Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Point of All This

     When I read my inventory and prayed ten years ago, something unbelievable happened. As a flow of Power rushed through me, all of the darkness suddenly washed away.

     That is why I became driven to share my experience, write the book and start the blog. Having failed with many local sponsees and unable to reach enough addicts and alcoholics, I needed a platform - a way to reveal this solution for what it really is.

     I just wanted addicts out there to know how truly amazing it is to be okay. When you can simply exist and be at peace without all sorts of distraction, there is nothing better.

     All we really need is something to do, some healthy kind of work, some purpose. When you find something to do that nourishes you and fills you up, you can sit down afterwards and feel both calm and lifted up at the same time.

     To be able to simply live, without substance or distraction, is really the best thing in the world. That's what we're seeking anyway, isn't it? Well guess what, it is not only possible but it is a certainty if you genuinely want it and are willing to go to any length to get it. And what a blessing from God that we even have specific tools and instructions on how to get there.

     We take Steps.

     And no, I don't mean we read the poster on the wall at the meeting or fill out some watered-down step worksheets by those who don't understand what it takes to actually recover.

     Take steps as they were laid out in the Big Book and give your whole self to them. Give 100% and give everything you have within you, and I guarantee drugs and alcohol will never be a problem again. I guarantee that God will never bring you anything you can't handle.

     If we put our spiritual growth first above all else, we will forever be free.

     It's that simple.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sobriety Chips/Trophies? You Gotta Be Kidding Me...

     I don't get it, why do we reward ourselves with recognition, applause and sobriety chips just because we stopped lying, robbing, and breaking the hearts of those who love us?

    Awarding sobriety chips has become a mainstream part of AA despite symbolizing the antithesis of the essence of the Twelves Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the frame of mind we are to cultivate.

     Please, someone help me understand this because I have no clue why this is acceptable, or at least what this has to do with Alcoholics Anonymous.

     Not only do we addicts and alcoholics not deserve a de facto trophy just for staying sober, for not inflicting 24/7 pain to our loved ones, and for not continuing to be pathologically self-absorbed, but we do not deserve what we still have left in our lives. If you are an addict or an alcoholic out there and any combination of friends, parents, siblings or spouses have stuck with you, remember this:

     You do not deserve them.

     After giving up the right to continue drinking and using, you continued to do whatever the hell you wanted to do without a care in the world. You failed to find a solution that really works. Worst of all, you failed to become willing to change, to do the right thing, to be a better person, to love and give back to all those you selfishly stole from.

     Great job.

     Now go get your sobriety chip, suck down those butts, and slurp your iced coffee all day long. Don't worry about your family, your friends, your spouses or your children back at home. You've never given them the time of day anyway, so why start now?

     ;-) 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Physical Sobriety Is Nothing at All



     Achieving physical sobriety is nothing. Recovery is not a function of time. It is a function of what actions we take and at what frequency we take them. The fact remains that no alcoholic or drug addict can achieve and maintain any quality of recovery without cultivating and obeying his or her conscience. Once the obsession to drink or use has been lifted and choice restored, relapse becomes a moral failure, especially if you consider the degree of agony and pain we cause others. There is no science that can justify ripping a mother's heart right out of her chest. 

     Sorry, but that is just the truth as it has been revealed to us through our experience...


*Note: First draft of Anybody Can Take Steps is finished. Editing begins now and then will publish ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Working Isn't Part of Recovery?

Comment:

     I remember when my son's therapist at his first rehab told me that he should not be working and he needed to focus totally on his recovery. My response was, well that would be nice, but it's not an option, I cannot afford to support an adult child. My son even disagreed with the counselor telling him that idle time was his worst enemy. So many people I know with addicted adult children bear the financial burden of taking care of them for years...... I just don't see how staying home, sleeping late and doing NOTHING all day helps them recover. Then there are the 90 day rehabs then onto a sober living home for a year or more. I could not do that for my son, I did not have the financial means. Maybe I am crazy but I wanted him working. When crises happen in my life and there is addict drama and I am having a meltdown it isn't an option to leave my job to "recover".

