Saturday, February 28, 2015

You Can't Stop Fate

     It is an illusion to think we can actually change the long term trajectory of anything outside of ourselves...

     I've definitely changed my tune over the years.

     As much as I'd like to think recovery and God can be beaten into others, it cannot. I try to offer what I can and educate through experience, but I cannot actually change anyone. Nobody has ever recovered because of me, nor will they. If you recovered because I helped you, the truth is that you would have recovered anyway. The truth is that you were looking for it and someone just happened to be there to lay the solution at your feet. If not me, it would've been someone else. You were simply meant to recover.

     The best you can do is pray and take care of yourself. Just like we must give our own lives over to God, we must also give our loved ones and even our children over to God as well. Even if you try to hold on, it is pointless, for they belong to God anyway. Control will be ripped out of your hands like a thief in the night. If we come to truly understand and accept this, it really is absolute freedom.

     You can't stop fate. 

     When push comes to shove, no matter how much you try to manipulate something, if someone is going to become an addict, they will become an addict, and they will use as long as they are meant to. If they are going to recover, they will recover. If they are going to die, they will die. Nothing you think, say or do is going to interfere with our ultimate fate.

     Forcing your will accomplishes nothing. Never has, never will. You think you can change things but you can't, as control is just an illusion. The addict will only change if he or she is meant to change. Some do, some don't. Sorry. All you can really do is observe the present. Reality is your ultimate fact. If your addict is still an addict, it is meant to be because that is what's happening. You can't argue with what is, with the way things are.

     I still believe that if someone gives their whole life (not 99%) to the Steps and to God, they will not fail, but what is also true is that some of us will just never do that, and that is the fate which I speak of. So you can try to beat it into us all you want but it is a waste of time. I just tell people now, "When you're ready get better and change, give me a call. Otherwise, don't call me." Some of us are not chosen to recover. Yes, chosen.

      So even if you think that your intervention is what saved some addict, it really isn't. If he or she recovers, they were going to recover anyway, intervention or not. And if an addict does not recover, they were never going to, so don't beat yourself up because nothing you could have done would have prevented the outcome.

     I know I always say that cause and effect exists and that what we do creates and shapes the world we leave behind, and while that is certainly true to an extent (in the shorter term) and while we can certainly alter our own personal direction, in the larger sense, it is somewhat irrelevant, for we will probably wind up in the same place.

     The more things change, the more they stay the same. We think we can manipulate things, but we cannot. We think we can manipulate the entire world, but the world is going where is the world is going. Though we may like to give ourselves credit for influencing certain outcomes and changing, it is just a figment of our imagination. We cannot touch the power behind natural cycles, the power behind the forces of nature and its inevitable trajectory.

     There is a blueprint. There is an order to things. The chaos is actually quite organized.

     I know this concept is hard to grasp but we should come to grips with it to mitigate the internal agony of expectation, and also so we don't get totally slaughtered out there in the real world. This is why people lose so much money trying to invest, or maybe that's just because they are trusting some money manager at a bank or investment firm, which is a guaranteed loss. The only people who make money understand and respect cycles. And all this doesn't mean it's not wrong to sit on your ass, because it is. We should work hard regardless of the outcome, just for the sake of working hard, just because it is the right thing to do...

God, please remove any delusions of grandeur I may have in thinking I can control and manipulate that which lies outside of myself...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Truths About Addiction


     People often say that my experience with addiction is only true for me and I should shut up for being so stupid and irresponsible, but despite the noise, because we pathetic junkies and alcoholics all share the same problem, it is reasonable to assume that we also share a similar experience in a host of other ways.

     Others hate that I mention AA and am "so public". Hold on, let me get you guys a pity pot to cry in. Let me also ask you, what's wrong with educating the general public about the miracle of the Twelve Steps? Are you feeling okay? Right, let's hoard this wonderful solution and prevent people from getting better. Great idea. Let's even prevent broken parents and spouses from finding peace. Please. That is selfish, misguided and idiotic.

     Some truths about addiction...

1) The notion that we never ever wanted to be taken over by this evil force is pure fiction. 

