Revealing the Value of Treatment
In the field of recovery, it can be quite difficult to break from typical medical-style mindsets. When a doctor sees a sick patient, he or she gives a prescription that will cure the disease. The doctor expects the patient to trust him or her and take the medicine as directed. Though it might not always happen this way, in most cases the doctor is in the position to assume the patient wants a cure, as he or she has sought out medical attention. From there, the doctor rightly assumes the patient will follow the course of treatment to receive healing. Though sometimes patients do not follow doctor’s orders for any number of unique and perhaps questionable reasons, the doctor can at least rest assured that he or she has done his job. A patient sought a remedy and the doctor provided it. However, this is one of many areas in which alcoholism and addiction differ from any other disease known to man.
When dealing with alcoholism and addiction, the people who can provide care and treatment (which often includes doctors) are not always sought out for help by the patient. Many who come to places of treatment for the disease of alcoholism and addiction are not necessarily interested in a solution, and those who are, often have their own ideas about what it should look like. Furthermore, there is much doubt, personal bias, and disbelief attached to any solutions offered. This is wildly different from say, a broken bone. Almost never does one go to a doctor for a broken arm and argue about the validity or effectiveness of the plaster cast. Even more rarely does one go to a doctor for a broken arm and deny that their arm is broken at all, refusing to admit they have a problem for which they need help. However, this is very common in treatment scenarios for alcoholism and addiction.
Lack of Understanding
It muddies the waters even further that the solutions presented for alcoholism and addiction are often intangible, being primarily spiritual and psychological in nature. When someone is treated for a broken arm they are never told to “let go of the past” or “find a higher power to help you” or anything else of the sort. This is but one of the major ways in which alcoholism and addiction and their treatments differ from all other diseases. They are terribly misunderstood, not only by professionals but also by sufferers. But if people on both sides of the matter take the time to properly understand what they are dealing with, the unique nature of this realm of treatment is addressable. At Jaywalker Lodge, we’ve made it our goal to cut through the misunderstanding and misinformation that plagues those who provide, and especially those who need, treatment for alcoholism and addiction.
There is, of course, a massive amount of information that needs clarification and it takes time to understand and have experience with it. This is one of the big issues we’ve already dealt with at Jaywalker Lodge, as the majority of us are in recovery ourselves. Because of this, we have firsthand experience with the things that work best.
When visiting a doctor for a typical medical need, discussions about the merit of the recommended treatment are rare. Alcoholism and addiction are quite different. First off, the condition must be clearly understood by both the professional and the patient. This is best accomplished by extensive familiarity with the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Intimate and thorough self-education with this book can explain and clarify much of what confuses people about the disease and its solution. Enough can never be said about the benefits of deep and repeated study of its pages. These include a deeper understanding of the disease, what makes one an alcoholic or addict, and how their condition differs from other diseases. The book is also the source of the layout and directions for the 12-Step program.
Education can address many issues, but also highlights a major problem. With a disease like cancer, people are typically driven to understand their condition and its treatments. They do research so they can live a healthy, happy life and beat the disease. Again, alcoholics and addicts are often reluctant to read the book Alcoholics Anonymous, even though their disease may be killing them. How do we clear this huge hurdle? We must reveal the value of the treatments used to help people recover from alcoholism and addiction.
Finding Value in Everything We Do
Defiance and strong-mindedness are so common among alcoholics and addicts, they are practically symptoms of the disease. All but the most desperate sufferers will likely need to have the meaning and purpose of treatment revealed to them. This is why the participation of others in recovery is so essential to those who are new in recovery. It allows them to draw connections and see the value of each step and effort along the way. It’s not as easy as “Take two of these and call me in the morning” — it must be more like “Take this suggested path of action, though it seems unrelated now, because it will clear you of the mental and spiritual blocks that are keeping you trapped in the prison of your disease.” This is a much tougher sell. But this is exactly why we find it so helpful and do our very best to illustrate the value of each treatment we take our men through.
There is nothing we do here that is not directly related to improving their quality of life and helping them build long-term lasting recovery. From the 12-Step work to the therapies, the food to the physical activity, and the meetings to the service work, it all contributes to our overall goals. But the connections are not always obvious. Making your bed doesn’t sound like it will help your current situation, but if we can see how this small action is related to self-trust, dependability, and responsibility, we might begin to see the value this could have on our lives. Everything at Jaywalker Lodge works just like that, and we don’t bother hiding it. Of course, some benefits are unique and surprising to each individual, but we do our best to explain and reveal the value of everything we do.
Alcoholism and addiction are a disease unlike any other. This disease is often seriously misunderstood, not only by medical professionals but by those who directly suffer from the disease. There is much that can be done to clear up these misunderstandings. Chief among them is the study of and familiarity with the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Many of the unique aspects of alcoholism and addiction can be understood and clarified by learning this literature. However, there is still much about the disease and its symptoms that is baffling. For instance, rarely do people suffer from a disease that they deny having, nor do they often refuse or disagree with treatments for other conditions. This is why we believe it is imperative to reveal the true value of all the treatments and actions that we take at Jaywalker Lodge. Working together, we can help bridge the gaps of defiance and denial and save people’s lives, even those who are reluctant. If you are ready to begin your journey in recovery, come to Jaywalker Lodge. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.