Posts

Showing posts from September, 2012

AA Sponsorship

What is sponsorship?

     Is it approaching some newbie at an AA meeting and telling them that they need a sponsor and that you're the man to do it? Is it then dragging your sponsee to AA meetings day after day after day? Is it calling your sponsee on Saturday night to make sure he isn't drinking? Or is it fielding frantic and desperate phone calls from your sponsee as he teeters on the edge outside of a bar? Is it providing a social structure for your sponsee by taking him out for dinner, a movie, or some bowling? Is it telling your sponsee where to work, who to be with, or what friends they should have? Is it getting all militant and beating the shit out of him? Better yet, is it telling your sponsee what kind of clothes to wear? Is sponsorship determining what colored socks to wear on Monday? Sure that may sound ridiculous, but it's just as ridiculous as all the other useless actions I just mentioned.

     Sponsorship is NONE of the above. Watered down, modern AA h…

Binge Drinkers

Alcoholism is not a function of when you drink, it is a function of how you drink. I don't care if you can sit there and wait a month or two between binges. Doesn't matter. You could have the so-called willpower to hold out for an entire year, but still be a 100% deranged alcoholic. It really doesn't matter how long you can personally bide your time.

     What matters is what happens to you once you take a drink. If you cannot stop once you start, you are an alcoholic. And if you think it's not a problem because you only drink once in a while, then you have an alcoholic mind. A broken mind.

     In fact, binge drinkers are some of the worst. Because they wait so long to drink, what do you think happens? When they finally get their greedy paws on the bottle, they drink themselves almost to death. Furthermore, all of the off-time allows them to sink deeper and deeper into the depths of their depression, anger, fear and self-hatred. So you basically have a demonic, …

Too Much At Once

One of the earliest lessons I learned as I returned home from treatment was trying to accomplish too much and failing. Having just shed my old self and suddenly filled up with spirit and willingness, I suddenly wanted to accomplish everything that I failed to in the first 28 years of my life. I wanted to immediately pay off debts, start new AA meetings, help everybody, get a counseling job, quit smoking, write a book, produce an album, pick up a martial art, join a monastery, and start a treatment center modeled after the one I'd just come from.

     I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Uh, nothing. Just the next thing in front of me.

     If we try to do too much at once, all of it may just blow up in our faces. I've heard several clinicians suggest that we should implement all the changes we want at once. They're probably not addicts.

     First of all, it isn't possible. Secondly, if we try to accomplish a million things at once, nothing will get our …

Doctor's Opinion

"The unselfishness of these men as we have come to know them, the entire absence of profit motive, and their community spirit, is indeed inspiring to one who has labored long and wearily in this alcoholic field." - Alcoholics Anonymous, xxvii

     Dr. Silkworth wrote a letter to Alcoholics Anonymous describing the nature of addiction as he saw it. He also stated that there is little science can accomplish regarding the full recovery of chronic alcoholics. In a doctor's humble view, we are hopeless.
     Dr. Silkworth realized that man-made remedies often fail to change a man or woman fundamentally. He admits that some form of "moral psychology" is required but that such a thing cannot be applied via medicine or other type of physical remedy. Furthermore, he admits that the solution is effective only when carried by another alcoholic. Finally, he concedes that the spiritual and altruistic program contained within the Big Book has changed hopeless men, and change…

Presence of Like Others

Should we alcoholics and addicts spend time in the presence of other active alcoholics and addicts? If we are not yet recovered, then no. If we are recovered, then only if we have a good reason.

     I have several relatives and friends who are alcoholics and in a rather bitter denial. Sure I had to spend time with them through the process of making amends. But after all these years, many of them still haven't changed in the slightest. In fact, their drinking and their respective character defects and personality disorders are getting considerably worse. So do I continue to allow them my presence?

     Even though they are relatives and friends, the answer, after praying and listening to my gut, is a resounding NO. Why? Because I have made my amends to them but now the relationships are simply toxic. To continue giving to them despite ongoing disrespect would be a way of dishonoring myself and all that I have accomplished since I took Steps and recovered more than 7 years ago…

Dry Drunks

Just because we are sober does not mean that we aren't still a rather large group of selfish assholes. In fact, if we have not yet chosen to live by spiritual principles, that's what we are. And choosing to live by spiritual principles means, of course, actually practicing them in our lives... or at least making a sincere attempt. The reason I was able to get sober so many times yet fail so miserably is simply because I remained the same self-absorbed idiot after putting down the substance.

     I once heard a veteran AA "old timer" at a Manchester, MA meeting say that AA and recovery was not about being a good person, it was just about staying sober. His exact words were, "I'm still an asshole, just a sober asshole!" He said it didn't matter if you still lied, cheated, or abused others verbally and physically. Here was the featured speaker of the night and he was telling everybody that AA wasn't about morals. For this guy, it was totally f…

The Bipolar & ADD Hoax

Many alcoholics and addicts do not recover. Watered down AA is just one problem. Perhaps an even bigger problem is the entire Western medical community, an arrogant community that pushes theories, disorders and pharmaceutical treatments as if they were ordained by God.

