Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Action

     The only thing that truly matters to addicts and alcoholics is our comfort and how we feel, inside and out. Besides having a severe spiritual malady (despite the fact that addicts love to profess how 'spiritual' they are, which is, of course, complete bullshit), the very simple reason so many of us fail to stay sober is that our solution is not powerful enough to change the way we feel. Idle remedies such as talking to a therapist or sitting in a meeting have little power to change the way an addict feels for any length of time, let alone effect real and lasting change, remove the insanity of the mental obsession, and entirely rearrange a lifetime of guiding principles, attitudes and behaviors.

     This is why the Step process is so effective - it combines action with the establishment and growth of a spiritual life. The actions we are given in the Steps are numerous - from prayer and meditation, to writing and reading inventory, from contractual amends to living amends, from sharing and service to working with others individually. Why are these actions so effective? Because they change the way we feel.

     Addicts are some of the most selfish and harmful people in the world. We want to feel better all the time. Therefore, if we can find and take actions that are not only healthy, productive and other-centered but help us to feel better, the more effective our recovery will be. Ideally, though, we shouldn't continue to use the Steps to simply feel good but rather to maintain our sanity. So the better we want to feel and the better we want to get, the more action we will take. We cannot hang out and expect easier, softer ways or half-ass measures to fix us and remove our insanity. That is just a fantasy pipe dream.

    This is why conventional treatment methods fail miserably to produce authentic health and recovery. They take the teeth out of recovery and wrongly focus their attention on the drugs and alcohol, or on the addiction and depression. They are beholden to insurance companies, government and pharmaceuticals, whose worst nightmare would be to institute a solution that actually works. The last thing these people want is for addicts getting better through spiritual action alone and staying recovered for life. They need to peddle the myth that addicts will forever struggle, crave and relapse. If we were to actually recover, there is no more profit, no more ongoing therapy sessions, no more refills on the suboxone or vivitrol, no payoffs to the government whether financial or by having an entire section of the population thinking and acting for themselves.

     Furthermore, going to AA meetings alone is also a terrific way to fail, relapse, and continue hurting people, people who have loved us and put up with us. "Just go to meetings" is a program I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, having little to do with the original program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Meetings alone could never change me or make me feel any different, nor were they powerful enough to restore me to sanity and free me from my pathological selfishness and victim mentality. Sometimes I get crap for turning perceptions of AA upside down, that what I do is 'destructive', even though... www.theprivilegedaddict.com/testimonials.

     In fact, what is destructive is walking into a meeting for the first time, not hearing or seeing the solution, not learning anything about the spiritual program of action that is AA. What good are stories if I have no clue what to do with myself when I walk out of the door? I need a solution. I need a profound and life-altering change. I need to repair my soul. I need to take action and give back to my family.

     Remember, we don't have the right to continue drinking or using. There is no justification to trash ourselves once we have lost control. We have spit on our families and friends and stolen their time, energy, love and money. We are responsible to be as tough on ourselves as necessary to get better and get better for good. We cannot waste time coddling ourselves and pacing our recovery. It is our duty and our human responsibility to start living right, right away. Addiction is not something to be nice and sweet about. Sorry. Addicts need to hear what they don't want to hear. Addicts need to do what they don't want to do. Why? Because it is addiction that is destructive, selfish, and truly pathetic.

     So I'm pretty sure it is not this blog that is destructive, it is being an addict that is destructive. I'd also venture to guess that it's more destructive to lie to newcomers about my experience, especially since I'm recovered. Addicts and alcoholics are spoiled children. We absolutely need to be judged, for someone who has been there to explain to us how delusional we are, how stupid and destructive we are. What do you want me to do, lie to you?

God, please teach us that being nice about addiction is not a solution...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Love

     "Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. All we need is to imagine our ability to love developing until it embraces the totality of men and the earth."
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

     So what links us to God is love. I should remember that when I feel shut off from Him or from others. But the act of genuine love is perhaps the most healing force that exists, and thus it is simultaneously the act which brings us closest to God.

     Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us to always be careful and aware of how we are loving. In Peace is Every Step, he sums this up beautifully.

     "We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we only know our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her. 
     From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy.'"

     We must ask ourselves if the way we are loving is the way the other person wants to be loved or simply the way we want to love the other person. To make this distinction is to separate true love from false love.

     Of course, when we are genuinely and authentically loving ourselves, others or God, we will surely know it, for it is a feeling of wholeness that resounds loudly throughout our being. Pure love will resonate with all beings who surround us. The effect on self and others is quite real and dramatic, as we are lifted up inside. It is physically noticeable as we become aglow with Spirit. The glow of love and the glow of God are inseparable. It is the same glow. And once we find it, we must work tirelessly to cultivate this ability, and to be able to access it at will.

     Truly, it is my capacity and ability to love that will save me. To turn away from love is to turn away from God. Boy, do I need to work on that. Addicts are sabotage artists, and we will destroy anything in our way for no apparent reason at all. This is why bad, chronic addicts really don't get better and stay better unless we remain close to God, which means action and love. This is about so much more than our brain disease, our physical illness of addiction. The majority of our problem is most certainly spiritual, and without spiritual principles, without love, and without God we are truly lost.

God, please teach me to expand my capacity to love, and in doing so remain close to You...