One of my hopes when starting a blog to add to this website was that I would be able to have guest authors (Bloggers?) I am delighted that I have enticed a few people on board. Some have chosen to remain anonymous for various reasons but all are welcome to have this forum if they desire.
One of the great benefits of guest authors is their ability to add a more person, more human, touch to this space. As a professional, there are certain boundaries and standards that are necessary which means the individual experience, sometimes the more emotional experience, is missing. One thing I have learned is how important the sense of community and belonging is to all of us, not just the healing community. Over time, I hope to include more and more of these guests and make this space a forum for all different ideas and experiences. A lofty goal perhaps but the stars exist that we might know how far our dreams can go.
In my last post, I talked about my conviction that addiction is a disease.
Shortly after that, a friend posted a quote that is so simple, so basic, so illuminating, that I was stunned that I didn't think of it before.
Honestly, reading this, I was ashamed. I got so caught up in my determination to promote the biological and neurological impact of addiction- the disease component- that I forgot that what matters, during treatment, for loved ones, for the one with addiction, is to get help. People are dying. People are suffering. Sometimes the better path is to treat and then let other things unfold as they need too.
I don't mean to say education isn't important. It is. There is a time when learning more about addiction is important. Professionals learn how to treat better, more effectively, safer, stronger. Individuals learn more about what is happening in their bodies and minds, what keeps addiction ticking, what keeps sobriety ticking.
This quote was the proverbial lightbulb moment. I thought of the number of times a group therapy session or family session therapy went into the "Choice v disease" debate and started to wonder if this argument was a way to deflect other issues. Consciously and subconsciously, we try to avoid pain. Exploring the personal reasons WHY addiction came into someones' life, exploring the impact of addiction on life and relationships....this is heavy stuff. Painful stuff. Jumping into a depersonalized and academic debate of the nature v nurture variety takes the personal element out of healing.
For me personally, it is a reminder of focusing on the right thing in the right time. Noticing when treatment is more important than advocacy or education and when those things can co-exist. It is also a reminder for me to always keep my mind open to learning and growing. Listening and really hearing other thoughts and ideas because one never knows when those things will change your life.
Be well and live, breathe, love, create your best life. You deserve it!
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