A decade ago, before I understood what I needed to do to stay sober, I was a little bothered with the expression “working a program”. This term, being the deciding factor between living a happy sober life or succumbing to the vicious talon grips of a miserable, heroin infused death never sat well with me.
When I think of the word program, I think of a specific schedule or curriculum. An appointment or an arrangement of business or specific tasks to be completed. On the surface, it may seem that debating something as simple as a word definition or word usage is rather silly or insignificant. The truth is quite the opposite. The misuse of words have caused some of the most destructive actions we have seen in our world. Endless bickering and arguments in my own circle of friends and family has happened due to the misuse of spoken language. The misuse of words has caused a myriad of unnecessary and avoidable problems. It has also caused relationship perplexities with an endless amount of marriages rushing into splitsville. All because we use the wrongs words!
Maybe using the phrase “working a program” works well for you. If so, that’s great! I would argue that is isn’t the correct term for redirecting someone’s entire life and everything in it, but like I said, if it works for you, great. I do believe that if we want words to keep some sort of firm validity and if we want continual growth in our relationships, we should do our best to say what we truly mean. I have noticed an large increase in the amount of word exploitation with the English language over the past 20 years. I am one of the worst culprits. In an ever-changing world, many words accurate meaning seems to slowly mesh and blend with others.
In a world where individuals want to ban the word bossy because it somehow sounds sexist.
In a world where shell-shock was too shocking so it was changed to combat fatigue but was still to real so it is now called PTSD. A complete disconnect from the reality my friends. Call it what it is. It is shell shock.
In a world where up is down and down is up.
In a world where a war against addicts is labeled The War on Drugs.
It is still a world that I refuse to call living my life, “a program”.
That is why I don’t use the term “working a program”. I would rather call it what it is. I am living my life. Yes, it is a much different life than the one I failed at before but I know now; I must live a much different life today. Letting go of the things I cannot control was the perfect starting point and I wanted to give my life what it deserved. My life deserves much more than a program.
The phrase “working a program” leaves the after-taste of an “ending just around the corner”. Recovery is nothing of the sort. It is a complete and total life change that requires things that are not always at the top of my to-do list. A program itself is easily fallible; easily set aside or put on the back burner. A life however, not so much.
Part of living a sober life, I want to become a better communicator. My goal after this post is to be more impeccable with my words and focus more on what I say to others.
-I can’t say I love someone if they don’t have any virtuous and/or admirable qualities about them.
-I will be upfront and honest. I won’t use words to soften a verbal blow. That is not admirable. That is only protecting the other persons feelings at the cost of my own.
If I am impeccable with my communication, no one has to “read between the lines” or “put words in my mouth” or try to guess what is bothering me.
Without spoken language, humans couldn’t do even the simplest of tasks. We would be like a dog, begging for a treat. I so often take for granted the ability to use the spoken language. Our words can be used as poisonous weapons or as helpful, informative sound waves of truth and logic. For so many years I have spread poison, lies, hate and misinformation and it is now time to be a better man. It is time to start living a truer, happier life.