Purpose. That's what Steps give us, and for people like us that is priceless. Addicts, alcoholics and many non-addicts alike are lost and have no purpose in life, and even if we have a purpose/goal or think we have one, it is not serving us, nor is it powerful enough to keep us on the right path. But when addicts give themselves to this process, they gain a two-fold purpose: spiritual growth and service.
So you really have to measure that against other treatment strategies when assessing the Twelve Steps. For instance, What purpose do Vivitrol injections give you? What purpose does Methadone give you? What purpose does relapse prevention give you? What purpose does writing down your made-up triggers give you? What purpose does therapy give you? What purpose does fabricating reasons why you drink or use drugs give you? What purpose does blaming someone or something outside of yourself give you? What purpose does blaming your parents or genes or feelings or thoughts give you? What purpose does merely attending AA meetings give you? What purpose does listening to stories, making coffee, reciting slogans and holding on by a thread give you? What purpose do watered down NA workbooks give you? What purpose does Passages Malibu give you for $92,000? What purpose does having an orgy in one of Narcanon's saunas give you? What purpose does Rational Recovery or Smart Recovery give you? What purpose does your psychiatrist give you? Being a guinea pig? A brain experiment? A numbed, controlled, mindless robot who can no longer think for themselves or make their own decisions?
So ask yourself from time to time, what purpose does your program give you? Does it give you a whole new meaning to your life? Does it provide you with the gift of a service and spiritual growth? If not, you may want to reassess at some point. If you are relapsing left and right, you might want to try something else. If you are still miserable and full of RID, can you entertain the notion that something might be missing in your program? If you find yourself still on substitution drugs two years later or twenty years later, you may want to somehow pull yourself out of your Methadone/Suboxone-induced fog/paralysis and consider doing some actual work on yourself.
Fearlessly and thoroughly taking Steps leaves you with the burning desire to grow along spiritual lines, with the purpose of carrying this message and helping others to get better, with a new relationship and love for God. Sorry, but what better purpose is there in life than service? Please, enlighten me and educate me on a more nuanced philosophy ;-)
P.S. Since financial IQ is non-existent in mainstream America, mainstream media, school, college, government and the white house, let me share this brief clip I saw this morning from Mike Maloney's The Hidden Secrets of Money: Your Government Will Eat You Alive. As well, Armstrong Economics is a great site to learn about how the world economy works, and he writes a terrific blog as well. I also procured enough time to watch part of Jon Stossel's new show on Victimhood in America, which is an absolute must-watch.
He discusses the welfare state's actual effects and how sensitive everybody has become, how everybody is somehow a victim and how everything is now offensive, noting how many liberal arts college kids are being infected with a hyper-sensitivity and a sort of guilt radar for what they call micro-aggressions - terms that contain covert, subtle, subconscious (i.e. non-existent) forms of racism or sexism. Some colleges are even punishing students for using micro-aggressions unknowingly, as if such a thing exists to begin with. True story.
So for example, say you're getting to know a new friend in college and you ask him if he has a girlfriend, that would be both an act of covert discrimination as well as an act of violence towards him and of course, the entire LGBT community. Lol. Someone also recently sent me studies claiming men who BBQ are sexist and that people who haven't had sex with multiple ethnicities are racist. I'm not kidding. This is what the academic elite are producing and pumping into your kids at private colleges for 40+k a year. They have made war against the freedom of speech and the end result is total control and totalitarianism. This is just the beginning. Mark my words.
Needless to say, college kids and intellectuals alike don't even understand these terms, as for an individual to actually be racist, he or she has to possess power, or rather, the ability to physically or systematically oppress a person or a group of people. What they in fact are getting all worked up about and obsessed with is prejudice, as opposed to racism, and believe me, we all have bias, but making it such a big deal actually works to empower it. Special treatment is itself a type of prejudice, so the truth is that all of the people who fight for some other group are much more prejudiced than people who simply go to work and live their lives.
Addicts, for instance, are stereotyped, and rightly so. Stereotypes wouldn't exist if there weren't some truth to them. Many societies stereotype addicts as selfish... are they not all selfish? Of course they are!
Don't get me wrong. Both political parties seem to be absolutely brain dead, if not altogether insane, as they both seem to have no problem whatsoever destroying the country. Both parties are pro-government expansion, pro-spending, pro-debt,
pro-war, pro-surveillance, pro-authoritarian rule and pro-moral relativity. The Left is outwardly profligate while pretending to be
anti-war, while the Right is outwardly pro-war while pretending to be
anti-profligate. I have to say, I find the lying, the hypocrisy, the corruption and the moral destitution on both sides to be somewhat vile.