     Um, we wouldn't be addicts if we didn't love to use drugs. Addicts love drugs. Alcoholics love alcohol. That's why we're addicts. Addicts want to be addicts... until they don't, of course. If you have been convinced otherwise, please remove the 'everybody's a victim' collectivist propaganda from your brain.

2) Addicts are either recovered or not at all - there are no grey areas, no in between.

     If the obsession has been lifted, the risk of relapse is zero (regardless of the abnormal bodily reaction of an addict) and remains that way so long as the addict maintains his or her condition of sanity. If the obsession has not been lifted, they are subject to relapse at any time. 

3) No substitution or psychiatric drug has ever nor will ever change an addict.

     You may think some drug is helping your addict, but trust me, it is not. Relapse is guaranteed, unless you want to actually call being high as shit on methadone for the rest of your life sobriety, let alone recovery. Remaining jammed on methadone is no different than being high and addicted to anything else, and if your addict tells you differently, they have successfully lied to you in an effort to stay lit up like a Christmas tree while keeping you off of their back.

4) Behavioral science doesn't understand that treating the body of an addict and the symptoms of addiction isn't what keeps us sober. It is the mind that must be treated, not the body. The abnormal physical reaction to drugs and alcohol is permanent.

     The science of addiction - the body of an addict and his or her chemistry as it relates to drugs and alcohol - is irrelevant. The problem centers in the mind, and if the mind doesn't change, there is no recovery. If the broken mind is restored and we regain the power of choice, and if the power of choice is maintained by tending to our souls, we can simply choose to stay sober for the rest of our lives. And yes, most of the time, the truly hopeless addict will need to access the power of God to regain the power of choice.

     Science and current academia fail to address the very crux of our problem, the mental problem, which is astounding, though not surprising given the general view of academia that being jobless and 200k in debt but "well educated" means you are absolutely brilliant while actually working or becoming financially successful means you are an absolute moron. Ass backwards, yes, but in America today, failure is rewarded while success is punished... if you can fathom such a thing.

5) There is no such thing as a trigger... other than breathing (i.e. being alive).

     Nothing outside of us triggers us to use. Addicts want to use all the time - before, during and after exposure to any so-called trigger. If your addict is currently in treatment and the counselors are making them write down all of their triggers, you should have them come home and try to get a refund. Any list of 'triggers' is simply made up.

     Avoiding people, places and things that make us want to use is not a solution, a) because people, places and things aren't what make us want to use, and b) because even if that were true, you need to essentially imprison and isolate yourself to get through life, and um... WTF kind of solution is that?

    Should I go on? I have to be honest... when stacked up against the status quo, this is starting to feel like a waste of time. I will, however, finish the Anybody Can Take Steps book and after that, who knows. There are so few people who really want to hear someone discuss addiction honestly... 

Comment/Response

From Addiction Is a Spiritual Problem.

Comment:

Addiction is not solely or even chiefly driven by spirituality or lack thereof. Its causes are far more complex than that, as behavioral medicine is discovering. If it were so strongly related to spirituality, AA and other 12 Step groups would have far greater success rates than saving 5-8% of people who enter either program. The time has come for recognition of other approaches to the illness of addiction, beyond what was written by Depression-era evangelical Christians.

Response:

Bravo, bravo. Lol, kidding. I guess we can assume you've never witnessed a scientific miracle. I think we can also assume you're not an addict. Often people talk like this when they have no direct experience with the subject matter. This sounds much like a removed academic observation.

For one, AA as you know it is an entirely different program from the Step process, though for the typical academic, the Steps are just a poster on the wall in the church basement. The problem with doctors & scientists and their followers is that it's difficult to get them to see beyond their narrow and linear frame of mind regarding addiction. More importantly, they talk about addiction with such certainty while having zero personal experience with it in the real world.

The presence of the mental obsession proves that doctors and academics are completely wrong about addiction treatment. The body of an addict and the physical symptoms of addiction are irrelevant. The problem of staying sober centers in the mind, and unfortunately, pills and science cannot repair the broken mind. They cannot restore an addict to sanity, nor can they change a person fundamentally, which is quite necessary if we have any chance to really recover.

