Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ibogaine Comment/Response


Comment:

     Whoever wrote this is a fucking lunatic and knows nothing of plant medicine and furthermore is an AA/NA cultist

Response:

     Thanks for making my point for me... I guess. But this is not very difficult to grasp. I have nothing against Ibogaine. I've read that it can quite effectively detox opiate addicts... but that is exactly my point.

     There is detox...

     ...and then there is a lifetime of recovery.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

POA Questions


 September 24, 2014

     Please feel free to request a blog entry on any particular subject or question. That being said, I don't tell people what to do specifically, nor do I want to. It is much better to figure out the answers on your own (See Don't Listen To Me). What I do here, despite some periodic and impulsive accusations to the contrary, is to share what I have learned through my own experience and you can take from that what you will.

Should addicts with mental issues not take anything?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Get Used to Less Dopamine


      I really don't get it. Instead of rationalizing addiction as a naturally-occurring lack of endogenous opioids and then justifying various forms of artificial dopamine as treatment because we're just poor, innocent victims of a blameless disease, here's a novel idea:

     Get used to less dopamine.

Don't Bother Working Hard Because Success Is Just "Luck"


      At a recent commencement ceremony, one of our elected puppets asserted arrogantly that success was by no means voluntary, but simply a function of "luck," which is no doubt code for, well, I'm sure you can deduce the various implications on your own.

     So wait, success (in life, as in recovery) has nothing to do with, say...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The One Requirement to Recover... Besides Hard Work.

July 4, 2014
*

      It's really simple: You have to want God (spiritual growth) more than drugs.

     Obviously it's hard to want anything other than more dope when we roll into or out of detox, wallowing in depression and angst. That's why there are few options for the hopeless drunks and addicts out there other than to give every last ounce of spirit and courage we have within us to the Twelve Steps as they are laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, thus inducing a psychic change that will shower us with immediate and profound relief.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Methadone & Powerlessness


April 27, 2014

Let me help out a bit.

     Just read another blogger who is a staunch supporter of Methadone, as well as Smart Recovery (CBT and no God), which is perhaps useful if you're not an actual alcoholic or drug addict, but if you are, then call me from detox when you relapse.

Addiction & Recovery

May 5, 2014

     I recently wrote a guest post for a guy I respect who asked me to share some thoughts on the subject of big business recovery. Needless to say, there was some pushback, and some flaky assumptions made about my understanding and attitude towards addiction and recovery. So here are some addiction facts as I understand them... and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about. Here is the link: Addiction Journal - Recovery, Inc. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Presented with No Additional Commentary


 Comment from Methadone Is Not a Solution, Obviously:

     "From what I have seen in my child, you are right on the money. All the exact symptoms. She's self centered, lifeless, emotionless, in bed all the time while life is passing her by. I have never hated anything like this shit that's stolen my child."

Case closed.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

There's No Such Thing as Dual-Diagnosis


You're either well or you're not well...

     Another thing I hear from time to time is how it's much harder, if not impossible, for so and so to recover because he or she is dual-diagnosis and needs to be medicated for life. Sorry, but that is ridiculous.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

There Is No Point to Anything If We Do Not Recover.


     Parents sometimes write me stuff like,

     "My son has this great job, so he can only do outpatient because he has to get back to work on Monday... oh, and they can't know anything, so do know a really good place he can go for like three days tops?"

     Good luck with that.  Or how about this one,

Human Power

July 1, 2014

     
     External power (the opposite of internal or spiritual power) is simultaneously the most desired yet worst thing for human beings. The men and women with the most power in the world also have the sickest souls and must commit the gravest of sins to maintain their power, which they will only willingly cede over their dead bodies. Power is the heroin of the psychopath. Heroin is for cowards, but power is for confident, narcissistic psychopaths who worship only themselves and refuse to bow before anything, especially God.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Must Do List for Clueless Addicts




Addicts Don't Understand Being Human




Addicts think that simply being human makes it appropriate to use drugs... 

     We addicts somehow believe that our experience is novel. We believe that NOBODY suffers quite like we do, that nobody feels depression and despair and dissatisfaction the way we do. We believe ourselves to be special and unique and different from everybody else, even other addicts. Believe it or not, I actually believed there wasn't a single soul who understood or felt what I felt, that I somehow had it the worst...

