- January 27, 2023

Sloth is usually equated with laziness.  This is very true.  However, it could be said that it pertains more to procrastination than just plain old-fashioned laziness.  Addicts and alcoholics are notorious for being procrastinators.  In active addiction, the only thing on their agenda is the next drink, pill, or fix.  Nothing gets in the way of this mental obsession.  Once the physical allergy is triggered the addict is compelled to use it once again.

Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.  It is usually manifested by the inability to do normal daily tasks of living.  It can get so bad that one stops eating due to being too immobilized to cook something or go to a drive-through.  Personal hygiene also falls by the wayside.  Sloth is usually coupled with a state of major depression.  Depression renders us unable to function.  We may sit on the couch for hours just staring into space.  Meanwhile, bills are piling up to be paid, laundry is amassing and there is no food in the house.  We may even stop feeding our beloved pets.

Addiction can be a disease with a dual diagnosis.  We may be alcoholics but also majorly depressed.  This is when sloth sets in.  Our main goal in life is to make sure that we have enough of our chosen substance to get us where we need to go.  This is made complicated by the never-ending tolerance we build up to our substance.  What was sufficient last week may barely take the edge off this week.  We may run out of funds and have no means by which to procure our substance.  Sloth causes us not to work or do anything legal that might bring in some funds.  Some of us turn to criminal activity in order to feed our addiction.  When sloth is in full force even this can prove to be too much for us at the time.  

Twelve-step programs can be most helpful here.  If we are rendered willing to go to treatment we may find ourselves in medical detox.  This is advisable when we are taking mass quantities of drugs and alcohol in combination with one another.  We may need 2-3 weeks of detox services just to get back on an even keel.  Sloth may kick in, but we have no choice but to move forward.  Our very life depends on this.  Detox can be uncomfortable.  The medications used to help eliminate the drugs from our system can be the most effective.  This helps to ease the distress caused by physical and mental detox symptoms.  The addict needs to be carefully monitored by the detox staff in order to ensure their well-being and progress.  There is no set time for detox.  It depends on the drugs and quantity taken by the person seeking help.  This is no time for sloth or laziness.  We may find ourselves sleeping a lot but this is usually due to the drugs given for the detox process.  The body is repairing itself.  One peculiar symptom is that we may smell odd.  This may last for a period of time and is usually due to the drugs leaching out of our system.  

Once a person is deemed to be safely detoxed, they are ready to begin on the twelve steps.  There is no time to waste here or time to be slothful.  We are on a life-and-death errand in the taking of the twelve steps.  At this point, we usually seek out someone in the program to guide us through the steps.  If we are unfailing in our attempt to recover, we will find ourselves sober.  Then most sloth falls by the wayside.  We find a measure of peace and joy in life again and in doing the mundane things in life which are necessary each day.


Written by Phillip