Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Calling Our Sponsor?

   
     We relapse long before we actually relapse. Once we decide to use, we have gone insane and are beyond human aid.

   
     So if we have decided to use, and our minds no longer respond to ration or reason, then...

   
     What good is calling our sponsor?



Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Why Doctors & Pills Fail Addicts

     "...the problem with an alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than his body." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.23

     To become recovered, all an addict needs is a moral compass... and, of course, the power to obey it.

     If we lived by spiritual principles and did the right thing then we would fix our broken minds, thereby removing our insanity and never relapsing ever again. Unfortunately, doctors and pills cannot insert a moral compass into an addict. That has to come from within, and the power to act comes from our Creator.

     Recovering from addiction is pretty simple. The task for any addict is to restore his or her conscience and then become driven to never ignore it. Moral action restores the addict to sanity and we get back our power of choice. From there, if we never intentionally do the wrong thing, we will never relapse.

     Conventional treatment hoaxes will always fail because they do not require an addict to act spiritually, which is the solution. Chronic addicts can and will recover for good by having an experience profound enough to induce a psyhic change. Those who do not recover are simply people who don't want to change - that is, to change completely. Some may want to change, but not completely. Only those who are willing to change completely will achieve lifelong freedom from addiction.

     I purposely didn't use the word 'science' in the title because I think we have a misconception of science. I believe science only proves the beautiful and miraculous of mechanisms of God all the more. I also believe that science will one day prove or explain mysteries that we currently refute on the basis of no hard evidence. We will eventually see how the mysteries of God work, how healing takes place on non-tangible levels, how cause and effect crosses physical lines into the mental and spiritual, how the forces at work are well beyond what we can see, hear and touch.

God, help me to want to change, to be willing to change completely...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Methadone

     Not only is methadone not a solution, or even a remedy, but it actively makes us worse and progresses our illness physically, mentally and spiritually. There is no place for methadone or any other such filth in addiction treatment.

     Why?

     1) When I stop taking methadone, I am no better at all. I am nowhere. I still suffer from the mental obsession, and thus it is only a matter of time before I relapse. Furthermore, our illness is progressive, so the time we have wasted on methadone has only ensured a worse relapse if and when we taper off.

     2) Taking methadone is simply taking another form of heroin. It is a synthetic opiate. Sure I may not be calling Pablo for a while and I'm back home with mommy and daddy, but I'm still jammed out of my mind, still deranged and warped beyond comprehension, still contributing nothing and still the same zombie as I was before I went on the methadone. I am still an untreated addict who hurts those who love me by doing absolutely nothing with my life.
     We can only truly heal, give back and be the people we were supposed to be if we are entirely sober and have undergone a psychic change. Only then may we consistently live by spiritual principles and embrace the humility that comes with understanding that God is, and that we are only okay if we align with His will.

    3) Methadone enables cowardice. By succumbing to easier, softer ways, I have decided that I don't have the guts or the balls or the personality or the soul to push myself, to walk through my pain, to do everything it takes to expel the poison within and then run straight into my fear and take so much action that change is inevitable. We are what we do, say and think. If we eat methadone wafers everyday, then we have done nothing and we have given back nothing, which is mind-blowing considering all that we have taken. That's not an option. Reversing course and giving back to those we have stolen from over the years means that we run, not walk in the other direction. If we acted selfishly and wrongly, then we instead act selflessly and rightly. We have to become the opposite of what we were.

     4) By taking methadone I am actively feeding off the public trough, taking from others who work and take care of themselves and don't become heroin addicts - the people who fund methadone clinics. And for what? So we can continue to use and take methadone? What sort of social service is that? What a waste of money and a social travesty. In fact, people should stop paying taxes until all methadone clinics are no longer publicly funded.
   
     5) All you need to know about methadone is that you get it from the pharmaceutical elite and the government. Anything from either institution is designed not to serve you, but to cripple you and rob you of everything you have inside and out.

God, please help the powers that be to stop crippling addicts and embrace You...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Truth About Addiction

     Addiction is a byproduct of an underlying spiritual malady.

     Treating the specific bio-chemical elements or the side-effects of addiction is useless. Mainstream treatment is a band-aid. You are just biding time, waiting to relapse.

     Or you could become recovered for good.

     Treat the spiritual malady and you treat the addiction. Trust in the Power of God and take actions that expand His presence within you. If you rely on someone or someone's science project to get you better, you will end up fooling yourself all over again. Mainstream treatment is just as much of a false solution as addiction itself. 

                                                      *

     How sad it is that we spend time, energy and billions peddling false solutions to addicts, spouses, and especially parents... when all it would take is for, as Jung says, one "vital spiritual experience" to occur. Because of the failure of medicine and science to do anything for addicts, we are relegated to such dismal, dreary and hopeless language like "recovering", "always in recovery", "relapse is part of recovery", and on and on. We are considered to be standing on the edge of a cliff for the rest of our lives... and all we can do is try to ward off triggers and prevent relapse with trigger identification and relapse prevention. These lies are sold to you for profit, for if you were to actually recover, the industry vultures and puppets wouldn't be able to prey on you anymore. So it's true that you will always be "in recovery" if you rely on doctors and pharmaceutical companies to help you.

     The health care system will never fix a single addict. Ever. Their belief system cripples them. The only thing they know is to treat symptoms of addiction, and in doing so, they leave every addict struggling and subject to relapse at any point. No matter how much money and medical hubris they throw at addiction, they will always fail. How obvious yet wasted the truth is, as it will never be accepted by the status quo.

     The government and the health care system will never allow the wisdom and the tools of recovered addicts to influence mainstream treatment. They will never listen to fellow masters of addiction. They are too blind and arrogant. They think they know everything. The more they reject spiritual action and God as a solution, the more parents will lose their children, the more spouses will be heartbroken, and the more our world will caste an entire population as a bunch of useless, unproductive zombies who are kept numbed and dumbed down by the dishonesty of the status quo and the slavery of subuxone, methadone, seroquel, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

     If they let me at it, I would entirely change the way we view and understand addiction as well as the way we treat it, but that will never happen.

God, please help us to see past the fog and distraction of academia to understand the true nature of addiction...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sit Down Beside It

     This blog can be tough on addicts, victims, heroes and pity pots... but I do understand that we are in pain. When we abuse ourselves with drugs and alcohol, when we abuse others and project our flaws onto them, when we become whiny, negative and full of self-pity, when we see ourselves as brilliant and superior, or when we see ourselves as the center of the universe, it is because we are in pain. Suffering does strange things to people. We either self-destruct, lash out on others, or engage in self-worship.

     But the pain is real and even though it's imperative to own it, to be accountable for it, we also need to embrace it, befriend it, and have some compassion on it. Compassion is useful as it allows us to forgive ourselves, which opens us up to others, helping us to better love them, to love more deeply. So we do need love. We can't just make war with our character defects. We need to understand the effect they have on ourselves and others, and then sit down beside them. By accepting and embracing them, we disempower them. We can then let them go.

     It's also okay to be tough on ourselves. In fact, addicts need to if they are to break through the endless layers of pride, ego and bullshit. We need to shatter our self-centered frame of reference in order to become honest again, to see things clearly. So compassion doesn't mean that we blame anyone and it doesn't mean that we sit idly and refuse to proactively do anything about our pain. We are entitled to make mistakes but not to remain sedentary. 

