Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Crazy

When I told friends about my involvement in an intervention, they all asked me--all of them!--whether I thought they were alcoholic. I don't know! Why are you asking me? Are you telling me the whole truth about your drinking habits? If I say you aren't an alcoholic, will that give you some kind of esoteric permission to continue to drink as you do, possibly step it up a little?
What I do know is that living with people who are addicted can make you crazy. That the addicts I know are very clever and can turn things around to make you feel like the one who is in the wrong. You're not doing enough for them, not letting them have fun, not being understanding enough. And if you dare to call them on any of this, they turn it around and accuse you of being controlling.
According to AA, if you're asking people if you're an addict, you probably are. If you say you are not an alcoholic, then for sure you are. Is AA a cult? Is the entire American culture to be viewed only through a 12-step lens? If so many people are addicts, does that mean that 100% of the American population is addicted to something? Can my coffee addiction be equated with meth addiction? Once again, Americans show their preference for the easy answer, the one-shot deal, the magic pill.
Are you an alcoholic? The answer is, it depends. I don't know. Are you? Do you need everyone else in America to be addicted to something so you can feel better about your own dependencies? If so, you probably are.

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