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:
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.