     The solution? God and Purpose. Maladies like addiction or depression are simply a lack of purpose and a weak or ineffectual spiritual life. When we find actions that improve our conscious contact with our Creator and when we find a Purpose that feeds us and others, we repair naturally. 

God, teach me to have compassion on my pain, to embrace the darkness within that I may dissolve it and let it go...

See Also: Befriend The Darkness & Nature Knows Best.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

More Inventory

     Sometimes it can be difficult to see how we caused resentments that we have towards a more general trait or behavior rather than a specific event. Here are a couple examples I remembered from my original 4th Step. I added some additional answers to show that it's not just one thing, though our task is to find the most honest answer for each category.

1. People who litter

a) They litter.

Affects my: Pride/Ambition, Self-esteem

*Self-Seeking: I am (want to be seen as) a model citizen OR I am a pillar of tolerance.
*Selfish: I want them to be like me, to think and act the way I do.
*Dishonest: They remind me of my own entitlement OR I take it personally, but because I don't want to see the trash, not because I care so deeply about the environment.
*Fear: I'm afraid of confrontation (so I don't do anything about it).

2. Wife

a) Gets anxious sometimes.

Affects my: Pride/Ambition, Self-esteem, Personal/Sex Relations

*Self-Seeking: I'm a hero of a husband... so why on earth are you anxious or upset?
*Selfish: Her mood takes me out of my comfort zone.
*Dishonest: Her anxiety reminds me that I'm not okay (otherwise I wouldn't react to it by resenting her, which helps me avoid the truth about myself).
*Fear: I'm afraid to love her OR I'm afraid to swallow my pride, my pathetic construction of self.

The above resentment is, sadly, a perfect reflection of an addict's childish and warped mind. To resent someone for suffering because it takes me out of my comfort zone, and then to get mad at them for doing so, is grotesque, to put it mildly, and beyond reproach. This is why addicts who don't write an honest, fearless and thorough inventory don't make it. 99% = 0.

God, help me to see those things that block me from You and Others... 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

God Isn't a Concept

     God is not a concept. God is/was before any of us.

     I think where we went wrong and where God became so loaded is when He became a concept of our selves - our separate, worldly selves... our false selves. In fact, the concept and belief that we are all separate is killing us. God is not an extension nor a creation of ours. God is not born of self but rather we are born of God. And I'm quite sure that all those who curse God wouldn't be cursing Him if they died, for they would see that God is beyond human concept. Because those who curse God are not really cursing God but rather cursing someone else's conception of God, which isn't God at all.

     I don't think we can even come close to conceptualizing or intellectualizing God. In fact, look at what happens when we pursue Him as an extension of self. When we define God from the artificiality of our limited, conscious minds, we do nothing but get further away from Him. We become clouded such that real contact isn't even possible.

     The Power which is God is so beyond the reach of us and of our faculties that it's a fruitless endeavor to try to define or symbolize Him. This is why we fight. Religious wars are not over God, but just over differing man-made conceptions of God, which have nothing to do with HIM.

     Holy wars are quite different, and that is between good and evil, both of which exist in our world. But as Thomas Merton says, "...instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another." -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

     Man, I wish I could do that.

     But anyway, I'm quite sure that if we were to die, none of us would have the attitude or certainty we have while living in our individual selves, our separate bodies, our fabricated identity driven by ego. Perhaps we should just act, act right, act based on spiritual principles and leave conception and imagination to drug addicts and crazy people.

     From a previous post, Knowing God vs Having God: Truly there is a difference between knowing God and having God. To know God we simply have to believe, or read some doctrine, or perhaps drop by Sunday service and potluck. But to have God we have to perform. We have to take actions that bring God into us and expand His actual presence.

     And once again, from Merton: "Nothing could be more alien to contemplation than the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. "I think, therefore I am." This is the declaration of an alienated being, in exile from his own spiritual depths, compelled to seek some comfort in a proof for his own existence(!) based on the observation that he '"thinks." If his thought is necessary as a medium through which he arrives at the concept of his existence, then he is in fact only moving further away from his true being. He is reducing himself to experience, directly and immediately, the mystery of his own being. At the same time, by also reducing God to a concept, he makes it impossible for himself to have any intuition of the divine reality which is inexpressible." Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

God, please give me the wisdom, strength and courage to have You, not just to know You, that I may rest beyond concept in Your love and power...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Think Right, Act Right

     My recovery is built on the foundation of the truth of cause and effect. I've tried, though admittedly without much eloquence, to illuminate this truth in previous posts like Karma or Sartre. I should have just sifted through the endless self-help books on my shelf until I found James Allen, author of, As A Man Thinketh. Needless to say, I have a revised version entitled, As You Think, which I strongly recommend. To drive home the fact that cause & effect is a universal law and crosses all realms of life whether physical, mental or spiritual, we must quote Allen extensively.

From 'Thought & Character':
     "What we are was designed and built by our own thoughts in our minds. If we nurture ignorant or evil thoughts, pain will soon follow. If our thoughts are healthy and beneficial, joy will follow us as surely as our shadows follow us on a sunny day. "

     Naturally, an addict's mind is so demented that while Allen suggests that right thinking begets right action, which is true, we may also simply begin to act right, and our minds will follow, healing and becoming purer. As the mind and body are one, we must be able to rely on some reciprocity. 

     "A man or woman is a growth by law, not a creation by artifice, and such cause-and-effect is as absolute and undeviating in the hidden realm of thought as in the world of visible and material things. A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts."

     Beautiful. Reminds me of Sartre's assertion that our 'existence precedes our essence' - that we make ourselves who we are (by our thoughts and actions, by the choices we make). We have no one to blame for who and what we've become but ourselves. God is there for us if we reach for Him with everything we have and if we work hard. Addicts need to pound this truth into their heads until they can think no other way.

Allen drills it home for us:
     "We are made or unmade by ourselves; in the armory of thought we forge the weapons we use to destroy ourselves, and we also fashion the tools we use to build ourselves heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace... 
     Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results...
     Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction. It is an indication that we are out of harmony with ourselves, with the law of our being." 

     With addiction, we must often parallel Allen's thoughts on thought with action, for the addict simply acts without even thinking. If we are doing the wrong thing without a preceding thought, we are off the rails, so to speak. This is why I counter CBT for the addict with ACTION THERAPY - just start doing the right thing, for right action alone will also begin to build us "mansions of joy and strength and peace."

Quotes from:
As You Think
by James Allen
(revised and updated by Marc Allen)

God, help me to think right, speak right and act right, that I may be in harmony with You and Others...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Privileged Addict Quotes

"Recovery is not a function of time. It is a function of what actions we take and at what frequency we take them."

"Achieving physical sobriety is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement."

"Becoming recovered from alcoholism or drug addiction is not an accomplishment, it is our responsibility."

"Resentments are like acid to the seeing eye. The burn and blind us so we can't see clearly."

"We make amends for the object of our amends, not to clear our conscience."

"When I get out of my own way, what fills the space is God's will."

"Why should we reward ourselves with sobriety chips just because we stopped hurting other people?"

"The absence of Self is to the benefit of anyone, addict or non-addict."

"It's useless to study or understand the 1st Step intellectually. We must feel powerless in our hearts, our guts, our cells."

"Alcoholism is not a function of when you drink, it is a function of how you drink."

"You can turn a non-addict into an addict, but there is no turning an addict back into a non-addict."  

