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Debunking Denial

Saturday, July 8, 2006 -dr.bomb

If there ever was an idea which is still alive and well it is fallacious circular reasoning known as Catch-22. Such coercive practices based upon fallacies built upon a faulty premise really ought to go away for the sake of human dignity.

The ARID Site is a place where value is placed in what newcomers and former addicts have to offer. If a current or former user feels that that they don't have a problem with substance addiction then so be it. In the end all one has are their own words and their actions to back it up. When someone says that they had enough they don't need to prove their quitting by going to meetings or performing any special tasks.

I especially do not believe in labeling people with the Catch-22 known as "denial". That despicable practice works as follows:

  1. If you admit that you are addicted then you are an addict.

  2. If you admit that you're not then you are denying that you are addicted and therefore are an addict in denial.

The only way one can avoid being labeled as an addict by default would mean NEVER going to meetings or entering "treatment" in the first place! After all, why would anyone go to those meetings in the first place? Here are a few reasons why:

  1. To find the solution to end their substance addiction under the false assumption that the people within the meetings have all recovered and that you can get solid advice from such individuals.

  2. They're coerced by authorities who will mandate further punishment, including imprisonment, if they don't go to meetings.

  3. It appears to be a benevolent social clique to hang around with.

  4. It's a "new life" with structured activities for people to do.

  5. Because AAmerican culture dictates it as being true.

What's ultimately depressing is that such reasons do appear valid on the surface when in fact they are really bait to suck the newcomer into the social cultism known as being "in recovery". Likewise, when one chooses to exit the cult, the so-called benefits evaporate as the person is deemed a heretic to the cause. From being "undiagnosed" of not really having a problem to actual encouragement to engage within that problem behavior again all the way down to being the target of cowardly gossip are standard activities never mentioned up front.

The fact that The ARID Site exists shows that there is at least one voice "out there" that proclaims that addiction is messy but to recover once and for all isn't the bureaucratic nightmare as it currently is. Instead the simple choice to cease and desist one and for all is either deemed impossible by counselors of all stripes, from the religiously diseased or not much of a "choice" by the secularly psychotic, participating with the systemic fraud known as "addiction treatment".

As long as the current systems exists in some form, where simple knowledge on how to quit conflicts with the status quo which refuses to acknowledge the alternatives outside of their list of jails, institutions (redundant, since jail is an institution), programs and death itself. To not acknowledge the fact that ALL "programs" are superfluous, especially when they adopt Buchmanism's ritualized format with only a change in philosophy as to not offend others (political correctness). Indeed, what may appear to work for so many has been shown to cause more harm to others. To deny these facts is truly being in denial.

What The ARID Site implicitly denies is that people are in denial when they fully acknowledge their own actions and the consequences thereof. Such labeling certainly does not help the person learn to solve their problem and to move away from it. For example, there are going to be people who do drink to excess and wind up getting pinched by a police officer for DUI's. Does that mean that they are in denial when they are coerced into Buchmanite meetings and show uneasiness adopting the label "alcoholic" by members of that group? By the fallacious logic employed by the Buchmanites they wouldn't be in the meeting if they didn't have a problem so therefore they do have a problem. They're just in denial about it. And yet, by showing up they aren't denying they have a problem and want to learn how to solve it either.

I'll venture this accusation: The entire recovery group movement and its business arm, the addiction treatment industry engages in original denial. The acts are self-evident throughout the cult and its apologists' actions:

To not acknowledge the very specific criticism of Buchmanism in regards to helping overcome their addictions or to even state that such criticisms causes more harm than good is to purposely lie. To state that Buchmanism is the one true way and is flawless due to its divinity in defeating addiction is to purposely lie. In fact, to label others as being in denial while blatantly ignoring the reality that most people who end their addictions end them by making the choice to quit once and for all without sponsors, stepwork and mandatory meetings and counseling is to deny the truth which can literally liberate lives from the bondage of addiction. TO DENY THIS FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH IS TO NOT ONLY LIE BUT TO ALSO PLACE PEOPLE'S LIVES AT RISK! Even Alcoholics Anonymous cavalierly states within the essay of the First Step within its book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book, that all must "hit bottom" BY ENCOURAGING THE ADDICTED TO DRINK MORE!

