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Perspectives of Addicts

Feb 12, 2018

Being on the AL ANON side of addiction my thoughts and perceptions have completely changed.  Before I knew what “addiction” was, I perceived the homeless man under the bridge with a brown paper bag the only “addicts” out there.  My view point completely changed, with a quickness, once I learned about a family member that was addicted to opiates.  I never saw any signs (that I knew of) that my loved one was addicted to pain pills.  A normal, fully functioning person in society, that I loved with all my heart.  She was an amazing mother, and continued to do any and everything she could (so I thought).  It wasn’t until State Police got involved before things came fully into perspective.  I quickly became the rock that had to hold firm in the family.  I was the reason my family member sat in jail for a few days.  I didn’t know much about addiction, but I did know we needed a plan of attack.  I made a few phone calls and tried to get some direction.  Luckily, a childhood friend was available to speak to me and give me some names and numbers to call.  From that point forward, I started to dig in to the world of addiction and learn more myself.

Lets fast forward 3 years.  My family member is clean, with us, and so much happier and better off than she previously was.  I have a niece that is absolutely gorgeous, and the family is closer now than it was previously.

I have educated myself on addiction, and realized very quickly that it affects 100% of the population in one way or another.  I since then, became a certified life coach, and have dedicated my day to day life to helping people in the direction they want to go.  I don’t focus on the past, but focus on the direction their life is headed.

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein

That statement holds true in so many aspects of life.  I have seen this quote work in my loved one’s life, and I want to share that with as many people as I can.  One must change their way of thinking to get a different outcome.  If you think like an addict, act like an addict, you won’t be able to kick those habits.  If you change your approach to a lot of things, and surround yourself with people who truly care for your well-being, you will have an easier road to recovery.  One of the self-studies I have done on perspective is listed below:

Taking an introspective approach almost always leads to positive outcomes. Here are 5 perspectives to consider:

  1. Perspective of Family – It may not be your entire family, but there are some people in your family who have your best interests at heart. Try to view your addiction from their perspective and you will undoubtedly see their pain. Now that you have recovered from addiction, seeing this perspective can help prevent you from falling into old habits.
  2. Perspective of Higher Self – Think about those moments in your life where you were striving for some achievement that was so appealing, you were willing to do just about anything to get it. It might have been high school sports, a competition at work, or something else, but you assuredly put pleasure and “good feelings” aside for the sake of this higher goal.
  3. Perspective of Society – It isn’t always a good idea to fit in with society, but sometimes they can be a gauge of our behavior. Viewing addiction from the perspective of society can give you another eye-opening experience about how it is perceived.
  4. Perspective of Significant Other – Your significant other (whether current or past) is probably someone whom you know very intimately. You can easily put yourself into their shoes, understand their feelings, and view addictive behavior from the perspective of your significant other. In doing so, it will be easier for you to avoid making the same mistakes and inducing similar hardships with them in the future.
  5. Perspective of Role Model – Growing up or even in your adult life, there was someone or a group of people whom you looked up to. These people had certain characteristics that made them appealing and how would they view addiction and addictive behavior? In asking this question, you can again see where addiction hurts you and others and how to remedy such a situation.

A lot of these perspectives will help relate one’s actions to how it is seen in the eyes of a particular person.  While someone works the 12-steps, they will realize how they are viewed in the eyes of another.  The one that hits hardest, in my opinion, is society.  Society sees addiction as a terrible thing, and anyone that is in recovery is a bad person.  That opinion is WRONG.  People in recovery are some of the hardest working people, most helpful people, and caring people out there.  They are willing to go above and beyond for people to help them along with their own recovery.  Accountability is a HUGE piece of the pie.

The perspective of family members, significant others, and role models can be a little skewed.  Being educated on addiction, and how it effects one’s life is the biggest key component to someone being understanding.  Not too many people have done the research, or understand that it is a disease.  I get in debacles nearly everyday in regards to people thinking it is a choice, and not a disease.  It may have started with a choice, but there comes a point that it’s not a choice any longer.  When people have to use to be functioning, and get loaded so they don’t get sick, it’s not a choice at that point.  We encourage all to learn more about addiction, whether its from a prevention or education standpoint, to help battle this epidemic.  It’s only getting worse.

To those in recovery, keep moving in the right direction.  There’s light at the end of the tunnel.  If you don’t believe it, call me.  I will put you in touch with several people who are doing it, day in and day out.  If you are 24 hours clean, or 3 years clean, continue to work the steps, and surround yourself with the right people.  Create that stable foundation, and create a sense of accountability that no one can break.  Keep fighting the good fight, and moving in the right direction.  The sky is the limit!


If you or anyone you know needs help with substance abuse, please don’t hesitate to call (225) 300-4850 or email dblanton@thegrovela.org.  We are here to help in any way possible.