Addiction: Don’t Look Back Never Look Back


Addiction: Don’t Look Back Never Look Back

 The year was 1978 when the rock band Boston delivered a message not to look back. This hit home as I was 12 years old and about to be Bar Mitzvahed and my parents were finalizing their divorce. I began to realize that I would have some major repsponsibilities thrust upon me and that I couldn’t look back that I woul have to move forward. I had many issues fiiting in and finding my niche, however I knew that the key was not to look back.  As the years moved forward I turned to alcohol more and more and then at age 27 the doctor diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and explained much of it was caused by drinking alcohol.  I stopped and now 20 years later can say I haven’t looked back and I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage. I quit without going to meetings or getting into rehab I made a decision and haven’t looked back since. I have realized I can not change what I did but I can begin again and not look back and make a positive impact on my life and as a result make a difference in the lives of others.  The key is to amke the decision to take care of yourself and not to look back.

 Cher speaks of turning back time, however the reality is that we can not turn back time. We have the ability to seek forgiveness or to forgive and we can move forward by stating that in the past and up until now I (fill in the blank). In some cases we can not go back to the point when the addiction began but we can find resources that can help us move forward without looking back.  In many cases moving forward means letting go of the past and not projecting to the future but living in the moment. Taking it one day at a time and realizing that there are things you can change and things you can not and it is up to you to know the difference.

 REO Speedwagon sings about the fact that it is time to fly after a relationship has gone sour. Sometimes this is the decision we have to make when it comes to dealing with an addict and there is nothing left to do. It is the hardest decision to make and move forward by making the commitment to never look back. As much pain that the addict has caused many times it is time to let them them know that it is time for you to fly.  Once you make this commitment don’t go back on the word. I recently spoke to a mother of an addict whose son is in jail and she said she wouldn’t talk to him whil he was in jail and until he had a full month of being clean, well guess what the phone rang one night with a collect call from jail and she accepted the charges and then proceeded to justify taking the call. She said she would do it again, guess what a week later the same thing happens. When you tell the addict something stand firm and don’t look back. In this case the addcit has made promise after promise apologized for bad behavior and the mother keeps holding  out hope that this time he is serious about being clean.  There comes a time when you as the parent must take the time to fly and stick to your decision and not look back. Whe the time is right the addict will come forward and be willing to move forward as well and not look back.

Zach Berkman talks about starting a new day and delivers the idea to cherish each moment. Each day of never looking back thinking comes with a gratitude exercise be it  writing in a gratitude journal, reading something related to gratitude, or verbalizing what you are greateful for example you have a son or daughter that is an addict and you have non addicted kids, instead of being shameful and resentful and focusing on the addict be grateful for the successes of your non addicted children.

 The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band performs never looking back and as you listen to the lyrics think of how addcition has affected the family dynamic and how once the addict commits to never look back and is serious about getting clean how things can change. Yhe idea is to never look back and leave the addiction in the past. This can be challenging at times as there exists so much temptation to go back to a lifestyle that  brought heartache and hardship to the addict and the addict’s family. In many cases the addict was called home to GOD, levaing the family with unanswered questions and guilt, wondering how they can make the decision not to look back. I am not saying don’t speak of the addict that has passed I am saying to move forward and not dwell on the might have beens and coul have beens. many times when the addict dies it is a message to us to move forward, tell the story, and help others. In many cases it is through the death of the addict that other deaths are prevented as families begin to get involved in prevention  activities and other pro positive lifestyle activities.  I don’t use the words anti-drug or fight drug abuse because when you are against something or fight something the universe gives you more of of so I say be pro positive living, pro better life choices and then things will be able to move forward without having to look back.

 I chose to close with this song by John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison as it reinforces the idea of never looking back. When you focuse on what could be instead of what might be and come to the realization of what is you will be ever to make the commitment to never look back.









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