The first thing you must do, when recovering from a life-threatening and career-ending addiction, is to try to gain insight into your own life. This is not terribly easy and even people who have successfully rehabbed often don't have the capacity to gain insight.
You see these guys in lots of AA meetings. They've successfully won the battle against addiction but they haven't won the war. They're still dysfunctional schlubs and idiots who have traded one addiction -- booze, pills, sex -- for another (AA).
Acquiring insight doesn't mean listening to what friends and family have to say. Friends and family are working their own agendas. Rather, it means looking at yourself frankly, digging deep into the root causes of your addiction and pulling up those roots and planting new flowers.
People who aren't addicts don't have a clue. Even with years of training and observing addicted rats, the medical professionals are not any closer to finding a cure for addiction, though they have some pretty handy tools for managing it.
I've never believed that addiction is a disease. I do believe it's a mental disorder which can rewire your brain and trick you into believing you need that next drink or toke or line to keep going.
Mostly, addiction is like a bad lover who brings a person happiness half the time then kicks the shit out of them the rest of the time. And as with bad lovers, you can never be friends with an addiction. You pretty much have to kick the bastard to the curb. (Though, as in relationships, there are exceptions.)
Bad lovers alienate you from your families and your friends. They isolate you from everything that is good in your life and bring you down to their level. It's all about the bad lover and his friends, the ones you've probably met a million times in bars.
As in all break ups, getting rid of an addiction also means getting rid of all his friends, who let's face it, never really liked you anyway.
As I like to say, bar friends aren't your friends. They're friends of the bar.
So to beat an addiction, you need to steer clear of bar friends or they'll have your panties off in no time. That's because addictions don't mind sharing you with their friends.
Everybody who's an addict thinks they are special and misunderstood. That's because the lover has spun this yarn over and over, often from childhood and gotten into their heads.
If your wife doesn't want to fuck you, I know how to make you feel better. If your boss gives you shit for being tardy on a project or coming back late from lunch, sidle up to me and I'll soothe those jangled nerves.
Only I can make you feel better. Only I understand you. Only I can make you feel worthy.
And the kicker.
You would be nothing without me.
Rob Ford hears this dialogue in his head every day.
I am the fuel to your fire. I got you where you are today. Don't listen to the haters, come sit next to me.
It's an awful place to be.
Rob Ford has to be feeling pretty isolated these days. His staff has abandoned him like rats on a sinking ship. His council has a plane lined up on the tarmac ready to go. Even his beloved football team has dumped him.
But he's running as fast as he can. Gotta give him credit. The pavement is about to run out but he's still huffing and puffing and threatening to blow his own house down.
The addiction is winning.
I'd like to hear what Charlie Sheen thinks about Rob Ford. Charlie Sheen came as close as he possibly could to the sun.
He got the shit kicked out of him by everybody and he's still standing. He stopped drinking and drugging. Still bagging prostitutes, though.
Maybe Charlie Sheen is the closest thing Rob Ford will have to a role model.
Maybe Rob Ford could learn something from Charlie Sheen about Winning.