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Showing posts from May, 2012

Taking Credit

Who really gets us better?

     I pretty much figured that if I was going to recover, it was ME that was going to do it. Arrogance. I couldn't even wrap my head around the idea that something else could fix me, especially something intangible and other-worldly. Enslaved by my ego, I became saturated with pride and self-love. I could only conceive of my own power. I'm the only one who can fix or change myself. I accomplish everything because I'm Charlie f'ing Peabody! 

     Addicts love to take credit for every good thing that happens to them, for every accomplishment no matter how minute. They simply can't handle the possibility or even the idea that something else may be responsible for what they have achieved or what they have been blessed with. If they land a great job, it's all them. If they make a bunch of money, it's all them. If they meet a loving, loyal spouse, it's all them. If they are showered with good friends and abundance, then yup, i…

Selfish No Matter What

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See also: Why Alcoholics Hurt People & Why Addicts Can't Stay Sober

     One of the many convenient delusions among addicts and alcoholics is that we somehow only hurt ourselves when we drink, so why doesn't everybody just leave us alone? I personally don't think alcoholics and drug addicts are really that stupid. I mean, yes we are definitely stupid, but not in that way.

     Drinking or using drugs is selfish in so many ways it hurts. Let's just take it from the top...

     Drinking is literally selfish because we drink to make ourselves feel better. We drink for effect. That is selfish.

     Fine, but why are all of you people affected by my drinking? What if I'm just a nice, quiet drunk who hangs out in the house and plays solitaire over a fifth of vodka? The answer is because there are actually people out there who love us. Imagine that. Consider love. What is it? Why do we love others? Why do my parents love me? Why do I love my wife and son and d…

Whining and Complaining

Normal people get up and go to work and don't complain about it. They don't need to remove the time-release coating from an OC 80, crush it up and sniff the entire thing in one line just to get in the shower. They also don't need to get plastered to have a conversation with someone. They don't need to whine and complain incessantly about everything. They don't need to be so narcissistic as to presume that nobody else in the world suffers the way they do. So don't even bother asking anything of an alcoholic or drug addict... or a narcissist for that matter. Their life is just way too tough to be giving to anybody else.

     Normal people have bad days too. Normal people wake up sometimes and feel depressed, or anxious, or angry, or sad, or even hopeless. It's just that they don't complain about it and drive to Happy Market in Dorchester to meet Pablo for a bag of dope. They just walk right through what they are feeling and do what needs to be done. …

Crossing Lines

There is no, "I'm an alcoholic but not a drug addict." There is no, "I have a problem with heroin but not cocaine." Or the best is, "I'm addicted to everything (or nothing) except weed." That one even tops, "Prescription drugs aren't really drugs. I mean, it's not like I'm some dirty, toothless crackhead rotting away under a bridge."

     No, you're not... not yet.

     If you think you're different from the drug addict because all you do is chug wine every night and play solitaire, think again. There is no difference.

     If I am an addict, then I have an allergy to alcohol and drugs that crosses all lines. If I am an alcoholic, then I'm also a heroin addict, a cocaine addict, a benzodiazepine addict, and a pothead. Once you have the body of an addict, NOTHING is safe. Not even Tylenol PM. Why? Because any mood-altering substance will trigger the same physiological response. Any drug will trigger an allergi…

Self-Will

Addicts and alcoholics don't just have a drug and alcohol problem, they have a 'living life' problem. They run around propelled by self-will, which is absolutely hopeless. For me, navigating this world by self-will ensured that I was completely useless to those around me. I couldn't get a job, keep a job, finish school, control my emotions, have healthy relationships, stay sober, not sink into a mind-blowing depression... and the shameful list goes on and on.

     This is why I took a 3rd Step and attempted to turn my will over to God. Sounds ridiculous, right? Fine, let's look at it on a practical level. All this means is that I'm not going to rely on my fucked up mind to guide me through life anymore. Instead, I was going to pray and listen. I wasn't going to ignore what I felt was the right thing to do. I was going to start listening to my gut, to my conscience. I had to. My attempts at planning life, trying to script what I should do, making life d…

Neutral = Reverse

Neutral is reverse for guys like me. I woke up this morning, forgot to take a moment to stop, be still, listen and pray, and instead just started rushing around. As years go by, I find myself getting up and without thinking or stopping, I go full speed ahead, diving into bills, work, this, that.

