Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honesty

     The single most important weapon for combating addiction is honesty. It is only through rigorous honesty that we may break the chains of delusion and melt away the heaping pile of bullshit we have fed ourselves. Honesty is like a sword, slicing through the very things that keep us ill, including the many false and narcissistic perceptions and beliefs we have amassed, the lies we tell ourselves, and ultimately, the bitter and lonely darkness within.

     Honesty is pure freedom. To be honest is to have chosen to remove the oppressive weight that holds us down. It is how we truly let go and how we repair our broken minds. It is how we move from lunacy to sanity. And by taking this action, we have done our part. This is when God rewards us by removing our shackles. We do the work, and He takes it away. This is why the Big Book makes it very clear that the capacity for honesty is the single requirement to heal. Only those who lack this capacity have very little hope of recovery.

     Honesty is therefore our only option, our ultimate strategy, our greatest ally, and perhaps our only hope against the poison inside. And fear not, for once we become honest, the power of God does the rest. Once again, we do the work, and He takes it away. What a beautiful combination. These two great forces will free us from the heavy burden of believing our own lies. They will rid us of the darkness, the angst, the fear, the unhappiness, the sleeplessness...

     We cannot serve two masters. We are either fear-driven or God-driven.

God, please teach me how to become more honest...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bill's Story

     There seems to be quite a bit of confusion about AA, so let's have Bill Wilson help us out. Remember Bill? He was the guy who envisioned and co-founded AA. It also wouldn't hurt to read some history of AA, from his friend Ebby Thacher's experience with the Oxford Group to the contributions of William James and Carl Jung, and even back to the Washingtonians. And just in case nobody has any interest in reading from the source, here is a nice, succinct summary:

     Trust God. Clean House. Help Others.

From Bill's Story, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp.12-16:

     "It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend.
     Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view.
     The real significance of my experience in the Cathedral burst upon me. For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God. There had been a humble willingness to have Him with me - and He came. But soon His presence had been blotted out by worldly clamors, mostly those within myself. And so it has been ever since. How blind I had been.
     There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.
     My schoolmate visited me, and I fully acquainted him with my problems and deficiencies. We made a list of people I had hurt or toward I felt resentment. I expressed my entire willingness to approach these individuals, admitting my wrong. Never was I to be critical of them. I was to right all such matters to the utmost of my ability. 
     I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciouness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure. 
     My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. 
     Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.
     These were revolutionary and drastic proposals, but the moment I fully accepted them, the effect was electric. There was a sense of victory, followed by such a peace and serenity as I had ever known. There was utter confidence. I felt lifted up, as though the clean wind of a mountain top blew through and through. God comes to most men gradually, but His impact on me was sudden and profound.
     For a moment I was alarmed, and called my friend, the doctor, to ask if I were still sane. He listened in wonder as I talked. 
     Finally he shook his head saying, 'Something has happened to you I don't understand. But you had better hang on to it. Anything is better than the way you were.' The good doctor now sees many men who have such experiences. He knows that they are real.
     While I lay in the hospital the thought came that there were thousands of hopeless alcoholics who might be glad to have what had been so freely given me. Perhaps I could help some of them. They in turn might work with others. 
     My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Particularly was it imperative to work with others as he had worked with me. Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that. 
     My wife and I abandoned ourselves with enthusiasm to the idea of helping other alcoholics to a solution of their problems... Many times I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up and set on my feet. It is a design for living that works in the rough going.
     We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part. The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty. I have seen hundreds of families set their feet in the path that really goes somewhere; have seen the most impossible domestic situations righted; feuds and bitterness of all sorts wiped out. I have seen men come out of asylums and resume a vital place in the lives of their families and communities. Business and professional men have regained their standing. There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us. In one western city and its environs there are one thousand of us and our families. We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek. At these informal gatherings one may see from 50 to 200 persons. We are growing in numbers and power. 
    An alcoholic in his cups is an unlovely creature. Our struggles with them are variously strenuous, comic, and tragic. One poor chap committed suicide in my home. He could not, or would not, see our way of life. 
     There is, however, a vast amount of fun about it all. I suppose some would be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity. But just underneath there is deadly earnestness. Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish. 
     Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it right here and now. Each day my friend's simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace of earth and good will to men."

