Monday, June 30, 2014

Psychotherapy is Nonsense

     No psychologist or psychiatrist will disagree with you if you walk in and tell them you have a problem. Not only will they immediately reassure you that you do indeed have a problem, but they will continue the fraud, session after session, by conjuring up reasons for your problem. Trust me, if you don't have a reason, they will give you one. And if there is no reason, they will find one.

     By making up external reasons for self-created problems, there is really no end in sight for all the therapy you will need to work everything out. I love that Mad Men episode when Don calls up Betty's psychiatrist and tells him that Betty is just becoming weaker and more damaged. So the guy says something like,

     Well Don, we're really just doing basic psychoanalysis here, but if you really want her to make progress than we'll have to step it up to advanced psychoanalysis and she'll have to come in three times a week, double sessions, indefinitely. And it sounds like you should talk to someone too.

     The idea is that everybody needs therapy and/or medication for their entire lives.

     Don chuckles a bit realizing what a fraud this guy is, that he's just sucking every dollar he possibly can out of him and doing absolutely nothing for his wife. But the real hoax is that there is nothing he can do for her even if he wanted to, because his expertise, as it were, is a farse. Don knows the whole exercise is asinine but continues to cough it up because somehow his poor wife is convinced something is actually taking place on the therapy couch.

     The truth is therapy and pills don't actually change people. How ignorant to think the soul can be treated medically. Knowledge and medication are great, but they don't change people. And please, as if my addiction and all my suffering is rooted in something other than me. Nothing that happens to us can be blamed for what we end up doing to ourselves. We make ourselves who we are. We become addicts not because of our lives but because we are a cowards. Falsely attributing my problems to an external source simply allows me to avoid responsibility and gives me some top notch excuses to get high and do all sorts of demented shit.

     Ha! See! See all you assholes! My therapist told me that it's not really my fault because of wanh, my daddy, and wanh, my childhood, and wanh, I have depression, anger, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, DD-NOS, Bipolar #4a, Bipolar #2b, and oh, don't forget Generic Clinical Disorders #13a, 22c, 28bs and 43z28turbo...' 

     Wow. You gotta be kidding me. Guess what? If one of these clowns had just told me to GET OVER IT and take off the diapers, that would have been the best and only advice I ever needed. Watch how easy good therapy really is, even though we never get real therapy when we sit down under some framed degrees: Charlie, get over it. Get over yourself. Stop blaming other people for your problems and stop pretending to be a victim because you're not. You're no different than anybody else, and because you're no different, nobody cares to hear you whine about your life and how unfair it is and how nothing is your fault because of mommy and daddy and blah, blah, blah. 

     Look, my father was no angel. He was a severely depressed binge drinker who flew into abusive rages, but do I blame him for anything? Nope. Is anybody or anything outside of myself to blame for my addiction or anything else I've suffered in life? Nope. Until addicts figure this out, there is no getting better. Trust me, adopting this kind of attitude is what saved my life.

     I guess I just don't see any difference between a psychotherapist and a good friend who's willing to be honest with me. But hey, if you want to pay someone to be your friend, don't let me stop you... though isn't it a bit cheaper to just call up your buddy for a cup of coffee?

     Perhaps psychiatry/ology, similar to mass media, government, central banks, public schooling - common core etc., is but another tool to cripple the population. Make everybody believe they have a myriad of problems and medicate them to the hilt. Is that not the goal? No one can deny that the explosion in mental illness and psychiatry in America astutely coincided with the explosion in pharmaceuticals... but also with the climax of American power and an increasingly bankrupt and despotic government. I realize that sounds rather devious, but do yourself a favor and just think about it before you blow 250 bucks just to shoot the shit and have your brain re-wired by one of these Ivy League jokers.

     And if you can find one single shred of hard science behind what these guys do, I'll send you a lollipop. Better yet, tell me that psychology or psychiatry is an actual science and I'll sell you a bridge in California. These guys have no idea what they're doing and no idea what these powerful psychotropics are really doing to people ;-)

See Also: Pills & Science Can't Help Addicts & Culture of Mental Illness

Monday, June 23, 2014

Warning Label for Addicts

     As you know, this blog is not intended for people who want it sugar-coated. It is not for people who only want to hear what they want to hear, who want validation for an easier/softer way, who want to sidestep total responsibility and total honesty. There is nothing easy and soft about solving addiction, nor should there be. Easy and soft will kill you. Addicts must change completely if they are to recover. There is no half-assing our growth if we wish to have any chance in hell of making it.
   
     That being said, addiction is characterized by a physical allergy to mood-altering substances. Thus, any mood-altering substance will elicit the phenomenon of craving, leading to more and more. Once the flip is switched, there is no stopping an addict and they will continue to use until they either go broke and wind up in detox, or simply overdose and die. Once we start drinking or using, we are talking about a physical event. Our bodies do not react the way normal bodies do. We cannot stop. We crave and crave until we pass out.

     Therefore, me as a drug addict, with the physical malady of addiction, shouldn't be taking any mood-altering substances. Sorry, but mood-altering substances include anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, Tylenol PM etc, and I hate to say it, but yes, nicotine as well. Cigarettes, while the effect on our mood may seem subtle, actually have quite a profound effect. With every drag, we are getting a small release of dopamine in our brain, which acts as an extremely effective mood-stablizer.

     To be perfectly honest, it floors me how absolutely stupid doctors are when they prescribe or recommend all sorts of garbage that is anything but safe for addicts and alcoholics. Doctors couldn't be more happy to give an addict a substance that sets off the phenomenon of craving, thus inducing a relapse. Aren't these guys supposed to know everything there is to know about the body? And if not, then why all the hubris? Why the God-complex when their advice might bury me? We are different from you. Our bodies our different. We have crossed a line and broken ourselves physically.

     All of these substances simply act as a brick wall between us and getting better, between us and our capacity to be honest, between us and God. Why risk putting up walls between you and your recovery? Don't we have the best shot to recover if we don't take anything that might keep us from getting closer to God? Don't we have the best chance to achieve lifelong freedom if we do the tough work that needs to done, if we walk through our feelings of pain and discomfort and depression? And isn't our work more pure if we don't sooth and self-medicate with more drugs?

    Trust me, the best chance we have to genuinely get better is by leaving any and all mood-altering substances at the door and jumping in with complete and total purity. If you truly want to change and you truly want to get close to God, and if you are willing to go to any length to get it, God will touch you. The Universe will conspire to fix anyone who really wants to be fixed and who will stop at nothing to get it.

God, please help me to topple any walls that may keep me from You... 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

How to Stay Sober Forever

Saw this search phrase last night: 'Most addicts never stay sober forever.'
   
     Yup, and guess why?

     Because less than 1% of them actually give their whole selves to the Steps. Any addict who gives 100% to this process will never fail.

     Why?

     Because what happens with someone who gives their whole self and their whole life to the Steps is that they have chosen to put their spiritual health and God above all else, above not simply drugs and alcohol, but above everybody and everything. If you actually do that, you will stay sober forever.

     Why?

     Because if you have done that, then all you care about now is your sanity and your relationship to God. A fire has been lit within. You now do whatever you need to do to be okay.

     If you need to pray, you pray. If you need to meditate, you meditate. If you need to write inventory, you write inventory. If you need to read inventory, you read it. If you need to make an amends, you make an amends. If you need to pay someone back, you pay them back. If you need to make something right, you make something right. If you need to help someone, you help someone. If you need to help yourself, you help yourself. If you need to exercise, you exercise. If you need to make a change, you make a change. If you need to leave a relationship or a job, you leave a relationship or a job. You do what you need to do to stay well and close to God. Ignoring your spiritual health is no longer an option. That is what it means to be sane.

     So I guess the millions of alcoholics and addicts out there who relapse at some point were never sane at all. No sane person relapses. That is just a fact. If you are sane, you have no more need, desire, obsession or compulsion to use. That's why we say you're either recovered or not at all. Trust me, there is every difference in the world. There are those who give their whole lives to God, and those who don't. Those who don't, fail. Or to put it more inclusively, those who don't give their lives to growing spiritually, fail. And those who do, never fail. They never relapse.

      So my question is, why don't all of the millions of addicts who can't stay sober just give 100% to the Step process, 100% to their spiritual, mental and physical health, 100% to God? The solution to addiction is that simple and that free. The only addicts who fail are those who don't want to recover. They are too selfish to give themselves to anything other than drugs and alcohol. They refuse to give anything up or make any sacrifices. Their failure to recover has NOTHING to do with anything outside of them. Nothing can be blamed but themselves.

     And if you listen to doctors, psychotherapists and pill pushers, than I can't help you. Nobody can. If you're going to take a bunch of pills to get better, you might as well just keep drinking and getting high. There is no difference. You're still crazy. Crazy people don't stay sober.

     Sane people do.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Why Bother With Anything?

     Because it matters what we do.

     I used to wonder about this quite a bit, trying to determine if there is a point to anything I do when my existence is but a tiny flash in the scope of the entire Universe. I felt as though I am so small as to be inconsequential and essentially meaningless. In space-time, as it were, we are basically nothing, almost immeasurable.

     Then, as I gradually grew up and out of my addict mind and addict self, I suddenly realized how stupid I was. Everything that exists can be broken down into the same stuff. Therefore, our existence is determined not simply by God's spiritual intelligence but by each and every thought, word and action of ours. We are literally shaping our reality, our world, and most importantly, the world we leave behind.

     Even less complicated is understanding that everything we do matters on an individual level. Cause and effect is a universal law, and therefore what we do has a direct consequence to us personally, to our lives and to all that occurs in our lives. If I choose to become a selfish drug addict, my life will reflect that. I have created a life of chaos, strife, heartache, illness, fear, depression and failure. Conversely, if I begin to take care of physical and spiritual health, my reality changes accordingly, sometimes in a big way.

     And when we merge this individual understanding of cause and effect with a universal understanding, we begin to realize that not only do our actions shape our own lives, but the entire world... and the world we leave in our wake... the world we leave to our children. So yes, it matters what we do. What we do creates our reality and the world we live in. What we do shapes the future for our children. And that's why we bother to do things. That's why we bother to do the right thing.

God, please teach me that what I do matters and creates the world I live in now and the future I leave behind...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Judgment

     I still judge people. I'll admit it. And like a fool, when I see my own flaws in others, I loathe it in them and excuse it in myself. You may be asking, what the hell is wrong with me?

     I'm a drug addict, for one. Sure I've been recovered for almost a decade but an addict is a person who is spiritually ill. Addiction is the natural byproduct of a grave spiritual condition. So we don't just magically change into wonderful, sane, grounded and polite individuals once we get sober. We carry our deranged characters far into our recovery, and this is why it is so crucial to not simply get clean, but to get better... much better.

     I have been somewhat rigorously taking steps for nine years and you should see me in the car sometimes. Even my wife sides with an adolescent with his hat on sideways who nearly kills us while texting just because my reaction is so painfully embarrassing and upsetting to her. She'd rather side with a kid wearing a starched baseball cap at a 45 degree angle with the price tag still hanging off of it than her husband, who, um, devolves into a neolithic animal in a matter of seconds. I remind her that he is the future of this country and it should pain her as much as it tortures me, but I get nowhere.

     I guess when they say once an addict, always addict, they're not solely referring the physical allergy. Addicts will continue to be a shining example of mental illness long after they recover. Sure I am a completely different guy than I once was, but some of the hard-wiring is just gonna take a bit more time... like maybe the rest of my life.

     Judgment is either projection (see projection), or it is simply a random vent due to our own dissatifaction with our lives and who we are. Let's face it, if we were happy with ourselves and our world, we would have no need, fuel or incentive to judge now, would we?

God, please remove my character defects and replace them with love...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Walk Towards God

     What does it 'turn it over' and 'give ourselves to God' mean?

     For anyone who has an active experience of God within and without, it is no secret what these two phrases mean, nor it is a mystery, though 'turning it over' certainly gets the AA fluff award. It is often thrown around in meetings with that sort of nauseating affect that so effectively repels me from attending. But it is simply a decision to stop trying to control everything and everyone. We do our work and leave the outcome to God.

     'Giving ourselves to God', however, is not only loaded, but also sends some of the "I'm so smart" types flying into a rage. Instead of going to pieces, why don't we just look at it on a practical level?

     When we give ourselves to God, we essentially do two things: one, we are vowing to do God's will, which means that instead of always doing what we want, we do what we need to do for others or to get closer to God. When we get our head out of the way (our ego, ambition, selfishness), what fills the space is God's will. It's fine for me to enjoy myself and live from the heart, but I cannot ignore God's will. When we are faced with the choice to ignore or retreat from an opportunity to serve others or grow spiritually, we are choosing self will. When we choose the spiritual opportunity instead of what's easier and softer and serves only us, we are choosing God's will.

     If a friend calls me up out of the blue and says, 'Hey Charlie, let's go help this guy I know in detox... let's bring him the spiritual solution', and I say, 'No thanks dude, I'm good, I'm busy right now eating ice cream and watching American Idol and being brainwashed by CNN et al', I am selfishly choosing my will and ignoring the will of God. People don't call and ask me these things randomly and for no reason. For all intents and purposes, this is God calling and it is my job to make the unselfish choice, to choose the will of God, especially if it differs from my own.

     Sometimes my will and the will of God align, which is the ultimate goal - to live in harmony with our Creator and His universe. Hard to always do, but this is what we strive for, unless you want to remain a selfish piece of shit. If that is the case, stop reading this and just go get jammed. I mean, why not? The worse you get, the closer you are getting to getting better, right? I feel as though God laughed every time I got high, knowing that with every line of dope I was one step closer to coming home to Him. Sure you don't need to keep using dope until your mangled enough to choose God, but hey, if that's what it takes, it's better than muddling through and chronically relapsing for the rest of your miserable life while you put your wife and parents through non-stop hell.

     Finally, by giving ourselves to God we are also vowing to simply do the right thing. We vow to listen to and follow our conscience instead of blatantly ignoring it. We vow to take actions to help it grow into a fountain of strength and wisdom. An addict will crush his or her conscience almost into oblivion, and getting better and giving ourselves to God is very much just the process of restoring it and living right. We vow to stop lying, cheating, stealing and huring others. We stop being selfish if there is no benefit in it.

     Sometimes, of course, it is simultaneously selfless to be selfish, like when we take care of ourselves, for instance. I am no good to anybody if I run myself in the ground and burn the candle at both ends. Taking care of myself and selfishly taking time away from family/work/service is actually the will of God because it makes me better able to serve Him and serve others.

     A healthier Charlie means I can help more people and help them in a better way. Plus it makes me a better example and less of a dick. I certainly have no business working with others if I'm a crap example of recovery. In fact, I question this in myself all the time. I often wonder what the hell I'm doing presuming to be in good enough shape to help others. But hey, nobody's perfect and I'm pretty sure it's better to at least try than it is to sit on my ass doing nothing.

God, teach me how to grow into a better man...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Ability to Enjoy Less


     "The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less." - Socrates

     "The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor." - Chinese proverb

     If happiness lies in the ability to enjoy less, than being an addict is the precise opposite of such a condition. So when we get better, we develop the ability to enjoy less. The more we simplify, the greater the pleasure in simple things.

     I used to need about five OC 80s, a bag of heroin, a pile of coke, two packs of butts, greasy food, sex, tv, and countless other distractions of the lowest possible quality just to feel moderately okay and make it through the day. That is pathetic. It is sin. I've been reading quite a bit of nonsense about how becoming an addict is beyond our control. Sure addiction is an illness, but it is a self-created one. Acting like a needy, whiny victim is not an illness beyond our control. It is what we do to desperately maintain our addiction after we've turned ourselves into addicts.

     When we get better, we begin to find pleasure in less. We lower the bar, but in a good way. After years of removing drugs and distraction and selfish behavior, we begin to enjoy simple pleasures we once took for granted, all those things we whined and moaned about in a fit of entitlement. Active addicts and alcoholics are like spoiled children, crying and screaming when we can't eat candy all day long.

     Getting better is not just the process of growing up, but also one of removal and simplification. By removing things, we come to appreciate them more. Less becomes more. I personally find considerable pleasure from almost nothing: a glass of cold water when I'm thirsty, a shower, watching my son play, lying down in bed after a long day, looking at the yard after landscaping it, completing a creative project, swimming in the ocean, closing my eyes and breathing, being still, playing tennis, working out, walking around on a warm, dry day and feeling the breeze on my face.

     Earlier today, I sat down in this old beach chair we have while my son played with sand and a great calm washed over me. I can't explain it with any specificity or eloquence other than to say that I felt completely happy in that moment. Not a single thought or worry poisoned my mind. Not a shred of discontent could I find anywhere within. Sure it was only momentary, but I would never be able to bask in those simplest of things as an active addict. All addicts do is want, want, want and need, need, need. Not only is that a miserable way to move through life and navigate this world, but is also acts as a repellent to others. "Rather unbecoming, my sweet" as my old man used to say with his jaw locked up good and tight.

     To enjoy less, we must never stop getting better. Go write down all the ways you behave as an addict and the way you were as an addict, and do the exact opposite, everyday, for the rest of your life. Nobody's a saint, so all we have to do is our best. But that is how we get better... by acting like a normal person and developing the ability to enjoy less.

God, empty me out that I may bask in the simplest of things... teach me to simply be...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Alcoholics Drink and Addicts Use

Is there a reason why alcoholics drink and addicts use?

     Nope. Sorry. There is no specific reason. There is nothing you can fix or change to stop us. I know it would be easier for us to blame someone or something, or for our parents to rationalize why we are doing what we're doing, but the truth is that reasons don't actually exist, except in the form of bullshit we try to feed you to continue drinking and using the way we want to. The same two people can be thoroughly abused while one becomes a junkie and the other becomes a great success. The same two people can be thoroughly loved while one becomes a great success and the other becomes a junkie.

Here are the only two reasons:

     It's pretty simple. We drink or use either because we are afraid to feel human (to face the challenges and suffering that everybody else has to deal with in life), or because we simply love to drink or use. There is no deep-seated reason behind it. Some of us are just childish, irresponsible idiots and we love getting high. Some of us are just plain selfish and don't care about our lives, our responsibility as human beings, and those who love us. We just don't care. That's all. No reason.

A few more questions.

Is it wrong to become an addict? 

     Yes, absolutely. You don't just become an addict nor are you born an addict. You mutate yourself into one all on your own, fueled by little more than selfishness. Yes it's a disease, but it's a disease that we give to ourselves (by using too much).

Is it wrong to use, even once we've crossed over that physical and mental line and can no longer control it?

     Yes. It is wrong to drink alcohol and use drugs.

Is drinking the same as using? In other words, is alcoholism the same as drug addiction?

     Yes. They are the exact same thing. Addiction is addiction and crosses all lines, regardless of substance. All substances act on the same dopaminergic reward system in the brain, and thus there is no distinction whatsoever, other than flavor. Some addicts and parents believe there is a difference, or that one is worse than the other, but that is incorrect. If you are addicted to one thing, you are addicted to them all, and our deranged behavior falls along the same spectrum. Different at times, but all on the same spectrum. You can't believe the shit you hear from addiction specialists, therapists, and especially doctors, which is surprising given their level of education. I guess it wouldn't be too atrocious then to question the education itself.

God, please light a moral fire inside every alcoholic and drug addict in the world...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Methadone is NOT a Solution, Obviously

     Don't take this the wrong way, but if anyone who thinks Methadone is a solution simply doesn't understand addiction.

     To begin, addiction is the presence of the mental obsession (a broken or insane mind), which means that thoughts to use do not respond to ration or reason. So long as the mental obsession exits, we are subject to relapse at any point in time and for no reason whatsoever. Thus, the addict is either completely recovered (no obsession) or not at all. There is no grey area. Therefore, an addict on Methadone is simply biding time, waiting to relapse.