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Opioid Crisis A Crisis of Compassion (i.e. funding)? Um, Nope.


      Before we get started, I'd like to offer you a link to a post by my amazing friend, Janet. She writes a beautiful blog and recently posted about our constant exposure to chemicals and several ways to detox our homes. She opens by accurately correlating the explosion in cancer and other illnesses to the onslaught of chemical use/exposure, followed by the shocking treatment of wheat harvests in America. She writes,
  
     "Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest."

     Janet's blog is called, The Gardener's Cottage, loved and followed by many, and the specific post about chemicals is: Detoxing my home

*

So we should now be subsidized simply for being human?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why Addicts Can't Stay Sober


1) The mental obsession. A mere sober addict is still completely insane and subject to relapse. Sober-only addicts will experience thoughts to drink or use that do not respond to ration or reason. We can, however, remove this obsession through spiritual action and achieve lifelong sobriety, free from the danger of relapse. But if we don't change, if we don't restore ourselves to sanity and re-acquire the power of choice, we have no chance in hell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Does Praying for Others Really Work?


Comment: 

     Hi Charlie, how do you pray for others? It's not that I don't believe in God but it seems that prayers for my daughter and myself are missing something. I don't feel the connection to God. Is it the same prayer so you can connect more deeply? Is it just anything that comes to your mind? I feel numb after dealing with my daughter's addiction for the last 14 years.

Any Thoughts on Sex Addiction?


Comment:

     Dear Charlie, I have been married to a recovering alcoholic for 12 years, together for 22 years. When we have been to couples counseling he always gets pats on the back for his alcohol recovery. 6 months ago it came out in a terrible way that he has been using the internet for porn, cyber sex, chatroom sex, phone sex. He had an affair with a coworker to boot. I will spare you the details- but the cyber stuff has been on and off for our whole marriage. The dishonesty is stunning and devastating. His behavior looks like addiction, acts like addiction and has no moral compass like addiction. He wants to do couples therapy. He has convinced his counselor that this is relationship problem. We've done this before - and clearly it didn't change anything-- it all got worse. From my point he behaves like an addict and I don't want to do couples therapy unless he is in recovery- like you write- with his actions. I am not sure if I can reconcile with him or if I want to but I do want to forgive him. I admire Desmond Tutu's approach to forgiveness- and I like how you are a hard ass about action. Do you have any thoughts or writing on sex addiction and recovery in the context of other addictions? Thank you so much for your strong voice in this field.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Things I've Learned.

 

1) Action begets more action.

     I often feel suffocated by the increasingly clueless establishment view of addiction and recovery. This is why it's good to unplug once in a while and take extended breaks from media etc., especially when it seems everything is scripted in some way to promote a bias that often benefits the messenger or his friends and is destructive to its recipients. At any rate, there is always some new 'cutting edge' approach to addiction, some new miracle drug (oxymoron), some new epiphany that will explain everything and finally fix every addict in the world. Most of the stuff people send me actually gives me a headache. I've stated previously that the scientific credo known as Ockham's Razor (among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected) is now constantly violated. The point is that recovery is very simple, and the secret is really no secret at all. It's called:

     Hard work.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Votes Are In: Addicts Are Selfish People

 
 
     Took some screenshots for you throughout the week (privileged addict searches omitted). Is anyone out there really going to keep up with the farce that addicts are not morally challenged? Selfishness at the expense of others is a moral failure. Continuing to use once we lose control is a moral failure. I think it's time to admit what is so glaringly obvious. Hey, don't take my word for it, listen to the people. See for yourself...

In Defense of Addicts, Well, Sort of...


     In "Get an Addict Better," I tried to lay out some macro-incentive for addicts to recover, above and beyond the built-in incentive we have to stop hurting those who love us, especially our parents. At any rate, the post "Why Alcoholics Hurt People" is well read and has become a comment forum for many to express grievances, many of which I'm sure are justified and somewhat rational. However, let's look at some recent comments from both an alcoholic and a codependent... and then my reply. I don't usually reply on that post because there is really no point. Many simply come to read the comments, go off a bit and then take off, but today I felt as though I should chime in briefly for what is hopefully an appropriate interference.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Action or Grace?

