Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again - Drew Pinsky, Todd Gold (2004)
TO ANYONE WHO’S struggling with addiction, I pray that you find a way to connect. You must be fearless in evaluating your life, confronting reality, and casting off resentments, hurts, and fears. The only thing you can change is yourself, and only you can do that. But for that change to occur, you need an honest and trusting connection to others, not the cast members from all your past dramas, but caring people who have the wherewithal to help.
Every one of my patients enjoying successful recovery has discovered that the only way to get past pain, fear, and feelings of powerlessness or insignificance is by connecting with other people. They do it in meetings, with sponsors, with family and friends. Those new relationships are the building blocks of a new life. They provide strength and meaning, nourishment and definition. I advise you to look for opportunities to connect quietly and thoroughly and to participate in life.
And, finally, I hope that you’ll all be able to accept a connection with something transcendent, something greater than yourself. Most people call this God. I don’t care what you call it. Regardless of your beliefs, your brain on God can only help you to make healthier choices. It will force you to consider others before yourself. After all, we are not alone in this world. We share it with each other. And like Earle, do well by doing good. Always keep a hand out for your brother.
THE CASES I’VE written about are based on actual experiences, though I’ve carefully protected the identities of my patients. The last thing these people need is to feel exploited by someone they trust. Often I am the first person they have allowed themselves to trust since childhood. I have also exposed some raw and honest emotions on these pages, things many doctors would not dare reveal. In all honesty, I am not aware of many of these feelings when I’m in the presence of my patients, but they still exist, and writing these stories allowed me to explore this area in a way I never would in a therapeutic situation.
I think I have a fascinating job that offers lessons beyond the world of addicts and alcoholics. Life in the unit is real, raw, and bristling, like the severed electrical wire, with emotion. Most of the solutions the culture offers people today only intensify their problems. That doesn’t happen in the unit. It’s very nitty-gritty. But I believe that learning from the things that go on inside those walls can make all of us wiser, better, and healthier human beings. They have for me.