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Showing posts from November, 2012

Relapse Is Unthinkable

"Once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules." -Alcoholics Anonymous, xxix

     "'Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.'" - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.27

     I've been trying to pound the pavement lately and get my book onto the bookshelves. Sure this is an act of self-will, yet my gut is telling me to go and do it.

     Why did I write the book? Initially, I wanted people to know that you don't have to get sober and fight through each day. I wanted people to have the spiritual experience I had, to feel that relief and freedom. I also selfishly wanted to ini…

Addiction & Advertising

The sad truth is that conventional treatment programs and philosophies have sprung out of marketing and advertising (and government intervention, of course). The last thing they want you to hear is that all you need to get better is another alcoholic and a Big Book. Their message is, "YOU WON'T EVER TRULY BE OKAY." All you can hope for is to keep your symptoms at bay. And they pump the same negative, false message with every illness, disease and mental disorder. Hmm, golly gee, I wonder why? Maybe it's because if people became recovered for life by taking the (free) Steps with another alcoholic, there is no demand for prescription drug cocktails and overpriced, 55-minute therapy sessions.

     The last thing most treatment centers, methadone clinics, doctors, therapists and pharmaceutical companies want you to do is to fully recover. That would put them out of business. If we believe that we will always be sick, struggling and "in recovery", then we wi…

Self-Knowledge

"But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.39

     That is why psychotherapy is pretty much useless for an alcoholic or an addict. Knowledge doesn't get addicts better, nor can it keep us sober. Power does.
     Think of it as a missing chip. When we become addicts, we lose the power to choose not to drink or use drugs. No amount of self-knowledge will replace this chip. In fact, we ourselves can't even replace it. Power, once lost, must come from a power source, and since we are no longer that source, it must come from outside of ourselves. That source is God. To note, another fallacy perpetuated by conventional treatment programs is that we get ourselves better. Not true. God does.
     Alcoholics without power are subject to go insane at any moment, at which point all ration and reason disappear. When this occurs, any self-knowledge or …

Is The Coffee Pot Your Higher Power?

"We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we recovered is the main purpose of this book." -From Alcoholics Anonymous, xiii, Forward to the First Edition.

     Interesting that the preamble in many AA meetings today comes from page 25 or page 58 of the Big Book, as if the program starts there. Maybe that's why so few recover from modern-day AA groups and quasi-12 Step treatment programs.
     The one and only time I introduced myself as a "recovered" alcoholic at a local meeting, about 40 or 50 heads whipped around and stared me down angrily. You're not supposed to use the word "recovered" in AA now, even though the first line of AA's Big Book (1939) couldn't be more clear: "Alcoholics Anonymous - The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women have Recovered from Alcoholism."
     If I never…

Alcoholic = Addict

I was just barely getting through a local meeting one night when I heard roughly this from the speaker:

"By the way, if you're a pothead hippie or some shit, then go to another meeting for like potheads anonymous. This is alcoholics anonymous. AA is for alcoholics, not drug addicts. If you smoke pot, you don't even need to come here 'cause you're still sober."

     The guy was excruciating but I ended up laughing, as this sort of attitude is so common in my region. Clearly the speaker wasn't an alcoholic. In fact, thousands of AA members around here aren't even in the vicinity of alcoholism. What we've got is a slew of heavy drinkers who procured a few DUIs and were court-ordered to attend AA. Having no prior social skills and therefore no social life, they grab onto it like the bottle, come religiously, and saunter around the halls like Holier Than Thou 'old timers'.

     Yes I know that is a generalization but you can trust me when I…

Pure Love

Unconditional love is spiritual in nature, not sexual, physical, or even emotional. Pure love of this sort often eludes us.

     Relationships are, of course, not uncomplicated. They are sticky, chaotic and confusing. They mix us up and pull us in just about every direction. They test us and push us and teach us invaluable life lessons. They will bring us to our limits and force us to either evolve, or just run the other way. And while it is our responsibility to put ourselves out there and open ourselves up to each other, our greater responsibility is to be aware of the other person's spiritual well being. If we can clearly see or just feel inside that they are suffering with us, then real love is letting them go. In my belief, true selflessness means doing whatever necessary to ensure the greatest spiritual health of others.

     That being said, many of us may be good for each other. And we should know that relationships are hard work... especially for the addict or alcoh…

Pain Dependent?

Are we pain dependent? Yes, we are! Why in hell would someone be pain dependent? Well, it's because happiness, joy, calm, peace, stability and success are just way too foreign to us. Chaos, misery, pain, sadness, suffering, depression, anger, angst and failure are much more familiar territory.

     That sounds demented and insane, doesn't it? Yeah, that's because the mind of an alcoholic/addict is demented and insane, which is precisely why achieving physical sobriety alone won't solve anything. Our problem is much larger than alcohol and drugs.
     After years of masochistic behavior, the totality of self-abuse engrains a certain frame of reference. Everything in life becomes a struggle. Everything is a disappointment. Everything is hard. Nothing works out. Nobody understands us. Nobody is on our side. Everybody is out to get us. The world is totally messed up. Nobody feels the way we do. Nobody cares. Failure is inevitable. Success and contentment are unreachab…

Nature Knows Best

"Nature knows best
       because it doesn't expect        anything to come        except what comes next."       - C. Peabody, line from poem Nature Knows Best, 1997
     Truly does the wisdom of nature contain within it the secret to life. Observe nature and you will see pure and absolute freedom. Observe nature and you will see problem-free life. And if we can somehow live by the rules of nature, that is the closest we might come to infinite peace, freedom and contentment. What is the secret?
     Self-help gurus call it non-resistance. Nature is perfectly happy to let whatever comes come, and to let whatever goes go. It does not stand up stubbornly and fight against the forces acting against it. If the wind blows against the trees, they do not refuse to budge, but rather move in the direction the wind blows them. Even if the wind comes strong and breaks a branch, the tree doesn't run after the lost branch nor does it cry or whine or retaliate in anger.
     …

Addicts Are Cowards

The way to grow is to do the very thing we are scared to do.

     Why is it that alcoholics and drug addicts can't ever seem to kick the habit for good? Why do they stay sick for so long? Sure it's because they are stubborn, obstinate, self-absorbed children. But it can be summed up in one word: fear. We are cowards, and therefore we are scared shitless to recover, as that would actually require some (gulp) work.

     Addicts refuse at all costs to step out of their comfort zones. Anything difficult or uncomfortable they avoid like the plague. The truth is that we refuse to become adults. We cannot accept that life might not be solely about us feeling good all of the time. We cannot deal with the fact that life might be tough sometimes, that we might have bad days, feel sad or self-conscious or depressed. We simply cannot fathom the idea of living life on life's terms. If life does not suit us, we drink or use. We do whatever we have to do to maintain our comfort... l…