"If you can't pray for someone you resent, you aren't cut out for the Steps."

"Talking is not a solution."

"Our problem isn't really drugs and alcohol, but what happens to us in their absence."

"Having horrible feelings isn't a novelty."

"If we have the capacity for honesty, we have the seed of God within, and we can nourish that seed into a fountain of strength."

"Drug addicts should be roasted and humbled beyond belief, and then built back together one spiritual brick at a time...


God, please keep me close to You today...
     ... Please stay tuned for the release of Privileged Addict Quotes, which will include every quote from Privileged Addict Quotes 1, 2, 3 & 4 as well as both books.

Privileged Addict Quotes 2
Privileged Addict Quotes 3

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Relax Into It

     What I once thought would be amazing to achieve is now small. As we grow and succeed, we keep moving the goal posts. That's how it's done.

     When I first came home from treatment, fresh off a mind-blowing spiritual experience, flying high on my pink cloud and ready for anything, I was very suddenly smacked by a loud wake-up call. Just checking the plethora of deranged messages on my cell phone was enough to send me over the edge. I felt myself going crazy again as the reality of life and the mess I had to clean up pounded at the gates. Ten minute conversations with creditors, or anybody for that matter, would necessitate a 20-30 minute meditation session all alone in my car just to clear my mind and bring me back to the ground. A job I got the first week home lasted one night. So it was just Steps and foundation building for the first 6 months. But it worked, and I got stronger. In fact, I became recovered.

     Six months later I finally got that first job - cooking in an assisted living senior home. It was menial, 40 hours a week and 13 bucks an hour. I loved it. I ran around the kitchen all day and not a thought entered my mind except if I should make pineapple upside-down cake or not. I chipped away at my debt. I made a deal with the lovely IRS. I finished my undergraduate degree. These were, at the time, big accomplishments.

     After my first year, I began to help others. I engaged in addiction treatment training, sponsorship, professional work, you name it. And at the time, these seemed like great things for me. Running a group every week and working with others all day long was a miracle, something I thought I could and would never do.

     And now that part of my life is a distant memory. Speaking to groups or sponsoring a newbie is not only comfortable, but boring at times. Step work doesn't lift me up, it simply keeps me from moving backwards. And due to what became an anti-climatic familiarity with the subject of addiction and recovery, I wrote a book and shared all of this nonsense with a wider audience. And then in 2009, I jumped into the market and made some money. Then my wife and I bought a couple buildings and started our own business. Then the dog... and finally, our beautiful boy.

    Three years later, much of the pride of our business accomplishment is already gone, and I'm bored once again. In other words, I'm ready to move onto the next thing. That has been my recipe for success. Conquer one thing at a time. Relax into it for a while. Once you plateau, then you can tackle the next thing, a bigger thing.

     This is my ninth year recovered. I think I'm finally ready to just be myself, to become who I am. I'm ready to do what's always been inside me, what I was born with, what I was born to do. Probably better not to waste 15 years drinking and using like a pig, but hey, better late than never, and better yet, I wouldn't have the life I have now without suffering enough to necessitate a spiritual experience.

God, help me to be where I am now, that I may do one thing at a time...

Monday, November 4, 2013

God, Teach Us...








God, teach us to love and forgive ourselves so that we may better love and forgive others and do Your work well...








Wednesday, October 30, 2013

There Is No Worse Than

     Once we cross over that line, we are all the same...

     A speaker that I once looked up to stunned me one night at a meeting. He was handing out a 1-year sobriety chip and essentially glorifying how 'bad' of an addict this girl was. The money quote was, "She wasn't just some suburban dope sniffer..." As if it's harder to get better because of what we use, or the way we use, or what town we come from, or our ethnicity, wealth, status or privilege.

     The very second we cross over that line and become addicts, we are all equally screwed and the mountain we have to climb to recover is the same exact height. Just ask two vastly different recovered people how easy it was to actually go through a rigorous, thorough and honest 12 Step process. It's not easy at all, no matter who you are. To go from being insane to sane is a miraculous feat, and one that requires spiritual help. And the internal effort it takes to access this spiritual Power is pretty much the same for all of us.

     Bottom line: Neither wealth nor poverty will prevent you from becoming a full blown addict. And neither wealth nor poverty will fix you once you get there. No matter who we are, where we come from, or what we use, we are all equally screwed once we acquire this allergy to drugs and alcohol. The only difference amongst addicts and alcoholics is that some of us are 'recovered' and have been joined by taking Steps and others are simply 'recovering' or 'in recovery', meaning that they are still insane and subject to relapse at any point in time.

God, help me remember that I am one drink away from detox...

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nothing Outside Of Us...

     I write and speak about the fact that nothing outside of us is responsible for who and what we've become.

     What is also true is that nothing outside of us can fix us.

     The answers are within. Every person who has ever healed or recovered has experienced an event which took place solely within, between them and God, which is one.

     If there is one thing I impress upon anybody, it's that nothing outside of us can fix us. No person, place, pill, book, therapist, doctor, self-help antic... no worldly thing at all. Even if we want to blame something else for who and what we've become, which is delusional, that's not nearly as important as realizing that only us and God can elicit real, effective, lasting change.

     It is only we who fail ourselves. It is only we who refuse to take action. If we continue to blame some person or medication or institution for failing us, then we need to think again, but this time within the bounds of reality.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Darkness

     I write about the Steps and living spiritually but I have demons, I have darkness... it's all in there. That's exactly why we must put God first about all else, above every person, above all personal ambitions or comforts or fears. We addicts must do everything we can to align with God's will.

     If not, the darkness will eat me alive, it will eat all of us. The most dangerous people on earth are those in power who are corrupted spiritually. If we abuse false external power, we are evil incarnate. If we cultivate real internal power, we are comforted by God. His presence frees us as opposed to tortures us.

     This is why doing the wrong thing is agonizing for those who know they are doing wrong. If we know and feel what's wrong, then we know God exists. Knowingly turning our back on God is hell. Do we want to feel like absolute shit inside, or do we want to feel okay?

     I'll take okay. That's why getting better from addiction was really the only option. There are no other choices.

Um... General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Student Slavery

     Student loans or student slavery?

     I've spoken to many young students who decry out of control tuition costs, deeply confused as to why this is the case. Hint: Look at the first two lines of the post. Tuition costs are skyrocketing because of access to student loans, or rather, unlimited access. You can thank Bill Clinton for government backed Stafford Loans and congress for deregulating any and all parental income requirements. And you can also thank Clinton for repealing Glass-Steagall, which allowed banks to engage in unlimited gambling with your deposits and mortgage backed derivatives, which eventually crashed the system after Greenspan's housing bubble in 2008. Repealing the Glass-Steagall Act was the single most destructive thing in our economic history.

     At any rate, this is why tuition costs continue to skyrocket year after year. The problem is unlimited dollars. And I don't just mean price inflation of goods and services caused by the unholy debasement of our currency.

     In other words, there is unlimited access to student loans. Why? Because government backstops any and all student loans written by the banks. So the banks don't care about the risk, but neither does the government since student debt cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy court... and guess again who was responsible for that? Let's go through this again, just to be clear.

     Banks want you to borrow as much as possible. The more debt you're in, the more money they make on interest. But what about the potential risk of default, especially given these students are graduating with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt only to enter an American economy in terminal decline? The banks don't care about the risk of default because government backstops the loans - all of them. It's a nice little scam the government and the banks have going as we shall see.

