Friday, August 15, 2008

Still Here . . . And Still Sober!

OMG, I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted or read any blogs on my blogroll. "So what's up with that?," you might be wondering. I know I'm wondering...

I think it basically has a lot to do with my job. My boss is a classic A-type personality. She's got tons of energy, and is constantly thinking up great new ways to increase and improve our marketing. The only problem is that it's up to the marketing specialist, AKA yours truly, to implement her ideas. One of her recent ideas was to create a blog and write a minimum of 3 posts a week. Then she decided she needed 4 blogs (so far), with 3 posts a week to each, which means I now have to do (well, theoretically anyway) a minimum of 18 posts a week (the posts are duplicated on 2 of the blogs, so it's ONLY 18, rather than 36 a week at this point), complete with images I have to edit and post to her image server, etc., etc.

The bottom line is I'm pretty much blogged out by the time I finish doing hers, and just have not been motivated to post anywhere else.

Actually, though, something she blogged about today and the comments it generated prompted me to blog tonight. Because I don't want to share the unfortunate experience others have had in being dooced, I will refrain from linking to her post, but the gist of it was her describing her involvement in volunteering for a center which helps single mother alcoholics by providing a safe haven for them to enter treatment, providing care for their children as well, and teaching them parenting and coping skills in addition to the standard rehab program.

One of the commenters said that she was tired of programs which treated those with substance abuse problems as though they were disabled, since addiction is a choice.

I SO wanted to comment, but couldn't because it's a site that only licensed professionals can access. I really take issue with the statement the commenter made, not only because her attitude was downright callous, but because addiction is NOT a choice, at least in my own humble opinion, as well as that of the AMA.

Don't get me wrong. Did I have a choice in taking that first drink? Of course I did. Did I have a choice in ignoring the fact that I'd obviously gone over the edge at some point and could no longer control my drinking? Of course I did. Did I have a choice in not seeking help when it became clear to me that I could not stop on my own? Of course I did. Did I have a choice when I stopped going to AA because I was "uncomfortable" (read: not ready to admit and accept I am an alcoholic) and continued to go on drinking binges? Of course I did.

Did I have a choice in receiving a gene which predisposes me toward addiction? NO, I DID NOT! Is it fair? No, but neither is cancer, congenital disease, senile dementia, and a host of other medical problems people face and deal with every day.

I was blessed enough to have the time, the financial resources, and the lack of family and employment obligations to be able to enter into an intensive inpatient treatment program for 4 1/2 months. Most people don't have that luxury. I don't think I would have gotten sober and entered recovery if I had not been able to pursue the particular course I took. I would still be drinking, or I would be dead by now. I didn't care if I died because I hated myself and I hated what my life had become, and most of all, I hated the thought of a future which seemed hopeless.

I cannot imagine the seemingly insurmountable and overwhelming odds a young mother with an addicition to drugs and/or alcohol faces when she finally hits bottom and gets that spark of desire to end the cycle of addiction and enter recovery. Thank God for a place which can offer her the resources to take care of herself and her family while she is beginning the journey to become the person that she wants to be, and that her family needs her to be.

I'm frustrated by this commenter's ignorance and lack of compassion, but it's not my problem. All I can do is pray for her and spread the word that help is available, no matter what your circumstances are. All you have to do is ask for help.

And sometimes that's the hardest thing to do.