Hammy wrote:I won't claim to be an expert on Dubay's situation. However, addicts are selfish by nature so I kind of disagree with him on that point of discussion. I am able to say this because I am very close to somebody who is in recovery (clean over 7 years) and I have met a number of other people in recovery because of this person. A very common theme among them is how self involved they could be. People who become addicts are constantly caught up in "taking the temperature" on how they feel emotionally and it takes a lot of energy to do that. All that energy goes into thinking about how they feel and it doesn't leave a lot of room for consideration about others. Maybe selfishness doesn't lead you to into using the first time but it is certainly what maintains the addiction... because most of what an addict is thinking about is how he/she can avoid feeling bad (physically and/or mentally).
Family and friends are adversely affected by the addict's behavior. That's why Al-Anon exists. To help people deal with the addict in their life, etc. They are hurt by the addict's selfishness, etc.
I give the guy credit for getting on the radio and telling his story. Like him or not, it isn't easy to speak out about some of your lowest moments in life. Especially in such a public forum like broadcast radio. I've sat in on a few AA meetings in support of somebody and I really respect the people who are willing to spill their guts in front of others and try to help other people with their recovery. Maybe Dubay helped somebody today by telling his story. Somebody trying to overcome their own addiction. You have to give him credit for that.
I like to think I know a thing or two about recovery. I'm not personally in recovery but I did my pre-doc training at Hazelden, worked there afterwards briefly, and still work with many addicts in my current practice. I would say many of the things you are describing are spot on Hammy. However, I think a distinction can be made that would help people integrate both your and Jeff's point of view. One of strategies of many recovery philosophies is to externalize the problem, or as they say in AA to "love the addict hate the addiction". It's one of the advantages of the disease model. But whether you see it as a disease or a compulsion; everyone agrees it is obsessive. When your obsessed with anything, by definition, you become narrowly focused on that issue (in this case getting high) at all costs; eschewing any of your other priorities/values (like people you care about). When your ignoring other people/things and only focusing on your want (getting and using drugs) that can be well described by saying one's is acting egotistical or selfish and you'd be right. Jeff acknowledged that he was enamored by the drug and his time and his life were taken over by it. He admits he was obsessed...and probably would admit that he made selfish, egotistical decisions...whatever you want to call it... primarily when he was using
. That's a key caveat. What he does not want to agree to...is that this is the wholesale type of person he is....and he's right. The addict piece is one part of him, we all have parts that suck. He has other parts that do care about people, are considerate, caring, giving...and many of us agree strong and courageous given his story. But...he was turned off because this selfish part was described to him by said counselor (or he misinterpreted it given the mindsett he was in...admitting he fought the program) as not a part of him...but who he was in essence...in total. He knew that was wrong. Another way of understanding it is characterized by another AA saying where they talk about the distinction between guilt vs shame. Guilt is feeling really crappy about doing something that's bad. It's healthy, it's productive, and can spur you towards change. Shame is taking it a step further saying...because I did that...I'm a wholesale s**t person. That's not healthy. Jeff admits guilt...clearly...but he felt shamed in whatever program that was and doesn't want to say he's a bad person...because he's not. Probably why Buster was such a influence on him. Here was a guy who had more, and lost more, who the rube in Jeff knew was cool, admirable, talented, etc. If he could be got by the same thing Jeff was and still move on...it's reasonable Jeff could relate and say that maybe he could too. A good counselor/doctor will work their art by trying to get a patient to clearly understand this above difference; own your crime...figure out what caused it, how to fix it, and how to never do it again. Always acknowledge it, be aware, and never forget it...but don't let it define you as a whole, remember the other positive parts we can use to rebuild your life....otherwise...what's the point?