     And government doesn't care about the risk because debt can't be forgiven in bankruptcy court. As well, government doesn't care because even if you do default, they can just continue to counterfeit money in the treasury market since the whole world still believes dollars are worth something and are even more dumb to believe our government is good for it. And finally, the government doesn't care because it's obvious they have no problem being totally, utterly insolvent. It's much more important to them to hook in as many financial slaves as possible, just like the banks.

     So the more access to student loans, the more colleges will charge, as it creates unlimited demand. It is an artificial distortion in the market, a distortion caused by government, and as usual, government interference in the markets fails 100% of the time. But you don't hear about this on the corporate/state sponsored media.

     This distortion is also trashing the value of a college degree. If everybody can get one, it is no longer a stamp of recognition. It no longer validates you as a uniquely qualified job candidate. If everybody has a college degree, then a college degree gives you no leg up in the job market. So I guess you're just as well off "spendin' a dollah fitty in late chahges down at the public library" like good will hunting.

     There is one more issue with colleges and universities, which I shouldn't get into right now. But the truth is that intellectuals are bred by colleges and universities to maintain the status quo. Many of them have no clue they're being used to promote a statist agenda. They think they're just really super smart and everybody else are poor morons who need to be told what's good for them. Unfortunately, it appears that all of these intellectuals being spewed out of liberal arts colleges and universities aren't so bright after all. Just have a look at our central planners and you'll have all the proof you need.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Comfort Addicts

     Suffering after getting sober is good. In fact, it's a necessary test...

     Addicts and alcoholics (same thing) are addicted to comfort. Finding and maintaining comfort is a compulsion and a preoccupation. The problem many addicts face is that once we get sober, we still need to feel good ALL OF THE TIME. So we start using the tools we have acquired (tools meant solely to keep us sane) to get a little buzz, albeit spiritual. Sure, getting a lift from meditating or writing inventory or speaking at a meeting is far better than jamming a needle into our vein, but it shouldn't be entirely ignored.

     If we do this spiritual work only to feel better, what happens when it doesn't work anymore? What happens when it no longer gives us that charge and merely keeps us from going insane again? What happens is that we start looking for more ways to feel good. We gradually become more selfish and more preoccupied with our comfort again. Sooner or later our minds begin to deteriorate. We get sicker. Then we relapse... and destroy everything all over again.

     After I took the first 6 Steps and finished reading the 7th Step prayer, I had a profound spiritual experience. As I returned home from treatment, I had several more mind-blowing experiences while making amends, working with others, and meditating. Then I returned to planet Earth and became human again. Normal, mundane life set back in and I came flying off the pink cloud I was perched upon. I felt bored, anxious, conflicted, even quite angry and depressed at times. I knew that the great test of anyone truly committed to growing spiritually is to walk through all of these painful feelings and continue to do the right thing.

     I had to suffer to see if I was truly committed to getting better. Because getting better is not just going to rehab, reading some inventory, getting a little pink cloud buzz and then off we go. The novelty of being sober wears off hard and fast. Living along spiritual lines means: Are we going to keep doing the work in 5 years, 10 years, 25? Are we going to continue praying and meditating, writing inventory and helping others, especially when we feel like shit and don't want to anything?

     Newsflash: Life isn't about me feeling good 24/7... although I used to be pretty sure it was. I finally had to ask myself why I got better. Did I get better in order to grow up and be a normal, responsible adult? Did I get better to live a healthy, fulfilling, and relatively happy life? Or did I get better only to find ways to continue feeling good all of the time? If that's the case, then you should just keep drinking and getting jammed out of your fucking mind, because you'll still be virtually useless to anybody.

     So getting better involved me understanding that life was about feeling both good and bad, about success and failure, joy and pain, love and heartache, gain and loss, light and dark. I had to accept that the sole purpose of my life was not about perpetually feeling comfortable. It was about experiencing both the ups and downs and walking through all of it with courage and grace.

God, help me to put my spiritual health above all else, regardless of how I feel...

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Solution is God

     The reason I can't take credit for becoming permanently recovered is because I know exactly what happened to me. I was touched by the hand of God. It happens. It's real. And it had nothing to do with me. A mere dusting of God's power was enough to change me forever.

     Unfortunately, it is impossible to fully understand or even explain something if one hasn't experienced it oneself, especially if we're talking about a mystical event that lies outside scientific theory. Do I have evidence that I was touched by God? Sure. My bio-chemistry was instantly restored, and from that moment on I no longer suffered from any number of illnesses such as clinical depression etc. But I have no brain scans to show you and therefore people who haven't felt God or witnessed a miracle just refuse to believe me.

     The best evidence is my life - after living chained, a slave, a chronic, hopeless, emaciated, chain-smoking, scumbag drug addict/alcoholic/severely depressed selfish asshole for 15 years, the moment that God flowed through me I haven't had the slightest urge to self-destruct. That and I am unrecognizable to the man I used to be, or man-child rather. My life has blossomed into a great and wonderful adventure. Anything is possible. And yes, I have suffered, lost, been the object of scorn and lies... and no urge to self-destruct. Sure I have darkness and demons... but drugs and alcohol? Not a problem. Never will be.

     Therefore, I cannot take credit for something that I couldn't even come close to doing on my own for all of those years. And I know this because I earnestly wanted to and desperately tried. I know for a fact that God is, that God saved me and restored me to sanity. I know this because I felt Him. I know this because He came from outside of my body. The energy that restored me that night came from above. No, I'm not shitting you. It was a flow of energy that came down from the Universe.

     I know, I know, and the answer is yes, I did eat lots of acid, but no, I wasn't on acid when I read my 4th Step and prayed earnestly in the middle of the night up North in treatment.

     I think you're starting to get the picture. There is a solution for addiction... and that solution is God. Give yourself to Him now or continue to suffer and hurt others. The choice is yours. Selfishness or Grace.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If An Addict Says...

If an addict says...
Dad! Mom! I think I might get an honors award for my environmental studies. "Wow, that's great son." Actually, the professor wants to put me in this special research group but it's $500 for supplies and I don't have it, although I'd love to do it 'cause it'd be a really great opportunity, and like, good for the environment.
...it's all bullshit.

If an addict says...
Hey Mom, I've been sober for 30 days! I'm workin' again now and everything, but I just need something to get me back on my feet. I just some breathing room, you know? Even, like, one or two hundred would be so helpful, just for my asthma medication and stuff.
...it's all bullshit.

If an addict says...
Hey Dad, I'm doing so good at work right now! Actually, I just made a huge deal but I won't get paid for another two weeks because the client is out of town so if I could get an advance from you just to pay my insurance and my Chinese herbal supplements, that'd be great and then I'll pay you right back as soon as the check comes in!
...it's all bullshit.

If an addict says...
Honey, I'd so love to hang out today but I promised my old friend from high school who's only back in town for the weekend that I'd play golf with him today. He's havin' some relationship problems with his girlfriend, if you know what I mean (wink), and he really needs a friend to talk to.
...it's all bullshit.

You get the idea. The list goes on and on and on ad infinitum. Basically, everything out of the mouth of an addict is all bullshit.

P.S. Feel free to leave your own down below...

