"He is a drunkard don’t associate with him"
" He is a druggie - beware he can rob and kill you"
"Don’t pay attention to him ... he is a useless piece of shit .. smoking pot all day like a chimney"
Society degrades, demeans and disgraces the person suffering from the disease of addiction.
The individual born with the addictive personality has the following traits
Emotionally, however, if they are not balanced they can be very restless, moody, over-sensitive, they are unable to say no and are generous to a fault of themselves and of what they have. At the same time, they expect that those they care for should do the same for them, and others always fall short of this expectation which then fills them with resentment, hurt and pain.They have false beliefs of self
The behaviour and life becomes self- destructive
The family and so-called friends who fail to understand the disease take advantage of them or degrade them and also end up saying and doing things they would not otherwise do failing to recognise that the person in front of them is sick and has a disease which requires a compassionate outlook and needs the right help.The innocence of the addicted person is
When such an individual goes for residential rehabilitation therapy to alter their life, he/she is given the right tools to deal with one’s past ways of behaving, thinking, feeling and emoting. This happens in an accepting, compassionate, comfortable ambience, through techniques of writing, meditation and counselling. They develop and hone the skills of getting emotionally detached from incidents, to take responsibility of their emotions and understand that they are solely responsible for all their life choices and experiences, behaviours, perceptions and actions.The family needs to receive co-dependency counselling too. If this does not happen then they will continue to look at the individual through old eyes- for, change can be identified and recognised only if one has changed oneself.
The same individual, if he does the program honestly, will “not find the need to drink or use”
However, he rediscovers himself, beyond the personality traits that took him to addiction, to this new individual who has worked past his self- destructive mode of living and being, his innocence remains– he continues to be generous, trusting, giving.
The family takes time to trust and failing to recognise the change, can still be suspicious of the individual. Holding on to past grudges from the time he was using, can be thrown at his face time and again. He can still face ingratitude from close family and friends.
It takes a long time for the family to change as they have not probably received the benefit of the residential program and exclusive time and space to look at their emotional states.
Business partners and fair-weather friends can again try to cheat and be sycophantic. However, keeping sobriety above all else, where earlier, it appeared there was no choice, he chooses to not be affected by the same. Expectations from others drop. One can get pained emotionally, but one today has the tools and support from the therapeutic team to deal with them and bounce back.
As the expectations from others drop, he holds all the controls to his emotions in his hands, he now can choose to be generous and kind without being affected by the opposite person’s behavior or response.
He would protect his sobriety and cut ties with fair-weather friends .
There are the unfortunate few who have been unable to deal with all their emotional issues and develop the ability to deal with life realistically. They continue to fall prey to others who play on their sensitivities and innocently and foolishly fall prey to them. They end up slipping or relapsing.
There is a return to innocence, but with the tools to protect themselves, be realistic and resilient and continue to live a full life beyond alcohol/drugs.