I would offer that how I got to where I ended up doesn’t mean that because my “dealer” has a medical license that my “issues” are any more valid than the individual who seeks relief from some of that other internal and invisible pain I’ve referred to from an “unlicensed” dealer.

Pain is pain and some of us are stronger than others. But some of us are pretty broken and labels really don’t advance much in any situation from my perspective. And in our brokenness, we often blame ourselves for events outside our control and take on the shame that belongs to those responsible for the damage done. No logic there but I’ve found it to be a common thread.

And so many who have suffered their own personal brand of pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual have found themselves ensnared in the grip of a substance that in a single moment can bring them the sweet relief they’ve sought from the burdens they carry that no one else can see. And for the most broken among us, that single moment can begin a lifetime of torment to themselves and all who Love them. The substance that brought them that one moment then begins it’s own insidious internal travels and begins to twist reality and ultimately logic is turned upside down.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I can see how it is very easy to look at addiction through the lens of logic and determine it to be a weakness or a character flaw. But when the addiction begins with that self blame and shame that I mentioned above, which I’ve found to be at the root of many, many people I’ve come across in my travels to find some inner healing of my own, throwing more blame and shame at the person (while on the surface may seem to make sense) is only further feeding what triggered the need that started their spiral to begin with.

I’m not looking for agreement, assurance, or even a change of heart. Merely offering my perspective and experience in this arena.

MLMB…
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T:
The problem I have with this is that this moron is saying that therapist are trying to brain wash you into thinking you are different.. therapist are there to listen… You talk… you process… and I listen.. free of judgement.. unlike this asshole and so many others

I don’t know of many doctors that tell people they have a disease.. other addicts, recovering from the same disease tell them that..
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Me:
I thought this was a really engaging and powerful discussion that you started (A) and I really appreciate you putting it out here. And (T) I think you’re right. In all of the NA literature it’s very specific about calling addiction a “disease.” Probably just depends on the person or population one is talking to but, as I mentioned, from my perspective labels really don’t advance much in the way of understanding… regardless of how you feel about this or any issue. Thanks again (A) and all who so respectfully offered your thoughts! Powerful stuff!
MLMB…

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