Response:

     Well said.

     Working is a part of recovery, and an integral part at that, especially when we have been walking backwards for so many years and owe financial amends to many. In fact, failure to make amends to our creditors, our friends and our families in this way is a direct path to relapse. The entire point of recovery is to finally stop depending on and taking from those who have had to carry our weight for so long.

     Sure at times we must go heavier in one department vs another, but our recovery is wholistic and involves working, spiritual and family. We must balance all three, but neglecting either is not an option. This is why therapists have no business working with addicts. They do not understand addiction. They have not recovered themselves, nor have they sufficiently studied the Big Book.

     And I agree with you profusely about your last point. We addicts get sick by our own selfishness, tear everything apart, break your heart and then it is we who get to go away to our cushy treatment centers to nourish our souls and work on ourselves, when the truth is that our families deserve a retreat more than we ever will, and yet, they are the ones who must remain to trod on and deal with everything.

      It's very similar to the way the government treats the middle class. He who works the hardest and does the right and responsible thing gets screwed the most, despite the fact the taxing people is deflationary and therefore depresses economic growth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Nothing External Can Fix an Addict



     What you must understand is that nothing outside of the addict can fix the addict. There is nothing that can be said, nothing that can be bought, no pill that can be taken, no therapist that can explain it away, no guru that can provide the magic answer, no doctor that can treat what ails us, no science project that can magically remove the darkness inside. Only addicts can fix themselves by taking enough action to access the unlimited power of God. 



Comment on Narcissism

Comment:  

     Aren't all addicts narcissists? Does narcissism go away in recovery? If the narcissist is your child, do you go along with their delusions to keep the peace, or do you present them with reality even if you become the target of their wrath?

Response:

     Yes and no. Addicts become narcissistic but many retain the capacity to be honest with themselves and can restore their conscience if they humble themselves and do the necessary work. A pure narcissist lacks the capacity to be honest and is therefore a sociopath. Permanent narcissists have a chip missing regardless of drug and alcohol abuse. They are so shattered, twisted, desperate and depraved, there is no getting better short of divine intervention. Some people are simply evil and lack basic goodness. Pure narcissists or sociopaths fall into this category.

     For an addict, narcissistic behavior can certainly go away in recovery if the addict has committed to a life of spiritual growth and engages in rigorous and consistent action. Actions that remove narcissism include service to others, amends to those we've hurt, and written moral inventory, which teaches us that all resentment, fear and misconduct is born within. We learn how it arises and by dissolving our false perceptions and our wrongs in a given situation, we become accountable and responsible for everything in our lives. We begin to mature once again and become able to see that what we do has consequences, and that others suffer too. We learn that we are not unique or special, that our lives and our pain are no more important or intense than anybody else's. We become human again, if we indeed have that fundamental capacity to be honest.

     I have great experience with a narcissist and I have seen first hand how going along with their delusions always comes back to haunt and really just perpetuates the narcissism. It is essentially a passive acceptance of their very sick and often very cruel behavior. In my view, boundaries must be set. I agree that there is no point in arguing with a narcissist since they completely lack the ability to see anything or take any responsibility, but we must not allow them to treat us abusively.

     Personally, I stood up to a narcissist and was viciously attacked. Every inch of my life was ripped to shreds. Lies, attacks and outrageous stories were told to everybody I know. Sure it was extremely unpleasant but nothing compares to suffering the presence of the narcissist. They are now out of my life and removing this toxic evil is the best thing I could have done.

     Where it is your child, you must dig deep and decide what to do on your own, but one thing we can always do short of removing them altogether is to set very strict boundaries around their illness. When they begin to manipulate or become verbally abusive, disengage at once and keep your distance until they forget what they have done, as they surely will, as that's what narcissists do - hurt people, take no responsibility, and then forget all about it. Not a care in the world.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Elements of a Narcissist

* Have poor or no memory of events. Narcissists will rip you apart at the seams and then have little to no recollection of the event just days later. When they do have a memory of events, reality has shifted. They see themselves as the victim and you as the abusive one.

