Admission. Great noun. It means two related things when it comes to addiction recovery: A) The right to enter, and B) a voluntary acknowledgment/concession of a fact or truth. There is no A) without B) in our family.
Caveat: Most normies – so called ‘normal’ people – have no clue how great we have it so they don’t bother with admission. Either definition.
Drug of choice doesn’t matter. Pills, weed, alcohol, meth, fill-in-the-blank. While active with a drug of choice addicts concede very few facts about their own condition. The reason, the drug alters the function of the same organ responsible for the voluntary acknowledgment of fact. The result, as expected, is the continued use of the same drug of choice until death. Sometimes it is the drug actually causing the death. Other times it just hastens the journey. Addiction is that way when it comes to choices. Addiction means lack of choices and you have exactly two: Admission. Or shorter life expectancy.
Owning your addiction begins to slam the door on the less desirable of the two choices.
Slam the door
You begin to admit other things on the path back to society once you’ve crossed addiction’s Rubicon by admitting your problem is your problem. “I did really crummy things when I drank. I’m sorry.” “I stole from you to get more because I am addicted to more. Let me make it right.”
Sounds quite 12-steppish (ninth, to be precise), so how about a history lesson. Stepping back to admit so you can move forward is much older. There’s a Latin phrase, ‘mea culpa.’ The literal translation from the Latin is ‘through my own fault.’ Yes, the Roman Catholics use it in their Mass, but don’t get your shorts in a knot over the AA connotation or the religious affiliation: Geoffrey Chaucer used it in Troilus and Criseyde, a poem, in 1374. Six-hundred-plus years later, we just say, ‘My bad.’
In doing so an addict isn’t saying he or she is a bad person. Just flawed. (Guess what? Normies are flawed, too.) It’s a liberating moment. No longer does an addict blame his buddies or a crummy childhood or her despotic husband. He or she takes responsibility for his addiction being nobody else’s. We own our $#1+. We move on from that point. We become people in (or aspiring to) long-term recovery.
Own your $#1+. Admit it. Your admission gains admission to the prestigious and graciously welcoming recovery family. It beats the other choice. And you have only two.
Addicted Minds’ Editor-in-Chief, Scott Stevens, is the author of four alcohol books including the December 2016 release, I Can’t See The Forest With All These Damn Trees In The Way: The Health Consequences of Alcohol. Get the new BookLocker title now on Amazon (viewbook.at/prehab), alcohologist.com, and everywhere you buy books. Image by Ivan Zamurovic, used with permission.