If your unfounded stats are true, which I'll just assume are not because your models appear to be broken, it is simply due to the fact that 92-95% of people in AA don't take Steps. People who complete and continue the work required in the Steps do not fail, and said actions have nothing to do with 'Depression-era, evangelical Christians.' Writing inventory, making amends, being a good person and helping others is a fairly simple, timeless and universal recipe.

P.S. Ironic that we are in a Depression now, and have been since 2009... and yes, there is math as well as a plethora of facts to prove that. However, thanks for chiming in. Appreciate the argument, however weak it may be ;-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Does One Love from a Distance?


     Below is a question from one of the many wonderful readers out there...

     "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."

     The cycle described above is textbook. Addicts are famous for this exact pattern. We are textbook sabotage artists. For 15 years, I ran around in circles. The cycle is as follows:  Relapse and destroy everything - get sober and sink into depression - as depression subsides, regain false confidence -get a job, make money, repair relationships and trust - relapse and destroy everything - get sober and sink into depression...

     The Big Book also describes our proclivity towards sabotage:

     "Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, espe­cially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredi­ble, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly intoxicated. He is always more or less insanely drunk. His disposi­tion while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often per­fectly sensible and well balanced concerning every­ thing except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abili­ties, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees." Alcoholics Anonymous, p.21

     By the way, the hot and cold behavior of an addict/alcoholic is one of the reasons we are so abusive. It would be better to just be an asshole or just be loving all of the time because at least others would know what to expect, but hot and cold twists people emotionally... and that is abusive.

     But as you can see above, you would be well justified to ask what kind of insane moron would willingly sabotage all good things in his or her life over and over and over again. Let me see if I can help.

     Addicts and alcoholics sabotage everything because, believe it or not, they have actually gotten used to the absence of happiness, success or satisfaction. If you can fathom, imagine for a second that good things make an addict more uncomfortable than their status quo of misery, chaos, failure, disappointment, etc. Maintaining success would send the message that we are okay, but the sad truth is we don't want that. We want carte blanche to fuck everything up and use the way we want to. Furthermore, setting the bar low is a very effective addict strategy. If the bar is set at or just above rock bottom, no one expects anything of us. Any success will gain back your graces sooner, and when we fail, no one's surprised.

      Look, this sort of thing literally defines what it means to be an addict. Using is more fun when everything is okay... especially right as stuff is going our way and we are on the verge of some amazing opportunity. Remember, addicts want to use and not much else. Believe me, if we wanted to pursue our dreams more than we wanted to get jammed, we would. Therefore, we MUST sabotage everything so we can continue being self-absorbed idiots, who, instead of accomplishing great things in life, would actually rather just sit around and get high. I've written about the sabotage thing at length in older posts such as, Unfamiliar Territory.

     So how do you love an addict but keep your distance and not get sucked into our problems? For one, you can love and forgive someone silently or internally while setting very strict boundaries or even refusing to engage with them at all. Letting go is more of an internal process that is accomplished along emotional lines. You can let go of the chaos. You can stop focusing on it. There could be a world of shit circling you but you can remove yourself and let it fly by without jumping right in front of it and getting smacked in the face with a pile of shit.

     How do we let go? We work on ourselves. How do we love and forgive without attachment? We focus on ourselves. Write a 4th Step maybe. The better we get, the easier it is to let go. If you are codependent, give to yourself. Nourish yourself, get stronger, and build a reservoir of peace within and you will be better able to avoid the temptation of inserting yourself into the drama and the problems of another - even if it's a loved one, even if it's a child.

     Ultimately, you have to give your life and the life of your child to God. If you don't think so, think again. We have no control over anything, which is, by the way, one of the reasons why central planners, regardless of side, are so clueless. They actually think they can manipulate the whole world and its environment. This is where we get the term, delusions of grandeur. Doctors have that problem too, thinking they can both prevent and treat/cure addiction and mental illness with lab cocktails.

