Street Tales: Another cost of abuse

Street Tales: Another cost of abuse

After many years addicted to drugs and alcohol, one of the sadly more permanent effects is what I call the damage to the thinking process. In my earlier column I mentioned that abused people will often turn to mind altering methods in order to deal with their mental pain because they did not understand, were unable or refused to acknowledge that this pain could be dealt with through therapy.

This damage that I am referring to is the gradual reformation of the thinking process; hence the name, ’mind altering’. After many years chasing the false relief found in drugs and alcohol, these folks develop a thinking process that when they go clean, persists in shaping their thinking. So as a result, many years of therapy will be required to change the mind back to what it should have been in the first place.

At the kitchen this past week, one individual who is in that process of therapy was describing to me that she is now able to eliminate the almost three hundred pills a month that she takes and receive a needle twice a month instead. Even after several years clean she goes for therapy to help reshape her thinking process and to help her deal with situations as they arise. What she mentioned about some of her therapy is what caught my attention.

The therapist asked her what she thought was the main driving force behind her recovery. Without a thought, she replied, “God”. He asked her again for a reason other than the one she had given to which she replied, “God, why do you have a problem with that”? His reply was that they would not talk about God in therapy.

Upon further discussion he stated he was not comfortable talking about God, even if she brought it up, and this is what is so strange for me. If up to ninety percent of the world’s eight billion people believe in a God, why in this country can we not discuss him in a recovery session? Why would someone go into the work of counselling without even a rudimentary knowledge of God?

Even the Twelve Step Program for recovering alcoholics acknowledges a “Higher Power”, and the need of recognising and utilizing him in recovery efforts. In my mind this is political correctness gone mad! Even most atheists recognise that people believe in a God and have need of him. Denial, especially in counselling creates an immediate barrier to help to someone who has experienced God’s help in going clean. Discussion will be one sided adding to the abuse the person is trying to recover from.

Being who we are at the kitchen and starting a meal with a short devotion, we are quite surprised at the reaction we get from a lot of the clients. They most often stand in agreement with what is spoken, so even there we find acknowledgement of God. There are a lot who do not agree for sure, but at least the majority of them show respect for it. In their addictions they don’t deny the existence of God, they just don’t care.

For someone who has gone through many years of abuse and then many more years of drug and alcohol abuse, they really do not respond all that well to political correctness. I can understand a therapist not bringing up the subject, but to almost refuse to acknowledge that influence in a client’s recovery is tantamount to saying that you are ignorant for what you believe.

I cannot for the life of me see a progress in changing the thought patterns in a person who has undergone so much if they cannot be believed in what they say. In other words, it is just another cost to their abuse.