"It seems to me,” William S. Burroughs Jr. once wrote, that “if you put something pleasant in front of someone, they’re going to take it.” But not everyone succumbs to the temptation. Why do some fall prey to addiction while others do not?
Gwen opens the circle session at nine a.m. on a Monday morning with a reading from Alcoholics Anonymous’ Blue Book. The theme is powerlessness, and Gwen reads in a halting voice. Her audience is a group of women who’ve come to work here in an old parsonage just up the hill from a well-heeled Episcopal church.
A certain casualness often overtakes modern conversation about addiction. Here in Oprah nation we’re proud of our semantic acumen, batting around words like withdrawal and detox and always at the ready with “Hi, my name is Bill” jokes.