  
Comment:

      This is a theological question! From reading your blog I sense you are a Christian?

      Well, most of my personal theology comes from what I learned in the the 12 Steps. I consider myself a Christian and so I have in the past few years taken to attending bible studies at both very liberal but also conservative churches. Trying to cover all bases in my research.

      So here's where I get tripped up. I keep running into the concept of predestination, or also referred to as Election. That it is to say that by grace alone that we are saved. Only some are chosen and actions seems to have little merit. However, from my 12 step readings I could never accept that view. Faith in action is all important!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Why Methadone & Suboxone Are So Ridiculous



Comment from "Why the Steps Work":

      "It's been 9 years of methadone and then suboxone treatment for my daughter. You might think that would make her somewhat functional, so why is it that she is in the same place she was when she used heroin...absolute dysfunction?"

      Finally, someone who gets it. Any addict on methadone or suboxone has accomplished zero from point A to point B. Trust me, there are no grey areas. If the addict is still using, he or she is still 100% chained to addiction, enslaved by the mental obsession and committed to the addict mind and heart. How is it not obvious that when you give an addict methadone or suboxone, you perpetuate everything that makes an addict, an addict?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Am I Wasting My Time? Will this Pain Ever End?

  
Comment

Hi,

      I'm a therapist and work with addicts. What brought me to this population, as I was previously wanting to work with couples and marriages, was the failure of my own relationship with an alcoholic. I have never in my life been through so much pain before. We were together ... years; he was sober most of the time. He was going to meetings; sponsor; etc. I moved in and we got married... months after we married he relapsed and kicked me out. He had started taking adderall and I knew a relapse was around the corner. [That's] when he decided he wanted me gone; He became horribly
mean; calling me vile names and telling me he didn't love me or want me anymore. This was a year ago... It killed my entire family. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Subtance Abuse Disorder"


“The process of losing choice is a choice.”  The Privileged Addict
    
     "Substance abuse disorder"? Lol.

     A friend of mine just texted me to share how tremendously relieved he was to know that he was in no way a selfish, dope fiend alcoholic, but just a sweet little boy with a "substance abuse disorder". I wrote back at once to further reassure him.

     "Ya bro, you didn't know?! It's not your fault, man... you just happened to catch a 'substance abuse disorder' as it was flying through the air."

     Again, he was relieved.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Don't Let Your Sponsee Whine

Don't let your sponsee whine. He is not a child anymore.
 
     Talking is NOT a solution.    

     I once had a sponsee who was sort of a microcosm of the modern, fuffy (toothless) sponsor/sponsee relationship. That is, he considered sponsorship to be an opportunity to engage in all-out, daily woe-dumping sessions. It was really just free 'pity pot' therapy, but with the sponsor you don't have to pay for your friend. He was ultimately shocked and heartbroken by the ruthless, coldhearted notion thought that I didn't want to pick up the phone at all hours of the day and night and endure endless whining and complaining about every minor discomfort and disappointment known to mankind.

     Huh?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Hand of God

HAND OF GOD
The Privileged Addict, Copyright 2012


     It was the middle of a moonlit night in the chapel up North. My body told me when I was finished meditating. I sat down for a few minutes. A feeling of certainty calmed me. I was ready. I knelt down on my knees and opened up the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous to page 76 and read the 7th Step prayer out loud.
     “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” Alcoholics Anonymous, 76.
     As I finished reading the prayer, an unexplainable miracle occurred. The instant I was done, something rushed through my body. Something wonderful. I laughed and cried simultaneously. It was strange. Some force immediately took over my body and mind, controlling me for some time. Then a volcanic feeling of relief and rapture pervaded my entire being. I remember thinking, Holy shit. It worked! I felt it in every cell.

Anybody Can Take Steps, Chp. 3


Anybody Can Take Steps (Copyright, 2015), pp.45-55:
(Also see Chapters 1 & 2
*
STEP 3
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

    
     Sounds great, but how exactly do I turn myself over to God? What does that even mean? For now, let us consider this Step to be a vow – a promise to ourselves, to others and to our Higher Power to grow along spiritual lines and to repel anything that prevents us from doing so. On a practical level, we are vowing to cultivate and expand our conscience, and then never to ignore it. As well, we are not going to consciously erect any walls between us and our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

'How It Works'

 

From How It Works, Alcoholics Anonymous, pp.58-63:

     “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Do You Know God or Have God?

