Sunday, October 04, 2015


For two or three years every time I would pass a particular auto repair garage on my way to the Saturday morning Nineish Meeting ("If you show before eleven, you're on time") I would pass their sign that said, "We can fix it."

Depending on where my attitude was, I would either laugh, get angry, or feel bitter as I inventoried all of things going on in my life, and the lives of others, the owners of that establishment could not "fix." Often it would make me think of the origin of the word "fix," which did not have it's modern meaning of "repair."

It the times of ancient Rome, when you were really pissed off at someone, the curse was, "I'll fix you." The "fixing" involved writing down upon a small sheet of lead all of the horrible things one wanted the gods to inflict upon the cursed in the afterlife, folding the lead sheet, and "fixing" it or nailing it, onto the cursed's coffin or tomb after he or she died.

"I fixed her," eventually evolved to become, "I fixed that car." Considering some of the crappy repair jobs I've gotten on cars over the years, however, "fixed " apparently hasn't lost all of its original meaning.

"We can fix it." That sign messed with my mind so many times, I even had my sleuth in the Joe Torio series express frustration over it (in Rope, Paper, Scissors). There, too, was a situation that no one without a time machine could remedy, and there are no time machines in the Joe Torio universe.

Yesterday when I went to the Nineish Group Meeting, I passed the same auto repair garage, and their sign was advertising some deal: oil change, tune up, muffler, or some such, and I realized there was a part of me that missed the original sign. "We can fix it," was a hopeful but hopelessly naïve claim reminiscent of the "addiction cure" commercials I've seen on television over the years.

"We do not believe in the disease concept."
"This is not based on a Twelve Step program"
"And so-and-so cured my addiction!" 
. . . Nah, I don't think so.

Here is what "curing" addiction would mean: It would result in the "former" addict being able to "safely" use drugs(!): Recreational mainlining, smoking, snorting, popping, and chugging. Those who believe that and try it truly get "fixed."

No one can cure addiction, but through working a Twelve Step program of recovery, millions have repaired their lives and helped repair the lives of others.

When I was in aftercare, one of my groupmates said something quite profound: "I hope they never come up with a pill that cures alcoholism. If they ever did, the first thing I'd do is pop one of those pills, head for a bar, and get wasted."

Addiction can be arrested. Even science fiction hasn't come up with even a believable cure. Addiction is like playing chess with a computer set on "easy." The computer set for an easy game isn't very smart, but it will never miss and always take advantage of every one of your blunders. So, be careful out there.

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