Friday, February 13, 2015

Addicts & Alcoholics Will Suck You Dry

     Don't let us steal from you...

     Trust me, addicts and alcoholics don't care at all. We will suck you dry and leave you heartbroken and rotting away. We will steal your time, energy, love, patience, health, peace, serenity, money and sanity. The list goes on...

     If you don't stop us from robbing you, who will? We certainly won't stop ourselves. We've gone insane. And please, you must know that insane people don't care about you, whether it's an addict, an alcoholic, a narcissist, or some other type of sociopath. Therefore, you must set an ultimatum and stick with it regardless of what happens.

     We don't care about you. We care about drugs. We care about alcohol. That's it. Addiction is not contracting a brain disease that we so wish we didn't have and never intended to give to ourselves. Nonsense. The idea that we are devastated to have been taken over by this evil force is pure fiction. Addicts want to become addicts. Addicts LOVE drugs. Alcoholics LOVE alcohol. We would rather have them then you... until we don't. Addiction is a spiritual malady.

     If we are educated about our addiction and how wrong it is, how we hurt others so, how much damage and harm we cause, that is the only hope we have to truly change. Through the Step process we begin to feel the depth and the consequences of our actions, of what we've done, and this slowly gives birth to the conscience within. Through right action, the conscience grows over time, just as the presence of God within grows over time. We can liken God in an addict to a tiny, dull, ball of brass. Through spiritual action, we polish it until it grows larger and shines brightly within.

     We must agree that we must change and grow at any and all cost. If a moral compass is never smashed into an addict, he or she has no chance. Only when we begin to care more about what we're doing to others and to our own temples (our bodies), than we do about drugs and alcohol do we have a chance to recover.

     You really have to understand this about addiction. Adjusting some chemical arrangement in our brain doesn't change the addict within. The core problem is still entirely in tact. The insanity is still there. The chip is still missing. Remove your pharmaceutical intervention and the addict will relapse, if not before. He or she is still buried under the weight of spiritual angst and darkness. He or she is still 100% preoccupied with themselves and their comfort. What sort of life is that?

     So why settle for less? Push the addict to change who they are, who they've become. Educate them not on their brain changes, which just gives us an excuse to use, but educate us on how wrong action produces harm and discord and how by carrying on this way we will suffer in unimaginable ways, not to mention the suffering we inflict on those who love us and stick by us.

     To note, I just had a third surgery without any narcotics or sedatives. Sure it hurts, but like anything else, it can be endured. To be honest, I look forward to these challenges. I told the anesthesiologist to think of me as the opposite of everyone else who comes in saying "yeah, give me everything you got." I told him I wanted to wake up in the most excruciating pain possible. He pleaded with me to allow for just a small dose of some short-acting narcotic while I was under to help slow down my CNS so they could inert the breathing tube with greater ease and so forth. He also argued that I'd have no experience of it, as I'd be under before it was administered and clear of it before waking up. I told him it wasn't necessary and waited until he crossed it off the list.

     Why am I like this, you may ask? Because shouldn't every addict who wants to actually change take this stuff seriously? You need to understand that the addicts who don't make it are failing not because they can't succeed, but because they don't really want to change. So shouldn't I serve as the best example I can to those I would sponsor, speak to or write to? I mean, what right do we have to impose ourselves onto others if we cannot even endure a little pain without whining and complaining until someone finally caves and gives us some painkillers. It really is outrageous. You simply cannot fall for an addict's poor little me, victim bullshit. We are not victims.

     Beware of like 95% of people who approach you at AA or NA meetings trying to sponsor you. If that person has not taken Steps as they are laid out in the Big Book and does not live by those principles (not saying I do) to the best of their ability, run the other way. If that person does not possess the internal qualities, the strength and wisdom that you desire, don't waste your time, as you will most likely be led astray by just another joker. Remember: meeting makers don't make it, they make meetings.  

19 comments:

  1. Charlie can you please address or answer this dilemma? In my 12 step experience through Alanon, it is stressed that we can love the addict/alcoholic but keep our distance from their problems and not enable. How is that done? When I haven't heard from my addict for weeks then I know what he is up to. So if i drop him a line and say that I love him or that I'm praying for him, then that is his sign that I'm concerned and then asks for help. I believe he honestly does want help but then the same old story starts to unfold. He gets into some sort of recovery program and gets the whole family behind him and achieves a certain level of success and then without fail after a few months drifts right back into drugs and alcohol. This has occurred at least 20 different times! I honestly do not know how to convey my love without getting sucked into this gut wrenching ordeal.