     For sure, there is a difference between knowing God and having God. To know God we simply have to believe, read some doctrine, or perhaps drop by Sunday service and potluck. But to have God we have to perform. We have to take actions that bring God into us and expand His actual presence.

 *

     If alcoholics and addicts have the capacity to be honest with themselves, they have the seed of God within. And because a seed that is nourished can grow forever, there is no limit to our spiritual growth. There is no limit to how much we can change and heal and thrive and give back. We must simply find the willingness to turn our inner seed into a fountain of strength.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Do the Opposite of Therapy

 

Feelings, beliefs, the past, other people, the world... none of it matters. It's all about action and moving forward. Never forget that recovery is not a function of time, faith or will. We cannot just get sober, sit around, hit some meetings and whine on the therapy couch. We cannot wish ourselves better. Recovering from alcoholism and addiction is purely a function of action. Right action.

From Do the Opposite of Therapy:


So if therapy is sitting on a couch and talking about yourself, you wanna do the opposite of that.


Comment:

I can't wait to get my hands on your new book Charlie! :)

Here is a question for you about your comment that we should do the opposite of therapy. What about those people whose lives have been destroyed by an addict - partners who have been abused in every possible way for many years - codependents I guess you could call us. Do you think therapy is a waste of time for us, too?

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to pick up the pieces and get my life back.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Elements of a Narcissist & the Victim Mentality

"Hell hath no fury like a narcissist unmasked."

     * 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.


* 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.


* 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.

Pills, Science & Academics are Useless

January 10, 2013   

     "We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception. With our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge." -Alcoholics Anonymous, The Doctor's Opinion, xxvii

     Translation: You cannot fix an alcoholic or an addict without fixing him morally and spiritually. Pills and science cannot change addicts, turn them into better people, make them act right, or give them what they truly need to effect lasting recovery. Does taking a pill give you meaning and purpose? Do taking a pill give you principles and morals? Do taking a pill give you God? Nope. There is utterly no hope for alcoholics and drug addicts to get better if mainstream treatment methods and attitudes continue pumping medication as the solution.

     Believe it or not, there are doctors out there who specifically treat drug addicts. I know of one. In fact, he asked me to work for him at one point, running groups in Brookline to supplement his program of methadone, suboxone, seroquel, clonodine and God knows what else. His mission is to prescribe for drug addicts. I don't know about you, but I didn't get sober to become a puppet or a guinea pig. Let's just have a look at that phrase again:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Try Shooting God into Your Veins

July 11, 2012

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

     If I can take a 1st Step, then I can take a 2nd Step. Without knowing it, by taking a 1st Step, we've already taken a 2nd Step.

     I remember sitting in treatment and a fellow knucklehead was trying to convince me that I had no power. I went on one of my embarrassing rants, asserting that I had power... just let it get a little out of hand. That's when another guy stared me down and told me if I was still thinking that way, I just wasted my first three days.

     And then the 1st Step hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that for all the things I could do, the one thing I couldn't was to control my addiction. Drugs and alcohol had me by the balls. That's probably why I was sitting in rehab wearing four flannel shirts in the middle of summer after stumbling into detox looking like a corpse.

     So I've just admitted that drugs and alcohol are more powerful than me. If I can believe that, why can't I believe that there is something else more powerful that can fix me? Suddenly I realized that I didn't have to freak out about believing in a Greater Power. There are an endless slew of things more powerful than us humans. We are at the mercy of so many forces, both worldly and other-worldly.

What It Takes to Recover

     You have to just throw in the towel. You have to believe wholeheartedly that when it comes to drugs and alcohol, you have absolutely no power. You must be willing to be wrong, cede entire control and then look at the recovered person holding the Big Book and genuinely say,

     "Okay, tell me what you did, I'll do anything. Anything." 
 
     Do you see? You have to let go completely and give up not just drugs and alcohol, but perhaps your entire previous life, including any previous beliefs, attitudes and desires that no longer serve you. That is the only way. You have to be willing to give up everything and literally hurl yourself into this process. If you really let go and give everything you have to this mind-altering program of spiritual action, that is how you get better.


