02 August 2015

Excuses

Excuses.  You talk to an addict, you’ll hear a million excuses.  By addicts, I mean alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, shoppers, sex addicts, anyone who has an addiction has an excuse.  Let me clarify that.  Anyone that has an active addiction has an excuse.

When I drank, I had a million excuses.  “I worked hard.”  “If you had a wife or kids like mine, you’d drink too.”  “I’m not hurting anyone with my drinking.”  The list was endless and like a word processor, an excuse would pop out that was perfect for the circumstance.

Looking back at it all, a person can see how childish this behavior became.  And in time how unattractive and ugly it became.  Now that I am entering my senior years, I find it extremely unattractive when it is someone from my own generation.  Someone very close to me in age.  I just want to scream, “Come on!  Grow up!”

The ones who seem to bother me the most are the spenders.  The free wheelers, where money is no object.  Check that – where credit is no object.  They are quite proud of their ourselves when they flash a coupon for a free meal and still spend $20.  They are so excited to get a free t-shirt, yet they spend $10 to get it customized.  In one sense they are tighter then Alan Harper, but then the next minute they’re spending the money faster then big brother Charlie.

When that change starts is when you hear the excuses.  When Charlie pushes Alan to the side and takes control.

As a person who does his best to live the 12 Steps, I see these excuses a mile away.  It is the mind of an active addict.

Though different venues I met a gentleman who has a serious problem with spending money.  It is a problem because he has no money.  He lives for coupons and for no interest for a year purchases.  Then scrambles every month to make payments.

It’s almost comical if it wasn’t so sad.  You see, this person is in recovery from alcoholism.  He has a number of years sober and supposedly lives the 12 Step way.  Yet, when I mention the 12 Steps with debt he becomes angry – that little child inside fighting any type of help, with “you don’t understand.” 

The other night this man said that not everything is about the 12 Steps.  For those in recovery it is everything.  In fact, the end of the 12th Step says to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The 12 Steps demand rigorous honesty.  Active addicts can not be honest and they live from one excuse to the next.  For this person, it is one purchase to the next.  A life of drama.  A life of chaos.  A life of an addict.


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