God, please help addicts to become utterly hopeless, that it may hasten their path back home to You...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

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 has spawned all sorts of new ideas and norms about what sponsorship is. Hollywood has well-defined the slew of AA cliches - the meeting room, the sob stories, the group prayer, and the sponsor who calls you when you're in trouble. Sorry to say that none of these things have much to do with Alcoholics Anonymous, which was originally nothing more than a series of spiritual actions designed to restore the addict to sanity by accessing the power of God, or Spiritual Power, if you like. It is a way to God - nothing more, or rather, nothing less.

     The 12 Steps was the sole program of AA - a rigorous and life-changing set of actions to heal ourselves from deep within. An enormous amount of work is necessary to extract the life-destroying character defects that sabotage all good things in life. The work continues as we make amends to all who we have harmed. We take Steps to prepare us for our new life of purpose, the purpose of helping others who still suffer. If all we did was to sit there in meetings, make some coffee, be the treasurer and pass out sobriety coins, we remain untreated, insane, and a threat to every newcomer who walks through the door. Why suffer? Why struggle through each day when there is a solution?

     Sponsorship is very simple. It is one person who has taken Steps and recovered taking another addict through the Steps as they are laid out in the Big Book. That person must be willing to change and grow along spiritual lines. Our job as sponsors is to hook the sponsee up to God and then get out of the way. Nothing more. I take them through the first 7 Steps, guide them with their first few amends and then they should be on their way.

     It is not my job to be their friend or to listen to them blab on all night about their feelings or struggles, allowing them to validate themselves as some sort of victim. It is definitely not my job to call them. If you want to get better, then it is you who have to call me and I'll tell you what I did. And by the way, your feelings don't matter. I don't really care how you feel. Sound harsh? Well, it's really not so harsh when you think that our pathological focus on ourselves and our feelings, our constant engagement with self-pity is the exact thing preventing us from getting better.

     Holding on by a thread is not AA. AA is a set of spiritual tools that we can use to build a foundation of strength, peace and freedom. We can be forever rid of the mental obsession, the insanity before a relapse. There are no such things as cravings. There are no such things as triggers. We are either okay or not okay, recovered or recovering, sane or insane. There is no in between. Same with sponsorship.

See: Meeting Makers Make Meetings

God, Make me a better man today...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fearing God Isn't Scary

     A few entries back, I opened with...

     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

     A common criticism towards this language and type of relationship with God is that our Creator is some scary, punishing God - one to be 'feared'. I get quite the opposite from this. Sometimes we addicts must step back and suspend all preconceptions... and also be sure not to robotically press the 'PLAY' button in our heads. We must stay open and educable.

     My translation:

     Be humble, and in a healthy way, fear doing the wrong thing for the effect it will have on self and others. To fear wrongdoing is wisdom, for we have been blessed with the knowledge of the certainty of cause and effect, a knowledge which better allows us to love ourselves, love others, and ultimately love God. To fear God is also to be vigilant not to become narrow and closed to new ideas and information. Remain a sponge, yet firm in our resolve that God Is. The boundaries of our knowledge rest in understanding and respecting where we come from.

God, please give me knowledge and wisdom, and instruct me how to better do Thy will and Thy work...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Damaged Person Glass Analogy

     Just heard this somewhere and thought it was brilliant. Wish I could give credit but just can't remember. I think it was the radio, maybe some interview on WBUR.

     Take a person and see them as a piece of pristine glass.

     Some of us are smudged, some of us are cracked, and some of us are shattered.

     Great analogy, to say the least. Let's elaborate a bit for fun.

     Smudges are easily manageable. Cracks can also be undone with some effort. But if we are shattered, there is virtually no hope, barring divine intervention.

     I believe most addicts are simply cracked whereas, say, a narcissist or a sociopath (both the same really) are shattered.

God, help me to love those who are shattered, those who hurt others with no remorse...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Spiritual Debt


     Just like our economy and supposed 'recovery' is fake - driven by the false prosperity of debt, consumption, government intervention, accounting fraud and false data - as opposed to savings and production - and will inevitably come to screeching halt or a slow painful death...

     ...so too the drug addict is fake, driven and fueled by the false solution of drugs and the accumulation of spiritual debt - and will also inevitably come to a screeching halt or a slow painful death.

     Spiritual debt, i.e. the accumulation of various forms of poison such as fear, anger, resentment, self-pity, ego, pride, narcissism, dishonesty and immorality, must be eliminated and a replaced with a spiritual surplus of honesty, courage, strength, tolerance, patience, willingness, selflessness and love.

     Special bonus tonight: Please have a look at Aristotle's criteria of a tyranny (and more specifically a tyrant) in his timeless work, Politics, and tell me if you don't see a frightening correlation to what we have developing today, especially under the current regime. Just sayin'. Aristotle - Politics (See Book Five - esp pages 127-8, 133-135.)

     But times have indeed changed a bit since the days of Aristotle. The financial system is a complex ticking time bomb filled with trillions and trillions of worthless paper money, trillions in hypothecated and re-hypothecated securities, trillions in leveraged derivatives, and market rigging of the entire world's interest rates, market rigging of stocks, bonds, commodities, elections, everything.

     So what else do governments and central banks do when they are completely bankrupt, totally corrupt, and have no intention of ever repaying their debts? They find creative ways to confiscate the wealth of their citizens and then hire the media to lie about it. Wait, let's get this straight - I mean even more money than the trillions they already stole from the American people during the planned financial meltdown of 2008 and subsequent bailouts, which, despite popular belief, was the antithesis of capitalism. We don't have anything close to free markets.

     ZIRP (our current Zero percent Interest Rate Policy) is nothing but an ongoing bailout for the biggest banks (which are insolvent), allowing them to borrow from the federal reserve at 0% while crushing savers, senior citizens, and creating asset bubbles from a misallocation of capital, of which average Americans are always the victims as they are for the most part clueless about the way our financial and monetary systems work. And now we have stagflation coming to melt away what little savings the middle class has left. Good job, central planners. You have completely and utterly broken the markets and destroyed the American economy.

     QE (Quantitative Easing) is nothing but an ongoing bailout of the federal government as well as the banks, as it simply amounts to the fed printing money to buy our own debt (debt monetization), as well as to buy the worthless mortgages on the banks' balance sheets. It has nothing to do with creating jobs or helping Americans. Nothing. The federal reserve serves their member banks, as does our government. They couldn't care less about you except to make sure you are kept blind from the fact that you are a financial serf, to be sheared regularly, but kept alive, numbed and dumbed down such that you can continue being milked without protesting too much.

     But since we are beyond broke and will never grow our way out of this increasingly unstable volcano of national debt, QE and ZIRP are necessary and will never end until we either default or hyperinflate it away. Since there is not enough foreign treasury demand to satisfy the government's profligate spending, they are just idiotically printing money and lending it to themselves. That's called counterfeiting, and it robs the purchasing power of the dollars you are working so hard for. Wages flatline but prices go up. Inflation is a hidden tax. It is theft. It is a wealth transfer from the lower and middle classes to the rich. These policies are dramatically increasing wealth inequality, especially since 2009, even though most people have been somehow led to believe the exact opposite.

     As financial slave-master, Amschel Mayer Rothchild, revealed long ago, "Give me control of a nation's money supply and I care not who makes the laws." Not only does a private cult of bankers control the money supply, but through QE they have been actively buying our debt - mortgage debt and treasury debt. The fed owns your house and your nation, which they seek to dissolve, and with plenty of help from Washington. It is purposeful. If you want to control or own people, all you have to do is lend them money or buy their pre-existing debt. So, you see, we still have slavery - it's just carried out through debt and other financial weapons of mass destruction.