     And please, if you are a parent, watch out. Our illness is progressing RAPIDLY while we're on Methadone. When and if we ever get off of this synthetic form of heroin, we are going to go on the RUN OF A LIFETIME, which may very well end us once and for all.

     As you may know, I couldn't care less about blowing up comfort zones. My job is to tell you the truth and help to dissolve the pile of bullshit you may have been fed by your family doctor or some other source of mainstream ignorance. The good news about challenging perceptions and beliefs is that you can rest assured I will never do you the disservice of lying to you, especially about Methadone.

     Methadone is a state-sponsored, synthetic opiate - otherwise known as pure evil. "Here, buy our brand of heroin instead of your brand of heroin." Heroin is an opiate. Methadone is an opiate. How is taking more opiates a form of treatment for opiate addiction? Your brain is still actively addicted to opiates. Is not a remedy something which treats the ailment? I'm not a brain surgeon, but I'm pretty sure you can't treat opiate addiction with opiates.

     I hate to burst your bubble, but an addict Methadone is simply no better at all. Why not? Because he or she is still utterly deranged. Because the heaping pile of false beliefs, character flaws and spiritual poison that have built up year after year are all still present. The addict on Methadone remains sick beyond measure, so don't be fooled just because we perk up for a time and enroll in a few classes, because what you have is simply a highly disturbed and insane individual getting to stay high on your tax dollars. The mental, emotional, psychological and physical condition of an addict on Methadone is truly frightening.

     I took Methadone once to "treat" my heroin addiction and I can now admit that I was simply engaging in the easiest, softest route I could find - the coward's route. And this is, needless to say, the very thing that brings addicts down - preoccupation with comfort and pathological self-focus. So how effective was the synthetic opiate I took for my opiate addiction? Well, I'll tell you one thing, I was brought to my knees by the indescribable torture of withdrawal, and once I was finally clean of it (weeks, not days), I was left ravaged, devastated, spiritless, clinically depressed, suicidal, anxious, totally self-absorbed and focused on nothing but my feelings and comfort, and yup... still a full blown drug addict.

     Do you see the problem? We are nowhere but right back where we started. 

     Worse than any of that, of course, is the fact that when Methadone was finished with me, I was still useless to those who love me and useless to the world. If you ever want your child back, if you ever want your child to be able to give to you again, if you ever want your child to succeed in this world and experience physical, mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, then stay as far away from Methadone as humanly possible. I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole and gloves on.
    
     Trust me, I really do feel for the parents and spouses out there who have been told by some clueless doctor that Methadone is a form of treatment for heroin addiction, when it is anything but. You may even think your addict is getting better, but let me tell you why: because they are still jammed out of their minds! And it's free! They've managed to fool you that they're dealing with their addiction. "Wow, a no guilt high! This is the life!"

     How selfish are we addicts?

     So listen, there are many good, talented doctors out there, but those who describe Methadone as a type of treatment or solution are committing a moral crime. In fact, the CDC still asserts on their website that Methadone is the most common and effective form of treatment for heroin addiction that exists. You gotta love the government sites. They lie right to your face and people believe it thinking, "Well, the government can't lie right to my face publicly, so it must be true!" Lol. Right.

     Perhaps the most immoral addiction-related fact that exists today is how tax dollars are used to subsidize Methadone and Methadone clinics. As if you poor parents aren't already raped enough with federal income taxes, entitlement taxes, welfare taxes, war taxes, property taxes, energy taxes, inflation, dollar-debasement, bailouts for criminal bankers, corporate welfare, congressional salaries, cronyism and presidential vacations. So now hard-working, middle class Americans should foot the bill for drug addicts to continue getting high, and especially when you consider there are 7 billion other people in the world who feel and go through the same shit we addicts do and they just get up, walk through it, and go to work sober because they are adults and because it is the right thing to do.

     Please.

     Get off the Methadone and go get better. Do some actual work on yourself like a responsible adult. That is what separates the men from the boys.