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[ Personal Narratives ]

Undercover Rationalization

Denial is a huge part of addiction and one aspect of denial is rationalization. From my own experience I was a big time rationalizer. I came up with the usual rationalizations that all alcoholics/addicts do – I’m lonely; I got dumped; I’m stressed; my job sucks; I don’t have a job; no one understands me – the list is limitless.

Sometimes a person’s rationalization is way over the top. I had one such rationalization for continuing using crack. I’m Jewish and from the City of Oshawa. Oshawa has an extremely small Jewish community. In the midst of my drug addiction someone(s) desecrated the Holocaust Memorial outside of the local synagogue. During my travails in the underbelly of Oshawa’s crack community I had run into some racist people – not that I cared if they were offering free drugs or even selling. It was during this period where the consequences of my alcoholism and crack use were becoming more and more apparent. I was contemplating giving up the crack when I heard about the memorial being vandalized. That was all I needed to come up with my rationalization for continuing to use. I would have to continue smoking crack so I could infiltrate the racist crack community and bring the perpetrators to justice. So I continued on in my crack cocaine addiction. Needless to say I never found the culprits.

A regular and/or sober person can see how insane my thinking was at the time. But as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says the alcoholic cannot differentiate between the truth and the false. At the time my decision to seek out the culprits was totally sincere. I actually thought I’d be able to do it. Never mind that I never ended up asking anyone questions – but for how much is that piece. When I came up with this rationalization I thought was I thinking clearly.

Thank God for Step Two and faith that a Higher Power could restore me to sanity. I share this story with people in the hopes that if they are going through similar thinking or are guilty over a rationalization that they will understand they are not alone and sanity can be returned if you have the honesty, openness and willingness to do the work.