Instant gratification is something that plagues us all. In a world of texting and instant messaging it is easy to get used to that kind of time and yet it’s not realistic. Delaying gratification is something that all drug addicts in recovery must learn. They must get used to a pace of life that is slow and frankly, boring to them. Try as they might, one of the difficulties of sustainable recovery is that NOTHING will ever feel as good as the DOC (drug of choice for you outsiders). Patience is not the strong suit of any addict. Sometimes I think addicts can me summed up in three words: ME (self centered in the extreme) Want (addicts are a black hole of want) Now (waiting? Ummm, no). ME.WANT.NOW! Sound like an overindulged child? Yes, I know.
Even when people have been sober for a while, these characteristics are prevalent. Often in a subtle way. In recent months I have paid close attention to Gil Kerlikowske and the office of Drug Czar. I thought that under a new administration, we would have new policies. I wanted this for treatment providers, for families, for addicts, for all of us. I wanted this now. The truth is we have been in this drug war mess since Nixon. Did I really think Gil would change this in a few months? It’s a frustrating situation but he has already come a long way. He has publicly supported recovery high schools, called for an end to the drug war and yesterday in the Miami Herald Gil said, “draconian sentencing laws aren’t helping us win the drug war”.
So, brick by brick my citizen. Recovery is a long slow process and recovery from the endless drug war won’t be an exception. Of course I want this changed now. I don’t like waiting and sometimes, without even knowing it, the entitlement of what I want dressed up as being a warrior for the greater good wins. In other words, Thanks Gil, keep up the good work!