     So that's what AA is, and as you can see, it isn't really about AA. It's about getting better. It's about growing spiritually, taking right action and helping others. Doesn't matter how we get there, but whatever our path, it must involve hard work, humility, service and God.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Altering Projections

     Sometimes it feels like negative projection is fundamental to being human. It is like a virus that never goes away, though I can keep the symptoms at bay for a time. It's just one of those insidious things that haunts me day after day after day.

     Sadly, I remain sensitive to seeing in others those things that I once loathed or still loathe about myself. Especially the things I wanted so desperately to rid myself of, such as irresponsibility. I become critical when I see irresponsibility in others. Why? Because I was the epitome of irresponsibility, and this is one of the things I hated most about my old self. Other things I hated about myself were vanity, arrogance, even gregariousness - you know, as if everyone is looking at me, so impressed, but the reality is I'm just loud, obnoxious and embarrassing, as my audience suffers my presence. I hate it when I see that now in others - that fake, narcissistic, cocky charm.

     So how do I get rid of persistent negative projection, when even inventory and prayer fail me? Personally, I've had to search for some more unorthodox measures. For one, my wife and I have both been doing a guided heart meditation. Second, I read a fascinating article about how the power of simply repeating certain phrases can alter my mind and bio-chemistry, and therefore what I attract to myself. The strategy is essentially just love. Love for self and therefore love for others. It is based on the notion that everything in our world is simply a projection of our inner selves. So if we are light-filled and peaceful within, then everything outside of us will change accordingly.

     The truth is that when I begin to see countless things that annoy me, it is merely a reflection that I'm messed up inside. So if I can change myself within, if I can love and forgive myself, then my outer world will also change. But to do this, I must repeatedly alter my frame of mind, even my bio-chemistry itself. And by repeating loving words, I can do just that. Music can accomplish this as well. Sound resonates, like everything, and therefore has the ability to completely shift energy. And it's not even miraculous, it's just the way it is. It's simply the metaphysical reality of the way things are.

cultivating-your-light-body
wanttoknow.info

God, help me to find ways to shift myself, that I may create peace around me...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Armed With A Solution

     "Highly competent psychiatrists who have dealt with us have found it sometimes impossible to persuade an alcoholic to discuss his situation without reserve. Strangely enough, wives, parents and intimate friends usually find us even more unapproachable than do the psychiatrist and the doctor.
     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.

     This is why it's entirely useless for an addict to go talk to a therapist or a doctor about their drug problem. Therapists and doctors don't know what to say and they don't know what to do. They can't instill confidence in us and they can't offer us a solution (that actually works).

     Therapists, doctors and addiction counselors don't instill any confidence in us because they have not used and felt the way we did. Some counselors may have, but their problem is that they are not armed with the solution. They cannot lay down the path to freedom for us, the path to God.

     If you haven't used and felt they way I have, if you cannot accurately describe the alcoholic mind, then you have no business trying to help me with my addiction and I have no business listening to you. If all you have to offer is text book nonsense and propaganda, a prescription for suboxone or an injection of vivitrol, then you're in the wrong business. And the same goes for you counselors. If all you have to offer is relapse prevention, trigger identification, group therapy and skits, then you have no business working with addicts. By the way, triggers don't exist. Breathing is a trigger.

     So if you are truly suffering, do yourself a favor and find a recovered alcoholic/addict to take you through the first 164 pages of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Yes, AA is a book - a text book that describes how to take Steps, which is how we recover from alcoholism. The "program" is little more than a set of spiritual actions. The fellowship is simply meant to bring this solution to others in humility and good will.

God, please help me become willing to trust, grow and change...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Holier Than Thou

     It's funny, I went to a place that suggested I smash my pride and arrogance to bits. The notion of Holier Than Thou was to be destroyed and replaced with an attitude of humility, acceptance, kindness and tolerance. Guys I used to meet and share with always highlighted and emphasized the Big Book passage, "We are those who would normally not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful..." as if to proudly show how anyone can come together to share this solution and bring it to others.

