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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.

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 addic…

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 absolutel…

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 re…

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 …

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 o…

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 conta…

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 likeKarmaor 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 ri…

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 …

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 i…

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...








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 mu…

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.

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 opt…

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 debaseme…

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 deter…

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 s…

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 supp…

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…

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…

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...

Spiritual Debt

Image
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 f…

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'.

                                                        *  

     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 fo…

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 w…

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 mus…

"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-chemi…

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 p…

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 acce…

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, sor…

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 an…

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…

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 borro…