* Take no responsibility for their actions. Narcissists will never be accountable for what they have done. They will abuse with ease, but are completely incapable of taking any responsibility. They are proud, deranged and shattered, and will often twist events to avoid the truth. Don't expect an apology from a narcissist because you won't get one, let alone real change. And if for some reason you do get an apology, it is only because they have some self-serving agenda.

* Have no guilt or remorse. Narcissists will hurt you deeply and never think twice about it. They have no feelings for anyone and are incapable of loving. Narcissists are sociopaths. They are the center of the universe and everybody else is to be used in some way. Everything is about them. Everything. They truly enjoy hurting others and take pride in their sadistic abilities. They are extremely selfish and manipulative.

* Engage in pathological projection. The narcissist will attribute or 'project' every negative quality they own onto you, while never taking ownership themselves. Conversely, they will attribute any good qualities, if they exist at all, as well as any personal accomplishments, to themselves and nobody else. So if it's bad, it's you. If it's good, it's them.

* Have delusions of grandeur. Narcissists believe they are divinely gifted and wonder why the world's richest and most famous don't lay down the carpet for them. They believe themselves to be in circles they are not actually in, nor have any business being in. They believe they will no doubt be seen and discovered, that others should just sort of magically see their brilliance.

* Believe everything is about them.  Even if nothing has happened, the narcissist will often make something up to suit their needs. "I saw the way you looked at me the other day" is a typical sort of comment, even if you were looking at nothing and thinking of nothing. I once worked for a woman who ran this school who especially met this criteria, as well as many others, so you really have to be careful.

* See others as an extension of themselves. Narcissists believe that the only person who truly matters is themselves. Believe that the only feelings and thoughts that matter are their own. Believe that the thoughts, feelings and lives of others are not nearly as important as their own. Believe that nobody suffers in the same way they do, as if they are somehow unique from the rest of the human race.

* Believe themselves to be victims. Narcissists will concoct stories out of thin air when you refuse to give them exactly what they want in order to paint themselves as some victim of your imagined cruelty. They will say anything to convince others in your camp that they have been victimized by you. They will do anything to prevent others from seeing how insane and sadistic they truly are.

* Are extremely self-seeking. All the narcissist cares about is how they are seen by others, and they will destroy, mar or abuse anybody they need to in order to protect their self-image. What's so fascinating is that the narcissist often has no idea that the way they see themselves is totally removed from reality. They have no idea how truly horrible they are as people, how vicious they are, how demented they are, how sadistic they are, how delusional they are.

* Are pathological liars. Every single thing out of a narcissist's mouth is a lie. They need to lie in order to protect their warped self-image, to get what they want, and to hurt those who disobey them. As well, everything is a big deal. Molehills are made into mountains, so if they perceive you to have slighted them in any way, watch out, as you will be targeted and incur their wrath swiftly.

* Have no interest in your life. Narcissists have no interest in anybody's life but their own. They will dump their woes on you for hours without ever thinking it might be appropriate to shut up for a second and ask you about your life. They are jealous and envious of any blessing that may come your way, and will work to change the conversation at once.

* Have no guilt/remorse and are desperate for attention. Narcissists will hurt you deeply and never think twice about it. They have no feelings for anyone and are incapable of loving. Narcissists are sociopaths and have a pathological, whore-like need for attention. There are no ends to which a narcissist won't crawl to get attention, often concocting stories and fantasies about themselves as heroes or victims. They are the center of the universe and everybody else is to be used in some way. Everything is about them. Everything. They truly enjoy hurting others and take pride in their sadistic ability. They are extremely selfish and manipulative but fail utterly to see it. They truly believe they have never committed a wrong, that they are normal and quite loving. Needless to say, they are totally delusional and deranged. The only thing that matters to the narcissist is the narcissist.

     To sum it up, below is an excerpt from Victim Mentality, which is a typical narcissist frame of mind. They are sort of borderline in the sense that they can wave from vicious to victim to normal and back to vicious again like a merry-go-round. They are monsters, so watch out. You must protect yourself and remain vigilant.

