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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death Shows Us That Knowledge Means Nothing

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Death Shows Us That Knowledge Means Nothing


With the recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, it just goes to show all of us addicts that when it comes to being sober and in recovery – knowledge means nothing! As addicts and alcoholics, we are very intelligent people but that will only get us so far and sometimes can even be negative for us.

As a child, I saw my father (who was an alcoholic/addict) suffer from consequences in his addiction. I remember hating the way the alcohol and drugs made him act and vowing to never be like that. I have a grandfather who also has 30 years of recovery so I was around AA a lot as a child. I always knew that what was happening wasn’t right with my father and that it eventually led to his death from a drug overdose. Knowing all of this information about addiction and recovery and what addiction can do to someone, I still chose to start using drugs and alcohol.

It truly doesn’t matter what you know in this program of recovery, knowledge really means absolutely nothing. Take Philip Seymour Hoffman as an example, he had 23 years of sobriety but the second he put a substance in his body all of that went out that window. The disease of addiction is baffling and powerful and always waiting to swoop in on us. In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it states “but the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge;” and that couldn’t be more factual.

I’ve seen people who’ve had multiple years of sobriety go back out and relapse and it is literally like they picked up where they left off. When I first went to treatment, I went in expecting to learn everything I could so I could figure out how to drink and use drugs like a “normal” person; each and every time I ended up in a place equal or worse than where I was before. As I continue in my recovery, I realize that the more I know the less I know.

In recovery, the best things you can do are put in action and actually do the work. Usually knowing is half the battle, but not with this disease. There is still a lot that we don’t know about addiction and alcoholism, but it is clear that no matter how much clean time you have, relapsing is always going to be as easy as moving your hand to your mouth. Going to treatment at Orchid Recovery Center focuses on teaching you about recovery but also on getting you involved with the recovery community and 12-step meetings.

One thing is for sure about this disease, we can’t do it alone. People in the rooms can be one of your biggest aids in your recovery. There is always a chance of relapse but despite knowledge, remember you have a choice today. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-777-9588.


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