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Showing posts from February, 2013

Courage or Cowardice?

"We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.19

     Wow. Congratulations. So we finally got sober. Now what?
     Achieving physical sobriety is about .05% of the total work required to become recovered.
"We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs." (Ibid.)
     Are we going to remove our character defects?      Are we going to exorcise the demons of selfishness, fear, dishonesty and fraudulence?      Are we going to grow, change, and evolve spiritually?      Are we going to give back to all those we have stolen from, spit on, and taken advantage of?      Are we going to pick up the pieces of the broken hearts we left behind?      Are we going to change the way we conduct ourselves?      Are we going to stop taking credit for our recovery and the blessings in our lives?      Are we going …

Don't Use The Way I Do? Don't Bother

"But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.18

     If you haven't used and felt the way I have, I won't be listening to you, let alone taking your advice. If you haven't lived what I've lived, how could you possibly know how to help me?

     This is yet another truth that Establishment puppets just don't get. Since you cannot prove that another alcoholic can have more of an effect on an alcoholic than a non-alcoholic can, then it can't possibly be true, right? This is the sort of obtuse thinking that pervades the Western medical community. To suggest that because methadone, suboxone and naltrexone can be tested, they are then better methods of treatment than applying the Twelve Steps rigorously, you have to be so…

Why The Steps Work

The Steps give us enough things to do to always be working on ourselves. Between inventory, amends, prayer, meditation, heping others and working with addicts, we can almost constantly work on ourselves, if we choose. In fact, this is why the Steps work. But the trick is we have to push ourselves at every chance to take action. And more importantly, we have to push ourselves to take RIGHT action.

     That means we must learn to distinguish between actions that are useful and result in real growth, change and spiritual evolution, and useless actions that yield few to no results whatsoever. Relatively useless actions include meetings, individual or group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, taking methadone or suboxone, taking psychotropics, having shock therapy, going to outpatient programs, engaging in role play and relapse prevention, taking herbs and homeopathy, relying on friends, family, coffee pots, sobriety chips, sober dances or that ridiculous book sold on cable TV, an…

Knowing God vs Having God

For sure, 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.


God, teach me to have You, not just to know You...

Audi Boy

So Audi boy is the slicked out, ultra-conceited, ultra-entitled shithead speeding onto the highway the other morning in his S6 with tinted windows and custom rims... and we shouldn't neglect the spiked hair. Even though we were driving through the homogenous, quasi-suburb of Beverly, Massachusetts, for a second I thought I was outside Scoozi on Newbury Street. Audi boy sped onto the highway so fast that he lost the wheel for a second and almost barreled right into us before pulling back and speeding off without a care in the world. It's a good thing he was wearing five hundred dollar women's sunglasses, as otherwise he may not have seen us in time. But that's neither here nor there because this guy was way too cool to be bothered by a passing family. I mean, who are we to drive on his road? Who are we to get in Audi boy's way? Whatever Audi boy's doing is obviously way more important than anything else in the entire world. I mean after all, maybe he was on…

Peace Flows

The secret to recovering from addiction is so simple it hurts: HARD WORK. This along with adopting spiritual principles and staying close to GOD = guaranteed success. The feeling of internal peace is like no other, and it is achievable to anyone. My hope is that all those who suffer somehow find their way to this freedom. Experience has taught me is that I could not get there without taking rigorous spiritual action, opening myself up, and reaching out to God.

     So the reason I am somewhat aggressive about this stuff is 1) because this is an aggressive illness and we must be aggressive if we intend to recover... and 2) because of what happened to me, I feel compelled to expose the bullshit regarding mainstream treatment methods (MTM).