     "Victim is a state of mind...

     Victims believe that their feelings and their circumstances are all caused by something outside of themselves. They are ignorant to the fact that they are 100% responsible for how they feel. It should come as no surprise that victims have no interest in your life. They will blab on for hours about what so and so did to them without ever thinking that it might be appropriate to shut up and ask you about your own life, feelings, or struggles. When good things happen to you, it's like a dagger in the victim's heart. Success for you means jealousy and resentment for the victim, as they quickly dump their woes on you to divert attention away from your blessings. If you do not agree that they are victims, they will turn on you viciously. They will only reach out to you with charm or kindness when they want something from you. And you better give it to them to avoid incurring their wrath. They have no shame. They are desperate.

     Victims believe that all negative feelings or events that happen to them are somebody else's fault. They see their circumstances purely as a result of events acting upon them as opposed to causing the events themselves... unless it's something good, of course. It is always what someone said or did. It may even be the whole world's fault, as each and every one of us somehow owes the victim something. Whatever the cause, it is anything but themselves. Guess what? Victims are narcissists. The victim frame of mind and worldview is a narcissistic one."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

America, the Medicated

     I think I'm done writing about meds. This is having no effect on anybody. Not only have we become a drug and disorder-obsessed nation, but we are now collectively conditioned to simply follow orders and take what we are told to take. More frightening is how the gov/media scripts a false truth to manipulate the masses and vilify good, innocent people who simply don't want to pump their infants with aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, calf serum, lactalbumin hydrolysate, formaldehyde, glutaraldhyde, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, polysorbate 80 and yeast protein.

     The above list of various poisons make up the Hep-B shot, in case you were wondering, usually given moments after birth, if you can fathom such a thing, let alone fathom that this passes as sound science.

     In 10 years of doing this stuff, there have been no changes to the mindless status quo of addiction treatment - pills, therapy, triggers, group therapy, but don't worry because relapse is part of recovery. Nonsense. In 10 more years, I imagine everybody will be heavily medicated and will believe vehemently in the degenerate philosophy of taking drugs for any problem in life...

     Addicted? Take a drug. Depressed? Take a drug. Anxious? Take a drug. Socially inept? Take a drug. Too gregarious? Take a drug. Bored? Take a drug. Not bored? Take a drug. No sex? Take a drug. Too much sex? Take a drug. No money? Take a drug. No friends? Take a drug. No God? Take a drug...

     What an F-show that will be.

     Just to be clear, there are only three reasons why I have ripped apart the argument for medication as a way to treat addicts so comprehensively. First, substitution drugs and psychotropics have no material effect in removing or even altering addiction. The mental obsession remains entirely in tact and therefore relapse is not a function of 'if' but 'when'. Why would you continue to ply an addict thereby allowing him or her to validate remaining comforted by drugs?

    Second, by medding up on these science projects we may be closing the door on a spiritual experience. We may be erecting a brick wall between us and God. Our work may not be as thorough, honest and pure as it must be to induce a psychic rearrangement, the sort of catharsis necessary to effect real and lasting change. We may never know if we could have touched the Light of God and been freed from our addiction and mental illness forever. Shouldn't we at least give it our all before choosing the Blue pill, as it were?

     Third, and perhaps most important, is the how the entire psychiatric industry has been co-opted by Big brother and Big pharma. Clinicians pass these things out like skittles with no shame at all, and what exactly are they? I bet 99% of people taking psychotropics have absolutely no clue what they are taking or the action these drugs have on their brains. Can you tell me what is inside your pills? Can you describe for me the neurochemical action on your brain? People haven't the faintest idea what they are doing to themselves, how dangerous these drugs are, or what the long term effects may be. We just blindly take whatever the quack psychiatrist throws at us.