The Left preach tolerance yet often become enraged and react with disgust and vitriol to anyone who disagrees with them or voices any dissent from their views, calling them stupid, if not evil. They cannot listen to anyone or admit mistakes. As well, they have an intellectual superiority complex and an arrogance to them when in fact they fail to understand several things, nor can see the long view on anything. The Right are in many cases quite stupid, as the Left charges, which certainly doesn't help their cause. As well, they are completely obsessed with war and the police state.
The truth is both want war and both want to bankrupt America in an effort to maintain power and line their pensions, so you just can't believe anything they say. And then you have the globalists and the elite who essentially want to depopulate the Earth by about 40-50%. But look, all you need to know is that most of the Right and especially the Left could not care any less about the middle class and the poor. They are owned by the banks. Bought and sold to the highest bidder. The should wear Nascar jackets with their sponsors, as Washington is essentially a collection of prostitutes.
We are now rapidly swinging away from democracy and economic freedom and more towards socialism/marxism, but people are being duped. Socialism has nothing to do with helping the poor. I know it's a good sales pitch, but sorry guys, it's not true. It's about justifying theft to hand more control to the state so they can take whatever they want for themselves. Candidates simply want power and to rule the world. They will say anything to get voted in, and trust me, 'free stuff' works every time... even though there is no such thing as free anything. Everything you think is free was taken from somebody else. Question: What then happens when everybody is broke?
Read some history and you
will see for yourself. Authoritative socialism actually crushes and cripples the poor and destroys society. All Marxist societies throughout time have devolved
into massive unemployment, impoverishment, depravity, dependency,
division, and corruption at the state level. Sorry, but that's just what
you get when tear at the fabric of
humanity and freedom. Economic freedom has lifted more out of poverty
than anything else in all of history. Mix freedom with personal
responsibility and be sure to prosecute fraud, corruption and
cronyism, and you have the best of all the systems we have. Be careful and beware what is coming our way because trust me, it's not going to be pretty. You will see the greater depression resume and an increasing loss of confidence in government as war and civil unrest turns up. Good job, central planners. Trust me, this isn't the natural business cycle. This is what happens when you try to manipulate and interfere with natural cycles. Margaret Thatcher understood this and astutely remarked, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." The bottom line is if you have more people riding in the cart than you have pulling the cart, the cart stops. Is that not a fact?
Look, when you clamp down economically, all that does is drive capital away and slowly impoverishes a nation. Expanding government and taxing the shit out of everybody decreases real GDP and net income per family. It is deflationary and reduces economic activity. Government is funded by extracting wealth from those in the private sector who actually earn and produce. Therefore, more government = shrinking economy. Sorry, but there is just no good argument against mathematical certainties. The underlying problem here is that your government is bankrupt and the
debt bubble is bursting, which is why they are justifying theft and
taxes under the guise of social justice and whatever 'cause' they can
come up with, both real and imagined.
Sadly, the reality is that while your purchasing power is shrinking under the Fed's lunatic QE program and ZIRP policy, median wages (unbelievably) haven't budged since 2000 and since 2009 have actually begun to decline. Adjusted for population growth, we have zero net new jobs since 2000 and wages are falling. It is a fact that more businesses are now shutting down than starting up (death knell, my friends), that non-menial, non-temp, non-service jobs are practically non-existent, that Americans must work until April 29th this year just to service their
taxes, that social programs, unholy wars and entitlement promises are unfunded to the
tune of 220 trillion+ on the backs of your children, that our national debt has gone parabolic, that
debt to GDP has crossed 100% (nobody cares or even knows what that means), that public employees have no problem whatsoever lavishly feeding off of the dwindling public trough and still complain, that students
are over a trillion dollars in student debt (student slavery) and many are coming out with little or no actual skill set and a set of social/economic/political beliefs that are total nonsense, that government is a monstrosity that creates nothing and can be likened to a never-ending Dyson vacuum, sucking capacity, entrepreneurship and imagination out of the real economy.
You have to
ask yourself, why do people vote the way they do, for the complete and total annihilation
of the American economy, for capital controls and the loss of economic freedom, for the loss of privacy, free
speech and the ability to create, produce and start a business? Have people lost their minds? Have people been brainwashed by Keynesian academics and the collectivist, state-sponsored media? Or is everybody really
that stupid? Just curious ;-)