by Daniel · 0 comments

There’s something about losing friends, particularly young people, where it’s not something that you get over. I don’t believe there’s a healing process. Chris Cornell

Without a doubt, in my mind at least, Chris Cornell was in the top three of all time great vocalists.  On top of that his lyrics rank way up there as well.  Although I am not a regular listener to Howard Stern, my friend who knows I am a Chris Cornell fan, hit me when Howard was interviewing Chris.  Chris shared about his Opioid use and recovery, although the interview was great, I had this weird feeling that he was under stating his plight.   I recently read a story that cited a Rolling Stone article where Chris had used drugs on a daily basis at age 13, stopped at 14, was then friendless till age 16.   Then, in 2002 he went to rehab.

As much as this note started off as a Chris Cornell themed communication, it is not.  Chris’ death simply lead me to want to address the terrible contradictions surrounding both addiction and recovery.  Why do some folks end up addicted and others don’t?  Why is it  that some people enter recovery and they grasp it, stay clean and lead productive lives?  Why do some people struggle with recovery?  Why do some struggle and then get it?  Why do some die of addiction?  Why do some utilize mutual support and others reject it?  Furthermore, why do some refute the disease concept?  Why do some believe addiction is a disease?  

The why’s seem to be endless!

Our brains need to make sense of everything around us or we feel increased stress and worry.  Thus, we formulate our own set of beliefs around the “Why.”  The thing that baffles me is the “How,” How do we address addiction recovery and on a grander scale, treatment?  Bill Wilson indicated it would be an injustice to suggest that mutual support coupled with the Twelve Steps as the only way to recover, yet, when left to ourselves, our isolated thinking, and lack of recovery support, permanent recovery is difficult at best.  

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that harm reduction in our current environment doesn’t have a place, we need to keep people alive in order for them to ever fully recover!  Yet, that is simply my perspective, some people are content living in a mocus state.   Some people just want to get by living completely stress free.  For me, I wanted everything that life offers, I wanted to live up to my potential, I wanted to be happy, joyous and free, yet with the realization that life is tough sometimes!  Furthermore, when it comes to what is considered harm reduction in my book, may be considered full recovery for others.  Defining recovery for some is certainly different than how I define recovery!  For me, complete abstinence, sober state of mind, an open mind, tolerance and love for others are key ingredients.  I remember when I first began to recover in 1980 my concept of recovery was different, I tried a number of approaches yet they all lead me back to a hopeless state of mind.  In 1988, I began a permanent abstinence lifestyle, coupled with mutual support and living principles that were conducive to sobriety.

So where am I going with this?

 I was recently asked what my approach to treatment is? Do I believe in Medicated Assisted Treatment (therapy)? Truthfully, when I am asked these questions I am smart enough to know that the interviewer is seeking the “contradiction” and I do not bite!  Fortunately, I am not in charge of the world, I do not make it spin and my opinion is just that, an opinion.  I am here to assist people that need and want assistance, I do all I can to not cause harm to anyone, and I do my best to not talk in the definitive.  Yeah, it is confusing at times, but, I do know that in my recovery, life gets better and better and better!  

Life is Goooood!

Go, Go, Go…



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