     It is one thing if you are truly manic or schizophrenic and the outlook is so bleak that who fucking cares what you put into your body. But the truth is that most people diagnosed with bipolar do not have bipolar. The number of misdiagnoses is truly mind-boggling, and we have to ask ourselves why? As well, most people taking anti-depressants do not even meet the criteria for clinical depression. Just saw this earlier today, but there is tons of information our there that hasn't been doctored or altogether censored by the statist puppets in corporate media. My bet is that 99% of the mass media have a 75-80% IQ. The real, truth-loving journalists are muzzled and in many cases taken out, like Michael Hastings was taken out by the current administration. Wow, that's some Nobel laureate.

More than Two Thirds of People Taking Anti-depressants 'May Not Actually Have Depression'...

     Look, these guys have no idea what they're doing. They have no idea what they're prescribing or what they're really doing to you. They think it is perfectly acceptable to use the population like a bunch of guinea pigs. You never hear the other side of the story, but if you look, you can find articles and studies that will open your eyes and help you see through the thick fog of social programming and conditioning.

    So anyway, that's it. No more posts about meds. If you search the blog, there is tons of stuff, like one I wrote about a specific drug after suffering through a national ad on television that promoted this stuff for depression (even though it is traditionally used to treat severe schizophrenia) because as you know, it's always good to pop a hardcore, mind-numbing psychotropic used to treat hallucinating psychopaths who are crawling up the walls of the asylum after trying to stab the entire staff when you're feeling a little blue and want some ice cream.

God, help us... please...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Joke's On Us

     The Western medical approach to addiction and mental illness is sort of a prolonged and painful failure, and there are very targeted reasons for this. If we get better, they go out of business, so the idea is to keep us coming but make sure we don't get too well. Of course, that model has been used before, as they essentially take after government.  

     I used to be considered mentally ill - some of it real, some of it imagined. Today mental illness is no longer in my vocabulary, although you should probably check with my wife about that ;-) But when it comes to addiction and depression, I am no longer 'at risk'. I will never drink, use, or slip into some mind-blowing depression ever again.

     And no, that is not the pink cloud talking. Don't worry, there is no pink cloud anymore. That was ten years ago. Today we have kids, a dog, tenants, clients, poop on the floor, crusted food on the clothes, maintenance calls at all hours of the night, relatives getting on us about this or that, etc. etc. Today we are grounded and fully engaged in the real world.

     The best remedy for addiction and mental stuff is just to get busy and go live life. When we sit around doing nothing and allow our feelings to cripple us, well, that is the best way to go to pieces. Usually people who have the luxury of doing nothing are the ones most riddled with all of these new age mental disorders and problems. People who work 80 hours a week and then fill the rest of their time with family, service, hobbies and creative stuff don't even have the room to cultivate some salad of ridiculous disorders that shrinks come up with. So don't give it power. Work hard. Do what you love. Action will free you.

     As ridiculous as it may seem, I am now considered to be a pretty sane and balanced member of my very large, extended family. For ten years, I have been free from mental illness, depression and addiction. How? What do you want me to say? It was really just non-stop prayer, meditation, inventory, service, amends, work, art, fun, self care, exercise. Not necessarily easy, but simple. The 15 years before that, I was an unmitigated disaster. Trying to quick-fix my spiritual or mental problems with pills and therapy seemed to piss God off more, as it only propelled me deeper into the abyss. I grew worse mentally, physically, and of course, spiritually. Much worse.

    I also know exactly what happened - why I became so ruthlessly ill and spiritually destitute, and why I am free and okay now. What I've learned is that the Western medical community has virtually no understanding of mental illness and addiction. Not only do they not know how to treat either, but they don't even know what they really are. They think that brain chemistry is the cause, when it is in fact, the effect. So I've learned that pills and therapy don't work, as the root remains firmly in tact. It is sort of a sick joke, as you've got the masses now believing in all sorts of untested science projects being pumped by false advertising and mass media. Even if you feel better, the very heart of your mental illness and addiction is still right there sitting inside you, beating away, and the relief, if you can call it that, is fleeting at best.

