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Mainstream Propaganda

A friend recently sent me yet another article that tries to prove scientifically that right, moral action and/or spiritual development should be replaced altogether as a form of treatment by the plethora of new designer prescription drugs that we now have available to us. As well, they continuously bash AA by misrepresenting the program, while stealing its very essence and trying to attribute it to their own re-named, watered down modalities. Welcome to the new world of moral relativity. See for yourself.

     "NIAAA officials say such [twelve step] programs still hold an important place in alcohol treatment. But they note that newer behavioral treatments try to empower patients instead, and focus on developing skills to stay sober." - WSJ Article - A Prescripton to End Drinking

     Does it not mind-boggle anybody out there that 'well-educated' addiction specialists know absolutely nothing about the Twelve Steps, while at the same time flaunting a tone of confi…

Does Your Program Really Work?

I am a living, breathing, insatiable dumpster - a full blown alcoholic/drug addict. Perhaps the only thing I really know is what it's like to be absolutely powerless.

     But that doesn't mean we can't regain power.

     In fact, I am recovered and will never use again. I now reject and repel all drugs and alcohol as a form of spiritual poison. Until I breathe my last breath, nothing will ever be more important to me than my relationship with God.

     So the only question is, is our program capable of giving us our power back, or is it just a phony band-aid?

     That is a question we need to search for in the deepest parts of our minds, hearts and souls. We must be rigorously honest when looking at ourselves and our program.

     We have spent so many years bullshitting other people, the very last thing we want to do is to bullshit ourselves in recovery.

God, please remove any obsession I may have to self-destruct or to sabotage all that is good...

Don't Wear It on Your Sleeve

Some sound advice: Don't wear your shit on your sleeve and don't dump your woes on other people. Trust me, nobody wants to hear it.

     When you walk into a room flashing your every woe, you are bringing everybody down with you. This sort of victim affect is not only immature, but it is selfish and actually somewhat narcissistic. No it's not wrong to suffer and yes I understand that life is tough sometimes, but when we are spending time with others, the right thing to do is to suck it up. When our countenance is completely saturated by our negative thoughts and feelings, it makes others uncomfortable. Do we not have a duty to act in a way that we would recommend to others?

     There used to be this guy at the gym who loved to dump his woes on me. Some people might say the right thing to do is to listen to him and allow him to go off as much as he wishes, but that is the wrong approach. What he needed to do was to get over it, stop focusing so much on his problems,…

Develop a Natural Repulsion

If we come to hate drugs and alcohol because they prevent us from growing spiritually, we will begin to naturally repel anything that takes us away from God.

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     This is how you get better. When you are properly educated about addiction, you come to realize the damage you have done. You also come to understand and respect the law of cause and effect. You being to see that everything you do has a consequence in kind.

     If we achieve physical sobriety but do not repair our conscience, we have little chance of staying sober. But if we work on ourselves spiritually, it will nourish and expand our conscience and we will begin to care deeply about the consequences of what we do. This process of the expansion of one's conscience is the process of a person returning to sanity.

     We do not need to have some white-light experience necessarily. Many addicts can undergo a psychic change of the 'educational variety', as William James put astutely. That is, through rigorous wor…

Reality & The Spiritual Life

     The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

     I personally don't believe the spiritual life is about becoming 'enlightened' or achieving various states of rapture. I don't believe it's about leaving our bodies and minds and floating off into space. It's not about escape. Nor is it about trying to change the way we feel, which contradicts reality. Just as the cycle of the day involves both light and dark, so does human life, and the sooner we accept that and embrace the way things are, the sooner we will be free. We are here on earth in our bodies, for now anyway, and we should honor that reality with purity and humility. So spirituality, for me, is about being human, facing reality, being where our feet are, and taking whatever comes our way - inside and out.

     Many people do not understand things like addiction. An addict develops and maintains his or her addiction because of the people they are…

Real vs False Self-Esteem

What is this nonsense about how addicts already feel bad enough about themselves and so we should adulate them to instill self-esteem as opposed to pointing out and educating them on their character defects? If you want REAL self-esteem, you have to do the opposite of blow smoke up an addict's ass. Active and newly sober addicts should be torn apart because you don't want them believing in, validating, and giving worth to a false, caricature, addict self. We want to shed this old self and then develop true self-esteem in a new and sane self. And yes, this can be done carefully and with love.

