Sometimes, it doesn’t make any sense at all, especially when we see someone doing the same thing over and over again, even though it ends the same way, every time!
Years ago, I became acquainted with a guy who was the friend of a friend. I did not know him all that well, I can’t even remember his name, but he as a nice enough person. He would occasionally go out drinking with my friends and I, or come to some of our parties. He was funny, and fearless (I.e. a little nuts, especially when drunk) which made him all the more fun to hang out with!
One afternoon, after drinking heavily with a different group of his other friends, he managed to drive home safely, despite being very intoxicated. Unfortunately, when he got out of his car, he didn’t check to see if the street was clear, and he got caught up in the wheels of a passing tractor trailer! Somehow, he was not killed, but he was badly hurt, left in a wheelchair, with only a slim chance of being able to walk again one day!
When I saw him a few months after his accident, he could hardly move, and needed help with the wheelchair, but this did not stop him from drinking! We all took turns holding his beer while he drank it through a straw. Between drinks, he would puff on a joint that was being held up to his mouth! Even then, while I was still in the midst of active Addiction, I didn’t think it made any sense, although some of the other guys treated him like a hero for continuing to party!
Over the next months, he several surgeries and a lot of physical therapy, and a little more than a year after the accident, he was able to leave his wheelchair behind, and walk with a cane. A few months later, other than the scars, you would never know he’d been so badly hurt. During his recovery from the accident, he even gave up drinking and drugging, and life was looking up for him as he continued to heal.
As time went by, he felt better and better, and he got caught up in his life again, and although he seemed committed to staying Sober, one evening he found himself in the wrong place with the wrong people and was ‘struck drunk’! Like many Addicts, he probably thought he could handle it again after being clean for so long.
And like many Addicts, he was wrong!
That one drink, turned into many drinks, and those turned into more drugs, and more trouble, and soon he was right where he would have been if he had never gotten Sober to begin with! Then, history repeated itself, as it often does. After drinking in the local bars, he became very drunk, but still managed to drive home without getting caught, or crashing. However, he didn’t look when he stepped out of his car, and another truck came along, and took off the car door, which he was standing in front of, this time he was not so fortunate, and he died.
Even then, while I was still using myself, I wondered why he went back. I could see that Sobriety was working for him, and thought that if I had been through what he had, I would never touch the stuff again! But Addiction does not let go of it’s victims easily, it is a disease that tells us that we do not have a disease, that the only people who have a problem with our drinking and drugging are OTHER people, we can handle it just fine!
Of course, we can’t handle it, no matter what we think, or how much we want to believe our well-meaning friends and family members, when they tell us “…it’s just one drink”. This is why it is suggested that a Recovering Addict (no matter how long they are Sober) practice their Sobriety one day at a time, sometimes, ten minutes at a time…whatever works!
Some things just don’t make sense…and Addiction is one of those, as it can lead those who suffer from it to keep doing the same things over and over again, while expecting different results…but never getting them.
Addiction does not let go of its victims easily. It cannot be cured, and no amount of will-power can save us from this disease, but there is hope nonetheless! Although we may often be at odds with each other, even to the point where it has almost become trendy, when it really comes down to it, when we really need each other, we can put aside our differences and help each other to face life on life’s terms, and to not only survive, but thrive!
We cannot do it alone, but the good news is: we do not have to, because we have each other!