     Folks, this is the end game of the current climax of government corruption and our mathematically unsustainable debt-based monetary system. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter who you vote for since the Left/Right paradigm is just a hoax designed to fool you into thinking there are two different sides when, needless to say, there aren't. Save for a few social issues, when it comes to economic and foreign policy, they're both the same. They are puppets, owned by the corporate/banking elite and the oligarchs. They do not serve the people, the middle class. So that won't solve anything.

     This is a moral issue, a moral issue regarding the future of our children, of which there will be none if we remain blind and passive. So please, dear voters, stop voting for these jokers. They have no clue what they're doing. Is it not time we get these war-mongering, surveillance-obsessed clowns and their collectivist debt state out of government and let some sane adults take over? Debt and war are crippling America and our insolvency will force them to confiscate as much of our wealth, wages, property, privacy and freedom as humanly possible. We don't want our somewhat free republic devolving into a totalitarian banana republic.

God, please teach me that hard work and honesty is what changes me, builds character, and leads to success...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

      I am generally at a loss for inspiration during the summer when I take care of the turnover and maintenance on our rental property. Summer heat + physical labor + baby + dog = no good blog posts. So at times I'm reduced to re-posting older entries like this one about the modality of choice for your average therapist or addictions 'specialist'.

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     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. Ahhh, 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 can'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. Totally useless. Good guy, though. I think he was reasonably genuine and wanted to help. All we did was talk.

     "Hmmm, so Charlie... why do you think you use? Maybe we should dig into this family stuff and that might tell us why." 

     You gotta to be kidding me. Yeah, buddy, it's my crazy family... that's why I use. Newsflash: Nothing in our lives is responsible for making us use and become addicts. But I'm sure glad my poor Dad paid the guy every week because he gave me some top notch excuses to get hammered.

     Drug addicts are completely nuts and, by the way, nobody can help me unless they ARE me, unless they use the way I do, unless they feel the way I do, unless they just happened to be recovered and living a fulfilling life - unless I want what they have, so to speak. Therapists try and tell you what your problem is. Guess what? I already know what my f'ing problem is. The problem is that I have no idea what to do about it. I need a solution. I need tools. I need someone to lay out exactly what I need to DO to recover.

     But what do we do in therapy? We get the therapist to tell us what we want to hear. Now I can walk out of the office and justify my drug use. Yup, he told me I'm depressed and I've been abused and I have anxiety and bipolar 1 or 2, 2a or 3c, or some other ridiculous diagnosis... and that's why I use. Let me help out the Docs a bit: the diagnosis is addiction. But instead they give us justifications and excuses.
   
     "Sorry I just stole a hundred bucks from your wallet and totalled your car on my way to see Pablo, Dad, but it wasn't my fault, you see... It was the bipolar's fault!"

     "Sorry I just called you a stupid bitch and slammed the door in your face so I could go get jammed out of my skull, honey, but you see, it's really not my fault... it's the horrible depression I have!"
     
     No, no, I got it... "It's my parent's fault!" Yup, that's it. Perfect. "Those assholes!"
   
     Um, yeah, okay. As if I have the right to use because of somebody else. Bullshit. I made myself a drug addict. Nobody else. We should be fully accountable for our actions.
   
     Bottom line: I need a real solution and sorry but talking is not a solution. Besides, all alcoholics and addicts do anyway is talk. We just talk, talk, talk... haha, like me. Ridiculous.

God, please give me the power, strength and willingness to stop talking and take action...

Sunday, September 8, 2013

One of Seven Billion

     Guess what? I am just one of seven billion people who all feel the same things and go through the same things. My human experience in no more novel than anybody else's.

     My pain is no more excruciating. My depression is no more brutal. My addiction and alcoholism is no tougher. My anxiety, insecurity and self-consciousness are no more agonizing. My life problems are no harder. My relationships, jobs and finances are no more complicated. My thoughts, emotions and feelings are no more unique. My challenges, both internal and external, are no more difficult.

     My life takes place in the same human body and the same human mind as everybody else's. There's nothing special about me. How do we addicts become so narcissistic as to assume we are somehow different from everybody else?

     Trust me, we're not. We just think we are. We think nobody in the world really knows what it's like to be us, to feel the way we do, to think the way we do, to suffer the way we do. In fact, the only thing that distinguishes us at all is our degree of narcissism.

     So whether we are alcoholics, addicts, or just plain mentally ill, it's good to look in the mirror at least once a day to affirm:

     You aren't different. You aren't special. You aren't a victim. You don't have it particularly tough in life. You don't have problems that no one else has. You don't have a harder life than others. You aren't smarter than others. You aren't more talented than others. The world doesn't owe you anything. Nobody owes you anything. The only difference between you and other people your age is that you still haven't grown up. You don't realize that nobody else is responsible for your circumstances. You don't realize that nobody else is responsible for the way you feel. You don't realize that life isn't about you feeling good all of the time.

     Guess what? There are seven billion of us. So stop whining and get to work...

God, help me to get outside of myself and remember that I am just one of seven billion...

Friday, September 6, 2013

This State Doesn't Work Either

     I used to think that all I had to do to snap out of my depression was just to get out of my freakin' house! I have to get out of town, man, and move across the country. Breathe the fresh mountain air! Oops, no wait, now I have to drive back home to breathe the cool ocean air! Nope, wait a sec, that's not working either. Okay, I think I should change schools or jobs or relationships. Yup! Nope. Hmmm, nothing works. What the hell, man?

     Gee, maybe because changing our external reality does absolutely nothing to change the way we feel inside, nor will it cure what ails us. One of the only good slogans I heard in AA is how when you try to escape your problems by driving from state to state, each welcome sign that you pass should say,

     "Welcome! This State Doesn't Work Either."

     Our problems will follow us wherever we go. Our fears, our depression, our anxiety, our alcoholism and our addiction will tow right behind us. To get rid of our demons, we must change, not travel. We must take action of a different nature... action which effects profound and fundamental change on an internal or spiritual level.

     Personally, I took Steps to get better, although there are many other ways we can change or grow and become sane once again. I took Steps because I am an addict. If I were something else, perhaps I would embark on a disciplined meditation routine, or perhaps I would do service of some sort. Volunteer somewhere. Teach others a skill that I have, or a talent.

     Usually changing involves giving. That is the only thing I am certain of when it comes to changing. No matter what our problem is, the solution must involve getting rid of SELF.

God, please bring all my fellow addicts who still suffer to the depths of despair and hopelessness, that they may begin to embark on real change...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"How Does God Remove Your Mental Obsession?"

     Saw this search phrase/question on the stats page.

     Nobody truly knows the exact how of it, the precise mechanism of God's power, which is surely unreachable and thus unknowable to us shallow, mundane creatures. The closest we can come to the answer is by experiencing it ourselves. Although once our obsession is removed and has become a reality, there is little need to ask the question anymore.

     But it seemed like such a genuine and sincere inquiry, I thought it deserved some kind of pathetic-at-best answer.