     A kid I spoke to one time ended up going to treatment and after taking Steps and having a profound spiritual experience, the entire course of his life changed. His affluent parents called me almost disappointed and said,

     "What about his job? He has this great job in the city! Now he wants to stay at the treatment center to help people and then pursue some graduate degree in theology!!! Oh no! What did you do to him?!?!"

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

If It Looks and Smells Like a Shit...

     ... it's probably a shit.    

     If it speaks selfishly, thinks selfishly and acts selfishly, it's probably selfish.

     Why can't we just call a spade a spade anymore?

     Understanding addiction and recovery does not require an advanced degree, although today one must question the contents of the degree itself. Why does the medical establishment refuse to admit that addiction is caused by nothing more than selfish action and it's only defense is unselfish action?

 
     I tracked some more search results for you from the last day or so. The list is completely unedited except for omitting all the 'privileged addict' searches.

     Let the people whose lives are so deeply affected by us tell you the truth about addiction:

Why are drunks cowards?
Does alcoholism make you useless? (Lol, does the sun rise?)
are alcoholics selfish
alcoholics playing the victim
are all alcoholics selfish
why are alcoholics so selfish
addicted to being the victim
boyfriend is an alcoholic and our relationship will never be what I want
fear of writing my inventory
when an alcoholic tell you they care and then pushes you away
are alcoholics selfish
alcoholics are so selfish
addicts suck
recovering addicts still seflish
alcoholics are selfish
narcissist as victim
psychotherapy is a bunch of nonsense

Monday, March 21, 2016

What Haven't I Done or Not Done?


 

From Why Alcoholics Hurt People:

Comment: 

Hi Charlie

I've tried all the recommended things to help my husband give up his alcoholism, but none seem to work at all. I recon use that he needs to acknowledge his need to change and be ready for that. He has acknowledged that and in our 3 year marriage we have had two 5 week stints where he has had a good go at giving up... I just wonder what it is about the 5 week mark that triggers a relapse though? Could be coincidental. Anyway, I have always been a happy person and I love the sober version of my husband, but hardly ever see him. Consequently I feel really lonely. I try to talk to him about what he needs from me to suppirt him in giving up, what are the hardest times for him and how can I help him through? I'm not the enabler type as I don't play well with victim mentalities. I can dish out the tough love where/when needed too. I'm sick to death of all the advice about not saying this to the recovery alcoholic and not saying that... Having to walk on eggshells in case you do/say something that provokes a relapse... What about their nasty, thoughtless words spoken when drunk that they suffer no consequences for because there's no recall or very poor accurate memory of saying their hurtful words? We remember and carry this because we weren't pissed! The hurt is then exacerbated because the alcoholic minimizes the hurtful words/actions and makes out like we are exaggerating and won't be convinced otherwise.... When does the alcoholic have to stop and think about how their words and actions are causing destruction to those around them and it's NOT ok!!!! I don't care if you're pissed, it's not OK to be hurtful! Yes alcoholism is such a selfish thing in so many ways. I seem to attract them. Why? I'm a hard working sensible person. Why do I attract people who can't get their shit together and be responsible? I wish I could depend upon someone for a change, but I can't if I didn't step up to take care of all the important responsibilities everything would be up the creek! I'm so tired, I feel so lonely and I'm weary of feeling like beer is a much better option than me.... I feel so rejected. What now? What haven't I done or not done?

Response: 

Bless you and thank you for writing and sharing your experience so honestly here. As far as trying to help and recommend things to an active alcoholic, I wouldn't waste your energy, especially as it robs you of nourishing yourself and all of the responsibilities you have.

For one, alcoholic types don't listen to anybody, but especially to loved ones. If he eventually decides to change, he will most likely only listen to another alcoholic, someone who uses and thinks the way he does, someone who is as pathologically selfish as he is but who has gotten outside of himself and recovered, someone who has something he wants (internally).

Of course, alcoholics also tend to see the defects in people as opposed to the good, but this is simply a projection of his own self-loathing... but don't feel bad because self-pity etc is just another form of selfishness and immaturity, and it is self-imposed. Never feel bad for a pity pot.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How Much Are Drug Gangs & Drug Companies at Fault?