     At any rate, we can only find peace in letting go, and this way of loving and forgiving must first take place internally/emotionally. Yes love is action, but if you cannot change someone, it is a lesson that you must shift your focus. We learn to love properly, to love better, by changing ourselves. Let the tornado spin around you if you want, but do not step in its path. That would be sort of masochistic, of course, which would defeat your whole purpose. So make sure not to sabotage yourself ;-)

     It sounds backwards, but true service is putting ourselves first (in the healthy way). We cannot serve God or love others if we ourselves are not well. We addicts, and people in general, are inclined to follow others who exemplify personal health, strength, calm and spirit. We follow people who glow. So the best thing anybody can do to change anything is to live in the precise way you wish for others... not that you don't, but you see my point. Instead of getting sucked in, love yourself enough to take care of your own soul, and there you will learn to love from a distance.

     And please feel free to let me know if that makes no sense whatsoever.

God, please wrap your loving arms around our families, embrace them and give them comfort, peace, happiness, joy, love, health and prosperity...

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.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Recovery = Hard Work & Faith

     Listen, I know this stuff annoys a lot of people so if you're one of those types who want it sugar-coated, maybe you should read something else. But please, let me just explain something first.

      There are two types of relapse - random and deliberate.

     When an addict is in the thick of it, his or her mind is completely tapped, gonzo, and will have sudden, random onsets of relapse. Addicts will literally just pick up without even thinking about it, for no reason at all, as the mind sort of blanks and experiences a kind of temporary insanity. That sort of relapse during active addiction can be characterized as choice-less as the addict does not possess the power of choice. If we can't even so much as process a thought before reflexively picking up, we have lost control. I get it. We suffer from what we like to call the mental obsession. When it hits, we're done. We've already relapsed. Gonzo. There is nothing that can pull us back once the obsession takes hold. 

     The above situation, however, is totally different than an addict who has been clean and sober for a while and has done some work and has regained the power of choice. Addicts who relapse after regaining their willpower, after regaining the ability to think and make conscious choices, have deliberately chosen to go back out and start using again. This situation is really nothing more than a personal failure.

     The good news is that any addict on earth who has the capacity to be honest with themselves can recover and recover for good. If you refuse to believe that, I can't help you. Nobody can. But the truth is that any addict can not only regain the power of choice, but can also ensure that once they do, they maintain total control over their addiction and thus quite easily choose to never use again.

     How does one achieve this? Here comes the simple part.

     1) HARD WORK.

     2) FAITH.

      It's really that simple. And guess what? The solution is free, so maybe keep your life savings.

     Despite all of that, you will hear from the establishment of the very complicated dynamics of addiction, how every single addict needs an elaborate, expensive, custom-made treatment plan, how triggers exists and how relapse is part of recovery. You will hear that some addicts will never get better and recover, which is true but not because they can't. You will hear about "miracle drugs" like suboxone and methadone and vivitrol shots. And you will hear of new age theories about how science and not yelling at your addict changes them. By the way, "miracle drug" for addicts is an oxymoron. There is no such thing. The bullshit it is piled so high and that the pile is so thick, it's difficult to see over or through, but still, you have to try not to fall for it.

      When I first came home from treatment, sure I was still a mess. The obsession had been lifted but it certainly could have returned if I didn't work my ass off and place my life and my trust in God's hands. I came home to a mountain of debt, broken relationships, broken trust, emotional extremes, you name it. I remember talking to creditors on the phone and in less than ten minutes I felt manic, anxious, even depressed. In early recovery, almost any amount of stimulus sent me reeling, and I immediately retreated to go meditate and pray in silence.

     But you see, that is the point. You walk through it, or even fight through it at times. You do what you have to do and continue to put one foot ahead of the other and plow away. Within a year or so, I had paid off all of my debt, finished college, made all of my amends, run a big book group, spoken publicly, and was trusted once again by friends and family, even counted on and sought after for help and advice. But even then, I still had moments of emotional extremes and plenty of 'recovery needs', as it were. There were still worldly challenges and projects I couldn't tackle yet. I didn't have the guts or the strength yet to leave a regular job and start my own business. I could only handle so much.

