Thursday, March 5, 2015

Narcissism in Recovery

     I can admit that I sometimes suffer from narcissism in recovery and must continue to rid myself from this character defect. We all fall prey to it, and while it is really just a human flaw, addicts must be especially aware of this stuff, for the well of an addict often becomes poisoned much faster than that of someone who isn't so spiritually ill.

     Narcissism occurs when I begin to perceive myself to be an extension of everyone else, and as such, I falsely believe my feelings to be dependent on what occurs externally (outside of me). In plain English, I start to blame others for how I feel, which is delusional. By the way, it is also narcissistic when I start thinking others should think or feel the same way I do about something... so feel free to disagree.

     But the point is, once again, that knowing all about our flaws is completely useless if we don't cleanse ourselves properly via inventory etc. so that the work we do actually works. This is why therapy is such a hoax. All talk, no action. Talking, reading and studying don't change people. Action does. Below is the original post, Change is Internal.

*

     Nothing outside of us can change us (other than God, of course). We have to change ourselves...

     The problem with addicts is that that we carry this flaw into our recovery. Our self-absorbed frame of mind tells us that even our recovery is dependent on the outside world. We have a grand old time blaming anyone and anything when we feel like shit or when something goes wrong. Because we are so full of pride and bullshit, we cannot see that nothing outside of us is responsible for how we feel or for what happens to us.

     We must be aware that our narcissism still pervades our perception far into recovery. We often think that our recovery itself is dependent on things taking place outside of ourselves.

     If my boss was only there when I went to make an amends, I'd be okay right now. If my wife would only do some work on herself, I'd be much better spiritually. If my family would only change along with me, I'd be more recovered than I am by now. If people would only forgive me, my depression would be gone already. If I had only gotten that job, I could've made amends to my creditors, but because there is no work, I have to stiff them, and then if I relapse, it's not my fault.

     Wait a minute, wasn't the whole point of getting better to finally understand that we alone are responsible for who we are, what we are, how we feel, and what happens to us? Wasn't the whole point of taking Steps to propel us into the light of reality?

     In order to grow, change or really get better at all, alcoholics and addicts must fully understand that we are where we are because of us and us alone. No one and no thing gets us better or worse. If we change, it's because we change ourselves. If we fail, it's because we fail ourselves.

God, help me understand and remember that change comes from within...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Get Your Advice From Nature

     This you must understand: until we have a profound and total psychic change whereby our minds, attitudes and characters have been fundamentally altered, trust me, we WILL continue to hurt you, use you, disappoint you.

     There is an old Native American proverb, "what you resist will persist", and boy how true it is.

     Fighting against what is will often just prolong it. Consider this as you exert your will and try to make war with someone's addiction. Resistance is often fuel for its object, so when we let go, the problem may actually dissolve much faster than by continuing to interfere. It may seem counter-intuitive, especially with something as deadly as addiction, but we must apply the same universal wisdom that holds true in other aspects of life. Besides, the truth is that nothing outside the addict can fix him or her anyway.

     Take it from nature. Nature gets it. It doesn't whine and complain and moan about anything. It doesn't resist the forces acting upon it or around it. It just let whatever comes, come and whatever goes, go. This is one of the secrets of life. So if you have a spouse or a child who will not get better, listen up.

     First of all, it has nothing to do with you. All of us, addicts or not, fail to love when we fail to properly tend to ourselves. Truly, it is all a projection. Nothing outside of the addict is responsible for how he or she feels, for their attitude towards others, for their life and their circumstances. We have nothing to blame but ourselves. Let go and forgive yourself, because nothing about you, nothing you do, and nothing you could do differently makes an addict use, will make an addict better, or will prevent an addict from getting better.

     Now that you understand that it has nothing to do with you and that nothing you do can change us, if your spouse fails to recover, you should really have enough self-respect to let them go, i.e. to leave them. Do not dishonor yourself as if you are not worth it or something, because that is nonsense. And if it is your child, you should disengage with them. Fine, tell them you love them and they are breaking your heart, but beyond that, why exert your will? It will do absolutely nothing to change the addict or alter his or her current course.

