Why do you think that it takes an addict to help an addict?
Or do you?
Can a parent help a son who struggles with pornography addiction?
Can an ecclesiastical leader share with the addict a “plan of attack” that will get them clean and sober?
What about the spouse of an addict – can they monitor screen time, do ongoing check-ins, or micro-manage the addict towards freedom from addiction?
In my experience, all of the options above can be helpful at some level and each of these people mean well; but I sincerely believe what it says in the Big Book of AA on page xvi:
“…only an alcoholic could help an alcoholic…in order to save himself [an alcoholic] must carry his message to another alcoholic.”
Why is this the case?
What’s the special ingredient that an addict can share with another and help each of them see more clearly than they may have ever seen before?
I don’t know the answer…
But the story below was shared by a friend in recovery, Mark. I think it answers the question pretty clearly.
An Addict Fell In A Hole & Couldn’t Get Out
A businessman went by and the addict called out for help.. The businessman threw him some money and told him to buy himself a ladder.
But the addict could not buy a ladder in the hole he was in.
A doctor walked by.
The addict said “Help! I can’t get out!” The doctor gave him some drugs and said, “Take this. It will relieve the pain.”
The addict said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.
A well-known psychiatrist rode by and heard the addict’s cries for help. He stopped and asked, “How did you get here? Were you born there? Did your parents put you there? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.”
So the addict talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d come back next week.
The addict thanked him, but he was still in the hole.
A priest came by. The addict called for help. The Priest gave him a Bible and said, “I’ll say a prayer for you.” He got down on his knees and prayed for the addict, then he left.
The addict was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in the hole.
A recovering addict happened to be passing by. The addict cried out, “Hey, help me. I’m stuck in this hole!”
Right away the recovering addict jumped down in the hole with him.
The addict said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here!!”
But the recovering addict said, “Calm Down. It’s okay. I’ve been here before.
I know how to get out.”
What are your thoughts?
How does this story apply to your sobriety and recovery?
Looking forward to conversation! Thanks for sharing the story Mark.