     Many do not want to hear stuff like that and will love to call me an idiot, but sorry, that is my experience, and while pills and therapy almost ruined me, inventory, service, meditation and God saved my life and changed me entirely. Also, most of the people who call me an idiot or say how wrong and stupid I am are usually in complete denial. In other words, they scream about how something is working for them or for their loved one when it's actually failing them. And they know it. They know the truth. But it's much easier to avoid an uncomfortable reality and instead lash out at someone else who is just saying what you already know.

     Plus, this is my blog and I'll write whatever the fuck I want ;-)

     At any rate, while succumbing to the comfort of easier, softer ways like pills and therapy was pushing me further away from true health and inner peace and didn't cure anything, getting outside of the pathological self-focus, gaining a spec of humility, righting my wrongs, nourishing a moral compass, taking right action, thinking about others once in a while, learning how to pray and establishing a relationship with God changed everything - Dramatically.

    My addiction and mental illness vanished. I finished anything and everything that I failed to repeatedly before. My fear left me, as willingness replaced it and suddenly I became driven to take care of myself, my family, and like others who still stuffer from addiction. I evened out and since then, God has never brought me anything I cannot handle, external or internal. My feelings, thoughts and emotions are much more in control (although I do live in Massachusetts), and most of the time I am content and at peace. I don't need a zillion distractions bombarding me all day long to keep me shielded from what's inside me, from my own self.

     And when all is said and done, isn't that really the goal?

     Isn't that what everybody really wants, to be free and okay inside without anything and regardless of what's happening around us? And yet, we so often end up failing miserably. We may mask some symptoms but we know deep inside that we are not alright. Our lives do not change dramatically. Our experience is still muted and mundane. Our minds have not cracked wide open. We haven't been 'rocketed into any 4th dimension of existence', so to speak. We do not witness miracles and feel the presence and the power of God within. The Western approach is pretty much worthless when it comes to mental, physical and spiritual catharsis.

     Hey, listen, maybe I don't know anything or maybe I am just some anomaly, but I don't think so, so why not just try developing a spiritual life via repeated right action? Start praying, write inventory, learn to meditate and then do it every single day. Try service, help others, take others through the steps, give back to yourself, exercise more, adjust your diet, whatever.

     And if it doesn't work right away, don't have a tantrum like some kid who wants his candy because it's not supposed to. In the real world there are no magic tricks. We are supposed to work hard and change over time. It's better for us anyway, as it strengthens and widens the foundation within. Plus, it's normal to suffer a bit and have challenges. We even have a term for that: Life on Earth - also known as being human. We can either face it or cower from it. The choice is yours.

     If you cannot find the willingness or the power to face it, then you are trying to find it in the wrong place. Power and willingness, once lost, must come from their ultimate and original Source, which is God. Ask God for willingness and power, and then get off the couch and follow it up with tons of action and just see what happens.

     Please know that I fail and make tons of mistakes constantly. This entire blog simply describes what I've learned for myself and I write it in the same way I would talk to myself. I am the guy that I refer to who needs to get off his ass and take more action. The blog is about me, so no need to get triggered, react and press the play button in your head. Don't take it the wrong way. I'm really not that much of a dick... well... maybe a little.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Are We Just Disconnected?

      Several people have now asked me to comment on this article from the Huffington Post - you'll have to excuse the source, of course, which poses as a news site. My apologies. 

     Certainly connection to self and others is part of any equation, as we are social creatures by nature and need human connection, but the fact is that people will use and become addicted if they want to use and become addicted, regardless of external circumstances. Strong connections and supportive environments will neither prevent nor vanquish addiction. Moreover, once we become addicted, we have to contend with the fact that we have gone insane - that we have the lost of the power of choice.

     To regain power of choice, something quite powerful must occur. As well, lasting change usually occurs as a direct result of rigorous work and a sincere desire to change as opposed to the environment in which we find ourselves. I had a very loving and supportive familial environment, as well as many close friends and bonds, and I could not have cared any less. I wanted to get jammed out of my skull, 24/7. That said, I certainly believe that lack of connection to self, others, Mother Earth and God is a macro-cultural condition, and varies in degree depending on the individual.