     About 1 in 32 addicts actually get sober and stay that way, though it could be much worse. The combination of academics, psychiatry, and state/federally funded treatment programs shape mainstream thinking and attitudes regarding addiction an…

Tao Wisdom 8, 9

8
The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people
disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

9
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do you work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

-Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu
 Translated by Stephen Mitchell


Tao Te Ching Lao-tzu

Meeting Makers Make Meetings

If you like going to meetings, then great, go to meetings. Just trying to help meeting makers consider the possibility of doing some actual work on themselves... like perhaps take their very own AA's Twelve Steps... and maybe not wait 10 years, 100 relapses, 10 cars, 50 jobs, and 20-30 more broken hearts before you decide to take them. So if your knucklehead sponsor told you to wait to take Steps or to only take a Step a year, you should probably remove their phone number from your rolodex and consider directing them to the links at your bottom left.

     Meetings don't actually get alcoholics better. Taking enough spiritual action to induce a psychic change gets alcoholics better. AA was nothing more than a suggested set of spiritual actions long, long ago before it got watered-down into group therapy and snack time. AA is the Big Book. That's what AA is. Referring to your home group as a Group Of Drunks (G.O.D.) and relying on them to keep you sober isn't AA. I …

Hand-Holding

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To hold an addict's hand is to cripple and paralyze them. They will never get better when relying on hand-holding measures to accomplish something or to do the right thing.

     Don't ask me why, but I used to work day and night with teenage addicts, which required quite a bit of hand-holding, as you might imagine. I chased them around at all hours to get them better. Trust me, chasing cognitively undeveloped ingrates around is an entirely fruitless endeavor. Most of them are doing just fine in their state-funded (i.e. rapidly becoming impoverished taxpayer-funded) recovery school texting their way through mindless public education classes and weekly piss tests.
     There were a few of them who actually changed and succeeded. How? Simple, by growing up, becoming men, and bringing themselves to say, stare their character defects right in the face and write a fearless moral inventory of their entire lives. Or by understanding and accepting utter defeat when it comes to se…

Purpose

If addiction is a spiritual problem, then a spiritual problem (amongst other things) is a lack of purpose. Let's face it, what drug addict or alcoholic do you know whose purpose in life is anything other than using drugs or drinking? And even if we have some sort of purpose besides using, is it truly a purpose? Is the path we're on truly serving ourselves or, more importantly, serving others?

     I had some grand ideas about my life. I figured that because I was so incredible and talented, I would be a best-selling author, a movie star, a rock star, and an enlightened guru all before the age of 21. No, that's not a joke. And sure I wrote songs and stories and poems. Sure I auditioned for major roles in theatre and film. Sure I read anything and everything I could get my hands on if it pertained to truth, energy, mysticism, God. But... I was high as a kite before, during and after. The more I tried to grasp these things, the farther away they got. In the end, there wa…

No Grey Areas

Alcoholics Anonymous - The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism.

     "WE, OF Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no further authentication is necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all." - Alcoholics Anonymous, Foreword To First Edition, xiii

"'Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and…

Everything Good Is God

"Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it is often not enough. One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce this essential psychic change. Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach." - Alcoholics Anonymous, The Doctor's Opinion, xxix

      I do not and will never take credit for the work I did and for the resulting miracles in my life. Sure I made an effort and did some work BUT everything good that I do is powered by God and is God. Additionally, all good things that have come to me as a result of the work I've done are from God and are God. I believe that will all my heart.

     Yes, getting better requires some hard work. But the thing that actually…

Animal Messengers

I'm reaching the point where I've pretty much written what I know about addiction, recovery, and the spiritual solution, minus a few academic details that nobody needs to be bored with at this point. So I'm not sure too much more needs to be said. I have a few more posts up my sleeve in an effort to make this thing a full, one-year project. I recommend that if any of this makes sense to you or that you find it useful, go back and read all of the previous posts, when and if time permits.

     Regarding animals and messages, after a single comment from a staffer up North, I packed my bags and was ready to throw away everything I'd worked so hard for. I was on the precipice of change, about to read a moral inventory of my entire life. I'm quite sure that the Red-Tailed Hawk I saw after walking out of the director's office up North was telling me to grab an opportunity that I may lose forever.

