What is success? By definition, success is “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” Is it possible for an addict to be successful? According to the dictionary definition, yes. High functioning addicts are rare but not extinct. Many pursue their addictions long past their expiration simply because their lives seemed successful. When we meet the material demands of life, society seems to stop asking questions. Employed in a decent paying job? Successful. Marriage that hasn’t ended in divorce? Successful. Children who aren’t in jail? Successful. Though we feel immense expectations from society to succeed, the standards are relatively low. What society doesn’t often demand is a report on the quality of life. Happy? Emotionally stable? Spiritually fulfilled? Meaningful experiences? Addiction couldn’t care less.
If we measure the weight of personal success against the weight of societal success, the addict suddenly becomes less successful. Writing for TheGoodMenProject.com, Sean Swaby answers the question, “So does addiction make you successful” with an assertive, “Not at all.” “Addiction is like quicksand,” Swaby describes. “At the beginning, you may be on your feet, but after a short time, you begin to sink deeper and deeper. The more you struggle, the faster you fall.”
There are two sides to this sword which addicts contemplating recovery or treatment often look to. Can I be a successful addict? And, can my addiction be successful? “Most people with an addiction want to quit,” Swaby explains. Few of us wake up one morning yearning to become a successful addict. We might have desired the perfect balance for a time. It is even possible that we maintained the guise of such balance for a time. Our quality of life continued to perish, our minds, bodies, and souls, deteriorating.
Questioning the success of addiction is a process of denial. Coming to terms with addiction and alcoholism is the critical first step of recovery and for millions it is the most challenging. In twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step is the admittance of the problem. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes the importance of the first step, “We had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics. This is the first step in recovery.” Continuing to deny our alcoholism or addiction is to fight against the quicksand of the disease, allowing it to pull us deeper and deeper in its abyss.
The true success of any addict or alcoholic is asking for help.
Aurora Recovery Centre knows how hard it is to mutter those humble words, “I Need Help”. By calling our confidential phone line today, you can speak with one of our trained professionals. Your privacy is our priority alongside your healing, treatment, and recovery. Lifelong recovery can start with one phone call. Call us today 1-844-515-STOP.