Recognizing Compulsions

My brother was five when he had his first drink. It was a steamy hot day and dad had just cut the grass. He grabbed a beer and sat at the kitchen table. My brother bugged and begged for a sip. Dad, assuming the kid would HATE it, gave him a taste. My brother reports that in that instant he found his purpose for living. Convinced that he had found his magic elixir for life, he remembers that from that day forward he could not wait to drink again.

This did not work out well for him. Not everyone has a Substance Use Disorder with such a clear start date. Some of us have to practice more. But for Gary, his obsession was launched when he did what small kids do - try to copy their daddy’s every move. Over the course of the next twenty plus years Gary still pursued a dream. Culinary school at one of the finest institutions in the world was his biggest endeavor and he quickly proved his ability and giftedness in the classroom. Six weeks before graduation blew his best efforts and was promptly dismissed. Many call this self-sabotage. And it was. But more importantly, it is a symptom of a disease that crowds out all desire for anything but our addiction and the lie that we need it to survive.

Have you ever had a compulsion that took and took and never ultimately gave us what it initially promised? Think about it. Ask yourself - are your compulsions trustworthy?