The truth about addicts

January 28, 2014

VTJO5g1382979301Here’s what I know about addicts:

They have to work their program every single day. Every single minute of it. They have to work hard on every facet of life just to corral it into functionality.

What I know about addiction is that it’s damn hard work to recover.

And I don’t know it because I am one. I’m not. Not in the least. I know it because I’ve paid attention to the world around me.

179b5b2fdc2737ddd09119038ece6945 I have numbered addicts among my nearest and dearest over the years. I’ve seen first-hand what’s required just to live a “normal” life.

How much focus it takes to use the 12 steps to guide a new life.

Not everyone’s cut out for that kind of work.

For taking responsibility for one’s actions.

For giving up the manipulations and lies that used to slide off the tongue smoothly, like silk.

For making real amends.

For choosing to live a different way.


It starts with forgiving yourself, but it doesn’t end there. It’s about ownership and taking responsibility. About confronting and not avoiding.

Some addicts don’t encourage family to attend Al-Anon for fear they’ll “learn our tricks.” Not kidding.

No, not everyone can do the work.

But for those who do?

A happier life awaits. One that holds fewer bumps and bruises. No need to hold your breath waiting to be caught. There’s nothing to be caught for. You’re current with life. Up to date.

You might even be happy.


When an addict works to change their life, it’s a beautiful thing. Something to be admired.  So today’s the day I acknowledge and salute all those who suffer from the disease of addiction and who are committed to living their recovery every day.


13 comments on “The truth about addicts
  1. Doreen McGettigan says:

    My husband will be celebrating twenty-four-years of sobriety on February 1. I am so proud of the way he continues to pay it forward and never judges anyone.
    We should all live by the twelve steps, the world would make more sense.

    • admin says:

      You (and he) have a lot to be proud of. It’s not an easy road but kudos for him to having the courage to take it.

  2. Carol, a very insightful article. As you may remember, last fall I asked for advice in one of our mutual Facebook groups, in dealing with a dear friend’s addiction. Your advice among others was so helpful.. Thanks for continuing to talk about this issue.

    • admin says:

      I do remember, Lisa. It’s funny, I didn’t always understand addiction, so I set out to learn more and came away with so much respect for people who do the hard work of recovery.

  3. I too have friends who have shared what a struggle it is each and everyday. You summed it up beautifully Carol!

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks, Carol–very well said.

  5. Diane says:

    I’ve watched loved ones struggle. And they do it. Every. Single. Day. Thank you for this very affirming post!

  6. One day at a time! We all have addictions to one (or more things) but most of us are fortunate enough not to have them overtake our lives. I too have witness many close friends address their addictions and overcome them and have nothing but praise for their strength and the power behind their choice for a better life.

  7. Just love this & the forgiveness!!!!

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