     Many of us who wind up in any mainstream clinical setting will almost immediately be diagnosed with ADD and/or Bipolar Disorder (formerly Manic Depressive Disorder). Sorry, but both of these disorders are fabricated. To note, I know people who truly suffer from severe biochemical imbalance, and let me tell you that the slew of essentially normal people now getting slapped with the bipolar tag is complete nonsense.

     Many years ago, it was thought and medically accepted that bipolar did not manifest itself until the age of 18. Now small children and toddlers are being diagnosed with bipolar and medicated with powerful psychotropic drugs, some to their death. Guess why?

     Secondly, every child who doesn…

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Wow. Check this out...

From Asha Hawkesworth (www.brighthill.net), on Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

     Narcissists lack compassion and empathy. They are critical and contemptuous of others, lack a sense of humor, cannot recognize their true feelings, have a poor memory, are competitive, and contradict themselves often. They live in a fantasy world in which they have absolute power, beauty, and genius, which they expect everyone to recognize. Your memory of events and the narcissist’s memory will seldom match, because the narcissist has already rewritten events in their head in order to see themselves in a better light. Narcissists will be your best friend if you agree with their fantasies about themselves, but failing to validate them (by disagreeing with them) brings swift retribution. They are very quick to stab you in the back. Children of narcissists grow up believing that everything that is wrong in the relationship is due to their own failure—never the narcissist’s. Often,…

Change Is Internal

Nothing outside of us can change us (other than God). 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 arrogance 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 on…

All The Same

I always remember that we addicts and alcoholics are all the same, but always forget that we humans are all the same. Why can I humble myself regarding my addiction yet remain so arrogant when it comes to the rest of the world? Why do I still think I know something? Why do I still think that some others know nothing? The truth is that nobody is better or worse than anybody else.

     But beyond that, why do I still think that our constructed human identities, our superficial problems and our meaningless opinions mean so much? Is it just me, or do we get sucked into a narrow little tunnel about our lives and the world?

     I still manage to forget everything I've learned on a daily basis. It's like I suddenly go mad and start taking everything so seriously. The state of the world, the economy, what people know or don't know, what people believe or don't believe, who has power and who doesn't, or better yet... the petty little ridiculous dramas that I pathetica…

Do You Feel It?

We must listen to our conscience if we are to return to sanity...

     If I can't feel in my gut what is right and what is wrong, then there is something wrong with my program. We take Steps to restore our conscience and then it is up to us not to ignore these gut feelings.  If we feel something is right, we go and do it. If we feel that something is wrong, we avoid it at all costs. With the power to act or to refrain, we can now move away from the selfish part of our recovery and go help others. We can give back to the families, friends and the larger world that we have taken so much from. We can walk forward after walking backward for so long. It is now our responsibility to serve.

     Remember, addicts don't deserve what we have. Sure we respect ourselves and we are nobody's doormat... but we must never trample humility. If we have made it and recovered by some miracle, it is most certainly because we were CHOSEN to get better and to help others, not because we de…

12 Step Posters/Posers

Follow up to the previous Let Go and Let Godpost about AA slogans (Also see AA Slogans). There is, in fact, a problem with this slogan, or rather its constant recitation in AA. When I walk into a meeting, there are few, if any, who can tell me exactly how to let go and how let God.

     Even more disappointing is that there may be no one in the room who has done so himself.

    That poster of the 12 Steps that hangs on the wall is not the Twelve Steps. It is a summary. The detailed instructions are inside the Big Book, even though hoards of AA 'members' aren't really sure what's in the book other than a few stories. Others think the Big Book is just something you win in the raffle at the end of the meeting.

     Nothing could be further from the truth.

     Find someone who has taken Steps (as they are laid out in Alcoholics Anonymous) and has recovered. That's the guy you want to follow. That is real sponsorship. It's not going out bowling on Friday or ta…

Let Go and Let God

So here is one of the few good AA slogans, since I promised to make up for bashing so many others in an older entry,AA Slogans.

Let Go and Let God      Needless to say, this is the essence and the desired result of taking Steps. When I take a 3rd Step, I have become willing to let go of a life driven by self-will. I have decided to no longer be guided by my warped and broken mind. I have essentially given my will over to God, and by promising to take more action, the two hopefully become aligned. The goal is to get my self-will to naturally do God's will. In other words, I seek to naturally do the right thing, to naturally be honest, helpful, willing, tolerant and loving. In this sense, it's fine to use as much self-will as I want in order to do God's will.
     When we addicts begin to worry about ourselves - our feelings, our lives, our financial security, even our hopes and dreams - this is when we have stopped letting go. We have reverted back to self-will and atte…