One way or another––because of our environment, our genetic makeup, or any number of factors––many of us have managed to “get hooked on” a substance or a terrible habit or both. Addiction-related problems are on an epidemic level. Opioids are the most recently publicized but there’s no shortage of others to go around
It’s not productive to argue about what was the cause: nature or nurture (so often it’s a combination). The fact is so many of us are addicted to something––we live with it and all too often we die from it.
The entire society suffers greatly from addictive behavior. In 1998, Anne Wilson Schaef wrote an important book that went so far as to argue that the whole country, this nation itself, behaves like an addict! It is titled Society as an Addict and remains as relevant today as it did then.
At some point in our lives we reached a point where we pretty much gave in, even embraced our demons. I know I did. My entire life was centered around alcohol and there was a certain exuberance in my self-induced stupors. But sooner or later we have to pay the piper. The music isn’t free and it isn’t sweet. Depending on our particular addiction or behavioral problem our demise is around the corner.
Our health, our finances, our families and all that we hold precious are at risk. As a group we cause immense damage to our communities and the nation––financially and emotionally. We overload the systems of health and safety, and overcrowd jails and prisons. There is by no stretch adequate therapy for the masses of addicted people, including youth, the elderly, and veterans suffering from the stress of war.
And the crazy thing is that until we’ve hit bottom most of us just don’t give a damn. Our addiction is what is most important and we create a life to buffer us from sanity. We don’t need a lover because our addiction fills that role.
The good news is that we can learn from our many falls, be cured of our suffering, and go on to have productive and meaningful lives.
In A.A. folks often use the term “grateful alcoholic.” That’s because through that program many have built a new, successful, and happy life that they never thought possible.
But most people are unaware of the numerous options we now have available. Often our cure involves a combination of therapies. Until recently I didn’t even know many of these existed. My therapists never told me…It was AA or the highway! AA is powerful and effective as are other 12-step programs. They have saved millions of lives over the decades, including my own. Hey, if you need help seven days a week, 24 hours a day, you can generally find a kind soul in one of those halls. Just go online for a number and location in your city. Type in AA “your city” or use your Yellow Pages.
The ex-governor of Texas, Ann Richards, made an insightful comment some years ago on the Larry King show. She very publicly admitted that she was an alcoholic. When asked about her own therapy she made it clear, “There are many paths to recovery.” That’s important because one size certainly doesn’t fit all.
So in this catalog we’ll do much of the research for you. You can explore many of the best programs now being used, and you can read and hear first-hand from some of the foremost counselors in the world. There are certainly various approaches and you may need to get involved to see which one works best for you. None of these programs are “bad” and inaction is not the answer. We’ll do our best to give you the right questions to ask depending on your need.
So here you will find hundreds of therapies and resources literally at your fingertips…literature, clinics, counselors, medications, and most everything you need to create a program that is perfect for you. We can’t guarantee anything but AA has a good saying about the matter: It works if you work it.
So let’s get busy and put together a plan that fits your precise needs. The format for your Personal Recovery Plan is in this directory. Just type in (or print out and fill in for privacy) as you research what appears to be your best approach for now. Discuss it with others you trust, your close family, friends, or your counselor if you have one…and if you don’t you might just find a therapist to your liking listed in this catalog.
You are now beginning to build a lasting plan for a happy, healthy new life! It’s easy to get going, just ask yourself a few honest questions and look within the catalog for many of your answers. This is your book and you are creating your very personal plan for a wonderful new life!
We are at your service.
Tom Chavez, Editor
The Recovery Catalog