    Please don't hold back...I need the truth!

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    1. Why don't I address this in a blog post, as there is a common story to tell. If you don't mind, I'll quote part of your comment and then answer the question. I'll get to it as soon as I can...

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  2. "We don't care about you. We care about drugs. We care about alcohol. That's it. Addiction is not contracting a brain disease that we so wish we didn't have and never intended to give to ourselves. Nonsense. The idea that we are devastated to have been taken over by this evil force is pure fiction. Addicts want to become addicts. Addicts LOVE drugs. Alcoholics LOVE alcohol. We would rather have them then you... until we don't. Addiction is a spiritual malady."

    Wow, reading this should be a light bulb moment for everyone who loves an addict. That paragraph says it all. They love the drug, they want the drug, they live for the drug...until they don't. Bottom line!!

    Pharmaceutical intervention - again, I could not agree more. In the beginning, I had high hopes for those methods. Some even worked for awhile. But eight and a half years later, I see that there is only one way to beat addiction...don't use ever again! The rest is just a band-aid. IMHO

    "If a moral compass is never smashed into an addict, he or she has no chance in hell."

    Dear God, that is so true! The fastest way to kill an addict is to take away their consequences. They have to feel it in order to fix it.

    I do have a negative comment regarding your suggestion to push the addict to change who they are and to try and educate them. Okay, I believe wholeheartedly that telling an addict they are sick, that they have a brain disease, is just another form of enabling. I think it's certainly okay to tell our loved ones the harm they are causing and the consequences that will surely come. However, pushing too hard, at least what I have seen with my son, only made him use more. He tells me now that every time anyone said he shouldn't use, he only wanted to prove to them how much MORE he could use. (the F you mentality, if you will) I'm not suggesting we should be coddling our addicts but with the extreme belligerence that comes with addiction we have to be careful which buttons, how hard and which direction we are pushing.

    Thank you for sharing another great post! I hope other parents will take your words, your wisdom and your experience to heart.

    Summer

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    1. Summer, wonderful words and advice. God bless you, and thanks again for reading. Actually, I quite agree with you about pushing too hard when it's coming from close family. We are very self-seeking and care immensely what others think about us, especially our families, and therefore are least likely to be honest with them, especially when they push and expose us. I think writing that I had in mind the education I received in treatment from other recovered addicts. I remember how crucial it was for others who used and felt the way I did to sear right through my bullshit and help restore me to honesty, to see the great harm I had caused.

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    2. P.S. I also agree that it is fruitless to push an active addict, especially coming from parents. The opposite of forcing our will can sometimes produce much better results. I've written about that, most recently in "What To Do With Addicts", as I very much resonate with a more Zen approach to our problems. 'Forcing our will', as it were, rarely works, if ever. Good stuff, Summer.

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  3. I both hate and love posts like these Charlie...they are hard for me to read but at the same time I know they are exactly what I need to hear.

    Of course, the hardest part is not simply accepting that we can't let our addicts suck us dry any longer...the hardest part is actually doing something about it. I would love to "smash a moral compass" into my addict, but how on earth to do that? Letting them lose us seems like the only road to take, but it's a risky one because there is no guarantee at all that they are going to come around - for some people being "abandoned" is just going to give them an excuse to descend deeper into darkness.

    These matters are so difficult. Thank you for providing guidance to us, the parents and partners, who struggle and suffer so much.

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    1. Thank you and bless you. You're right, it's certainly a tall task to smash a moral compass into an addict and one I've never seen accomplished by a non-addict/alcoholic. One of the reasons why the Steps can be so powerful and mystical is because they seem to only work when brought to us by another alcoholic or addict, as only he or she can instill the sort of confidence necessary to get through to us about the moral issue. We don't listen to non addicts. We listen to those who used and felt the way we did and then recovered.

