Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What To Do With Addicts

Rule #1:
     Don't listen to me or anybody else. It's better if you figure things out on your own. In fact, you will find the answers inside of you and the proper guidance if you sincerely ask for it and pray for it. Figure out the best solution based on your own situation. Listen to your gut and use your best, most honest judgment. See, Don't Listen to Me, for more on that.

     In, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Shunryu Suzuki writes,

     “Even though you try to put people under control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in a wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large spacious meadow is the way to control him..."

     In other words, if you box someone in or tell them what to do, they want to bust out and do what you have forbid them to do. Conversely, if you give someone space and refrain from preaching, they tend to stay put and perhaps even ask your advice. Now, given, each case is different, but I personally don't chase people around anymore. If people want advice, they will ask for it.

     So when I say to leave us alone, I don't mean that you want to ignore us completely. In fact, I would pray hard, as you can never go wrong invoking the Holy Spirit. But don't waste your time pushing too hard until we show some willingness. As well, if you try to control or change someone, be prepared to be forever disappointed. Sure you can attempt to educate us if you want, but ultimately, books, words, therapy sessions and medications are all useless. Sure you can sit down with an addict and try to bring them some wisdom. We probably won't give two shits, as we are 100% incapable of listening and absorbing anything other than dope, but hey, it might make you feel better.

     Listen to the addict. They will let you know one way or the other if they're looking for some help. But if not, why waste your precious time and energy? I'm not saying that we are all useless piles of garbage, but when in active alcoholism or addiction, that's pretty much exactly what we are - insane, delusional, annoying, loud, manic, unattractive, selfish, manipulative, dependent victims who think the world owes us something, who want free everything, and who think that no one feels as bad as we do and therefore we have some sort of God given right to get fucked up 24/7.

     And tragically, many of us continue to remain totally self-absorbed, depressed and useless when all we do is achieve physical sobriety but fail to change and grow spiritually. A sober addict or alcoholic with no character or moral compass is essentially a failure. What's the point when you still can't give to others or give to the world, when you still can't serve as a beacon of recovery and an effective guide to those who still suffer?

     Sure all of us need some help in the very beginning, but then anyone who truly wants to get better will plow into recovery like a tank, letting nothing stop them. Until that fire is lit, good luck.

     I will leave you with some hope, however. While I did decide to drag myself to detox, it was the frothing at the mouth anger, pain and heartache of my wife and mother as they stood in front of me screaming and crying at the top of their lungs that helped me to actually consider treatment after detox. Now granted, much of what motivated me that day was that I really couldn't stand listening to not one, but two neurotic women ranting incessantly, so in an effort to get them to pipe down and leave, I agreed to go ;-)

     But then once I met a recovered addict, saw people changing and learned that the place I ended up at suggested spiritual growth, I knew that was it. I knew that was what I truly needed and I knew I finally had a real chance to get better. I grabbed onto it tightly and have never looked back.

     What did I grab onto, you may ask?

     Well, God, of course. I soon learned that the power of God is capable of anything and forever changed me as I was touched one night after reading my inventory and getting down on my knees to pray humbly and earnestly. If you can get an addict to want God more than drugs, you have solved the problem.

Also see, How Not to Help Addicts & Enabling Makes You Suffer

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Root of Our Problem Is Selfishness

     So everybody's wrong, right? Uh, no, I don't think so.

     Regardless of what changes may occur to the brain from abusing drugs and alcohol year after year, the root of our problem is selfishness and the root of our recovery is unselfish action. Whether you want to believe that or not doesn't change the truth. Whether you want to explain away an illness by blaming others, blaming environment or blaming genes, it doesn't change the fact that addiction is acquired through selfish action and it is vanquished through unselfish action.

     I tracked some more searches for you over the course of the last two days. Hopefully this will help to illuminate the nature of our malady. Addicts can be likened to children who refuse to grow up, as growing up means shedding the ignorance of youth and the fantasy of adolescent narcissism. Growing up means hard work and personal responsibility. Growing up challenges us and pushes us out of our comfort zone - the one thing addicts don't want to do - feel uncomfortable.