     Let me warn drug addicts NOT to do that.

     Don't do what I do, at least not on those days. Why? Because guys like me naturally move backwards if we're not moving forward. I naturally become sicker if I'm not actively working on myself. I can't stop praying or meditating, I can't stop thinking about others or helping others, I can't stop emptying my mind of resentment or stop searching for other ways to heal and evolve... at least not without becoming spiritually sick again. I must grow. Hanging out is not an option. Floating is not an option. Neutral is not a gear addicts have in their transmission.

     To hide from what I need to do, I distract myself by …

Self-Seeking

Self-seeking - to seek a self. Addicts and pathologically self-centered people in general devote most, if not all of their conscious lives towards self-seeking behavior. Put simply, we want to look a certain way. In fact, we need for other people to see us that way. We need you to see how cool we are, how tough we are, how confident we are, how beautiful we are, how popular we are, how artistic we are, how altruistic we are, how heroic we are, and the list goes on seemingly forever. When I became a phony, the only way for me to feed my self-esteem and ego was for others (or myself) to see me a certain way. Why? Because I'm NOT that way. If I was, I wouldn't need to seek a self now, would I?

     Guess how bad it was? After sniffing heroin all day at work, I used to go to the gym late at night after work in a pathetic attempt to lift some weights and run on the treadmill. Then I'd sit in the steam shower to try getting my skin looking all red and vital. Even though I w…

Depression, Real But Impermanent

Okay, so depression is real... although I realize that it may be hard for people to understand how someone could literally be incapable of pulling themselves out of bed and functioning in the world. But you cannot fully understand something that you don't have and that you haven't experienced for yourself.

     When I was 18, the big D first hit me like a ton of bricks. It was palpable, alive. It encroached me like a storm cloud and wrapped itself around my body, smothering every inch of my inner experience until I was lost in darkness, crippled and paralyzed. It was heavy, and affected all senses. I couldn't smell smells. Couldn't taste tastes. Skin was numb. Labido gone. Interests gone. Pleasure gone. Life became nothing more than breathing, a constant state of agony, and the torture of my speeding, racy mind. All night my mind would race around. One thought, ten thoughts, hundreds and hundreds of thoughts just pounding away. And what if it never ends?

     The …

Meetings vs Steps

One of the central tenets of AA is that no human power can give us choice back. But today you have slogans and cliches which profess that all you need is a Group Of Drunks (G.O.D.) to keep you sober. Sorry, but if you're a chronic alcoholic or addict, no meeting or group of people can keep you sober. Nobody in the world can. If that were true, no one in AA would be relapsing. The truth is that nothing human or man-made can keep us sober.

     Meetings never really helped me because even though I may identify with whatever loser was speaking at the podium, I never heard a real solution. Nobody ever told me what to actually do to get better, feel better, and become recovered so I don't have to struggle 24/7 and end up going to 3 meetings a day for the rest of my life. Just keep comin' [to meetings] isn't gonna cut it. How about becoming free to go anywhere in the world and not worry about relapsing?
     If I'm borderline suicidal and still white knuckling it ev…

What You Resist Will Persist

"What you resist will persist." - Native American Proverb.

     Beautiful statement, though I fully understand its difficulty with respect to implementation.

     The same goes for, "Just let go, man..."

     That one used to piss me off quite a bit. First of all, what exactly does that mean? Second, it's great that I now know the secret to life and all, but how the F do I let go?

     Okay Charlie, go ahead, let go... let go of all your fear and depression... let go of that annoying asshole.

     Huh?

     Have you tried to just instantly let go of something? Yup, exactly. Miserable failure. That is why all self-help books say the exact same thing, so you only need to buy one of them, and you don't even need to buy that one. Why? Because, sure they eloquently describe all the shit that's wrong with us, but not one of them has ever changed me or made me feel better for any length of time.

