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If a “normal” person is getting ready to walk through a doorway and someone walks up behind them and attempts to shove them through that doorway, most people will grab the sides of that doorway and it will be very difficult to get them through the doorway. Even if they originally wanted to go through the doorway. This is human nature. But if you stand next to the individual and talk about your previous journey through the doorway, the individual will cross into the next room without a problem.
This aspect of human nature is even more true with drug addicts and alcoholics that are in early recovery. Loved-ones wonder why they can’t get a drug addict or an alcoholic clean and sober. After all, they have been trying to shove the alcoholic or addict through that door jam for years. Loved-ones has tried every method of shoving possible. Some of this shoving was overt and some covert (also called manipulation). You may have tried to talk a alcoholic or addict through that doorway using lectures. (Some group therapy sessions are just lectures.) It has never worked because you have never been an alcoholic or addict. You have no idea what it is like.
We have all tried to force someone to get sober. And if that would work, we would be doing it here at Solutions Retreat. It doesn’t work because the delusions mentioned on a previous page have been burned into the sub-conscience mind of the alcoholic or drug addict. The best way to get an alcoholic or drug addict to walk through that door jam is for a recovering alcoholic or drug addict to tell them about our journey on the path of recovery and to walk into the next room with them.
Rather than tell our guests what to do, we share our experiences when we were active drug addicts or active alcoholics. We allow other clients, our alumni, and individuals in the Nashville recovery community to share their experiences. We allow our clients to discover that their experiences are similar to ours. That our former delusions are similar to their current delusions. And that they can have a life in recovery that is much fuller that the life that any “normal” person can imagine.