What It Feels Like to Overcome an Addiction
It can be a challenge to try and explain to someone who has never experienced addiction first hand what it is like to overcome an addiction. People can empathize but they cannot truly understand it unless they have gone through it themselves. As human beings, we naturally want to be able to relate to and understand one another. Below is an eloquent metaphor that was written by one of our students that paints a picture of what it is like to find yourself trapped by addiction, and how to escape the cage it creates.
“I am free. I have my tools now and I am confident that I will only be moving pebbles in my future…”
“My success story started in December…
”I came to this program lost, worn down and overwhelmed, with only the tiniest shred of hope. I felt like I was in a fog. When it cleared, I was back to what I interpreted as my ’ego-fueled, combative, know-it-all, passive-aggressive self.’ Now, I am the man that sits here today—my true self.
”My mother came to visit me several weeks ago, I wanted so badly to explain what this place is and what takes place here. That was more of a challenge than I expected it to be. Even more so to someone who’s never experienced or been through it. So I came up with a story to try to give her an idea of what that is. I would like to share it with you.
”Imagine you are in this field inside a high-walled prison. In this field is a pile of stones and boulders twenty times bigger than this prison wall. You can’t escape it, you can’t appreciate, enjoy or truly do anything and you certainly can’t get out of this prison until you move the entire mountain of stones and boulders. You have no way to move it, nowhere to put it and no clue where to start. You can’t hide from it or avoid it, so you try to figure out ways to be numb to it, blind to it.
”Imagine one day this group of people shows up and they want to help. They say they know where to put it but it will be hard work that we will have to do by hand. Well, if they want to help, then it’s worth a try, right? So, you start working on removing all this rubble. After a while you’re gassed, tired and burned out, you feel like you can’t lift a muscle. These people cheer you on, pushing you not to give up. You dig deep and gather all of your strength to continue.
”Still, you’re feeling completely drained. You get mad, think it’s impossible and lash out at them. You don’t want to do it anymore. You sit there and watch these people continue to try to do the impossible and move all these rocks. After a while, you start to feel dumb having given up, so you muster up everything you have and get back to work. Once you’re no longer mad, you’re just exhausted, there’s nothing left. You think, ’it was a good effort but it just can’t be done.’
”When you stop to look at all you’ve done thinking it was a waste, that’s when you notice it’s no longer a mountain, just a small hill. You’re so close to the finish line and this group of people are still there to help you cross it. They even have a diesel truck and a bulldozer to make it easier. Finally, after a long stretch, you have moved the whole mountain! There is now this beautiful field all around you. You are left amazed and inspired, you can’t begin to thank these people for helping you, but you wished they would have brought the truck and bulldozer in the beginning. They tell you now that you have the tools, they are yours to keep.
”I am free. I have my tools now and I am confident that I will only be moving pebbles in my future. I won’t let them pile so high that I can’t see past them. Now I would like to contribute to help someone else move their mountain.”
—Narconon Colorado Student: Marcus
(To preserve privacy, the photo does not show an actual Narconon student or graduate.)