     The article asserts that the true cause of addiction is a lack of human connection, which is certainly a bit more accurate than any nonsense emanating from the pharmaceutical model. The idea is that if we are part of a loving environment with many strong human connections, we may not become addicts. As well, if we secure a loving environment with many strong human connections after becoming addicts, our addiction will vanish or cease to reappear. Unfortunately, the latter would imply that our environment has not only restored us to sanity, but is capable of maintaining it, which isn't possible. 

     The other problem with this premise is that it really has nothing to do with addiction. I know this will be very hard for people and clinicians to understand, but for many addicts there is often no reason why we use. Many of us just picked up one day and boom, what do you know, we love drugs. Sure life isn't perfect and we suffer, but nobody's life is perfect and everybody suffers.

     One day, long ago, a friend gave me an Oxycontin before playing a round of golf, and when it kicked in and saturated my entire nervous system, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I fell madly in love with Oxycontin, that is, until I met heroin. But the thing is, there was nothing particularly wrong in my life. I was content, going to college, had tons of friends, was dating, working hard, etc.

     Guess what my problem was?

     I loved drugs. In fact, I was a walking dumpster. Using was not at all an extension of my environment or my degree of connection to others. Using was an extension of my selfishness and my preoccupation with comfort and feeling good 24/7, and I believe that is the case for most, if not all of us. 

     Let me tell you, human connection is wonderful, but if all an addict does is return from treatment to a loving environment, he or she is still 100% an addict and is subject to relapse at any time and for no apparent reason. To be an addict is to have gone insane. The bottom line is that environment and connections can neither prevent us from becoming addicts, nor fix us once we get there. I agree that opening ourselves up and cultivating strong connections with others, Earth and God are certainly crucial in the totality of our recovery, but without moral action, we will ultimately fail.

     Regardless of what you think about the 'disease' part of our addiction - the physical part - nobody can deny that the character and the moral compass of an active addict takes a beating over the years, and like our connections, must also be repaired. If we have done the wrong thing, common sense and logic dictate that doing the right thing will help to repair the inner damage that was done by doing the wrong thing. We still have to change the kind of people we have become. We still have to do some work. We still have to give back, and thus, environmental and social change is only part of the equation.

     Furthermore, having the immense support I did after becoming addicted had zero effect in reducing the severity of my addiction. On the contrary, my addiction grew worse as I was showered with love and friendship. Look, addicts love drugs and want to use. I read stuff all of the time by non-addicts who claim that no addict wants to be an addict, but sorry, that is just not true. We will use as long as we want and we will stop for no one. We will stop if and when we want to for we are purely selfish beings. Yes we should stop because what we are doing is wrong, and despite what anybody says, it is immoral, but even that won't stop us.

     By the way, saying that addiction has to do with morals doesn't conflict with this article's assessment. If we become disconnected from God, from others, from ourselves or from the ground we stand on, addict or not, we will also begin to lose our moral compass. The two are related. That seems obvious.   
   
     Finally, the lack of human connection is a human condition. The author is correct that we are social beings and need each other to thrive and feel whole.  However, all of us are disconnected. You could argue that our entire culture has become more and more disconnected, disinterested and without purpose. We seem to care about nothing, as ambitions instead revolve around acquiring the latest phone or app, or ingesting the latest gossip or criticism. Social media, for example, is indeed numbing our minds and removing our passion - almost plying us to robotically accept whatever is happening. 

     The point is that all of us may be disconnected in some way but we don't all become junkies. And there are millions of us who come from loving, strong environments and still easily mutate into pathetic junkies. Why? Because we are not like everybody else. Whereas normal people hate the feeling of being out of control, addicts love it. And the truth is that most addicts who return to wonderful environments absolutely cannot wait to relapse.

     I realize that none of this may make any sense to normal, or rather, non-addicted people out there, but just try to tweak your mind a bit and consider that what is backward to you is forward to the addict. We want to be the way we are... until we don't.

God, help us...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drugs Are Just Drugs



     
     The drug is not the monster. The drug brings out a monster that is already residing within.