Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
The Weather Network
North Shore Choral Soc

home : opinion : opinion/editorial
November 19, 2019

10/30/2019 3:55:00 PM
Room for a View: Addiction and the Responsible Life
By Charles Wilkinson

Responsibility is a heavy word. Every life feels its weight and challenges sooner or later. Response-ability means just what it says – to be able to respond to the needs of self and another or to own the consequences of one’s actions. Response-ability to and responsible-ability for.

Irresponsibility, an even heavier word, is at the heart of many of life’s problems, at least those parts of life we can or should control. Laziness, stubbornness, denial, ignorance and other human frailties complicate any life and the lives of many others.

There is no better example of irresponsibility and all its characteristics than addiction. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, disfigure, cripple and can literally obliterate the true self. Addiction tears one away from the ability to make healthy choices, affecting both body and mind, rendering a life meaningless while abusing the lives of others as well.

Addiction is all about self, though most addicts blame others for why they are the way they are. They refuse to take responsibility for their destructive behaviors. They cannot see beyond their need for a buzz, a fix, that big hit that will never be enough. Never. Until they bottom out, however that may happen – hopefully into the life-saving admission that they are broken and need help – they condemn themselves to a life of insanity which, according to Albert Einstein is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

Being responsible, like happiness, depends on each individual, upon the value one places on self. It starts with awareness, or mindfulness, and requires conscious choices to accept what needs to be done and to do it. Addiction fights directly against these characteristics, feeding on self-absorption and destructive choices.

Others may try desperately to help but nothing they offer, even rehabilitation, will work until the addicted person asks for help and accepts it. Until that happens, only tragedy awaits.

The responsible life is about accepting the gift of self, growing and making it better, and helping others to do the same. Being human renders everyone vulnerable to making mistakes along the way. But mistakes can often be our most effective teachers. Every honestly recovering addict realizes that truth. Unfortunately, those addicts still caught up in self-destructive choices are far removed from living responsibly.

As for those whose lives addicts abuse, they need to “let go or be dragged.” An overdose of caring can be as harmful as any addiction, disabling what is really needed – the toughest kind of love. Responsibility is rarely heavier than that.

Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsLinksLife
North Shore Choral Soc

Copyright 2008-19 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved