Sunday, October 16, 2005

True Freedom or Addiction?

What is the meaning of freedom?

Some will say that it means that they can indulge in whatever they want whenever they want to. Drugs, drinking, sex, partying, living life to the "fullest", and the list goes on. This is, to me, the essence of the "freedom" being preached in the various forms of media as well.

When I was out and about, sometimes living my life on the street in my late teens early twenties, I watched people around me destroy themselves doing some pretty crazy things. In a way, it was those "lessons" that taught me to stay away from things like hard drugs and some of the lifestyles those individuals were living. Believe me, my guardian angel still worked very hard at keeping me from death and destruction!

I am going to be over simplified here, but, what is the essence of addiction? To me, it is the inability to say, "NO!" To put it another way, it is the loss of control over one's life or some aspect of their life.

And that brings me back to those who claim they are living a life of total freedom. If one is totally free, then one should be able to say no to anything. I have heard it said that there is no reason to say no in the first place because what they would say no to is something they want. Oh really?

The first step in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program is to recognize that one is powerless over their addiction to whatever it is.

So here is the challenge to those who claim to be truly "free". When the next opportunity comes to drink, take drugs, have sex (matters not if the person is known), smoke, or pick a fight, or (name your poison), try and say no. Try and abstain.

Then, be honest with yourself and examine the thoughts and feelings that hit you when the decision to say no happened. They may surprise you. And, if you end up doing whatever it is anyway, I hope and pray that at some point step 1 will become a reality. Believe me, I have been there.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Pax vobis,


Alcoholics Anonymous web site.
The 12 Steps at Wikipedia.

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