During active addiction to drugs or alcohol, the voice of reason is overtaken by an imaginary system of logic that’s sole purpose is to protect the addicted self from becoming sober. And it will protect itself – its sick self – at any and all costs.
That’s something that confuses the rest of the world about addicts the most – the crazy shit we do and say. But it isn’t US. Our real selves are put to sleep and buried under the effects of whatever substance is swarming through our system.
Have you ever looked at someone intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and thought, “I don’t know this person”? The person you’re looking at isn’t familiar to you because you’re listening to the addict. Every ounce of reason and sensibility the person you know possess has been replaced with an imaginary twisted logic that defies – logic.
Detox and treatment are usually last resorts that too many people are waiting to approach. Once the subject of detox/treatment comes up it needs to be acted on ASAP. The longer the addict waits the harder it is to go. He or she will find every reason under the sun not to go.
There is NO good reason not to go to detox or treatment. Not one.
We can’t force people into detox or treatment, but we can offer ultimatums. Ultimatums are not mean or vindictive or guilting. They’re thought out, sane and simple. An example of what an ultimatum might look like is: “I will not watch you drink or use any more. While I can’t force you to go to treatment, you can’t force me to stay and watch you self-annihilate. You either go into detox now or I am leaving now.”
Now doesn’t mean tomorrow. Say it when you’re ready to act.
If you think it would be hard for you to toss your stuff in a bag and leave the addict on that short of notice and make good on your comment – consider how hard it is for the addict to toss their stuff in a bag and head off to treatment for 30 days to learn how to live sober. They desperately DO NOT want to go. Their addict hijacks their reason in an effort to survive. So – it isn’t really the person’s true self that is so adamant about avoiding treatment – it’s the addict. It wants to live.
Offering an ultimatum and acting on it is a heavy thing to do – but it works because something gets done – IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. Action stimulates more action. Outcomes are never guaranteed, but action is rewarding in and of itself.
Movement creates opportunities.