The last thing I needed back in my addiction years was the judgement of others because I was already constantly beating the living shit out of myself. You see, most of us with addictions suffer greatly from self-condemnation, which serves no one but especially not ourselves.
Our self-bullying arises from a lack of compassion. It literally wires our brain for more pain and keeps our addiction alive; making it impossible to recover.
"Only in the presence of compassion will people be able to see the truth." ~ Gabor Mate
I used to believe that criticism would motivate and help me be a better person and recover. Of course, this was rubbish! The critical voice had always been my Achilles' heel because it was forever trying to convince me that I was not good enough!
Beating the living shit out of ourselves serves no one and we pass this sickness onto our children. We must stop being our worst enemy and instead be our best friend.
Compassion from others.
Each person with an addiction is at a different level of illness, just like each cancer patients has a different level of cancer. For example, someone with stage one cancer has a higher success rate of recovery than someone who is close to death with stage four. In my case, death was a-calling over the last ten years of my addiction because I was at stage four.
Image the success we would have - if we had just as much compassion for the stage 4 person with addiction - as we have for the stage 4 person with cancer. Both, after all, are fighting for their lives.
True Compassion, Not Judgement is what those who are still in active addiction need the most because without the presence of compassion no one wants to look at their pain, let alone, share it with others.
Compassion is the bridge to healing because it opens our hearts to the truth.
At the height of my addiction, there were only two people who would take my calls: Lorraine and Mom. Everyone else had decided to let me go, which is understandable because I was unrecognizable as a human being. If it were not for these two beautiful, compassionate, loving souls, I don't believe I would have made it.
But many paid the ultimate price with their lives; some were my close personal friends. Please let go of judgement because addiction is not a moralistic issue or a criminal issue, it's a health issue. Treat everyone with compassion because we never know, the newcomer might be our sponsor or save our ass, one day. Our son or daughter or grandchild or a good friend may one day be ill themselves.
As my compassionate mentor/sponsor has always said, “Paul, I am here to keep reminding you, that LOVE is who you really are, so that one day, you will believe it for yourself.” And that is exactly what happened.
I did the work and remembered who I was, and I love that person today. But it would not have happened without the compassion of those loving souls who knew the real truth about addiction.
WE DO RECOVER!
So if you know someone who is trying to recover and can only seem to put together a day, week or month clean refrain from any judgement. Instead, choose to see the LIGHT in them because our compassion and loving kindness is what they need because trust me, they hate themselves enough.