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...