    Then my Dad died. In fact, several in my family died. Then I had abdominal surgery and wrist surgery without narcotics, and the truth is I was actually excited to refuse them. Besides, what right do I have to work with others if I cannot set a strong example? So I had changed, and instead of continuing to live my life as a coward, I wanted to challenge myself and see how much pain and reality I could take. I was on a new drug now. Life. Growth. Change. Strength. Success. The hospital thought I was nuts. Sure it hurt like hell, but it's not impossible. It can be endured, just like much of what we go through as humans. When addicts whine about their wisdom teeth and how they need to take the Vicodin, well, um, you have a problem. That's an addict who's not recovered at all and is just waiting to relapse.

     So fast forward ten years and because of perseverance and hard work, there isn't too much that freaks me out anymore, even the delusional assholes that sometimes comment on the blog or email me. Forget about ten minute conversations necessitating a quarantine for my head, I now deal with people all day long and run a business of sorts. I have two young children and am essentially a chore robot. There is no time. There are no breaks. There is no going to meditate alone in my car whenever I feel like it or need to. But it doesn't matter because I'm okay. If we continue to work our butts off (and by that I also mean balancing between work, family, service and inner-spiritual), we just get stronger and stronger, year after year.

     The point is that we recover from addiction by pushing through and working hard every day for the rest of our lives. I am so far removed from being a worthless drug addict and the reason is simply tons of action and complete faith in God. Try it. To be perfectly honest, it's really just about growing up and taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives.

     And remember, the spiritual actions of the Steps don't fail anybody. If we fail it is because we fail ourselves. I believe that with all my heart because it is my experience. And isn't the truth what everyone deserves? What good is my recovery if I'm not honest with you? And what good is our time and energy and all of the efforts we make if we are not honest with ourselves? 

Final Batch of Searches

     I've got some more searches for you, but this is the last batch I'll do, as that should be sufficient to make the point, and if not, then I don't know. Oh, and because I'm an abusive, greedy, devil-worshipping, egomaniacal asshole, I'll probably be off for a while to finish my book and spend some time with my family. Plus I've got a hernia surgery coming up next week, so, good news for the trolls, or wait... I guess that would be bad news.

02/05/15
privileged blog
drunks selfishness
alcoholics are selfish
mental obsession
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do the same triggers exist in all alcoholics (lol)
frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices
meeting makers make it
why are alcoholics selfish
are alcoholics selfish (um, yup)
frothy emotional appeal meaning
can you crush latuda (lmfao)
privileged addict
the privileged addict blog
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recovered vs recovering alcoholic
alcoholic friend hurting me
alcoholics are so selfish
do addicts know how selfish they are
are alcoholics self absorbed and self centered
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bipolar and iboga
what is mental obsession
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privileged sexual access to married women (huh?)
does an alcoholic realize the hurt he causes others
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ibogaine doesn't work
are alcoholics selfish
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aa sponsorship styles
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addict clean for a few days wants to use
addicts are so selfish
victim of drug addict scamming
privileged addict
alcoholics and the people they hurt
living amends
do alcoholics realize how much they hurt us
spiritual life is not a theory we have to live

God, knowing that I failed for so long, please make me a better man today...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Message for Parents and Spouses


Never let anyone break your spirit... ever.


     I'm just going to give you some sound advice. Sure we are all different people but it's really not that complicated. We all have the same problem and trust me, you want to just keep it simple. Ockham's razor, the scientific credo, asserts that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

     In other words, the simplest explanation is the best, and yet today the scientific, medical, and psychiatric community violate their very own code and try to increasingly complicate the shit out of addiction... so please, let me help you out a bit.

     By the way, when my wife told me to either quit or she's leaving, while I didn't immediately stop, I did have to ask myself if I really wanted to lose everything. The problem is that if we are never given an ultimatum, we will never fear losing anything.

     And if we are finally given an ultimatum and choose to lose everything just so we can live a life of drug use, then we don't deserve you to begin with... so have enough self-respect to let us go. 

Ultimatums

     If you have an alcoholic or addicted spouse or child, you should set an ultimatum. Tell us that we must get better (i.e. take steps etc. whether in or out of treatment) and do whatever it takes to stay sober (as well as spiritually / morally in tact) or you can no longer carry on a relationship with us, because you see, if we choose not to get better, what we are saying is that drugs are more important than you, and you cannot honor that, so do not settle for that.

