No one notices the passengers on the bus – they watch the drivers.

By David Joel Miller

Are you the passenger or the driver?

Recovery Bus

Recovery Bus.

Passengers on the bus are at the mercy of the driver. They stop when he stops and they go when he goes. If you have ever had to ride the bus, in most cities, you will find that there are some serious problems with relying on this form of transportation.

You will also discover that there is a lot of discrimination towards bus riders. That loss of control and dependence on others carries over into other parts of your life. People who have an addiction also lose control and they suffer the same discrimination as bus riders. Really serious drug users and alcoholics get both experiences. They get looked down on because of their addiction and because they have lost the ability to drive a car or manage their transportation. Eventually, they may lose the ability to manage the rest of their life.

There are certainly good reasons to encourage bus ridership. It is better for the environment. You may save money on registration, taxes, and maintenance. Those benefits come at the cost of not having the bus always go where you want it to and not always being on your schedule. A life run on drugs and alcohol has those same negative features.

You will not find many people impressed if you tell them you gave up your car so you could rely on the bus for your transportation. Somehow the notion that you might be better off having others take control of your transportation options does not sound attractive to most people.

Most people are not impressed by a life controlled by drugs or alcohol either.

What does impress others is the person who can drive their own car. The newer and shinier the car the more the impression factor. The driver feels better about themselves also.

Now just having a fancy car is not enough. A car is only impressive if it runs well in addition to looking good. The same thing is true of our lives. Think about celebrities whose lives looked good from the outside until it finally jumped the track and now is in the ditch.

The person who has control of their life, whose life is going where they want it to go gets a whole lot more respect than the person whose life is controlled by addictions or compulsions.

Sometimes in life, you need to ride the bus. Your car may be in the shop, you may not have the money to get it fixed just now. But the goal of most people is to regain control of their transportation lives.

The same thing is true if you are sick. You may currently be relying on your doctor, psychiatrist, counselor or sponsor to help you steer your life. But the sooner you can reach the point where you, with some help form a higher power, can take back control of your life, the sooner you can regain the respect of others and most importantly regain your own self-respect.

A life that is steered by alcohol, drugs or emotional illness takes you to place you don’t want to go. You can regain control of the direction your life is going. Don’t let your past control your future. Get headed in a new direction.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books


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