     Sorry, but the soft, new-age, 'everybody gets a trophy' status quo is totally wrong on this one. Addicts are the last people on earth that should be coddled. Watch Stossel's new piece 'Parenting' for some entertaining illumination on the disturbing trends developing out of our macro swing towards collectivism.

     It is perfectly acceptable to rip ourselves …

Anybody Can Recover

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I was a selfish, depressed, disgusting, indulgent, narcissistic, alcoholic, heroin addict pig. Today I am recovered.

     Anybody with the capacity to be honest with themselves can recover and go on to live an incredible life. They can become well-respected members of their families and communities. They can love, listen and serve others with distinction. If they do the work, anything is possible. If they give their lives to God, miracles become a near daily event. So the only question is, why not? Trust me, it's not our fucking brain disease that keeps us from getting better, especially given the fact that we gave it to ourselves and can recover mentally at any point in time. It is the fact that we don't want to change. It is pure selfishness. Please try to wrap your head around that.

     On another note, I am nobody. I couldn't care less about the specifics of my self or my identity. I can be interchanged with anybody who has recovered. I do this because my experie…

Privileged Addict Quotes 3

This is the third installment following Privileged Addict Quotes and Privileged Addict Quotes 2. Enjoy.

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"Hitting bottom occurs when we can no longer lie to ourselves. Getting better occurs when we can no longer lie to others."

"The reward in not being an addict is not being an addict."
"I started getting better when I started hearing what I didn't want to hear and doing what I didn't want to do."

"Being recovered has nothing to do with what I've learned or read or blabbed on and on about with a therapist. How ridiculous the notion that we can talk our way into recovery, when all addicts do is talk."

"Who and what we are is the sum of what we do. We do not talk or study or pill-pop our way into recovery. We act our way in."

"Psychotherapy and addiction don't mix, as the fabrication of reasons is totally counter-productive."
"Words and ideas are but dormant seeds - devoid of power unless grown and cultivated via…

Do You Want The Truth?

You know that feeling you have when you hear the truth? It sort of rings throughout your entire being like a perfect melody or chord. We call that harmony. You know when you have heard or seen the truth because you can feel it deep within and you become clear. Well that is how I feel about the following statement.

Addiction is a consequence of doing the wrong thing, while recovery is a consequence of doing the right thing. For some reason, harmful and immoral behavior especially effects alcoholics and addicts. It ravages and wreaks havoc on the soul, and that is a perfect recipe for drug addiction. If I fail to understand this, I will never be able to recover or to help others recover. It is absolutely crucial to understand the connection between addiction and doing the wrong thing.

     Addicts must continue to employ the false solution of drugs in an attempt to mask the damage they are doing to their conscience. An addict in the thick of it is a tortured soul, writhing in psy…

Spirituality Is Not About Rapture

     "Then six months into recovery, I came flying off the pink cloud I was perched upon. I don’t know why, but suddenly I came crashing down emotionally. It was the makings of a depression and I was absolutely terrified. I mean, I thought I was okay… so what’s all this about? I had a spiritual experience and a psychic change. Isn’t life going to be perfect from now on?

     But this is the great test of the spiritual life. Am I going to keep doing this work even though it doesn’t give me some spiritual charge anymore, even though I feel mundane and human and sometimes even depressed? The mistake was that I had become attached to feeling good even in sobriety. I used tools solely meant to keep me sane in order to get high in sobriety. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do things that were good for me or for others just for the sake of doing them, just because they were the right things to do.

     I began to realize that spirituality wasn’t about trying to achieve constant rapture. Nope. Spi…

The 7th Step Prayer & Onward...

"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p.76

     I personally like to recite this prayer out loud every time I read 10th Step inventory, and it's probably a good idea to recite it every time we make a mistake or do some fucked up shit.

