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Showing posts from July, 2015

"Arrested Recovery"

The problem with trying to explain the Steps on paper or a screen is that it isn't yet REAL for the addict. There is no actual experience of it on the inside, as writing, reading, studying and talking about the Steps is simply an intellectual pursuit. Who cares about any of that if the addict still feels like shit inside, if his or her inner life is still smothered in darkness, grief, pain, boredom, depression and fear?

     It is true that all any addict or alcoholic needs to do is to find God, but that is much easier said than done. A true catharsis is necessary to propel us into this new fundamental mindset, this new and permanent conviction. A true conversion resulting from a profound spiritual experience must often occur to drive a person to suddenly put their spiritual growth and their relationship with God before all else.

     Truth be told, I am frightened of nothing anymore except messing with my relationship with God. What God has done for me... how selfish and stu…

Ten Years... Yeah, So?

My day starts around 5:30 when my 3-year old wakes up, runs downstairs and jumps on my head, asking me if it's TV day in a loud, whiny, tired, hungry voice. After that it's non-stop until about 10:30pm when I'm finally allowed to be unconscious for a few hours. The point is that I completely spaced it was 10 years last week. Guess what I did to celebrate 10 years?

     Nothing.

     I didn't dress up and go to a meeting to collect a chip, eagerly anticipating my moment of glory as everybody clapped for me while I proudly walked up the isle. I didn't have a party with all of my friends and family to recognize the occasion.

     Why?

     Because it's not an occasion. It's not anything. Sobriety isn't an accomplishment. We don't need trophies because we finally grew up, took some responsibility, did some work and stopped acting like a garbage disposal. We don't need to announce anything.

     We need less announcing. More doing.

     The idea…

How Does One 'Smash a Moral Compass' & Get Rid of Self?

From Addicts & Alcoholics Will Suck You Dry.

Comment:

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.


Response:

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 n…

Human Responsibility Beckons

Addicts should get better...

     ...because we have officially given up the right to drink and use.
     ...because we have maxed out how much we can take from others.
     ...because life is not about us feeling good 24/7.
     ...because it's okay to suffer a little bit. It's called being human.
     ...because the demeanor of an addict is as unattractive as it is annoying.
     ...because we are so stuffed with bullshit, we don't know where the truth ends and the lies begin.
     ...because cowardice is no recipe for worldly success, not is it an indicator of future happiness.
     ...because as human beings, we have the responsibility to act in a way we would recommend to all others.
     ...because nothing and nobody is to blame for our addiction. Addicts are self-created.
     ...because the world doesn't owe us anything.
     ...because we have become morally and spiritually destitute.
     ...because our attitude has devolved into all manner of delinquency.

Why Addicts Should Get Better...

...Besides, of course, never selfishly robbing the life, love, time, energy and money of our loved ones ever again?

     Some people think all I do is rail on addicts, but that's not quite accurate. I'm trying to push addicts (including myself) to get better so that we can give the world all we can possibly give. Many addicts and alcoholics are/were very bright, talented people. Some are intellectual or artistic geniuses. You wouldn't know it, of course, because instead of giving ourselves and our talents to the world, instead of being responsible, we chose to act like complete dumbasses, letting fear, selfishness and physical pleasure get the best of us. At any rate, below is an old post about why it's so important to get addicts better, so don't say that all I do is abrasively rip us to shreds, 'cause that's only like 99% of the time ;)

 *
GET AN ADDICT BETTER...
(From February 5th, 2013)
     ... and he or she can do incredible, amazing things.
    …

How Do We Get Young People Into God? - Part Two

The other thing we can do to get young people into God is to help make it real for them. Many teens and adults alike have a problem with God because it has been reduced to a social construct, a detached belief system, or a simple academic concept. It's all intellectual. We are taught about God via sermon or in class on a chalkboard, but there is no real experience of God on the inside. So the idea is to teach kids and show them ways in which they can feel the power of God and expand His presence within.

     We need to show them how to pray and meditate, for instance - two actions that will lift them up and get things flowing. We need to present them with opportunities to speak publicly about their experience with addiction, and other opportunities to work one on one with others. Rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty ignites the power of God within. Through action, we feel lifted up and begin to have a real experience of God, not just some removed academic experi…

How Do We Get Young People Into God?

From About the Meds...

 Comment:

"...if you treat what lies underneath the addiction, you address everything, you address ALL of our problems - you address our addiction, our mental illness, our chemical imbalance, and our life malady, as it were." What do you say regarding teenagers who are from a stable and loving family? My son may tell you that his underling issues were struggling in school with ADHD and being in the wrong sort of school (catholic for middle school 6-8) which caused him to become depressed. Recently he has said this is why he is the way that he is, but I see that as justification for bad choices and drinking and using pot. I feel as if right now he is adding more reasons to justify his using. So that in a few years he can add strained relationships with my parents to to the mix. I guess, I'm saying that right now he doesn't have many underlying issues. You commented to me before that he just hasn't suffered enough (but he actually …

Define Alcoholism, Addiction & Loss of Power

Simply put, if you can't stop once you start and/or if you can't stay stopped when you stop, you are alcoholic or addicted.

     The phenomenon of craving is responsible for not being able to stop when you start, whereas the mental obsession is responsible for not being able to stay stopped once you stop. Losing power does not refer to the physiology of addiction, but rather the loss of willpower, the loss of choice, the loss of our sanity. The 'mental obsession' is defined as recurring thoughts or ideas that do not respond to ration or reason.

Our physical problem is quite different, in that the body of an addict reacts differently to drugs and alcohol than does the body of a normal person. The only way to stay sober for good is to regain our sanity, and then we can simply choose not to drink or use. But that does not mean our bodies ever change back into reacting like a non-addict, because they don't. Once the body of an addict is broken, it is broken for life, so …

Who Teaches Addicts If Sane People Don't?

If you have a kid who is stuck behaving like a child or a spoiled brat, what do you do? You teach them, show them, and push them to grow up mentally, emotionally and socially - not just physically. If my 3-year old continues to whine about candy bars when he's a teenager with hair all over his body, let's face it, we got a problem.

    It is no different with an addict, and we can liken addicts to children who are refusing to grow up. You may think they're not capable of growing up, and perhaps some are not, but most of us are, so do not use the disease nonsense as an excuse for our childish and self-centered behavior or for our refusal to develop into mature adults and all that entails, such as taking care of oneself, working hard, reaching out to others, being available to our families, and taking responsibility for any habits we may have, especially when they've gotten out of hand.

     The contribution of social work to the problem of addiction is to let you …

Reality Check

Trying to force your will on an addict or chase an addict around is an entirely fruitless endeavor...

     Nobody can change an addict or fix his or her broken mind. Most addicts need some sort of conversion, spiritual experience, or divine intervention to recover fully and for good. Beyond that, only we ourselves can act with courage day after day, taking rigorous, consistent action until we are changed people.

     And yes, we can change. Yes, our brains can change as well. We cannot hide behind the disease model to rationalize wreaking havoc, to avoid accountability, to justify being coddled and spoon-fed comfort meds, all of which keeps us weak and perpetuates our addiction and our mental frailties.

     I've said many times that the disease model as presently constructed is basically delusional. The truth is that your brain chemistry changes all day long. Eating changes your brain. So does meditation, prayer, exercise, sex, breathing, you name it. Addicts cannot stay sober …