The Advantages of Being an AddictI am a big fan of Malcom Gladwell. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he is the author of famous works such as “The Tipping Point” and “Outliers.” Both of these books had huge impacts on me as a person, and changed my perspective on many aspects in my own life. I mention Gladwell because he recently published a book entitled “David and Goliath.”
I have not yet read the book, but in a recent interview he did on The Daily Show, Gladwell explained the overall premise of the book. He wanted to look at what we consider advantages, and really dig into what we think of as being advantageous. Some of his are examples include the fact that many successful businessmen are dyslexic. In interviews of these people, it became clear that their dyslexia turned into being an advantage for these people. This happened for two reasons. First, because for whatever reason, this hardship gave these people resolve to work hard and not their “handicap” become something to deter them from achieving their dreams. Second, he says that their dyslexia became an advantage because it forced these people to find solutions to problems in other creative ways. This got me thinking…
In my experience, people that have dealt with addiction, have an uncanny ability to turn this hardship into a strength.As usual, this is the part of the article where I mention that I am not a doctor, or a psychologist. I do not have a degree is social dynamics. This article is nothing but an opinion I have formed through my own experience.
Speaking from my experience, I vividly remember feeling so beaten and burdened by my addiction.
I think once you have escaped the stronghold of addiction, your life changes. You are grateful for things that used to seem irrelevant. More then anything, we are grateful for life. I have realized how precious and fragile of a gift life is, and how quickly it can end. I use this gratitude to motivate me. Every second wasted is a second I will never get back. Time… is in fact, priceless. You can’t buy it, you can’t steal it, you can’t give it away.
Addicts have a curtain way of thinking. We all know the phrase “more then one way to skin a cat.” However morbid that slogan may be, there is a lot of truth to the idea that there is always more than one way to solve a problem. I think addicts understand this. We are creative thinkers. If there is something we decide we want, usually, very little will stand in our way. The problem becomes what we use this energy for. Once I learned to better harness this creative thinking, I found myself being able to achieve and solve very complex situations. The biggest difference is, that the energy I now produce is good energy. I became able to rapidly better my life, as well as the lives of those around me. This positive energy is contagious, and many times, it is exponential. Events stack on top of each other. One day I woke up, and I felt happy. I have never looked back.
The question becomes, what are you going to use your energy towards? This gift of sobriety, and change of perspective, still has the capacity to produce very bad energy. Lots of sober people still do really bad shit. I think the Universe has its own justice system, and in the long run, good will prevail. We all have to look at ourselves in the mirror. The truth is permanent, and the rest will fall by the wayside.
With recovery, came an unprecedented and untapped determination and strength, that I never even know I possessed.
My challenge to you. Use your addiction. Use all the pain, the heartache, the regret, the mistakes, blood, tears and life we have already spent. Use your recovery, as a self fulfilling engine for good. I am a huge believer that we can literally accomplish anything we want. If we can get sober, then we can do anything. Believe it.
In closing. Remember that you are beautiful. You are strong and powerful. You can do anything you set your mind to. Your only limitations are your own insecurities. Fuck that. Push through the fear. If you have recovered from addiction, you can do anything. Believe it, because its true.