Thursday, January 12, 2012

Part 17: Recovery is The Only Job

So often we do not understand that there is only one goal in this very complex program which we are working. That goal is recovery.
There is not second goal. If we all recover,only good things will follow. If we do not recover,nothing good will ever happen to any of us. It is really that simple. Recovery is Job 1,2,3, infinitum. All the other issues that we thought were important,especially for the addict, are not important. If GOOD RECOVERY takes place,all the other issues we worried about will fall in line. Without GOOD RECOVERY,nothing we or the addict does will ever  matter. And I mean NOTHING. So all the fretting over how the addict gets a job,gets an education(this seems to be enabler's first   priority),gets food stamps,or a bike, or a car DOES NOT MATTER. None of these make recovery more or less likely. In fact college for most addicts in poor or no recovery is a very BAD idea. I know colleges are trying  to do the right thing,with sober living,meetings,etc. But I believe that the idea of taking a recovering person from a very sheltering recovering community,or 12 step school, or something else of that nature and trying to put them into college is  a huge mistake.  I am all for education,but addicts need to recover long enough and function in our difficult world sober  for at least 2 years before engaging in the idea of college. I am aware that most families who are not in recovery are aghast at my ideas. But I have repeatedly seen the rush to college  fail because it is a rare addict in early recovery who can manage the pressures of college.VERY RARE!

We know that if the addict gets a few years of recovery under his/her belt than the time might be  appropriate to try college. It is amazing to me however,how many families fail to understand that without recovery,all the education is meaningless. My experience has taught me that when individuals go into reasonable recovery,they need time in the workplace doing small and humbling jobs. No Wall St. for the young addict. Maybe after 5 or 10 years of recovery that works. But it does not work in the beginning of recovery(first 2 years).

It is hard to emphasize enough,that without GOOD RECOVERY,nothing will work for the addict or the family. All that I have said applies to all of us,family and addicts. The attempt to scale large buildings in a single leap like Superman DOES NOT WORK and only sets us back. We need to move forward slowly and steadily. I know that recovery is not a straight line.I have had enough relapses of my own. But I have learned that the journey we are all on concerns one thing-RECOVERY. NOTHING ELSE!


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