     Addicts and alcoholics who don't get better don't care that much about you. Trust me, it is the truth, despite all the theatrics and the pleas and so forth. Continuing to engage in a relationship with an addict is toxic for both of you, but especially you.

     Many parents and spouses tell me that they have tried ultimatums, but they really haven't. They always cave within days or weeks and continue to shower the addict with food, shelter, love, etc... even money, if you can fathom such a thing. NEVER give an addict money.

    At any rate, it is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL to follow through on any decision you make. If you give an ultimatum and fail to follow through, it is a passive acceptance of what we are doing. It says to us that we can continue to do what we're doing and you will eventually cave. It also sends the message that it is acceptable to make decisions in life and fail to follow through, and making healthy decisions and following through IS EXACTLY WHAT ADDICTS NEED TO DO BUT NEVER DO!

     Furthermore, caving is also a way of dishonoring and disrespecting yourself, which sends the message that it is acceptable to dishonor and disrespect yourself. So don't go setting any ultimatums unless you are 100% willing to honor your decision and follow it through until the end. It's much better not to set an ultimatum at all than to do so and cave.

     When you set an ultimatum with your addict, you can also tell us why it should be an easy decision to make. If we fail to agree, you should ask us, "So dope and killing yourself is more important to you than our family, our love?"

     Tell us that we are ripping your heart out every moment of every day and that you live your life in agony. Tell us that our actions are eating away at your spirit and darkening your own life experience. Tell us that we are robbing you of your own joy, happiness, and inner peace. Tell us that you are never okay so long as we are not okay. Tell us of the pain we cause you.

     Finally, tell us that we are going to die and that you are terrified, devastated and broken. Addicts are deaf and self-centered, so if you are going to waste your breath at all, speak of the pain you are in, not the pain we are in.

Challenges

     If you want to attempt to will your addict or alcoholic to get better, then you will need to pray very hard, as it may not work at all. However, I think the best way to go about doing this is to challenge them. Dare them to recover. Say something like, "Prove it to me. I bet you can't recover. I bet you can't get better and stay better for any length of time. Prove me wrong if you think I'm wrong, but I don't think you can do it. It seems like you just don't have it in you."

     Nobody, addict or not, likes to be told they aren't capable of doing something, that they just don't have it in them, that they don't have the guts, the courage, the fortitude, the strength, the brains, the talent. So challenge them. Dare them to prove that they can get better and stay better. Challenge their mettle. Most stubborn types are competitive and will want to accept and win any and all challenges, especially ones that somebody stuffs in their face.

     You have to remember that you are dealing with someone who you love and who is killing themselves and causing indescribable heartache to you and all those who closely surround them. So it is OKAY to challenge them. IT'S NOT MEAN OR CRUEL to imply that they might not have what it takes, that they might just be too much of a wuss.

     One of the gravest mistakes parents make is thinking that the addict already has no self-esteem and feels horrible about themselves and so it would be dead wrong to just insult them and pile on more.

     You have it all wrong.

     The truth is that feelings of self-pity etc. are actually selfish and immature feelings and we MUST learn to toughen up a bit and get over it if we are to grow up and succeed in the adult world. So you're not insulting us, you are trying to get us to dig deep and challenge ourselves.

     No pity pot will recover. It is actually GOOD for us to get over ourselves and our feelings, to understand that every human being on earth has low self-esteem and shame but that there is no excuse for cowering away and using drugs.

     People are way too delicate with addicts. And we will go right along with that victim bullshit because we know it will get you to feel oh so bad for us. Look, everybody suffers. Suffering is NOT an excuse to use. Coddling addicts emotionally is the ABSOLUTE WORST thing anybody can do because in order to grow up, face ourselves, face the world and be successful out there, we actually have to toughen up and grow a thicker skin. All of us must, or else the world will have its way with us.

     Look, these are just life lessons, so don't rob the alcoholic or the addict of an opportunity to face the realities of adulthood. We are children who simply refuse to grow up, so please go right ahead treat us as such.

     Hope that helps.

Posts Geared for Parents, Spouses & Codependents 

God, please allow every addict in the world to become so hopeless that they have no choice left but to reach out to You...