     With addiction, we need to challenge conventional wisdom. What you think will work for you or your addicted loved one may be the last thing you want to do, so consider trying the opposite. In fact, since nothing and nobody can stop an addict, we should probably do nothing at all. Blasphemy! Actually, no, it's not. It's common sense, which is uncommon. People usually choose to get better on their own as opposed to someone telling them to. Left alone, we are much more likely to change than if we are followed around, coddled and so forth. Huh?! Why! Charlie, you dumbass!

     Cool, no problem. Do whatever you want. However, the people who tried to intervene and shower me with pamphlets, doctors, pills and even love and friendship, simply delayed my recovery. Allowing me to sink lower into the depths of darkness and despair was what closed the gap between me and God. The lower we go and the worse we get, the closer we get to God, one way or the other.

     Sure you don't have to lose all your teeth and become a walking STD before recovering, but trust me, most addicts won't stop using until they want to stop. To be more accurate, most addicts won't change until they want to change, short of some miracle... and yes, those occur as well, though usually not while we're sitting on our asses nodding off after a trip to the methadone clinic. 

01/23/15 - 01/24/15

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God, please rid us from the spiritual disease of selfishness, the preoccupation with self, and the addiction to comfort...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Projection & Self-Doubt

     A while back, some guy commented that everything I write regarding addiction is just an opinion. He wanted to see it that way because he needed to rationalize his addict's half-ass recovery efforts as well as the beliefs he had about his child.

     I hate to say it, but these are not opinions. This is knowledge that I have been given and acquired through the experience of real-life trial and error, and more importantly, actual RESULTS. When you're an addict and you go from extreme delusion and dishonesty to extreme clarity and honesty, you begin to see what is true and what is false. You begin to see things as they truly are.

     But when our own program/s continue to fail us repeatedly, we often engage in projection in order to avoid the shame and humiliation that accompanies failure. We project to avoid the truth, to avoid accountability, and most importantly, to avoid taking responsibility.

     Failure also begets self-doubt, and when self-doubt becomes pathological, it virtually creeps out of our pores, especially when we have to ask for something or stick up for ourselves. Pathological self-doubt usually occurs when we have been ridiculed incessantly growing up, especially by a narcissistic parent. Ironically, in damaged, victim-complexed individuals, sometimes self-doubt doesn’t really sound like self-doubt. In fact, the person with the guilt complex can come across as quite annoying. Why is that?

     For one, guilty, codepedent types usually beat around the bush instead of being direct, and let's face it, that's annoying. As well, the lack of confidence in our tone can actually be construed by the other person as sort of rude, indifferent, patronizing or impatient, despite no such intention being present. An anxious and guilty tone can be construed as one of blame, even if the true blame is towards self, and if there is a negative or defensive response from the person we are addressing, we cop a resentment. But the truth is that we are only mad at ourselves for not being able to communicate effectively, confidently, or straightforwardly with others.

     Unless we know why others are responding to us negatively, we will forever be frustrated and hurt by people. And sadly, there is nothing else to blame but our own character defects and our own delusional perception, when, in fairness, it never had to be that way. Effective communication doesn’t come from understanding the right way to communicate intellectually, as therapists would have you believe. It comes from self-understanding and practice in the real world.

     Ask yourself, why is everybody you know in long-term therapy still inept when it comes to communicating? 

     The answers already reside within. We just have to do some work, clean ourselves out and take some responsibility in order for them to surface. Once they do, we will be restored. We will be become honest once again, as we learn who we truly are, as we grow in strength and power, as we get up off the therapy couch, throw the pills down the toilet, grab life by the throat and walk forward - key word WALK as opposed to SIT. We must 'act' as opposed to 'think it out', which, along with more and more mind-numbing drugs, is the core approach to the new-age, degenerate model for addicts etc.

     What's sad is that nothing will ever change.

     Trust me, it won't.


     Because the masses of sheep will never get it so long as they turn to the powers that be for their answers. Macro change will never come because people will always believe that the authorities will save them and solve their problems. Boy is everyone in for a rude awakening... and perhaps much sooner than you think.