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How to Plant a Seed for Recovery In Addicts and Alcoholics…


If you have an addict or alcoholic who desperately needs corrective action, but you don’t know what to do, allow me to offer you this:

Plant seeds.

Tiny, pernicious seeds. The inspiration for this post comes from an ear worm I’d suffered through lately from an Alice In Chains song. Here’s the worm:

What’s your drug of choice?

Well, what have you got?

I don’t go broke

And I do it a lot

I do it A LOT!

Sadly, Layne didn’t go broke.  He did do it a lot. And he did die, at just 35-years-old, of an overdose.  Rumor has it, the condition he lived in was horrendous.

So, driving with my wife the other day we happened on that song. It’s always been an ear worm for me for years. I had to ask the big HP to take it away finally.  (It worked so well, I actually had to Google the Layne’s name to get the band name, then the lyrics, to write this post. It was that gone.  That’s the power of faith and prayer used positively.)

So here’s the brain worm for your alcoholic:

Life will never get better while you’re still using.  Ever. The choices you make won’t allow it to happen.

Go with variations on that theme. It worked on me.  My mom used one on me that stuck for the better part of a couple of decades, when she dropped me off at treatment (keeping in mind, I quit when I was 22).  That brain worm, or seed, helped me to stay on the path more than a few times.

PS. As a word of caution, this doesn’t always end well. Planting seeds like that, well, it can drive an addict/alcoholic who absolutely refuses to recover, nuts. In some cases they won’t be able to un-think it, especially if it’s reinforced a few times. It would be wise to add a “There’s help out there when you’re ready” as well, or some variation on that theme and consult a professional.  In today’s “touchy feely” Dr. Spock world, they may shy away from things that actually work.

Also, use positive seeds.  I prefer positive over the negative, but sometimes it’s tough to fight through the emotion to be positive when you’ve got a tornado to deal with.  The best time is after trouble, in that period between a blow-up/blow-out and going back to using again.  Allow some time (half a day, maybe) for your loved one to come out of freak-out mode and relax a little.  Then drop a little seed, or reinforce an old one, and sit back and let it work.  Try this, “Things may be tough now, but there are a million success stories out there of people who have fully recovered from much worse that where you’re at.  Try going to a meeting and giving recovery a try.  Worst case scenario is you take a year off of using and give your body a chance to clean itself up.  Best case, you find peace and happiness.”

Admittedly, this isn’t much, but it’s certainly a lot better than doing nothing.


21 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    Nice post.It seems like so many folks have to hit rock bottom before they change. Interesting concept, rock bottom, as I’m sure everyone has a different idea of what means. I guess each of us has a limit. Sure is a shame that we push things to the limit so often. Great if we can help to catch someone before they hit that f**k it button. Not always possible. As you say, keep planting seeds. We know they don’t always take. But seeds can be gnarly little buggers too. Keep planting! Be a Johnny Appleseed (but without the cider!)

    • bgddyjim says:

      Ah, now this is an interesting concept that we’re getting into here, because what we’re trying to do is make rock bottom a little higher. We all have to hit bottom, the question is how deep that is. With the proper seeds planted, maybe that bottom doesn’t have to be so low. Awesome comment, my friend. Very thoughtful.

      • unironedman says:

        Cheers Jim, that’s what I was hoping for… saving the need to hit that bottom. But I say all this conscious of the fact that I am not speaking from direct experience, so I hope nobody minds me throwing in my tuppence worth (that’s two cents in America 😉 )

      • bgddyjim says:

        I got the two pence reference. I may be all American, but I am a quarter Irish (and that’s a real 25%, my mom’s dad was 100%). 😉

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oh, BTW… Speaking of a quarter Irish… you’re married into the life, my friend. You know enough to throw a hat into the ring.

      • unironedman says:

        Ah yep, I’m well wedded in alright 😉

        So which part of Ireland? You know I have to ask. It’s the law over here.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oh my… well, I just called my mom who let me in on the whole family history. I laughed my @$$ off! My great grandfather was kicked out of Ireland and sent to America because he was a sheep thief. I kid you not. That side of the family was HORRIBLE. It got a lot worse after sheep thievery… Let’s just say the DNA improved with time! Holy smokes!

      • bgddyjim says:

        All of that and she didn’t know what part of Ireland we’re from. Judging from how we left, that’s probably a good thing!

      • unironedman says:

        Sheep and cattle rustling was common enough practice back in the day. In fact, it was something of a pastime. And plenty of Irish folk were both forced to steal just to eat (famine times, especially), and also the judiciary at the time were fond of banishing locals to far flung places for very minor crimes. Though traditionally that was Australia. Sounds like there’s some great stories there.

      • bgddyjim says:

        My mother and I had some great laughs about it, that’s for sure! Thanks for that.

    • My son has hit so many rock bottoms losing everything.. I see rock bottom as only death… 😭

  2. gr8ful_collette says:

    I’ve saved this so I can refer I
    to it when I need to. I love these suggestions. Both honest but hopeful, both express caring but not an attempt to control. Thank you for this. 🌟💖

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Collette. They mean the world to me. Writing this post was my pleasure. Keep in mind, I started recovery quite young… my mom did this, without even knowing it, on my first day in recovery.

  3. i am grateful for the seeds today because i wouldn’t be sitting here with 1941 days clean and serene because of a seed… 63 months because of the root, 5 years of freedom because someone believed in me and wanted a seed

  4. May I repost? I say these things to my son all the time…..but he’s soooooo resistant to current recovery models…..

  5. […] How to Plant a Seed for Recovery In Addicts and Alcoholics… […]

  6. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
    — Frederick Buechner

  7. […] How to Plant a Seed for Recovery In Addicts and Alcoholics… — Fit Recovery […]

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