The most pernicious part of all of this is that addiction is neither a spiritual nor a mental "illness". It's just a simple case of ambivalence best summed up within the phrase, "I want to quit BUT I can't." A loose translation of the word "addict" from Latin literally means, "to yes". Thus when that person reaches that point, recognizing that action they're about to undertake as going against their better judgment which says "no" yet turning "to yes" in engaging within that activity, that person is "addicted". Nothing is wrong with the person short of going against their own better judgment and nothing more since they're not dummies. They know the risks and the reward of turning "to yes" is, to them, worth the risk. So it would be rather arrogant for any so-called "counselor" to attempt to diagnose "addiction" short of imposing their own values against their clients' values.

As a citizen of the United States of America I understand the idea of inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nobody and nothing has the right to coerce anyone into deciding what we can or cannot do with my bodies. Ultimately I am free to to do as I like provided I can handle the secondary consequences of our actions as long as no other human beings or their property comes to harm. It is I, much less any person who is addicted, who is in control of their life and destiny. When those undesired consequences occur and life and limb is at stake there is no choice but to accept personal responsibility for one's own actions. Just like everyone else. As long as one learns from previous mistakes one can then progress into further improvements with a clear mind and conscience.

It's rude and unethical for anyone, including myself, to label anyone as being addicted by default as though the proof is merely waking into a meeting room or getting arrested as a result of being intoxicated. Therefore, the term substance abuse is purely based upon the outside observers preconceptions based upon further misconceptions of what they consider to be moderation and abuse based on nothing more than anecdotal evidence from even more misinformed outside observers.

The truth is that the only person who knows whether or not they are addicted is the individual user.

The signature features of addiction are ambivalent thoughts towards the addictive behavior in question (drinking, drugging, smoking, etc.) and the reversal of intent through action. For example I wished at one point within my largely anti-profitable former drinking career that I could drink INDEFINITELY yet suffer NONE of the negative consequences of my self-indulgent behavior yet I drank and lost some of the good things in life in the process during that period of time. Those who are addicted long intensely for the day where they can drink moderately without any ill effects. In fact, to WISH that one could be a moderate drinker means that you are indeed self-aware that you do overindulge far too often for their own good: YOU know exactly what is going on and, therefore, they are not insane!

A simple emphasis on personal responsibility works wonders. No one and nothing else controls the addict's limbs. It's as simple as viewing an action, such as taking a drink, in slow motion to see how complex it all is yet the simplicity in realizing only a sentient person can drink:

  1. You must MOVE your body near the substance.

  2. You must MOVE your arm towards the substance.

  3. You must OPEN your hand to GRASP the substance container.

  4. You must LIFT your hand HOLDING the substance to be consumed towards your face.

  5. You must OPEN your mouth to receive the substance.

  6. You must MANEUVER your lips to make a watertight seal around the container.

  7. You must LIFT your hand slightly so that the contents within the container empty into your mouth.

  8. You must SWALLOW by CLOSING your mouth and TILTING your head back slightly so that the beverage travels down your esophagus, into your stomach and small intestines, into your bloodstream and into your brain.

The lie that one is powerless is effectively debunked when one carefully examines the anatomy of the action and by dissecting use in general one can clearly see one's part in it. At ANY point of this action one can just STOP! Everyone has the choice to put that drink/drug down and to walk away, much less just walking on past it altogether. Likewise, because the human brain is such a resilient and powerful organ, one can remember what happened and slow the playback of those memories down using their own imagination so that the truth becomes self-evident.

It's such a simple idea to quit once and for all. Yet, to the ENTIRE movement and industry, it's not possible because of "hidden" (nonexistent) reasons known as excuses. Therefore the idea of anyone who is addicted of being in denial is patently absurd. Unfortunately it's those who "treat" addiction who are the ones in deep and provides a myriad of reasons why one should CONTINUE to intoxicate against one's own better judgment.

I guess that's proof that it "takes one" to "know one" who is in denial.

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Last updated 2006/07/08

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Quotes are attributed to their appropriate sources.
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