     Well, that has changed a bit. Some of us in recovery and in the Steps have formed some fairly exclusive cliques, limited to those who meet certain specifications, and unfortunately, wanting to be involved in sharing and bringing this solution to others isn't one of them. This is what all of us must watch out for in recovery - becoming exclusive, superior, cocky. I've been guilty of it myself. And how comical for an addict to have spiritual pride of all things. How ridiculous, considering the source.

     Any of us who have supposedly recovered but who believe ourselves to be too cool for school, who rest comfortably in our Holier Than Thou fog, are perhaps no better at all. In fact, we are probably dangerous and our sponsorship is dangerous. Looking back on my own hubris and isolation at times, exclusivity and superiority tend to be the ideologies of proud tyrants, fear-driven phonies, and the spiritually ill.

God, please remind me that I can help no one with a Holier Than Thou attitude...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Relapse is NOT Part of Recovery

     The cliche' goes, "Relapse is part of recovery."

     This sort of waiting room wisdom is exactly the kind of nonsense I had to toss out of the window in order to recover from addiction. Adopting this type of attitude, accepting relapse, and letting yourself off the hook is a recipe for death. One obvious reason why such a platitude is so harmful is because addicts LOVE this slogan. Dead giveaway. They love knowing that relapse is part of their recovery, that they can always get jammed if they need to. Ridiculous. What a deranged avenue for addicts to rationalize using.

     This pile of bullshit is brought to you by the powers that be, the mainstream addiction authorities, the status quo of treatment centers, academics, doctors, therapists, social workers and wannabe addiction specialists & counselors who have decided what we are to believe about addiction. I like to call this, 'academic addiction' - that is to say, addiction understood and declared by those who have ZERO experience, those who sit in classrooms, convinced they know everything, even more than the addict himself, even more than the addict who has suffered, changed, and recovered entirely. Indeed, removed academics are cerebral narcissists. They really believe they know it all, and they have peddled this twisted notion that relapse is somehow part of recovery.

     This clever slogan is meant to brainwash you, folks. Think it through for a minute and don't let it.

     Um, relapse has nothing to do with recovery. That's the whole point of recovery: YOU DON'T RELAPSE. Why? BECAUSE IT'S WRONG. Because you've given up the right to use and to continue hurting others. And presumably because you've recovered, which, even though you've been told the opposite, is entirely possible.

     But hey, we are all free to be enslaved by the belief that we will never truly be okay, that we will always be struggling, that we will forever be teetering on the edge, that we are constantly at risk to relapse. This is the best shit that the status quo can come up with, the pamphlet cover catch phrase, "Relapse is part of recovery."

     "Hey, don't worry kid, relapse is part of recovery... so if you go off the deep end, steal all your mom's jewerly, speedball for a month straight, destroy everything and rip your family's hearts out all over again, don't sweat it. No big deal, kiddo, because relapse is part of recovery. Here, let me put my arm around you and embrace you. Just make sure to call us up for another round of detox, treatment, therapy sessions and methadone, all subsidized by the impoverished taxpayers you've been stealing from as an addict for the last 15 years."
    
Please.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Death by "Bipolar"

     Sometimes my wife and I briefly distract ourselves with the garbage on TV after putting our 2 year-old to bed, and every time we do, I see this shameless ad for a new dangerous and lethal anti-psychotic drug, latuda, for treating "bipolar", originally approved for treating schizophrenia.

     It is estimated that at least 70% of people are misdiagnosed with bipolar, though perhaps it is closer to 100%, as bipolar is largely a hoax. So the psychopaths at Sunovion, a subsidiary of Japanese-based parent company, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, are advertising this drug to people with bipolar - 100% of whom may not have any semblance of bipolar. But hey, it's always good to take a powerful anti-psychotic drug used to treat severe schizophrenia when you're feeling a little depressed.

     Even worse, as the entire field of psychiatry becomes infected by corruption, moral decay, and a total lack of insight, psychiatrists (also often psychopaths, or at least complete narcissists), are promoting and prescribing this and countless other psychotropic drugs they know nothing about purely for financial incentive, and of course, out of sheer laziness. So we may end up with millions of people taking this drug and at risk for death, suicide, psychotic break, permanent uncontrollable body movements such as tongue protrusion, permanent brain damage, permanent muscle and organ damage, loading up and taking out a movie theatre or an elementary school, or maybe drowning all of your children systematically.

     Worst of all, our government is in bed with these guys, same as all of the corporate elite, approving this drug and providing subsidies to the company with our tax dollars. Our dirty, brain dead, moral degenerates in government clearly want people to be heavily medicated, as the more numb and stupid we are, the more they can continue to lie to us and suck us dry like the machine tentacles in The Matrix. So please, dear sheeple, please start thinking, acting and making decisions for yourselves. Please don't let drug companies and the idiots in government tell you what's good for you. Please start taking control of your own mind, your own body, your own mental and spiritual health... your own life.

     This is taken directly from the latuda website, and um, I think I'd rather have "bipolar", or just shoot myself in the fucking head. Bear in mind that some of the most extraordinary works of art, music, theatre and film the world has ever seen were created by geniuses supposedly "suffering" from "hypomania". Please also bear in mind this is just a partial list of side effects for a drug that ensures you don't create anything, ever:

INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS; AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due to confusion and memory loss) treated with this type of medicine are at an increased risk of death compared to patients receiving placebo (sugar pill). LATUDA is not approved for treating elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Antidepressants have increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults. Patients of all ages starting treatment should be watched closely for worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, unusual changes in behavior, agitation, and irritability. Patients, families, and caregivers should pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed. Report any change in these symptoms immediately to the doctor. LATUDA is not approved for patients under the age of 18 years.
LATUDA can cause serious side effects, including stroke that can lead to death, which can happen in elderly people with dementia who take medicines like LATUDA.
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but very serious condition that can happen in people who take antipsychotic medicines, including LATUDA. NMS can cause death and must be treated in a hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you become severely ill and have some or all of these symptoms: high fever, excessive sweating, rigid muscles, confusion, or changes in your breathing, heartbeat, or blood pressure.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a serious and sometimes permanent side effect reported with LATUDA and similar medicines. Tell your doctor about any movements you cannot control in your face, tongue, or other body parts, as they may be signs of TD. TD may not go away, even if you stop taking LATUDA. TD may also start after you stop taking LATUDA.
Increases in blood sugar can happen in some people who take LATUDA. Extremely high blood sugar can lead to coma or death. If you have diabetes or risk factors for diabetes (such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes), your healthcare provider should check your blood sugar before you start LATUDA and during therapy. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) while taking LATUDA: feel very thirsty, need to urinate more than usual, feel very hungry, feel weak or tired, feel sick to your stomach, feel confused, or your breath smells fruity.
Increases in triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol and decreases in HDL (good) cholesterol have been reported with LATUDA. You may not have any symptoms, so your healthcare provider may decide to check your cholesterol and triglycerides during your treatment with LATUDA.
Some patients may gain weight while taking LATUDA. Your doctor should check your weight regularly.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of these:
  • feeling dizzy or light-headed upon standing,
  • decreases in white blood cells (which can be fatal),
  • trouble swallowing.
LATUDA and medicines like it may raise the level of prolactin. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience a lack of menstrual periods, leaking or enlarged breasts, or impotence.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have a seizure disorder, have had seizures in the past, or have conditions that increase your risk for seizures.
Tell your healthcare provider if you experience prolonged, abnormal muscle spasms or contractions, which may be a sign of a condition called dystonia.
LATUDA can affect your judgment, thinking, and motor skills. You should not drive or operate hazardous machinery until you know how LATUDA affects you.
LATUDA may make you more sensitive to heat. You may have trouble cooling off. Be careful when exercising or when doing things likely to cause dehydration or make you warm.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you take LATUDA since these can affect the amount of LATUDA in the blood.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking or plan to take, since there are some risks for drug interactions with LATUDA. Tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any of the ingredients of LATUDA or take certain medications called CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure if you are taking any of these medications.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking LATUDA.
Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or if you are planning to get pregnant. Avoid breastfeeding while taking LATUDA.
The most common side effects of LATUDA include sleepiness or drowsiness; restlessness or feeling like you need to move around (akathisia); difficulty moving, slow movements, muscle stiffness, or tremor; and nausea.
These are not all the possible side effects of LATUDA. For more information, ask your healthcare
provider or pharmacist.

