Willful Misconduct? Disease?

by Daniel · 0 comments

Is it or isn’t it?  I remember back in 1986 when I was in Rehab.  The talking between my two ears was so loud that I couldn’t figure out what was right and what was wrong.  I remember watching the Father Martin video, “Chalk Talk,” and thinking ok this is why I do what I do!  But it didn’t take long for my overthinking to kick back in.  The United States Supreme Court had ruled that “Alcoholism is not a disease!”  So who the heck am I to argue?  Well, the truth is, the US Supreme Court was ruling on disability claims for the Veterans Administration and not whether or not alcoholism is or was a disease.  But, it gave me an out.  

I used the disease talk as an out for me, to be honest.  It was a better choice at the time if alcoholism was a disease well then I did not have it!  I simply did not meet all of the criteria that the professionals were tossing out there.  The big one that I believe kept me sick was the belief that alcoholism was progressive.  They explained that if you stop drinking for a period of time and then pick up drinking again that you will pick up where you left off!  Bam there was my proof that I do not have this disease!  I had stopped for nearly three years and had started drinking again and I did not start up where I left off!  Proof in the pudding…

Now I could write about that all day but the fact of the matter is that is not what this post is about.   What is alcoholism and or addiction?  Let’s start with “who cares?”  The concept of defining this condition many of us face is more harmful than not.  The contradictions in the way we define the malady are plenty and plenty harmful.  It takes our focus off of what is important.  The important issue lies in what is it we want in life?  Are we happy with where we are heading?  What has caused us to even question this topic?  Are there issues that are directly related to my drinking or drugging?  Is there pressure mounting?  If so, what good does defining this do?

The answer is simple, it does no good.  Sure there are plenty of answers and it helps us and those around us to comprehend the “why” we drink and drug, but the issues we face if they are primarily due to our use of illicit substances we may want to address the use of these substances as a causal factor.  So the more important question would be, “can I safely predict the outcomes in my life if I pick a drink or drug up?” If my answer is no I can not predict accurately what comes next, then I need to at the very least consider a lifestyle change.  The change?  Permanent abstinence.  To upgrade my life, add spiritual, mental and social integration into the process.  How does that happen?  Mutual support, therapy, spiritual practices, and many other activities of life.  Search for and locate a mentor, in the self-help genre it is usually a sponsor.  Recovery becomes a way of life and whether addiction is a disease or not is less important!


Life is Goooood!



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