You don’t have to live up to anybody’s expectation of your life. Your life is yours and yours alone. And if, like me, you struggled with addiction and are now clean, you don’t have to listen to anybody who gaslights you if you don’t live life according to their expectation, whatever it may be.
Recently I’ve encountered two people with two very different impressions of me and my recovery, and it amused me…
In a Facebook group, some jerk wrote about how great 12 step programs are, and how they are the “only” way to recover – so I correctly pointed out how they are simply magical thinking and nothing more. The silly fucker called me a “dry drunk”, something I’ve heard before. A dry drunk according to 12 steppers, and I’m not going to look this up because it doesn’t really matter, is something to the effect of: Someone not following the program, who thus according to them is not “working the steps” and is thus still an addict but just one not using drugs. This is because, according to their dogmatic approach, if you don’t do exactly what they do and don’t believe in the magic they believe in, you’re not “truly” in recovery. Today I lack the energy to think of the words to explain just how fallacious that actually is. Yeah, cunts, I’m not a true Scotsman either.
Truth be told, these dogmatic cunts have gone and indoctrinated themselves into a cult. That’s what 12 step culture is. They’re not working on their recoveries as much as they think – in fact we could use their own terms against them and point out that they have just got addicted to something else, a program of magical thinking, one that doesn’t actually deserve credit for their sobriety, but does in fact cause harm when they impose this as the “only way” to be clean on others, and when they gaslight people like me.
But I don’t really care about the gaslighting. The thing is, I don’t treat addiction as a lifelong problem that needs constant work. I haven’t craved meth for years, and I never will use it again, or any other drug. I recognize that phase of my life is over and done with, and I’m living my life. No need to pay attention to their bullshit. I only care about it because of the harm it does to others.
The other new person is a new dev at work. He seems to be amazed and really impressed, and genuinely asks “How did you do it?” in relation to me quitting drugs, as if that was such a difficult, or near impossible task. But it wasn’t. If you’re anything like the way I was, and you use meth every day, you run out of it constantly too. So you have to choose, at least 3 times a day, to get more meth, or to have another hit. More like 10 times a day but let’s pretend it’s only 3. 3 times a day every day is 1 095 times a year. 1 095 times a year that you choose to use meth rather than not use meth. Do the math, not the meth. All you have to do is choose not to get more meth. Just pick a day and choose to stop. And then don’t make the choice to use. Next thing you know, eight years have passed and you don’t even remember the last time you wanted to use.