     There is no need to alter the words of the Big Book and to water them down via workbooks and the soft, new age language that is so characteristic of psychology and other social sciences these days. The Big Book delineates precisely what we must do, and so when we have completed our initial 4th Step inventory and have done our 5th, 6th & 7th Steps, we must immediately go out and begin making amends. The people who don't earnestly make their amends, all of them, are those…

Let's Write Some Inventory

By the way, the private phone sessions are going really well, as they are allowing me to respond to everybody who wants to reach out about their specific situation and provide insight, education and personal advice. I've also been getting positive feedback, so I will continue to do these sessions and set aside more time to schedule them. So thank you, and please let others know who might benefit from this.

     *This inventory is from several years ago, and though I don't give a shit about it anymore, we can only really help others if we're completely honest, so I thought it would serve as a good example of why writing inventory is so important.

Please also see: Resentment & Resentment Inventory

1st Column (Person, Institution, or Principle I Resent)

Local alumni from up North. And up North.

2nd Column (The Specific Resentment)

a. Was never asked by up North's golden boys to be part of their projects, nor have I ever been asked to work up North, even though I…

Failure to Recover Is Pure Selfishness

Fact: brain disease or not, the only thing keeping addicts and alcoholics from getting better is pure selfishness. Once I decide it is time to change, it makes no difference how powerless I am, and let me tell you, I was as powerless as they come.

     Yet I dragged myself into detox, dope sick and emaciated, and then I sucked it up, went to treatment, and gave myself to a solution that I saw working in others. Suddenly I was surrounded by other junkies who used the way I did, felt the way I did, and suffered from all sorts of depression and mental disorders and yet... they were completely okay and free inside. They were grounded, wise, strong, recovered. Power back. Yes, it is more than possible.

     We are living proof.

     And yet, all they were doing was taking Steps as they are laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Huh? Yup, that's it. No doctors. No psychiatrists. No social workers or therapists. No insane and poisonous concoction of substitution drugs, an…

Comment Response on Dopamine & Working With Medicated Addicts

I'm reposting this comment response that I had to publish because it was too long, as I continue to get emails from the therapist contingency asking about dopamine, not to mention the recent onslaught of concocted science regarding the organic neurochemistry of drug addicts and how drug-seeking behavior is not only rational and justified but in fact a sincere and heartwarming effort to achieve normal levels of certain neurotransmitters. Excuse for a sec me while I go beat my head against a wall. Plus I just read an article in the NYT propaganda machine about some poor 6-year old child on both adderall and the anti-psychotic, risperdal. Let me tell you that the narcissistic doctors who sanction this sort of poison as well as the parents who passively follow orders without a single neuron firing (no pun intended) are both insane, or at the very least grossly misguided and negligent.

                                                        *    
     Ah yes, indeed. Well thank y…

Inducing a Spiritual Experience

Okay great, you had a spiritual experience and you were touched or whatever, but how does my fucking kid do that when most sponsors blow and most TCs are a freakin' joke as they just water down the steps?

     Good question. No, really.

     Part of me doesn't get why we take the spiritual teeth out of recovery when that is the most crucial ingredient. We remove the one necessary ingredient to becoming recovered and replace it with various forms of garbage.

     What a travesty, for instance, that God has been replaced with methadone. Is that really what you want your spouse or child to become, a recovering heroin addict on state-sponsored methadone maintenance? Good, that's what I thought, because there are a some bloggers out there who passionately advocate methadone slavery and a life absent of true sobriety, recovery, health, peace, sanity, service and well-being.

     Actually, that sounds rather sadistic. You're happy that your child or spouse is on methadone? Ar…

The (Beautiful) 3rd Step Prayer

"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life." - Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

     Who can deny the perfection of this prayer? Surely it is as beautiful as it is powerful.

"God, I offer myself to Thee..." - When I truly understood this, I knew I'd be recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. The Big Book initially seeks to educate us on the physical/mental components of addiction as well as the underlying spiritual malady, and if we are listening, we come to realize that we cannot restore ourselves to sanity.

