Sobriety as Freedom

Sobriety as Freedom

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery; none but us can free ourselves.” These famous words by Marcus Garvey sum up quite accurately the state we yearn for while in active addiction. Although we tend to romanticize the “good” times we experienced in our addictions, we cannot afford to perpetuate this naivete because, make no mistake about it, we were enslaved by the addicted and tyrannical part of ourselves. If we are able to conceptualize our relationship with drugs and alcohol as a relationship of enslavement, we will be able to forge a path that has clarity in relation to the reality of our star-crossed relationship with substances.

The daily routine of an addict isn’t too complicated; it involves waking up, finding our drug of choice, using it, looking for more, and repeating this over and over again until one day we hopefully awaken from the nightmare that is our addiction. We often believe that our relationship with drugs and alcohol was a choice, and that is partially true in the early stages of use. Once we become physically addicted, however, we relinquish our agency and ability to make rational decisions. We become vampires but instead of needing the blood of others to survive, we drain our own life-blood by replacing it with drugs and alcohol; we become the living dead.

It is sometimes helpful to gain a larger perspective in order to place the ability to be free in a different context. It seems ironic that we live in arguably the freest time in human history, but yet we so quickly are willing to give up this freedom to be ruled by tyrannical addictions. The inability to recognize the freedom that is within our grasp requires not only a lack of gratitude, but also a willful ignorance that remains content with a life that barely qualifies as living. True gratitude comes from the recognition of where we are, where we came from, and the limitless potential of where we can go if we refuse to continue to be enslaved by substances. Once we are able to fully recognize and acknowledge the self-imposed prisons we lived in during active addiction, we begin to understand and become willing to do whatever it takes in order to avoid going back to that hell.


Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (855) 202-2138.

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