There’s an old adage, “You know, alcoholics/addicts can be the most sensitive, vulnerable, creative, passionate, innovative and kind people I know when they’re not that, “other way”.”
It’s absolutely true in my experience–my dearly departed Dad, for one. The trick is for the person who is suffering from the chronic relapsing disease of addiction to get treated and stay in treatment until it’s no longer necessary and presently, that means for life.
I’ve read estimates that we have 23 million people in this nation who are practicing sober lifestyles and another 23 million who remain “out there” in active addiction. I’ll bet that’s a conservative estimate for the outlyers, but certainly a very substantial number.
The central implication of these large and growing numbers for me, is that we have a veritable untapped army of people in our nation who are waiting in the wings to bring their creativity, productivity and gifts to society. The sad truth is that only 3% (another estimate) ever receive proper treatment and 85% (yep…) of that 3% return to the vicious cycle of active addiction because they do not remain in treatment, and because our aftercare treatment programs are presently, weak at best.
Imagine another 23 million Americans surrendering to win back their lives of peace, joy and productivity by taking a look at how they’re taking a look at their lives. Members of our communities who are actively working on being open, willing and honest about improving their ways of being because it doesn’t really work any other way for an individual in recovery. Imagine the impact on 23 million families, work environments and society at large.
I regularly imagine re-visioning addiction as a transformational process to invite people to further understand why they were born, what their life’s work is and as a portal of entry–a threshold to pass through in order to develop a clear life’s purpose and vision. Well, it doesn’t always look that way from the start, but every person in long-term recovery I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting concurs, it’s the only way to go. Like the big wave surfers say, “Brah, if you don’t go, you won’t know.”
There is an army of creative people out there who are eligible to sign up for education and treatment for addiction recovery and a way to practice long–term care. Let’s recruit all of our resources and collaborative efforts to stop the war on drugs and while we’re at it–the war on anything–and instead deploy this army of creativity back into society to wage peace, prosperity and wellness for this short and precious lifetime of ours.Dr. Herby Bell is a Recovery and Wellness Coach and owner of Recovery Health Care, an integrated approach to wellness and addiction recovery in Saratoga, California. For more information please call 650 474 9411 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with me online too: Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin