This statement never resonated with me. Whether I thought it, wrote it down or said it aloud, I never truly believed it. To me, the term ‘addict’ was framed by a system that’s first tenet was that I was ‘powerless’ against my disease. I was never diagnosed officially of having a disease called ‘alcoholism’ or ‘drug addiction’ but based on my general understanding and framework, I presumed that is exactly what I was. After all, I did what many people do. I looked up the self-diagnostic questionnaires and answered a series of questions. I had a lot of yeses – in fact so many yeses that it was clear, I guess I had a disease.
The Problem with saying “I’m an Addict and it’s not my fault”
Continuing down my path of treatment, I attended a number of meetings. As much as I wanted to take it all for face value, I couldn’t. To concede to some external force, and point blame on personal situations, circumstances and anything but myself seemed counter-intuitive. Implying I had no power of choice or free-will didn’t sit well. At no point during the days when I chose various drugs and alcohol to numb myself, did anyone force me to partake in those behaviors. I did it at my volition — and I did it often. I chose freely to misuse substances and to blame anyone or anything other than me seemed crazy.
And the survey says…
And based on the responses from last month’s survey, a number of people agree that personal choice and free will overshadow being “powerless” and being a “victim of alcohol and drugs”. Moreover, they reject the idea that people who use heavily are in perpetual need of treatment and rehabilitation.
However, before I dive into the responses from the survey, I know it would be helpful to put some context around those surveyed. Many of the people who happen upon my platform, or took the time to complete the survey, have a genuine interest in personally improving their health and well-being. At one time or another, they happened upon one of my social media shares, links to an article, an interview or the like – of which, every piece of content I create, my aim is to either educate, motivate or inspire people to improving their quality of life. The people surveyed are very much people in the mindset of valuing their health and fitness, and as such, they make daily decisions to follow through on actions that reinforce those values.