Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pug Life: A Case of True Identity


By
Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

I grew up with a cat and a dog.  My cat's named was Pumpkin.  My Dad and I called her 'Satan'.  There was a good reason because only my stepmother was allowed to touch Pumpkin. If my Dad or I tried it, hellcat spawned her claws and hissed her evil, guttural meow to keep us at bay.  The dog was much cooler.

Wimpy.  That was the dog's name.  No joke.  No kidding.  I am not lying.  We got him from an older couple who didn't want the responsibility.  He was used.  Or pre-owned.  I digress. I loved Wimpy the moment I laid eyes on him even though he suffered from low self-esteem from his damaging name!

I love the picture above.  I don't, as a rule, like pugs.  To me, they're ugly.  But this pug grabbed my attention.  He's actually kind of endearing with his little hoodie on.  Ok, it's a photo shopped hoodie but nonetheless it adds to his general vibe.  

The $64,000 question of the day is this: Why am I writing about a pug in a substance abuse blog article?  First, I wanted a reason to share the picture.  Second, and much more importantly, I was inspired by the title of the pic "Pug Life".  For those of you who do not catch the joke allow me to explain.

"Pug Life" is a joke with two meanings.  First, and most obvious, is the word "Pug" is a play on the word "Thug".  Second, "Pug Life" is a play on the phrase "Thug Life" which was started by the rapper Tupac Shakur.  The Urban Dictionary states that "Thug Life is,the opposite of someone having all he/she needs to succeed. Thug life is when you have nothing, and succeed, when you have overcome all obstacles to reach your aim." 

Pugs get a lot bad rap.  Wikipedia explains,
"In a May 2007 web issue of The Onion, the breed was lampooned in a satirical news article titled "Dog Breeders Issue Massive Recall of '07 Pugs".[30] The piece satirized pugs and their breeders by writing of the dog and its characteristics as a faulty product, "evidenced" by a fictional quote from the American Pug Breeders Association Director: "While pug owners are accustomed to dog malfunction, the latest animals are prone to more problems than just the usual joint failures, overheating, seizures, chronic respiratory defects, and inability to breed without assistance. The latest model pug is simply not in any way a viable dog."[30]

Poor Pugs. 

People in recovery have often lost everything.  Like the satirical pug, they often feel like a "human recall" due to manufacture defects.  They have no where to go but up.  Rock bottom is a lonely place to be (unless there is a pug there)!  People struggle wondering whether they are just as seemingly useless as a pug and unable to to succeed in life.  They dream of a 'Thug Life' status but wake up to find that not much has changed.  What's the cure?  Be who you are.  

Pugs don't care what I think about them.  My friend who is a pug enthusiast and owner would scratch my eyeballs out if she knew I was writing this article (sssh).  Learn from the pug.  Be who you are, that is, your true identity.  If you don't know what that is, go after it.  Find out.  Then you can pursue your dreams!

Seek health, wellness and recovery and the gifts of sobriety and recovery will be yours.  You won't even need the hoodie.  You'll be able to stand tall and proud of who you are, where you've been, and where you're headed! After all, pugs don't care and they know who they are.  Shouldn't you?

If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1.877.773.3869.  We specialize in helping people get clean and stay clean.  You're welcome just as you are!  
 

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