The more I work with guys in recovery the keener my spider senses become. I also refer to it as my BS meter. Sometimes I can feel my BS meter rising into the red zone (I know they are lying). It doesn’t mean they are bad people and often times, they really mean what is coming out of their mouth… their intentions are good. What it comes down to is that they do not understand or fully realize the extent of the delusion they are living in.
It is frustrating, to someone like me, who has “recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and being” (as described in the AA “big book”). Early in my recovery, I was able to accept accountability for my actions, to stay humble enough to realize that my decisions, left to my own devices, led to the destruction of not only my life but also injured those around me… those who cared about me. I mean, it was blatantly obvious! It took some time and convincing to get there, yes, but once it sank in, man…. I was all ears to better ways and ideas.
The amount of manipulation and constant state of deception from those still active in their addiction (s) is….. I don’t know, pick a word, let’s go with baffling? One of the main differences between me (a tenured sponsor in AA and Sober Living Program Manager) and say a Parent or of an addict is that I’ve seen enough of this to know when something is off and I can catch it early. In addition, I can call it out and set correctional actions into motion that will at a minimum help prevent me (and/or others) from injury and on the ideal side, help get the addict clean and sober. Call it good old fashioned experience.
Addicts (and mentally ill) need good enablers and will use anyone willing to help them to get what they NEED. It’s typically not until all options are gone and they hit the bottom of their choice that they/we become scared enough, tired enough, humble enough to receive help.
I’m grateful for all of the feedback I gain from every instance with an addict. It always tests me and helps me grow. Watching the miracle happen is one of the most deeply fulfilling experiences that I have experienced in this life. By “the miracle”, I mean watching someone who was hopeless, depressed, addicted, dying, done…. become a happy, responsible adult. Witnessing that metamorphosis that transitions one from that place I alluded to earlier (being a destructive, manipulator with “good intentions”) to a person capable of high levels of accountability, responsibility and ultimately able to live their true potential… able to give back and help others in turn. There’s nothing like it and I thrive on it. My life has meaning and purpose the more I grow this process and witness the impact it has on people’s lives for the better.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? How many people we can help before we leave this world? That’s what it’s all about for me. And, guess what…. I’m the biggest beneficiary as a result. The more willing and capable of helping others I am, the more blessed and happy I feel.