      Regarding letting go, remember that you're abandoning the addict, the addiction, as opposed to the person you love. Addicts are essentially possessed. When people use drugs and alcohol, they become vulnerable energetically and open to all sorts of evil entering the body. At any rate, sure there is no guarantee we will come around, but there is no guarantee anyway. At least by letting go you have a hand to play, as we at least suffer the consequence of losing something that perhaps we don't want to lose, i.e. you.

      I know it's tough, believe me. It's confusing because addicts become so insane. Who would act in such a way? But the bottom line is this: Those of us who get better are those who deep down want to change, those of us who want to evolve and grow spiritually. Those who don't recover and commit themselves to this work simply don't want to change.

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  4. Okay Charlie, thank you. It is hard to know what to do with this information but I understand what you are saying. It's just hard when the addict is *mostly* sober and has improved the way they treat people *somewhat* - they feel they're doing an awesome job. How can I convey to them that they need to go somewhere and have a "moral compass" smashed into them? I mean they just don't get how self-centered they are...don't get it at all. My addict is not going to go to a meeting when they feel their addictions are already conquered. Even though they need the Steps like you wouldn't believe.

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    1. "I mean they just don't get how self-centered they are...don't get it at all."

      I hear you. And the only remedy I know for this is diving head first into the 12 Step actions as they are laid out in the Big Book. I'm sure there are other methods to achieve the same goal, but for addicts and alcoholics, the Steps are by far the best remedy we have to address our two central problems: self-centeredness and spiritual sickness.

      My only other suggestion is for families and spouses to engage in the Steps on their own, for their own relief, especially to utilize tools such as the 4th Step resentment inventory. Putting resentments to rest can give family members and/or spouses a tremendous amount of peace and freedom, peace that they so richly deserve. As well, prayer and meditation are both crucial.

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    2. The other best remedy for all this stuff, for addiction and selfishness in general, is simply service. Go help people. Volunteer. Go to the soup kitchen. Help family. Help friends. Help neighbors. Serve. Anything to help others and get outside of self is the secret. That's really why the Steps work. It's ALL about the removal of self. That is the silver bullet that slays addiction, and yet, the mainstream never admits or acknowledges that. Give an addict a purpose that involves helping people and it will save them... and yes, that goes for all of them. The solution for addiction has nothing to do with pills and science. Regardless of what people think or how mad they get at me, that is the truth. The solution for addicts and alcoholics is service and honesty. God.

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  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. When I read your words Charlie, I know in my heart that they are true. The removal of self is the cornerstone of most religions - it is crucial to becoming a mature individual, and a happy one as well. I'm sure one of the reasons addicts are always so miserable, is because they are so hyperfocused on themselves.

    You've given me so much to think about in your answers. Bless you!

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  6. I appreciate you Charlie for writing this excellent post. It shares very good understanding. Than you for sharing this with us.

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  7. it broke my heart to let him go. it hurts to know i am nothing to him, our children are nothing to him and our 14 year relationship means nothing to him. he is happy while me and the kids are struggling.

    i hate alcoholism

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  8. I'm curious. If an addict were to take the doctor's direction and allow the low dose narcotic, would that lead to relapse? It is very rare to hear of someone, addict or not, who can endure surgery without some sort of pain assistance. You are very brave. I don't think I would have the courage for something like that. I pray I don't have to face that decision anytime soon.

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  9. Jesus christ bro wake up and smell the coffee!...all these assholes and or libertarian cunt rags or buisness men pussies who commented before me will comment ohhh great go get help go live your dream sobriety changed me....wait hold up no it didn't you were a drunk right? Loved it as am i! Let me let you in on a little secret bro i was admitted into the er a .477! The highest a supposed er doctor has ever seen. Bottom line do what makes u happy you only get once god bless

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  10. Jesus christ bro wake up and smell the coffee!...all these assholes and or libertarian cunt rags or buisness men pussies who commented before me will comment ohhh great go get help go live your dream sobriety changed me....wait hold up no it didn't you were a drunk right? Loved it as am i! Let me let you in on a little secret bro i was admitted into the er a .477! The highest a supposed er doctor has ever seen. Bottom line do what makes u happy you only get once god bless

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    1. Huh? A little touched, are we? Maybe a little wet brain? Lol. Also, I believe in free speech but next time, let's tone it down with the c*** stuff, k "bro"?

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  11. Love ya. So real.

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