by Joshua Hoe
I have often caught myself starting to talk about “my addict.”
Obviously, this kind of talk is pretty widespread throughout recovery and rehab.
One of the biggest criticisms of the “disease model” of addiction is that it teaches people not to be “responsible” for the damage that they cause – or for their own issues.
In my experience, addicts are (mostly) acutely aware of the damage that they cause and of their own issues.
In fact, at least in my own experiences, the foundation of my addiction was thinking I was bad and inadequate. Feeling that nobody would ever love me.
Recovery and Distancing
So, my objection to referring to “my addict” is not about responsibility, it is about separation and compartmentalization.
Before I found recovery, I was never able to share the things about myself that made me feel unworthy and unlovable.
I may have known that I was wrong or broken, but because I couldn’t connect my private feelings to my public relationships and in my social connections, I started to compartmentalize.
To me, recovery is about stripping away the artifice and being entirely honest with myself and others.
Always living in who I am, the good, the bad, and the indifferent.
When I start to talk about “my addict” I feel like I am starting to separate myself again.
My addict is me and I am my addict.
Before recovery, I was my public self (well-adjusted and popular but fake and hollow) and my private self (insecure, scared, acting- out, and ashamed).
Learning to put down my mask and unify those two selves happened when I said “I admit I am an addict, that my life has become unmanageable.”
While referring to “my addict” is not the same separation, it is a separation.
I don’t want to create a distance between the good me and the bad me or the public me and the private me – there is only one me.
In me is all of the good and the bad I am capable of.
What do you think of the “my addict” idea? How do you deal with separation or recovery issues like this? I would love to hear your experience, leave a comment!