Comment:

     If addiction is not anyone's fault, why are pill and heroin addictions an epidemic in America today? The drug companies and drug gangs coming through the border are not at fault at all? So are you saying that if there weren't pills and heroin, then all these people would be addicted to alcohol or something else? Just trying to understand why the blame is only with the addict.

Response:

     Good question, and thank you for reading and writing. Google says my response is too long so I'll publish it in a new post...
 
*

     No offense at all, but people will believe what they want to believe to help ease the pain, channel the anger, and deny what their child or spouse is doing to themselves. Nobody is forcing us to become addicts and nobody is preventing us from getting better. 

 *  

     So there have always been drug gangs, synthetic drugs and so forth. Sure drug dealers are scum, but no, they are not to blame. Without evil there is nothing to oppose it. In other words, if people didn't take the freaking drugs, there would be no more drug gangs and OxyContin to speak of. It's called supply and demand. So if we are going to poison ourselves and mutate ourselves into addicts, then there will always be some evil scumbag who will continue to produce them, sell them, and exploit our weakness.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Recovery Is Not a Theory

Read this.

    Everything I know about how I became recovered from drug and alcohol addiction (as well as depression, mania, fear, anxiety, boredom, angst and so forth) boils down to this:


     Nothing happens without ACTION.

     You can learn everything there is to know about addiction and it won't change you at all. You can learn everything there is to know about yourself and again, it won't change anything. You can be loved by others and it won't change anything. You can receive the best treatment and all the latest and greatest cutting edge meds and it won't change anything. You can go on methadone or suboxone and it won't change anything. There is no knowledge, no belief, no relationship, no group, no meeting, no doctor, no shrink, no pill and no science project that can turn an active addict into a recovered addict. Only the addict himself can change, with the help of God. He or she must actually get up off of the couch and work hard. Laziness breeds cowardice and cowardice breeds addiction and failure and death.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Let's Stop Denying the Moral Failure of Addiction

     I don't get it. Regardless of the biochemical elements of addiction and compulsion, why wouldn't we stress the moral necessity of recovering? What better incentive is there for an addict to stop using or an alcoholic to stop drinking than the resounding knowledge of the deep and agonizing pain we are causing those who love us?

     Why is it such an abomination to assert the moral reality of addiction? Regardless of the degree to which an addict has lost control, it doesn't change the fact that it's wrong to use, that we gave up the right to drink and use the moment we lost control and began hurting those who care about us.

     There were only three things that drove me to get better, and one of them was when the Big Book taught me of my selfishness and the gut-wrenching heartache I was causing my family. The other two things were becoming sick and disgusted of the coward I was, and then becoming passionate about growing spiritually.


 So continuing to use drugs and alcohol has nothing to do with morals?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Quasi Inventory

     This is one of about a hundred old posts I never published, though have been lately so people have shit to read while I focus on other stuff for a bit.


     This isn't really a resentment, more like a momentary annoyance, but it's interesting to go through the 4th Column in an effort to shed some light on the human condition, so to speak, or rather, the addict condition. The other day I got a call from some guy I know in recovery and I guess he had called previously and my voicemail was messed up, which is apparently a MAJOR RED FLAG. Lmfao. Anyway, then he texts me the next day asking if I'm still okay (i.e. sober).

     So in case you were wondering, if my voicemail is fucked up and it takes me more than 7 hours to reply, it means I've completely lost my mind, relapsed and destroyed everything, and I'm most likely about to jump off the Tobin bridge in a psychotic fit of despair.

     Anyway, let's go through this just to see why it would annoy me at all.


"God, help me to see those things that block me from You and others."

Friday, March 11, 2016

Once Again, God Is Not a Concept

Comment:

I've been reading your blog having learned about you from The Gardener's Cottage. How would you describe the God you/other addicts need in order to recover? I work with addicts...

Response:

Lol. Forgive me, and no offense at all, but it sounds as though you are assuming that God is some sort of man-made concept or idea, one of many, that we use to somehow recover. Sure mankind, because we are so limited, tries to conceive of God and reduce God to some academic concept, but this has nothing to do with God. God is/was before any of us. God is Power. How would you describe power? Just the fact that we can have this conversation is the result of divine Intelligence and Power. And just as cause and effect is not an idea but a universal law, so is God also not an idea but simply truth.
 