http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2010/12/sunovion-offers-psychiatrists-free.html
http://www.statisticbrain.com/bipolar-disorder-statistics/
http://www.latuda.com/sz/side-effects-of-latuda.html#static-isi
http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Sepracor_(SEPR)/Filing/10-K/2007/F6152020
http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Sepracor_(SEPR)/Notes_Payable_Capital_Lease_Obligations
http://gov.oregonlive.com/lobbying/clients/2012/2449/Sunovion-Pharmaceuticals-Inc/
http://www.wbjournal.com/article/20130702/METROWEST01/130709986/sunovion-wins-fda- approval-for-bipolar-treatment

God, please help us...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Peace

Please note: I'm in the process of deleting duplicate posts, but all original posts are still on the blog, so just do a search if you are looking for one in particular.

                                                       *

     By the way, that prayer at the end of the You Will Not Fail post, 'God make me a better man today', is one I heard from a guy up North. Credit to him for coming up with such a great prayer.

     I used to think that prayer itself was a cop-out. I bristled with annoyance and superiority at the sight of religious people asking God for things. 'Why don't they get off their knees and do it themselves!?' I'd hiss inside. Then in the midst of my own spiritual experience, I witnessed a miracle. Many of them. And now I get it. It's not that I'm asking God to literally perform for me. It's that before I do something, I pray first, and then the action I take is powered by God. I can also leave the outcome to God. Praying before I act is a way to alter my frame of mind, from one of self-will to one of humility. I get out of my own delusional, egotistical way and allow God to come in and help power my action but also to deal with the outcome. Needless to say, God is a much wiser and more intelligent director of my Self - my actions, thoughts and words.

     It is so important for me to pray before I plow through my days like a belligerent mess. It is equally as important for me not to take credit for anything good that I do or accomplish. As well, I cannot take credit for any luck I have or blessings I may be showered with. Everything good that I would do and everything good that I have is from God and is God. Nobody will ever convince me otherwise, and my proof is in my experience before and after reaching out to Him. Before, as an active addict, or even as a sober yet untreated one, I was a Godless creature. Everything in my life was a failure. But once I let go and admitted my own powerlessness, it all changed. With God in my life, and by crediting Him with my recovery, I am finally okay.

     Writing my story was a way to tell others that there is a solution, a solution not simply for drug and alcohol addiction, but for all of life. I wanted to describe my hopelessness and how unlikely it was that I recovered. More importantly, I wanted to describe the specific process I undertook that allowed me to access God and thus changed me forever. We don't need to struggle through each day, fighting our obsessions to drink and get high, fighting our fear and depression, fighting our feelings and thoughts. Right action and His power is truly a mystical event, and it saved me from myself, from hurting others, from death. And that is also why I wrote this blog. I was compelled to describe my experience with honesty and candor. I was compelled to not only describe my solution, but my countless failures.

     My advice to addicts, alcoholics and families is to embark on a 'fearless and thorough' Step process, or just simply engage in moral/spiritual action, as this is the very thing that saved me and completely changed my life. I'd also recommend this process to the bashers and the trolls, many of whom can't even complete let alone comprehend the substance of a post. But this particular blog is simply my personal story and experience. That's all. Truth is, I love to write. That is what freedom is about, and I cherish freedom, as should we all, though its value seems to elude some. Beyond that, after nine long years and a family of my own now, I have suddenly stopped caring as much to teach people about addiction. We can't chase people around, but rather we help who we are meant to help, who God brings our way.

     However, I truly hope and pray that everybody gets better and finds their way to God.

     Finally, anyone who wants to learn about addiction, recovery, the Steps and the countless flaws and failures of conventional treatment methods should read all previous posts and pass them along to others in need.

Peace.

God, be with us...