I agree with a lot of what you say here. But not all of it.
Most importantly, I agree that prevention is an important message. I remember the song “Mother’s Little Helper.” I was a Stones fan and listened to it all the time when I was a kid. It rings true, with the suburban mom turning to pills to dull a dead-end existence. Her life should be better.
And that was kind of the point of this article. You’re right.
But as far as self-awareness, I have a harder time with that one. Humans are notoriously unaware of their motivations. Not just addicts, or young women, but all humans. And the majority of our behavior is driven by self-interest. Don’t get me wrong. I love humans. I am one. But we think of ourselves first, and others second.
By default. That can be tweaked with spiritual growth and love.
I know many, many people with double digit sobriety in A.A. I know nobody with double digit sobriety achieved in any other way. There are some people out there. At least that’s what magazine articles tell me. But I haven’t run across them.
Why does A.A. work?
I went to a therapist before I sobered up. She validated all of my stories, didn’t challenge me on anything, and in fact I think she wanted to run off to Oregon with me or something like that. Wonderful.
But in A.A., I heard, “I was cool too. I wrote articles on Medium. I channeled the rage of the oppressed masses. My icon was a clenched fist. I was too smart for everybody. I dropped out of Harvard and worked underground to overthrow the system. And I drank, a lot. I was full of shit. You are too.”
Which of course, is exactly what I needed to hear.
Many people are resistant to that message. Their whole world view is constructed around a victim ideology. And if that gets taken away, they are popped like a balloon. Pffffffft. All the air goes out of them. That’s a scary place to be. Because they are gone, too. Nothing is left. They’re empty.
But when you’re empty, you start to fill with good stuff. It doesn’t happen right away. You can’t cheat and get ten years of sober self-awareness through special insights because you’re smart. You have to live that long. You have to grow. You have to get feedback from others on what you’re really thinking.
To reject a victim ideology is not tough love. It is a message of relentless hope.
As far as the social factors mentioned in the article, who really knows? It’s fun to speculate about, or deadly serious if you think about things that way. But we can’t know. I have a cousin in the music business in L.A. Call me crazy, but I think a lot of people write songs to sell. And truth in lyrics is not a prerequisite for sales.
Maybe some songs were motivated by a cause. I remember when I was a teacher. Everybody in the building said that they were there because they were spiritually motivated to help kids. But then the foundation collapsed, and salaries were threatened. Whoops. The rhetoric changed. People were angry.
It’s like they say. Don’t tell me what you believe. Show me what you do, and I’ll tell you what you believe.
But my message is true. I lived it. It saved my life.
Why wouldn’t it be an important message for people who are concerned enough about drugs and drinking to read or write articles about it? Best.