“Men have become the tools of their tools.” – Henry David Thoreau (Part Two of Two)

[Good morning, Dear Reader!  I would like to start by thanking you for taking the time to stop by and read this.  I would, as always like to encourage you to follow my blog, and please like it or comment on it as you see fit.  I am also on Instagram @thatmanglass and on YouTube (click here).  Thanks again.]

In the last post, I talked about multi-tools and how handy it is to have a variety of tools at your disposal.  It makes it easier to finish a task.  It can be a real lifesaver.

My brother is in recovery right now.  I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but I will say that his abuse of drugs and alcohol (along with considerably bad decision-making) wreak havoc on his life, ultimately costing him his (respectable, high-level) job and his marriage, and badly damaging his relationship with his two kids and the rest of his family.  He has now been to treatment multiple times and is now (fingers crossed) beginning to rebuild his life and repair those broken relationships.

It has been a hard year and a half in that respect.  My brother used to be my idol and my best friend.  But over the last several years, things have changed and our lives have gone in different directions.  He chose to stay in our hometown and follow the usual pattern: go to college, get a job, buy a house, get married, two kids, bigger house.  I, on the other hand, took a more.. adventurous route, so to speak.

[I’ve always enjoyed a less-than-conventional approach, believe it or not, and while I am not quite where I want (us) to be professionally (pronounced ‘financially’), I know that it will be more satisfying knowing that the road I took was a tough one.]

Anyway, the first two times my brother went to rehab, he went to places that were based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program.

I don’t agree with a unilateral 12-step approach to substance abuse therapy.  If it has worked your you or someone you know, I’m glad, but I have issues with the program as a whole.  I don’t really like the rhetoric and the merit system among other things.  I don’t like that 12-step rehab facilities are severely lacking in therapy aimed at solving the root causes of the behavior that manifests as drinking and drug use or other ‘addictive’ tendencies.

I think that a better approach would be, you guessed it, a multi-faceted (like a multi-tool!).  So-called ‘addiction’ (not sure how I feel about the overuse of that word, either) is not cut-and-dry.  Or universal.  It is a very individualized experience that requires an equally individualized treatment program.  It requires flexibility, openness to a variety of therapeutic techniques, and a support network.  Multiple tools for a complex job.

I think that this kind of thinking translates well to other situations.  Job-hunting?  Don’t use one website and make multiple versions of your resume.  Parenting?  Not every kid is the same.  Be flexible and find what works.  There are countless areas of your life that will benefit from flexible functionality.  I encourage you to explore your life, find an area that seems rigid or stuck, and take a multi-tool to it.  You might be surprised at the outcome.

Metaphorically,

Glass

P.S. – I wish you all the best on your journey to self-improvement, no matter what stage of the journey you’re on.  If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or other addictive behaviors, I encourage you to find what works and if it doesn’t work, keep looking.  There are so many outlets, so many tools to help you through this, you shouldn’t have to stick with one that isn’t working.

P.P.S. – I am going to do another list of book recommendations soon.  Non-fiction most likely.  One of the books on my list will be The Sober Truth, which delves into the world of 12-step programs and evaluates their structure and success.  I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in recovery.

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