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Showing posts from March, 2013

Are You Free?

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

Achieving recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is not an accomplishment, it is our responsibility.

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     True freedom means we don't just get sober and remain untreated lunatics, we work on ourselves until we are well, and then we go serve.
     True freedom means we forgo the psychotropics, the methadone maintenance, and yup, the suboxone. Sorry.
     True freedom means we don't reward ourselves with sobriety chips just because we stopped hurting other people.       True freedom means we don't pat ourselves on the backs for staying sober or for doing the right thing.      True freedom means if we go to three meetings a day and we're still out of our freaking minds, we consider embarking on some REAL WORK.
     True freedom means we don't just 'take what we want and leave the rest', as half-ass measures will yield half-ass…

Intangible Connection

 "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

     Why is it that 10 years of psychotherapy, psychiatry, pharmaceutical interventions, social workers, addiction specialists, group therapy, AA & NA meetings, all sorts of 'frothy emotional appeal', and trying with all my might to exert my broken willpower only facilitated my descent from weed-obsessed teenager to acid tripper to raging alcoholic to pillhead to severely depressed, full-blown heroin/cocaine addict?

     And why is it that after 15 years of failing miserably with all the physical world had to offer did I meet a recovered addict and feel an indescribable, intangible connection that drove me to suddenly become willing to do ANYTHING it takes to get better?

"…

Law of Attraction

See also: Karma & Think Right, Act Right.

"I believe the people we attract to us are those who, in a sense, mirror who and what we are at the time. On a superficial level, crossing paths with an angry driver reflects anger in myself. On a profound level, crossing paths with the chemicals of a lover and burning a diseased relationship to its end reflects the time, place and need to learn a life lesson." -The Privileged Addict, p. 84  

     Indeed, just about everything we attract reflects some part of ourselves. The intimate relationships we have, the jobs we have, the challenges we have, the problems we have, are all somehow built into our life blueprints. These events occur to teach us major life lessons.

     Intimate relationships, for instance, are great vehicles for such growth, and upon reflection, the lesson to be learned is often quite specific. One of my old girlfriends had Borderline Personality Disorder (Um, don't touch BPD with a 10-foot pole and gloves o…

Privileged Addict Quotes

"Recovery is not a function of time. It is a function of what actions you take and at what frequency you 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 functio…

Karma

Addict or not, no one can escape Karma. Cause and effect is absolute. It is a truth. If we hurt someone, we will hurt ourselves. If we help someone, we will help ourselves. If we lash out at others, they will lash out at us. And if they do not immediately retaliate, rest assured that your luck will change in some other way. When we wrong or abuse others, we have at that very moment set in motion the irreversible law of cause and effect. Sure regretting our wrong or attempting to make it right is very constructive, but nothing will save us from reaping what we sow, one way or another. This is one of many unfortunate (or fortunate) facts that all addicts have to come to grips with if they are to truly recover and effect real and lasting change.

     Crucial to my recovery and to turning from a man-child into a responsible, accountable man was understanding and embracing the law of cause and effect. Cause and effect is a universal law that is reciprocal. It holds true not just in th…

Don't Toy With God

Don't toy with the Steps unless you are going to finish them, do them with 100% fearlessness and thoroughness, and continue with Steps 10, 11 & 12 indefinitely. Why? Because by getting involved in the Steps we are messing with something mystical. If we begin the Steps and fail to finish or simply allow them become secondary, we may rest assured that bad things will happen. Relationships will become impaired or break down altogether. We will burn bridges, connections, networks and support structures. We will have problems at work and at home. Things will stop working out for us as luck changes from good to bad. We will butt heads with other frustrated imbeciles out there in the world. We will lose our serenity, our peace, our clear minds, our focus, and our sanity. We will relapse.

    We will even fail at relapsing, because once we open the door to God and the Steps, our buzz will be forever killed. We won't enjoy anything self-destructive anymore, the way we selfishl…

Never Give Up

My loving but sad father died prematurely from early-onset dementia. To be more accurate, my Dad was an untreated, depressed alcoholic who gave up. His spiritual malady became organic and gradually his brain turned on itself and began degenerating. Once that process starts, the result is terminal. But in his death, my father teaches us drug addicts and alcoholics two invaluable lessons.

     One is human responsibility. We must never forget that nobody and nothing outside of ourselves is responsible for who we are. We bear full responsibility for taking care of ourselves, for our success and for our failure. We mold ourselves into men and women or moral character and strength or into Godless dens of iniquity and wilting leaves of cowardice. The choice is most certainly ours to make.

     The other lesson from my father is that we must never give up. Never. The people who get better are people who absolutely refuse to give up. Their resolve to change and grow is as firm as it gets…

Walk Right Into It

"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves." -Alcoholics Anonymous, pp.83-84

     I remember making an amends to an old boss, one of a long list of people whom I swore I'd forever avoid like the plague. I was b…

Ah, Just Take Right Action

People don't get addiction. I'll never understand why there are so many different remedies and treatment methods out there, especially stuff that cost so much. Makes no sense. The only explanation is that we are succumbing to the addict's desire for easier, softer ways and half-ass measures. Bad idea.

     Why?

     Because the only thing any addict needs to do to get better is just to take a shitload of right action. I guarantee you that if you take action all day, everyday, week after week,  month after month, year after year, you will be completely okay.

     Fine, but what actions do I take, you may ask. Well, that's what the Steps are for. If you spend every free moment you have praying, meditating, writing inventory, making amends, nourishing your relationships, or helping other addicts, there is no way you will relapse. Guaranteed.

     Exercise helps too, and it's a nice little upgrade from chain-smoking butts, slurping iced coffees and clenching a sob…