    Self-help books are short on solutions. 'Let go, brother..…

Feelings, Fear & Insecurity

One of wisest things I've ever heard: Don't let your feelings stop you.

     I spent the first 28 years of my life crippled by fear. And the only way to conquer fear is to literally walk right into it... and then right through it. Do the very things we fear. If we fear public speaking, speak publicly. If we fear intimacy, be intimate. If we fear what we have done to someone in the past, find that person and make a direct amends to him or her.

     By the way, if you want to grow up in lightening speed, go make some amends. Coming out of a tough amends to someone, I was a different person than going in. To walk right into shame, to feel that sort of humility, to sweat through the ass of my pants from nervousness, to speak honestly about how I've wronged you... this will change anybody, unless of course, you are a sociopath and lack the capacity to be honest. In that case, there isn't much hope. We all know these types, and usually it's impossible for them to ge…

Professor Masshole

Those we resent are actually our greatest teachers...

     As soon as I think that I'm finally okay, I'm not at all. About a month ago, I wrote a bunch of inventory, read it, meditated for half an hour, felt euphoric, and once again declared myself all better and at peace forever. So, of course, I'm right about everything for about a week or so... then some meathead in a tinted Charger cuts me off while racing down Beacon Street in Boston. When I honked, he slammed on his brakes and pulled over. As he and his girlfriend came into view, I was pretty sure they were on their way to a Jersey Shore audition. He yelled out of his window for me to get out of my car and fight him. Classic. Now, to note, we are in Massachusetts, so this is fairly standard behavior for one of my fellow Massholes. But, here was a great teacher as well. Instantly, I was no longer some peaceful, enlightened, reformed citizen, but had instead devolved into an enraged animal, screaming swears back a…

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is what the "experts" and the taxpayer-funded (immorally funded) addiction programs have to offer, besides doing skits, writing down triggers, or just sucking on Methadone wafers for the rest of your life.

     CBT - identify the faulty belief, change the thinking, then change the behavior. Ah, we're talking about alcoholics and drug addicts here - pathological liars with twisted, deranged minds. So forget about the fact that most addicts cannot recover without spiritual help, CBT isn't gonna cut it. After using for 15 years, my brain is so destroyed that I couldn't possibly think straight. My sponsor said it one night at this old meeting we used to have.

     "If I can't think my way into right action, then I have to act my way into right thinking."

     Sometimes we're so messed up that we just need to start taking right action and then the mind follows.

     I used to see this therapist in Boston. Good guy, bu…

Triggers Don't Exist

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Triggers? Ah, no.

     Conventional treatment programs and addiction "specialists" tell you to write down your triggers, as if there is some reason - some person, place or thing that makes us want to use. Nope. So, what makes us want to use? Um, let's see... NOTHING. Or everything, if you prefer. The truth is that nothing makes us want to use. Once you turn yourself into an addict, that's just what you do. You use. It's a reflex. And even before we cross that line, nothing actually "triggers" us to use. The only trigger is called breathing.

     Oh, there's painkillers in your cabinet? Huh, cool. I think I'll swallow all of those, thank you very little... not like you really needed them or anything... definitely not more than I do.

     So the experts tell me that all I have to do to stay sober and, by implication, to then go and have a great life, is to avoid my triggers? Just avoid all of the people, places and things that make me want to…

Rebirth

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28 years of chronic addiction and mind-blowing depressions... and then my life began. But it was different this time. Something had cracked open in my mind. The world suddenly went from narrow and small to open and limitless as my consciousness expanded. A new dimension took form and I began to see and feel life in a totally different way. With fear gone, I felt what real Power was. I finally understood what all of those successful people who write books meant about how anything is possible. Whether you think it's God or whether you choose not to give credit where credit is due, I suppose it's more important to simply live by spiritual principles... except that you lose the humility when you take God out of the equation. And of course, arrogance isn't very attractive. I should know based on the way people used to react to me.

      But there is such a thing as a sudden and fundamental shift, an entire psychic change, a profound and cathartic spiritual experience. On …