Sunday, November 16, 2014

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, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics. I soon realized that none of that garbage was necessary, or even relevant. Meds and addiction shouldn't be in the same sentence.

     A spiritual solution was laid at my feet, and I saw that it was saving others. It was actually working to effect the sort of real and lasting change that is so crucial to our recovery. At that point, the only thing preventing me from regaining power and recovering was pure selfishness. I simply decided it was time to stop being so ruthlessly self-absorbed, do some work, and go get better. 

     What keeps an addict sick? His brain or his spiritual condition?

     If you answered "brain" then you are... wait for it... WRONG! If you really think about it, what keeps an addict sick is his degree of selfishness. Once an addict, any addict, becomes willing to change, he can then alter his brain. In fact, I suffered from a host of bio-chemical imbalances, and yet, spiritual action healed me from all of that nonsense as well.

     I'll admit that even after the profound experience I had in treatment, low levels of serotonin nagged me and eventually the depression set back in as the pink cloud dissipated. So I pushed myself. I took more action and walked through my feelings. I meditated every single day for an hour, sometimes twice a day, for the entire first year of sobriety. By the end of that year, my brain was completely restored.

     It has been almost ten years and I no longer suffer from depression or mental defects, although you may want to confirm the mental defects thing with my wife. I have continued to do this work, year after year. That's it. I continue to write inventory and read it, I continue to pray and meditate, I continue to work with others and speak to groups when invited. I continue to help my family, take care of myself, and give credit to God, where it's due. It's simple. Really. Addiction isn't complicated and neither is the solution. You just need some guts.

      If you couple the inner work and helping others with sincerely reaching out to God and asking Him, there is no miracle that cannot be accomplished. Most addicts tell you they need meds and they buy into the dual-diagnosis hoax because they just refuse to dig in, get off their asses and work. We refuse to suffer a little bit and grind it out. We refuse to step outside of ourselves and let go of our pathological selfishness. We refuse to live life on life's terms. We have no humility.

     And yes, this is just me. This was my experience. This blog is my life, so no need to get all bent out of shape. The knucklehead I refer to is me. Some may resonate, others may not, but who cares. It doesn't matter if your experience is different. It only matters if you used and felt the way I did. It only matters if you indeed have alcoholism and drug addiction.

     Sure I suffer and struggle at times, but there are no more thoughts to drink or use and I can handle anything that comes my way. You have to remember that while having a broken body and an abnormal reaction to drugs and alcohol is a permanent situation, having a broken mind and being powerless is a temporary situation. We can regain this power and then choose abstinence for life. We do not need to continue hurting ourselves and others.

     So our failure to get better while still powerless as well as our failure to stay better once we recover is purely a matter of rejecting selfishness. Anyone who doesn't understand that addiction is a spiritual disease of selfishness just simply does not understand addiction. You cannot blame your brain for choosing to live a destructive life. "But we are powerless!" Yes, I heard you. Doesn't matter. Since the mental component of our addiction can be lifted through right action, we must be accountable for choosing to remain in a purely self-centered frame of mind.

     To recover from addiction, the person must change, the mind must change, the heart must change. The soul of an addict must be fixed, not the body. Plus, science has tried over and over again to make an addict back into a non-addict and still cannot achieve it. There is no making an alcoholic or an addict back into a non-alcoholic or a non-addict. Once we have the body of an addict, once we begin to react abnormally, we are physically screwed for life.
   
     Programs such as rational or smart recovery that say addicts and alcoholics can learn how to use moderately again and enjoy drugs and alcohol like normal people are hoaxes. These programs as well as the entirety of new age social science and addiction medication should all be thrown out. No addict physically recovers. Our only choice is abstinence. Fact.

     Let's take a look at the daily searches and then you can decide for yourself if selfishness has anything to do with it.  By the way, 95% of all searches that appear on my stats page are some variation on one common theme, and these are direct quotes. See for yourself...

     *Why are alcoholics selfish?
     *Why are addicts so selfish?
     *Alcoholism is a selfish disease
     *Are all addicts so selfish?
     *Alcoholics are self-absorbed sociopaths
     *Do addicts realize how selfish they are?
     *Why do alcoholics become so selfish?
     *Addicts are so fucking selfish
     *Recovering alcoholics self-centered
     *Why are alcoholics selfish?
    
     But if you still must insist that selfishness is not the problem, then my suggestion might be to take off the rose-colored glasses of denial and stop reading stuff that continues to deny the moral/spiritual aspect of addiction. I often talk to untreated addicts who are basically incoherent or alcoholics who are nearly wet-brained who say that the spiritual stuff is not the problem, that they have always been a "really spiritual" person, that they got the "spiritual stuff" all figured out. Ah... yeah.

     When an active addict tells you they are a really spiritual person, you are dealing with someone who is suffering delusions of grandeur. You may just want to run the other way, as these are generally the types who convince you that what they need is just to get their hands on some more drugs such as methadone, librium, clonidine, suboxone, seroquel, etc. etc. If your addict is whining about how more of the same old shit will work this time, you are still dealing with a pathological liar. These people have no intention of really changing and getting better. They seek to continue lying and manipulating you in an effort to stay as comfortable and as high as humanly possible.

     Trust me, this was me until I finally decided to grow up a little bit, think about others once in a while, and stop being such a fucking wimp. And that, my friends, is all there is to it. Just walk right through it. Walk through the pain. Walk through the fear. Walk through the depression. Walk through the endless thoughts and the heavy feelings. Walk through it like a warrior and God will reward you.

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