Moral courage is to do the right thing even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular. So in order to have moral courage you must know what your morals are, you must know what your values are, you have to stand for something or you’re going to fall for everything, anything.
In today’s talk with our program participants this morning I told them, “Hey, if you see your peer or roommate maybe use some substances without the sober living or the treatment center finding out, maybe they fake the drug test, maybe they brought in some fake urine so they can pass a drug test, but you know that they’re drinking, you know that they’re smoking, you know that they’re taking pills, you know they’re taking research chemicals, you know that they’re getting high on something, and you see that and you don’t say anything, because you say I don’t want to be a rat, I don’t want to be a snitch, I don’t want to be a person that gets my my nose in other people’s business, I’ll tell you this in that moment you lost your moral courage. Because that human being that might be getting high is somebody’s son or daughter that maybe a month ago overdosed inside the mom and dad’s house, in an ambulance and paramedics have to come and revitalized a dead body in front of the family with Narcan and the kid just came to breathe. Maybe that person is someone that got his kids taken away from them because of their substance abuse. Maybe that’s something that their marriage is in jeopardy, and on the line because of their substance abuse. Maybe that person is somebody that’s experiencing significant trauma in their life that they’ve never healed from and they’re just numbing it out with substances. If you don’t have moral courage to go say something to someone about that and you’re complicit then I really don’t know what we’re doing here.”
Staying Silent is Being Complicit
When it comes to families – by the way, sometimes there is a spouse that really really protects and enables their kid and sometimes there’s another spouse who says we can’t do this anymore, our kid’s going to die. And if that spouse that has that strong belief doesn’t say something to the other spouse and wake that person up or set some boundaries or do something they’re just as complicit. I never wish this on nobody ever that you know somebody’s using substances, lethal substances, you know if someone’s using fentanyl for God’s sakes and you know it and you don’t say this is wrong, we don’t condone this, we’re not going to allow this to happen and something God forbid happens to that person, how do you think you sleep at night knowing that information and the fact that you could have done something about it? So the moral part’s really, really important.
You Already Know what the Right Thing is
In the early stages we sometimes don’t know what the right thing might be and that’s the beauty of pausing and asking a few people we trust and respect what the right thing is. By the way, people know what the right thing is. Let me just say this – there’s family members that I’ve worked with for years – it doesn’t matter what background, what ethnicity, what cultures they are from, they’ve worked for years, they know exactly what they’re supposed to do in a situation. And when the situation arises they act like they’ve never heard it before, they act like no one’s ever told them what to do, they act like it’s like a brand new situation – no, it’s not. You’re just choosing not to accept reality. I have such strong boundaries when it comes to that stuff – if I said something to somebody five or six times or ten times, or I’ve said something to someone for one or two years, I don’t say it anymore. I’ve done my part, I’ve paid my dues, I’ve shared my experience, my strength, my hope, my knowledge, my expertise, and at some point that’s all you can do. What they do with the information is none of my business. Like I always say the choice is yours – my hope is you choose the one based on the information you have.
Be a Snitch Rat!
Snitch rat or take courage. In a lot of the recovery drug communities where people are using substances they kind of throw these words around. And because of the street terminology or prison terminology that’s what I told the kids this morning on the talk. I said, “For those of you who are afraid of snitching or being a rat, like you’re living in a very nice sober living, going to a very luxurious treatment center, and if you were that type of person that lives by the code and the honor of the street, or you were a prison person, you wouldn’t be sitting on a live stream listening to me talk at 8:30 in the morning. You know what I mean – you’re not a part of the cartel, you’re not a part of the Mexican Mafia, you’re not a part of any type of syndicate that goes through and smuggles drugs. If you were, you’d be in prison and you’re in treatment with the support of your family.
So let’s just get rid of those terms, let’s get rid of that stuff, and let’s start healing, start focusing on what’s important.
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