     Answer: God, being unlimited in Power, can do anything. He can literally rewire your brain such that you suddenly have no desire to drink or use. He restores your mind with the power of choice. As a direct result of rigorous spiritual work on self, a sincere desire and willingness to change, and when reaching out humbly, God can very suddenly or over time remove our obsession and restore us to sanity. God can alter our minds fundamentally, such that bio-chemical imbalances, obsessions, urges, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that have haunted us for years are removed and replaced with balance, sanity, reason, spiritual principles, an entire change in attitude and the birth of a strong and accurate moral compass... but only if we work hard for it.

     So if you are an alcoholic or drug addict and your obsession to drink or use is suddenly gone, you have no one to thank but God. Trust me, don't thank yourself. You didn't do it. If we have lost the power of choice, then how can we suddenly re-insert it? We can't. If we have lost an innate power, the power of will, then it can only be restored by our Creator. This sort of power comes from somewhere outside of ourselves, somewhere well beyond the bounds of human faculty.

     If you are a true addict and you can quit 'upon a non-spiritual basis', then let me know... and also let me know what the quality of your recovery is. Let me know what your relationships look like, and your career, and your emotional and spiritual well-being. I'm curious. I've never seen it done before, which is why I write this blog. It's why I wrote the book.

      A recent commenter (anonymous, of course) on some old post about triggers suggested I am grossly misguided regarding addiction, and that relapse prevention works for "most people". Haha, that's funny. Please. Talk to some parents, buddy. I went from an emaciated, lesion-covered, hopeless, pathological monster to completely and utterly free inside. I'm now a recovered alcoholic and heroin addict who hasn't the slightest urge to self-destruct... I think I know what I'm talking about. But even so, who gives a shit about what I write? Um, does it matter one bit? I am nobody. So don't worry about it.

God, please remove the obsession to drink and use drugs, and restore me to sanity...

Monday, September 2, 2013

Phony

     The hardest yet simultaneously most important thing for any addict is to be honest. Not just honest in his word, but honest in his thought, action, and character.

     Addicts are perhaps the biggest phonies on earth, besides your elected officials. That is, the way we act is fake. We are always trying and acting like anything BUT ourselves, which becomes necessary to achieve our selfish ends. Why is it so hard just to be real? Why is it so hard to be ourselves?

     One, because we have no clue who we are. Second, because we have been full of lies and bullshit for so long, honesty and authenticity are unfamiliar territory, to say the least.

     Another reason is a bit more subtle. I remember a story an old teacher of mine told me about how he asked a guy to join him in driving to another state to speak at some meeting. The guy responded that he would only go if he went with joy. That's an honest guy for you. How often do we do things without really wanting to, but just to please someone or to look some way to others? It's even more difficult to distinguish what it is we truly feel like doing - a natural problem of not knowing who we are.

     So I've been trying to only act with joy, with the exception of needing to help someone, which honestly, I don't always feel like doing. I've been trying to act whole-heartedly, if you will, in an effort to not just be myself, but to become who I am, to become truer to who I am, and accordingly, to become more honest.

    For an addict, fake and phony won't do. And once sober, being a phony is like a form of torture - it will bring you down until you become depressed... and then ill... and then... boom. It all blows up. Great job.

God, please help me to become more honest, to just be myself and to act whole-heartedly and with joy...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Befriend The Darkness

     Feelings don't have to stop us...

     We addicts need to learn to sit down beside our dark feelings and befriend them. We cannot let our feelings control, overwhelm, or have power over us. We must stay in the middle lane, do what we would normally do, and let our feelings fluctuate around us. Our feelings will always change, up and down, but they do not have to stop us and they do not have to have power over us. Whether good or bad, painful or joyful, the trick is to walk right through our feelings and push forward.

     Winston Churchill said astutely, "If you're going through hell, keep going... Never, never, never give up." Precisely. What are we going to do, stop in the middle of hell or turn back only to start all over again? I'm all set with that. If you fight your thoughts and feelings, they will only persist, and perhaps grow stronger. But if you let them just be, they will gradually dissipate and move on. And by letting them be as they are, by accepting them and gracefully moving through them or moving next to them, we grow stronger. We gain character.

     We don't become strong men and women by wimping out, turning back, refusing do things that make us uncomfortable, popping a bunch of pills, pouring booze down our throats or shooting a spoonful of heroin. Nope. We grow strong and become free inside by walking right into our fear, our darkness, and our despair. Addicts must confront themselves to unlock the chains they are bound in.

God, teach me to accept and embrace ALL of my thoughts and feelings. Teach me to take the middle road, not too high or too low... 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Families & Codependency

     Families don't need to suffer...

     First, I should mention that a similar post hurt the feelings of an anonymous parent who had falsely interpreted the message as faulting parents for our addiction. Every single word I've ever written about addiction firmly asserts the precise opposite of that, that nothing outside of ourselves is to blame for our addiction and our selfish, destructive behaviors. That post was, To Parents, Spouses & Codependents. So just because the title of this older post below is Families & Codependency, that doesn't mean that all family members and spouses of addicts are codependent, and as such, may not apply to them.

     Listen, my job is to tell you the truth, not to lie to you, or try to sound smart, or ramble on about shit I know nothing about, like your average therapist, addictions counselor, psychiatrist, academic, intellectual, meeting goer, news anchor, politician, government agency, methadone clinic, etc. etc. etc. Nope, sorry. If I don't tell you the truth and help vaporize the pile of bullshit you've been fed, swallowed and stored up in the attic, then I'm doing everybody a great disservice.

                                                        *

     Families and spouses can become gravely sickened and pretty much go insane, just as the addict. Let's face it, if you live with a crazy person, chances are you'll find yourself going some degree of crazy yourself. An addict’s negative energy permeates all who surround him. If and when the addict gets better, spouses and family members are suddenly slammed with the pile of crap inside of them that had built up and was perhaps ignored by necessity. They begin to suffer greatly and wonder why. 

     Why do I feel more awful now that he or she has gotten well? I should feel better now... but I feel worse!

     Our addiction is their bridge to insanity. The addiction of another can become a necessary preoccupation from their own worsening mental sickness, anxiety or depression. In a strange, almost pain-dependant way, families remain in a comfort zone of their own by trying to control, fix, manipulate, instigate, antagonize… all things a healthy person would recoil from. But for co-dependants, addiction provides them with a strange relief by enabling them to constantly deflect their own pain, self-responsibility, character flaws, or dependency issues. This is why most couples break up after the addict gets better. If one person gets better and the other does not, there isn't much of a happy future ahead. Also, the sober addict is often nothing like the way he or she used to be. His or her spouse might wake up and realize,

     Wait a minute, I'm not sure I even like this person! Sure they were an asshole when actively drinking, but it was that old personality I fell in love with, not this new one.  

     Regardless of what happens, once an addict achieves health and sanity, many family members and loved ones cannot help but realize how much pain they are in. Therefore, parents and spouses usually need the same thing addicts do - for the hole inside them to be filled. It does not seem fair, and the truth is, it’s not. But it’s reality. Codependents have always had us addicts to distract them and to blame. If we suddenly get better, there is no more distraction and nothing more to blame. Everything inside that the codependent has neatly tucked away now stares them right in the face. Time to take some action.

     I strongly suggest that any spouses, parents, close relatives or friends who are suffering, even long after the addict has recovered, go out and embark on a rigorous Twelve Step process. It may save them as well. To note, they can follow the exact same Big Book Twelve Step directions that we do. All they need is to find a recovered sponsor or an al-anon sponsor who has taken these Steps and recovered.