     Years ago my mother gave me Medicine Cards, a Native American…

Hitting Bottom

You don't need to wind up toothless in a crack house with every STD known to man before you're ready to get better. It's a nice cliche, but we don't have to wait that long, nor does there have to be a singular or distinct bottom. The last time I went to detox, I only went because I was broke as hell one day and started sinking into withdrawals. I know plenty of fellow idiots who had no intention of getting better and who weren't ready at all, but then something hit them along the way while in treatment and they somehow recovered (in spite of themselves). Perhaps some of it is larger than us. Perhaps it is already scripted as to when and how we finally decide to change and get better. For me, I believe with all my heart that is was a series of mystical events and divine intervention that got me to treatment, to the Steps, and ultimately, to GOD. And thus, Fate, as it were, is my best answer. 

     I suppose if I had to define it practically, it's probably wh…

Addiction Is a Spiritual Problem

Addiction is a spiritual problem.

     Yes, I understand there are physical and mental components, but these elements manifest themselves after we have become spiritually ill. Addiction is a symptom of spiritual malady. That is the truth, regardless of what anyone may say.

     Before moving on to the solution, it is imperative to explain the mental component to better help non-addicts truly understand what it's like to be an addict. The mental problem we have is why once we get sober, we cannot stay that way. People have to understand that there is nothing that can stop us from using once that switch goes off in our heads, even if we've been sober for months and months at a time. This is what it means to have no power, to have lost the power of choice. Perhaps a brief anecdote may help to describe the curious phenomenon of having a broken mind, if you will.

     Years ago, while working in Boston, I writhed in bed for days like a coward before finally kicking OxyContin a…

Get An Addict Better...

... and he or she can do incredible, amazing things.

      Like the teenaged kid I know who overdosed from shooting heroin and was pretty much dead until he was shot up with two loads of Narcan, took Steps, recovered, asked me for a ride to make amends to a sporting goods franchise he stole from, made a slew of other frightening amends, started multiple groups and ended up managing a sober house, all while sponsoring several others.

      Or the girl I know who took Steps, recovered and started speaking all over the place, began sponsoring countless other girls and went on to run a women's sober house while working another full time job. Just as strange is how happy, content and at peace she is. You would never know she was/is a drug addict.

     Or the other guys I know who took Steps, recovered, and then went on to open up multiple sober houses after sponsoring piles and piles of other guys, all the while starting groups, running other groups, and working intens…

Moral Relativity

What is moral relativity?

     It means that anything goes. It means that if I don't think something I did is wrong (even if it hurts you), then it isn't. It means that what is right for me doesn't have to be right for you and vice versa. It basically means that there is no more right and wrong.
    We now live in a culture/country of moral relativity and as a result, the individual and group conscience is dying. This is actually quite frightening, because when we no longer care about, or when we no longer commonly accept what is right and what is wrong, then we essentially become passive robots, or better yet, slaves, who allow all sorts of fraud, corruption and wrongdoing to occur all around us and to us.
     This is what's now happening to America - especially in all facets of banking and government. This is why the unprecedented fraud, corruption and theft of the American people in 2008 and everyday since hasn't been prosecuted in the slightest, and it ne…

False Thinking

Say a bunch of kids gang up on you, call you names, make fun of you, and brutally shame, humiliate and reject you in front of everybody else. The common thinking has always been that the misery we feel as a result of their cruelty is purely their fault, as it is purely caused by them. In fact, I believe that the way we perceive the cause of our feelings to be a delusion. The truth is that the kids are actually not responsible for my emotional reaction to them ganging up on me (even though they may have wronged me). Who is responsible then?

     I am. (See older posts Resentment & Victim Mentality for greater elaboration.)
     What's so dangerous about this commonly accepted way of thinking is that if we grow up and continue to hold others responsible for the way we feel, we will become spiritually ill (besides becoming narcissistic). We will begin to think of ourselves as victims and eventually let other people, institutions, or the State itself make decisions for us and…