Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trust Me, The Root of Our Problem Is Selfishness


      So everybody's wrong, right? Uh, no, I don't think so.

     Regardless of what changes may occur to the brain from abusing drugs and alcohol year after year, the root of our problem is selfishness and the root of our recovery is unselfish action. Whether you want to believe that or not doesn't change the truth. Whether you want to explain away an illness by blaming others, blaming environment or blaming genes doesn't change the fact that addiction is acquired through selfish action and it is vanquished through unselfish action.

     I tracked some more searches for you over the course of the last two days. Hopefully this will help to illuminate the nature of our malady. Addicts can be likened to children who refuse to grow up, as growing up means shedding the ignorance of youth and the fantasy of adolescent narcissism. Growing up means hard work and personal responsibility. Growing up challenges us and pushes us out of our comfort zone - the one thing addicts don't want to do - feel uncomfortable.

     With addiction, we need to challenge conventional wisdom. What you think will work for you or your addicted loved one may be the last thing you want to do, so consider trying the opposite. In fact, since nothing and nobody can stop an addict, we should probably do nothing at all. Blasphemy! Actually, it's not. It's common sense, which tends to be uncommon. People usually choose to get better on their own as opposed to someone telling them to. Left alone, we are much more likely to change than if we are followed around, coddled and so forth. Huh?! Why! Charlie, you dumbass!

     Cool, no problem. Do whatever you want. However, the people who tried to intervene and shower me with pamphlets, doctors, pills and even love and friendship simply delayed my recovery. Allowing me to sink lower into the depths of darkness and despair was what closed the gap between me and God. The lower we go and the worse we get, the closer we get to God, one way or the other.

     Sure you don't have to lose all your teeth and become a walking STD before recovering, but trust me, most addicts won't stop using until they want to stop. To be more accurate, most addicts won't change until they want to change, short of some miracle... and yes, those occur as well, though not usually while we're sitting on our asses nodding off after a trip to the methadone clinic. 

01/23/15 - 01/24/15

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God, please rid us from the spiritual disease of selfishness, the preoccupation with self, and the addiction to comfort...

7 comments:

  1. This is a hard message to swallow. Especially when the addicted love one's selfish behaviour is quickly putting the family into utter financial ruin. I mean, what if they NEVER learn? Many addicts do die, do lose their house...should I really do nothing and wait for my children and I to be cast out onto the street?

    Okay, I guess what you are really saying is that it's fruitless to try to change the addict if they aren't ready to change. That doesn't mean I shouldn't protect myself from the insanity, right? Maybe sometimes losing their family could be a part of hitting rock bottom.

    Sometimes it's hard not to hate the addict for putting me in the position that I have to decide these things.

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    1. God bless you. No, you can't change anyone and yes, absolutely protect yourself. In fact, all any of us can really do is to work on ourselves, and then hopefully as a byproduct of that, others change around us. Thank You!

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    2. Thank you..please keep writing;)

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  2. Hummmmmm, I've been sending my daugther some of your blogs hoping she'll read them and that they will help her in her recovery. Should I stop Charlie? Let it alone?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Liz, well gee, now I'm stumped. Does she enjoy reading them, or is she like, "Ma, don't send me this shit!!" Sending someone a blog is relatively benign and I don't really see that as sort of forcing your will, if you will. I guess if she likes reading them, then yeah, go for it. You always ask me the best questions, Liz. Thank you and bless your heart.

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  3. THE ROOT TO OUR PROBLEM IS SELFISHNESS - this statement here sums things up perfectly, if only my recovering family member could see this. We have just endured watching and living through 8 years of his selfish meth addiction hell and now in his recovery he has decided to have a selfish affair with a married woman (replace one addiction with another) he is running around like a god dam teenager again & is in the process of stealing another mans family, for his own selfish benefit. When confronted about his behavior, he tells us "He doesn't give a shit about the little kid or this ladies husband - Its good for him, what he wants, what he needs for his new life, so he'll take it!!! He can't understand why his family can barely look at him, the drug use has stopped but the selfishness is still running wild. His affair partner is now pregnant and has filed for divorce (much to his manipulating delight) he has succeed in breaking up a family. My question to you Charlie is "can his new life succeed when its based on so much selfishness? Or will his selfishness eventually destroy him?? After watching 8 years of selfish drug addiction and now another three years of selfish affair addiction, I am at the point of cutting him out of our lives forever and he can't understand why! "I'm clean, why do you want me out of your life now he says" - Its simple "his selfishness disgusts me" & I have lost all respect for him as a person because of it.

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    1. Yes, one can certainly achieve 'physical' sobriety and be destroyed by his or her selfishness, and in fact, it happens frequently. Getting sober and hitting a few meetings amounts to nothing and is perhaps less than 1% of the work required to recover from the spiritual malady of addiction. Selfishness is a primary form of spiritual poison and one that can take someone down as quickly as drugs and alcohol themselves. The conduct which you describe is certainly as destructive and vile as meth use, if not more, as it harms so many others and creates vicious karmic triangles.

      I've written before that drugs and alcohol are merely a sideshow. If we fail to change and grow along moral and spiritual lines, we have no chance to recover, to right our wrongs, and to become worthy once again. Believe me, I'm no example of this, but I try, and it is the truth.

      We can simply refer to the Big Book for answers...

      "Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible." -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.62

      Or the Bible...

      "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." James 3:16

      "But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury." Romans 2:8

      "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4

      "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4

      "For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" 2 Timothy 3:2-4

      "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

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