the brilliant logic of addicts

A pair of news stories popped up in my Twitter this morning feed that I found interesting. This is a miracle for several reasons a.) I actually read something other than an arbitrary list about Mean GIrls or Disney Princesses and b.) that I could relate to two stories featuring behavior most people find completely irrational.  The first was about Rob Ford. Over the last 48 hours, simply  walking by a computer or turning on a smartphone and not seeing the name “Rob Ford” pop up has been an impossibility. Ford, if you don’t know, is the Toronto mayor who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

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Late night comedians and news outlets have had a field day with Ford since last year when a video of him smoking crack surfaced online. Despite the obvious content of the video, Ford denied he smoked crack or used illegal drugs. Then in January another video popped up of the mayor babbling incoherently at a fast food window. And finally, today he took a break from the campaign trail to enter rehab after another video of him smoking crack surfaced. While non-addicts shake their heads and spout off one-liners about Ford and wonder what the heck he was thinking, I feel like all this sounds totally par for the course.  Moreover, to me his thinking sounds perfectly logical. As an addict, my natural instinct is to lie and deny. Doesn’t matter if cocaine powder has rimmed my nostril like sugar on a donut or if tequila is coming out of my pores, if you ask me I’ll tell you that, “I’m fine. I’m just tired.” From my experience this is how we roll. Insane bullshit ideas and wackadoodle plans are just the norm. Doesn’t matter how famous we are or how many videos exist, we don’t get the message until we’re really ready. By entering rehab, we can hope maybe he’s starting to get the message. In the meantime, it’d sure be nice if the media showed him and other addicts compassion, instead of stringing them up like piñatas and beating the crap out of them.

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Sadly, a lot of the time we addicts don’t get the message at all. Like in the other news story that I read this morning about a couple who after killing a relative and struggling with crippling heroin addiction jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Ugh. To call this devastating is a total understatement and yet again, I totally get it. Addiction is a dark place and if it gets dark enough, ending it seems like the only option. In her suicide note left for her 4 children the woman heartbreakingly wrote,”I’m sorry. I beg you to remember that Nickie that I used to be. Before I was introduced to heroin. You would not understand how much it would hurt for me to wake up every single day without you. I do know that I am taking the cowardly way out. I just don’t want to hurt people anymore.”As usual, the comments sections on the stories about this couple can be relied on for complete ignorance on the nature of addiction and should be avoided if you want to retain some serenity. But as horrible and tragic as their story is, I can’t help but feel lucky and blessed that at least for today, at least for right now, I know I have other options. I know that people can get better. Even murderers or crack smoking mayors. Mainly, I know that my crazy ideas are better off if I run them by somebody first and that I don’t have to do any of this recovery business by myself. And that gives me a lot of hope.

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4 thoughts on “the brilliant logic of addicts

  1. I went to bed with a whole head full of Rob Ford stuff (I live in Toronto). I too was surprised and yet not surprised by it all. And like you said, this whole thing of lying and denying…well, what do you expect? he’s an alcoholic / addict! that’s what we DO. We lie in balsy and brassy ways. We lie even when the truth would serve us. Our moral compass is shattered. Our “logic” is purely illogical. Welcome to the addict’s mind. So yes, people can smirk and be judgemental or ignorant, but when I read those stories (like the ones you shared), I just get sad. And feel bad for those folks. They are no different than me, in many ways. We just got lucky to get out of that. Some will, some won’t.

    While there is breath, there is hope.

    Thank you for this – great share 🙂

    Paul

    • Thank you, Paul. Forgot you’re in Toronto, the epicenter of all things Ford! I can’t help but love the guy. He reminds of myself and so many other addicts/alcoholics I know. And you’re right “lucky” is the word. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to have a solution and lucky to have the experiences of each other.
      hearts,
      S.

  2. Geez, reading this post brings a heap of gratitude. I simple cannot image what my life would be like over the past years if I hadn’t stopped drinking. UGLY is the best word to describe it. I love your comment to Paul too, we are indeed fortunate to have others to share our experience of the solution. Good stuff.

    • “Ugly” perfectly sums it up, Lisa. I mean it was BAAAAAAD at the end. I shudder to think how gnarly it could have gotten. Yikes.
      And you’re also right when you mention gratitude. Thank freaking God/Goddess/WhateverFloatsYourSpiritualBoat that I hit bottom. The on-going practice of gratitude is one that helps me remember how good I really have it. ❤

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