Friday, April 13, 2012

Illusion or Certainty?

"We have to move from the illusion of certainty to the certainty of illusion"  
                         - Sam Keen

Certainty is a great concept.  I am certain that life, however, is uncertain!  We want to control every detail in life so we can be certain of outcomes.  The reality is that we are not in control and nothing is certain.  Acknowledging this, of course, raises fear.  Stinks doesn't it?

For people suffering from addiction to alcohol, opiates, benzos, methadone, suboxone or other substances and/or behaviors, they want to control even more so they can be certain they will get their fix and all will be right with their world.  This is understandable even if it is an illusion.  The illusion, of course, is that drugs only create uncertainty in one's life.  The uncertainty of the next hit.  The uncertainty of getting caught.  The uncertainty of losing life and limb.  It is a very slippery albeit certain slope leading to jail, death, and insanity.

Therefore, recovery teaches the principle of the 'certainty of illusion'.  What is this principle?  It is packaged in many different ways but I like the way Mr. Keen says it in the quote at the beginning of this article.  We have to be certain of the illusion.  In this case, we have to be certain of the illusion that drugs will save us.  Certain of the illusion that drugs won't cause problems for us.  Certain of the illusion that drugs are good for us.   Certain of the illusion of any other 'positive' thing we think about addiction when, in fact, the certain truth is that drugs, alcohol, and addiction are the illusion.  They are the "Emperor's New Clothes" so to speak.  It's all in your head and the reality is the King is walking around naked and needs to put on some real clothes!

As we go into the weekend, be certain of this: addiction kills.  It maims.  It destroys.  Now, also be more certain of this:  recovery brings life, hope, healing, health, abundance, forgiveness, mercy, second chances, a new life, mended relationships, and a whole lot more you can be certain is not an illusion! 

- Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

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