I admit that sometimes I find the fault in things before I notice the good. When I first decided that I wanted to change the stigma surrounding addiction, I went to the negative: rehabs aren’t working, 12-step doesn’t work and the media’s portrayal of the addict is wrong! Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the world’s most high-profile 12-step programs, revealed that 64% of their members drop out in the first year. Not a very promising stat but, rather than focusing on the 64%, let’s focus on the 36%! From this statistic we can gather that 36% of the people that come to AA stay the first year! To take it one-step further: one of those initial participants will persist in the program continuously for 5 years and that person’s odds of staying sober the rest of their life jumps substantially.
People who decide to get sober and stay sober are strong, successful individuals. They are productive members of our communities and truly make the difference in other’s lives; which I believe is the real reason that we were put on this planet! I do not think we were put here to become materialistic, greedy and selfish people.
Speaking for myself only, when I was still out there in my addiction, alcohol and drugs were my number one motivators! Not others! It was the Elizabeth show and, to be frank, I was a self-serving manipulator! That has changed because I am one of those statistics that stayed and changed! The joy and peace I feel helping another person is overwhelming. To just share my story with another person that has the same problems as I do is such a gift. This gift of telling our stories to another that can relate is beyond therapeutic. In other diseases, such as cancer, MS, or diabetes, support groups are encouraged to help patients get through the hard times! Addiction is the same thing! You have nothing to be ashamed of!