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What Is Your Part?

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Wednesday, 31 October 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News


When I first heard those four words uttered during a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, I thought, “….oh my God! This is ridiculous.”

I was incapable of seeing my part in anything at that time.

If you are like most addicts and alcoholics you have perceived yourself as the victim, or still do perceive yourself as the victim in life.

With that said, perhaps at one time in our lives we were in fact the victims. More often than not this is the case during the time when we are babies, children and adolescents, and incapable of asserting our rights, setting boundaries or protecting ourselves.

Although, once we addicts and alcoholics become adults, if we continue to play the role of the victim, at the expense of ourselves and others, and refuse to take responsibility for the choices we make, how people treat us, or even the state of our lives we definitely play a part.

Many alcoholics and addicts were without a voice for so long that once we recognized we had a voice, we were afraid to use it. We were afraid to assert our rights for fear of not being listened to, or perhaps out of fear that we would hurt another’s feelings.

So often we put the feelings of others ahead of our own. In the end, we drank alcohol and consumed prescription pills or illicit substances to deal with the pain once we recognized that our sacrifices were not acknowledged or when love was not given.

Others gave and gave of themselves to others, expecting others to do the same in return. When the alcoholic and addict became depleted, whether from energy, time, or resources, they retreated to drugs and alcohol when equal energy, time, or resources were not returned by the recipient(s) of their spoils. After all, why shouldn’t we turn to drugs and alcohol to quell the pain, regret, betrayal and resentment that our needs were once again not being met.

Then there are those alcoholics and addicts who are still nursing the wounds of yesterday. They cannot love themselves enough to forgive and forget, so that they can put the energy that they spend on ruminating about what happened to them toward their goals, purpose or what makes them happy.

This type of addict or alcoholic is a unique case, as they are often seemingly entitled to the resentment and hate they feel. They were dealt a bad hand and they are self-righteous to the core, as there is no better hate than righteous hate.

Nevertheless, in this case, and in all the other cases above, holding on to what no longer serves you is not only pointless, it is harmful to alcoholics and addicts.

In fact, it has often been analogized as “holding on to hot coal and not expecting to be burned”. It just makes no sense.

That brings us to our part, which is holding onto what no longer is applicable in our lives. If we hold on to the pain of the past, the wounds of the past, or the victimhood of the past, it will continue to show up in our lives, via new relationships or experiences.

“……we take ourselves wherever we go.” With that said, we can stop the cycle by letting go.

Often, it is just as simple as that……let go, over and over, until it is second nature, effortless even.

What about the abusive man in your life? Often your part is that you ignored the red flag. You ignored your intuition because you did not want to be alone. You turned a red flag into a green flag. Maybe you should never have talked to that person in the first place.

What about the awful job you have? Well, perhaps it is not awful at all. What if your skewed perception is your part. Maybe it is just as simple as having gratitude for having a job, not to mention looking at all the wonderful things about the job you have.

Or, maybe it is awful, and the part you play in it is that you are afraid to move on; you don’t have enough faith in your higher power to get out of a situation that no longer serves you or the company.

What if everyone is frustrating you, and rightfully so, e.g. – the guy at Starbucks made you the wrong drink……or, the fire alarm went off at your sober living because someone was cooking and burned food, or you had to wait in traffic during a traffic jam.

In these cases, perhaps your part is that you are going too fast, you are too impatient, or too intolerant.

As adult alcoholics and addicts, no matter how much we were victims as children, we often have a part as adults.

The more we look at our part, and not what others are doing or not doing to or for us, the better our lives become.

We develop our character, become more happy, and live more full, complete lives, and no longer feel the need to turn to drugs and alcohol.

If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call or text us now. We can help you.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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