    Ultimately, the only thing you can really do to change anything is to let go of the addict and go heal yourself.

God, please give our families and spouses the willingness and power to heal and grow...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Good Things Come...

     ...To those who serve God.

     I used to wonder why I didn't have this and why I didn't have that. Why aren't I a famous writer and why aren't I a rock star? Why can't I get ahead financially and why aren't I a billionaire already?

     Answer: Change the focus. Serve God and good things will come to us.

     If we anxiously push and force and exert our will to obtain worldly things (including people), they will naturally elude us. Only by letting go of our selfish desires will they begin to manifest. Abundance is all ours once we forget about self, once we let go of needing anything, once we let go of outcome.

     And even if we don't get smothered with abundance and prosperity, serve God anyway because it is the right thing to do, the strong and courageous thing to do, the honorable thing to do, the spiritual thing to do. Serve God, because if we don't, we become empty and meaningless.

     And if you're an addict and you begin the Steps and take a 3rd Step and then turn your back on God, watch out. Bad things will happen. The Steps didn't fail you. God didn't fail you. You failed yourself. Good job.

     After many years of being recovered, I've found that life is not about self. Sure it is about growing spiritually and living life with strength, love and honesty. And it most certainly about hard work, creativity, contribution, growth and success. But it is without question about others, about family, about our children... and their future.

God, please give me the strength and willingness to do Your will and Your work, and do it well...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Culture Of Mental Illness

     America's perverse focus on mental illness has certainly crowned us the worldwide hub of pharmaceutical intervention. In fact, we celebrate that fact and glorify not only the discovery of a new disorder but also the magic pill to treat it. If you watch TV for a couple of hours on any given night, you will see reports and advertisements about a myriad of different disorders and some 'amazing' new drug to treat the symptoms. Of course, it's only the symptoms we want to treat, though, because actually solving our problems would render an entire industry useless and impotent. Furthermore, people might start to think and act for themselves, and we certainly can't have that.

     America's explosion of mental illness and pharmaceutical interventions have achieved the precise opposite of what they advertise: Exacerbate mental illness. In fact, the more names and the more disorders and the more drugs we peddle to the masses, we achieve escape velocity, if you will. It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We now cause mental illness just by focusing on it so much. Incessant scrutiny of the Self not only causes but fuels spiritual malady.

     This is the tragic irony about psychology and psychiatry. Ever more disorders and ever more drugs have done one thing and one thing only: led to an absolute explosion in the incidence of mental illness. It's amazing to me that Harvard brass sends off countless PhDs every year without so much as a clue. These guys are academic geniuses yet couldn't help someone if their lives depended on it. So either these guys really aren't so bright, or, and this is my feeling, Harvard is shoving a bunch of nonsense down their throats.

     The pharmaceutical elite are no dummies. They know that the more disorders that the APA creates out of thin air will only necessitate more and more laboratory cocktails, i.e. enormous profits.

     It doesn't matter if every man, woman and child are being diagnosed with some abstract disorder that they don't really have, just so long as they swallow a couple of psychotropics everyday. It doesn't matter if their brains are re-wired, leading to a psychotic break and suicide... or perhaps a demonic trip to the local elementary school.

     It doesn't matter if the gullible, uneducated, uninformed masses of American parents are told by some clown that their 3-year old has Bipolar and ADHD and must take an anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer, an anti-psychotic, a benzodiazepine and a stimulant in order to have a good life.

     It doesn't matter that our children are then over-medicated by said parents and, hey, what do you know, the kid doesn't wake up for school Monday morning. We just killed another 3-year old.

     Now, I know his or her future may be somewhat bleak anyway considering they will inherit a bankrupt government with somewhere between 20 to100 trillion dollars in national debt, well over 200 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and about a quadrillion dollars in highly leveraged, about-to-explode OTC derivatives, but hey, what does everybody say we leave the kids out of it.

     Cool?

God, please show the Establishment puppets the error of their ways...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Maker or Taker?

     What defines a successful life? Did we try our best? Were we honest? Did we serve? Did we continue growing? Or did we settle, conform, cower, take the easy road? None of us can judge one another, and we don't need to. We can well judge ourselves. We know better than anybody what we are made of. We are the most qualified to know whether our lives are a success or not.

     Misguided and historically illiterate Keynesian economists like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and fed chair Ben Bernanke make the classic mistake of cooking up short-term fixes while ignoring long-term consequences. And this time their solution is so beyond reckless that even the likes of Bernie Madoff would be humbled. Now, given that they both appear to be a bit touched, let's go easy on them.

     They believe that the way to solve a massive, unprecedented debt crisis and structural growth problem is to take on more debt - lots more. And when the bill comes due for the old debt, the solution is to borrow from new investors to pay the older ones. Sound familiar? Again, just ask Mr. Madoff what that is. And when the treasury can't find anyone left to borrow from, the newest solution is to just print money out of thin air and lend it... to oneself. We have a name for that also: counterfeiting. And all the while let's manipulate interest rates to 0% just to make sure we annihilate all savers, senior citizens, and the entire middle class, and provide free money 24/7 to the most corrupt banks on earth. Good job voters. You've been had. And you deserve what you get.

     By the way, in case you haven't figured it out, bankers are takers, not makers. The only thing they make is making off with not only your take-home dollars, but your tax dollars as well. You pay taxes to the treasury who pays interest on the money that the fed and its member banks created out of nothing and lent to the treasury to use for all sorts of immoral, hegemonic nonsense. So you pay taxes for the privilege of using federal reserve debt notes that, by design, lose value the longer you hold them.

     As absurd as all that sounds on its face, you will also be able to find a slew of puppets on mainstream news outlets who manage to cleverly convince you that if you don't believe in and happily accept this lunacy, this fraud and scam that the treasury, the fed, and the banks have going, then you are most certainly an idiot. Collectivist puppets love to call people idiots. If you don't cover your ears to the gigantic sucking sound the government vacuum makes as it sucks all the productive capacity it possibly can out of the real economy, then you are a moron. Great argument, huh? The argument goes something like this,

     "What a moron!" Or "OMG, you are such an idiot!" 

     At any rate, addicts are Keynesians too. The believe that if they can just have more of something that doesn't work, they'll be able to solve their problem. If I can just get tons of OC 80s, then I'll be able to quit, or at least function properly. We all know what happens then - I wind up flat broke, begging for more, or in a coffin.

     Addicts also think they should be taken care of and given money, jobs, privileges and blessings without having to lift a finger. Just observe the behavior of any addict to see how dangerous this frame of mind is. And as we all know from studying codependency and enabling, addicts who depend on others become crippled - more crippled than they already are. Eventually they can do nothing on their own and soon they become zombies, without a single authentic thought or idea. Those who give to you without you earning it are your slave masters. To quote Hayek, this is the "road to serfdom" my friends. We think free stuff saves people. In fact, it enslaves them.

     There are takers and there are makers. If you're an addict or an alcoholic, you are a taker. So ask yourself if that's what you truly want to be. Because if you truly want to be a taker, than do us all a favor and skip the emergency room next time you have a gran mal seizure from speedballing.

     "Never in history has too much deficit spending, debt, and currency debasement been solved by more deficit spending, debt, and currency debasement." - M. Maloney

     Over a trillion dollars of student debt and not a single institution offers financial IQ.

     "The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.

     The welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.

     In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold." 
- A. Greenspan, 1966

God, help us...