See How Not to Help Addicts.

     Addicts and alcoholics will only change if they wake up one day and suddenly decide they want to change. We are purely selfish beings, and even when and if we decide to change, it is for purely selfish reasons. Fact. It isn't to stop hurting you or other people, at least not right off the bat. It is only because we now want to change. It is still all about us. Sure once we begin to get better and our moral compass begins to recover, then we start to figure out that it's not about us. But trust me, addicts only change when THEY want to.

     Perhaps we change because we are sick of the way we are. Perhaps we change simply because we are utterly broke and can't get high one day. Perhaps we change because our depression and our spiritual destitution is so great that not even the drugs and alcohol can bust through anymore. Perhaps we change because the pros of being a total coward and using like a pig no longer outweigh the cons. Whatever the case, the decision is based on nothing outside of us. We do not stop because of you, for you, or for any other external or other-centered thing. It is not because of our parents, siblings or friends. We do not even stop for our kids and what we are doing to them, which is disgusting.

     I know I've suggested ultimatums, and while it is the best bullet you may have in your clip, it's still just a shot in the dark. Addicts and alcoholics will only change when they decide to have a spiritual experience, or when they just randomly have one, which is rare.

     So as usual, initially deciding to change, like any other addict decision, is really just an extension of our selfishness. If we then continue to get better year after year, once we have come flying off of our pink clouds and landed back on earth where normal, mundane life occurs and where suffering is just a part of human life, at that point we stay better because we are choosing to do right by not just ourselves, but by others too.

     Contrary to popular belief, addicts don't deserve what they have. We are are not victims of a blameless disease where treatment and all sorts of comfort meds should be subsidized by the already sodomized taxpayer. After ten years, much of the work I do now in recovery is with my family in mind. Sure it benefits me, but much of it is for them, simply because it is the right thing to do. I don't get a buzz anymore from doing this stuff. I do it because it is my responsibility to be a good father, husband, son, brother, friend, and example for other shithead junkies.

     That last part, well, I don't know. I'm not the best example by any stretch, so even if I know what I'm talking about on paper, you're probably better off getting help from someone else ;-) As you may know, according to some local parent/idiot, I have my sick ego and my desire to abuse and hurt others to deal with. Lol.

      The bottom line is that nothing you do will change your addict. They will either change or they won't, but fighting with them just inflicts even more pain on yourself and just adds to the spiritual damage within. Making war with your loved one's addiction means that now you have joined in. Now both of you are guilty of abusing you. So take it from nature and try to stop resisting what is, especially if by doing so, what you are resisting only persists. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Accomplishment = Happiness?

     Sometimes we falsely equate accomplishment with happiness, but have you ever accomplished something only to be void of happiness altogether? I have to say, if there is any causal relationship at all, for me happiness is much more likely to produce accomplishment than the other way around.

     I've found that when I focus on creating peace and happiness within, the things I want to accomplish have a much greater chance of manifesting. By not focusing primarily on what I want to accomplish, opportunities naturally arise for me to accomplish those things. Things happen when I'm busy doing something else, when I'm busy taking care of myself and not forcing my will. Things happens when I'm focused on trying to create inner peace and attempting to do the right thing.

     This may all seem paradoxical, but often that is what truth really is. For instance, isn't it often true that when we slow down, we actually tend to accomplish much more? Why is that? It is because we are not propelled by self-will. When we stop trying to force things and selfishly grasp for things, they happen.

     So if happiness and accomplishment are two different things, or rather, two separate pursuits, which would you rather have? Don't worry, they are not mutually exclusive, so sure you can have both, but one may have to come first before the other ;-)

     Huh?

     The point is that if your primary focus is on accomplishment but you continue to live in great angst and unease, try letting go and see what happens. I'd personally rather be happy and have peace than accomplish all kinds of worldly nonsense, if I had to choose. Sure I would love to accomplish certain things but having suffered emotionally and knowing how agonizing that can get, I would never sacrifice my peace for a few toys or some recognition.

     The irony is that by pursuing happiness, the accomplishments accomplish themselves.