I’ve been working with a homeless addict this past few weeks. She was kicked out of a half-way house for recovering addicts. It was everybody else’s fault that she had to leave the house. She never owned responsibility for her part in the break-up.
She was an interesting person to talk to. She told detail after detail about how great her family was and the amazing things she’d accomplished. The things she talked about didn’t match with the place she was in life.
The choices she’s made had led her to fear, anxiety, and the need to escape into her addiction.
Another girl from the house is graduating this week. Despite an anxiety disorder, she’s finished her 12-step program, found a job and has a place to live. She is working closely with her sponsor and has a plan to keep herself clean.
She’s so excited because she can see her two-year-old son again. Her life is full of light and home.
There’s no point in working with the addict. You can’t reason with addiction.
None of us are either all good or all bad. I can see parts of myself in both women. There are times when I feel inadequate and want to hide behind past accomplishments. Much of the time, though, I love the feeling of worth that comes from completing the tasks I have before me. My life becomes full of light and joy.
How do we stay on the path toward light?
1. Own responsibility for our mistakes.
2. Learn from them
3. Connect with others on a feeling level.
4. Listen to their stories—don’t brag about yourself.
5. Set goals and work each day to reach them.
6. Be responsible for your daily life skills.