Don’t place a question mark where God has placed a period… Know when to get on with your life.

This could not be any clearer than in the treatment process. I see this day in and day out; clients placing the question mark in reference to whether they are addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. For example, the idea that a person can drink socially again after it has been substantiated repeatedly that is not likely to happen. The “period” has been placed by numerous consequences such as DWI’s, previous treatments, lost relationships, blackouts, on and on. Nonetheless, people come to treatment, have some clean time and amazingly forget about these “periods” and begin to question whether it was really that bad. They have to test whether it is really a disease? The following is from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter Three, page 31, it describes the countless ways that alcoholics and addicts place the question marks.
In some instances, there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it has not done so yet. Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right- about-face and drink like a person, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!
Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums – we could increase the list ad infinitum.
It is obvious to anyone glancing in from the outside that a “period” has been placed, the addiction has been established, and has settled in for the long haul. All that is called for is acceptance of the addiction and some movement forward. Unfortunately, the addiction has a stronghold and has taken over the addicts mind and body. As most of us know, old ideas are difficult to let go of. Old ideas=question mark?
We inform people when they come to treatment that letting go of an addiction, is equivalent to letting go of a cherished one. The process in doing this is called the grief process. Within this process, it is common to “question” and take the “period” away. All the same, there is time for movement. Is it your time to let go and move on?
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