Each Saturday night I attend an AA speaker meeting at our local fellowship hall. This week, our speaker wove a tale that at times seemed unbelieveable. Yet, sitting in a room full of recovering alcoholics and addicts, we shared laughs at the stories that are more common in our world, than that of "normie." Arrests, abandonment, institutions, hospitals, bottoms...and eventually, recovery and an authentic life.
This particular speaker closed his hour with the following words:
Hello, I am your disease.
I hate meetings...I hate higher powers...I hate anyone who has a program.
To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering. Allow me to introduce myself, I am the disease of addiction.
I am cunning, baffling, and powerful. That's me. I have killed millions and I am pleased. I love to catch you with the element of suprise. I love pretending I am your friend and lover. I have given you comfort, haven't I? Wasn't I there when you were lonely? When you wanted to die, didn't you call on me? I was there, I love to make you hurt. I love to make you cry. Better yet, I love to make you so numb you can neither hurt nor cry. When you can't feel anything at all. This is true gratification.
And all that I ask from you is long term suffering.
I've been there for you always. When things were going right in your life, you invited me. You said you didn't deserve these good things, and I was the only one who would agree with you. Together we were able to destroy all the good things in your life.
People don't take me seriously. They take strokes seriously, heart attacks, even diabetes, they take seriously. Fools. Without my help these things would not be possible.
I am such a hated disease, and yet I do not come uninvited. You choose to have me. So many have chosen me over reality and peace.
More than you hate me, I hate all of you who have a 12 step program. Your program, your meeting, your higher power. All of these things weaken me, and I can't function in the manner I am accustomed to.
Now I must lie here quietly.
You don't see me but I am growing bigger than ever. When you only exist, I may live. When you live I may only exist. But I am here...
...until we meet again...IF we meet again, I wish you death and suffering.
I wish I knew to whom I could credit these words that continue to give me the chills, for the three days following the night after I first heard them.
I sat in a room full of people that need to hear these words from our disease. More often than not, we don't listen to our disease, these lies told to us in our own voices.
Our survival rates are slim against a foe as deceptive and deadly as addiction.
For today, I am a survivor.