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TALL ORDER Newsletter - # 2

The whole world knows there's something not right about being totally dependent on drugs - or anything that's damaging for that matter. Although it is now taken as a medical condition, previously, blame lay with the person themselves who couldn't hold their liquor or wantonly sequestered and squandered the resources of their families in their folly.

An Addict Can Be Anyone Addicted to Anything

A recent movement, started in the last century, had the idea that a group of people could get together to talk about alcoholism and work together to restore self respect and personal dignity.  Alcoholics Anonymous was born and evolved to the 12 Steps when addiction to more than alcohol became the problem.

Around that time when doctors of the mind (psychology) emerged, anti-social behaviour around alcohol was even excused and blame became shared by the family and circumstances. n=Nobody could help the addiction - because addiction was impossible for all but the very strongest to resist for medical reasons. There was no chance for the weak.

All this increases the difficulty of recovery and independence -- the return to freedom.

Nowadays this movement has widened to include cigarettes, cake, coffee, drugs (prescription or otherwise), overeating, co-dependency gambling, perversions and sex and even love.

It's also well known that you can be addicted to adrenalin (eg. extreme sports and speeding) shoplifting, torturing, killing. Furthermore, new deviations from the norm arrive on the scene every day.

You can be addicted to the peer group of addicts, the other unfortunate people who chose the street or who are forced to street life through circumstances. They say you can take the boy out the street but you can't take the street out of the boy. (I believe this saying started with slums and prison).

We can be addicted to anything. We are probably all in the same boat. Regarding addition to 'what' -- You are one or you know one -- either way you're hooked.

Where does that leave us? Just where we are today - maybe with a more commonsense view of the matter.

Maybe we can be kinder to those caught up in the maelstrom of trying to help and trying to be helped.

Meantime I believe that prejudice and judgment, blame and punishment don't help, have never helped and can't ever help. The proof is obvious. There is an alarming rise of drug traffic and damage to society as more prisons are filled and more condemnation is heaped upon those addicted to drugs or whatever.

Of course there are arguments for chastisement, imprisonment and even death in some countries. There are well lauded exceptions - such as: "What that man needed was a damned good hiding -- been right as rain since I thrashed him soundly"

That may have been the case a few times and because it has been made an example since the cruel rule of the Navy in days long gone - it's now a habit. Yet there is growing evidence that kindness and encouragement have helped very many to recover and change their ways.

Nowadays many people are finding that kindness compassion and love are so effective in the workplace that it helps the bottom line. Therefore even hard nosed corporates are kinder to their staff. Even the toughest soldiers in the French Foreign Legion now have their souls fed with strong loyal community spirit and singing songs to raise morale.

It is blame that fuels the fire of cruelty. We go to elaborate lengths to ensure blame as a foundation in the courts of law to pronounce sentence on a man or woman's life. To view a situation without blame is also the foundation of the law that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

Kindness works better than punishment by a long way. Atonement and reparation for damage including toiling hard for it, would be a start as they do in some Scandinavian countries - instead of brutality and spite based mostly on revenge in the pursuit of power.

There are others that think they must display power to control dangerous men. Which one works?

For Addicts to take command of their life and soul again they thrive on encouragement -- the truth and loyal adherence to man's higher principles and common law.

"Each man's death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls, It tolls for thee." -- John Donne

The very survival of human kind has been due to looking after the weaker and less fortunate so that they can one day in some way return the favour. And already they frequently do.

By Jackie Mackay (currently setting up a network of helpers of the homeless). Some of the helpers are also in need of help.

Issue 1 of Tall Order (a summary of some recovery centres) Click Here

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