There is something within every addict that resembles a universal battle between man and his inner demons. The compulsion to drink or use substances may serve as reflections of our own inabilities to commit towards change. Or better yet, the addict symbolizes our collective failure to refrain from a path of self-destruction. It is in the craving of the drug user where the opportunity presents itself for us to look at the reasons for such reluctance. And it is in the resulting consequences of the loss of control aspect that we search for something outside of ourselves to restore us back to sanity. It is a life changing, life saving process by which the behaviors and stories of the addict grants us a gift to confront and even embrace our most hidden compulsions.
I was given the chance to work with people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction and through this journey I noticed there was one essential component that enabled growth and change for both the addict and myself. The critical piece lied in several characteristics of every patient: understanding the internal conflict of repeated unsuccessful attempts at quitting, the realization of the damage created through addictive patterns, and the decision to surrender the “will” in order to welcome recovery. It was in the intense yearning and desperation of the addict that I found a common road that led me to develop a more genuine and empathic approach. Moreover, it is the condition of the suffering addict that should lead us to look at and deal with our own bad habits. For this, we should be very grateful.