     When I realized that I was powerless, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I simultaneously understood humility for the first time. I knew that while I could do all sorts of others things, the one thing I couldn't do is…

Not All Suffering Is Bad

Why do we assume that addicts can't change? Why do we consider them to be so fragile as to require the matrix-like illusory comfort of methadone and anti-depressants? I was as bad as they get and now bear little resemblance to my former self. If we have the right formula, anybody can change. And what is that formula? Simple. Right action, and lots of it.

     Earlier tonight, my wife and I were discussing how our new baby would effect our two and a half year-old boy emotionally. My wife was concerned about his tender little heart, and then it hit me that this is actually quite good and healthy for him. It gives him the opportunity to process change, something he will be confronted with all throughout life. Trying to protect him by keeping everything the same and keeping everything sterile is just not reality. 
     Not all suffering is bad. That's what life is about. Adding a new baby to our family will give our son the opportunity to process a big life change at a young age,…

Presented Without Comment

Saw this comment on another blog. Presented (almost) without comment:

     "Some cases of 'addiction' are actually attempts to replace what is naturally missing in their bodies. In the case of opiate addiction, some, not all, are using it for legitimate mental health treatment. While I do not advocate taking illicit substances to solve this, there exists a growing mountain of evidence supporting the notion that a lack of endogenous opioids inside of our bodies can lead to many illnesses, including depression. While not necessarily the case and knowing nothing of your situation, if your child has been suffering from depression for some time it may be worth looking in to."

     "...using it for legitimate mental health treatment"???????????

     "...legitimate"??????????

     Wow. Um, yeah, opiates work for depression because they get you high as shit. Are these people serious?

     This is probably one of the more insane things I'…

Sobriety Isn't an Accomplishment

     Why is sobriety something to be celebrated when nobody should become an addict to begin with? Why is becoming normal and non-abusive again something that deserves praise and recognition? Isn't that the wrong message to send to a group of people who are trying to rid themselves of self-pity, delusion, arrogance and grandiosity?  

     Back in 2012, I wrote a post, Living Amends, and in it there is an important story. It was about a girl I know who treated her heroin addiction with Methadone and became horribly addicted to Methadone for 12 years. Methadone destroyed her life and her body and nearly killed her. At any rate, she had finally been sober for ONE WHOLE YEAR (wow, yay) and on her "sober anniversary", she ran to the phone and excitedly called her parents to tell them. It went something like this.

"Mom, Dad, I've been sober for an entire year!" 

     "Uh huh."

     "I got my 1-year sobriety chip!" 

     "Great. So why are you…

You Really Think Addicts Want To Stop?

Um... addicts who tell you all dramatically and emphatically how much they wish they could stop and how they wish they weren't addicts are lying through their teeth. I feel for the parents out there who have to suffer the false hope and bullshit we peddle.

     Lots of stuff lately about the disease model and absconding addicts from responsibility and accountability, that we use because of some past feelings or trauma or something. First of all, everybody has suffered. Everybody. But not everybody mutates themselves into drug addicts. Why does suffering somehow rationalize drug use? Second, we have this idea that all addicts would stop if they could. Hahahaha. Sorry, NOPE. Most of us don't want to stop at all. That's why we're addicts!!! Because we like to use! We want to use. We want to be addicts. Usually when we get all sad and say we don't, we are trying to manipulate the shit out of you.

     I had no intention of stopping, and in fact, enjoyed becoming a…

Controversy

Some guy recently accused me of watching Fox News and killing the message with too much political interjections or some such nonsense. First of all, it is the Truth that is the message, whether we're talking about addiction or anything else, and therefore, the message is just fine and always will be. Second, I subscribe to neither faux political party in this country or the hoax that is the Left/Right paradigm. So sorry, my friend, this is way beyond mainstream political debate in America, which has the depth of, say, the crushed beer can between the bicep and forearm of The Situation, or perhaps the season finale of Teen Mom.

     People think that I'm cynical, which I won't argue, but I am actually quite happy, content and at peace. People think this blog is controversial, but I don't see it that way. It is simply an attempt to see things as they are and to shine a light on addiction and recovery. And, um, by the way, the content is free, so if you don't lik…

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…