I suppose if you want to understand God on some sort of practical level, then establishing a relationship with God can be equated with establishing a relationship with one's conscience. Growing spiritually occurs when we develop, listen to, and act on our conscience. The more unselfish action we take, the closer we get to the source. Humility is essential for an addict for the very thing that keeps him sick is his refusal to get underneath anything. He worships nothing but himself and the world and his intellect, and rejects the natural fact that God is more powerful than any of his or her worldly faculties.

Does Cutting Back Change Anything?

Comment:

Charlie, I have a question about this post. You say it is crucial to not cave on an ultimatum. This is a simple concept if the addict is continuing to use unabated - but what if they have cut back severely on their habit, and say they are trying really hard to stop entirely? If they say it has been harder to quit completely than they expected, Should a partner still follow through if the addict is sober most of the time but still using occasionally?

Response:

I hate to say it, but when it comes to recovery, there are no grey areas. There is no such thing as 'kind of' okay or 'partially recovered'. An addict is either completely okay or not at all. Whether we use all the time or occasionally, our internal predicament is still the same. That is my experience.

He's Tired Although He Hasn't Worked in Months

Comment:

Hi Charlie, I'm the anon at the top of the comments. I laugh when I read my comment now. 3 days out of detox he relapsed. He stole $20 out of my wallet and shot up. He confessed that night and according to him all the AA people are super proud of him for confessing so fast. What they don't know is the 8 prior years of this revolving door of relapse/recovery. actually i don't think it should even be called a relapse if there is no significant clean time involved. So here I am tonight...weary to say the least. He is going to one or 2 meetings a day and pretty much "taking it easy" (his words) in between. He's tired although he hasn't worked in months. I'm on the brink of insanity and yet....I still find it hard to let go.

Response:

Thanks again for sharing/reaching out and for your honesty. I would've been the one guy in the AA meeting who wasn't congratulating him, although I don't exactly have a history of congratulating addicts for getting better. This is why I write this blog, because of the ever-expanding cavern between the two programs of AA that exist today - the bullshit version and the real one.

"You Stole the Twelve Steps!"

     So yes, I realize that some people hate me, especially some of the knuckleheads in AA. It doesn't stop me or even bother me (given the people who saved me were the ones who told me what I didn't want to hear), but let's have a little counter reason/rant just for some fun. The latest nonsense I heard was when a friend of mine mentioned 'the privileged addict' to someone at a meeting near Boston and he said something like, "I hate that guy! He stole the Twelve Steps! He profits off recovery! He sells his stupid book! He makes money!"

     For the occasional imbecile who doesn't read or think too much, most writers make nothing, despite the hundreds and hundreds of hours of painstaking work they engage in to think, write and edit a manuscript. For The Privileged Addict, I also spent months trying to collect actual police reports, hospital records and so forth to authenticate my experience, especially given both the saturation and the fraud in the addiction memoir market. So don't worry, brother, the book didn't just appear out of thin air. I actually had to spend a few minutes doing something.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Newsflash: Addicts are Cowards

     I don't get it, if addiction is just a brain disease that requires medication and intervention for life, then how did I go from not being able to stop to not being able to use without anything at all... except moral/spiritual action (service, prayer, meditation, inventory etc) and God of course? Why is it no longer a struggle? Guess what, there is a solution. It just may require some growing up. Yikes ;( 
Too much to ask?
     The truth is that the addict's main problem is mental, not physical. The allergy, or body of an addict is entirely irrelevant if we recover mentally. 

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ADDICTS ARE COWARDS

     The way to grow is to do the very thing we are scared to do.

     Why is it that alcoholics and drug addicts can't ever seem to kick the habit for good? Why do they stay sick for so long? Sure it's because they are stubborn, obstinate, self-absorbed children. But it can be summed up in one word: fear. We are cowards, and therefore we are scared shitless to recover, as that would actually require some (gulp) work.

     Addicts refuse at all costs to step out of their comfort zones. Anything difficult or uncomfortable they avoid like the plague. The truth is that we refuse to become adults. We cannot accept that life might not be solely about us feeling good all of the time. We cannot deal with the fact that life might be tough sometimes, that we might have bad days, feel sad or self-conscious or depressed. We simply cannot fathom the idea of living life on life's terms. If life does not suit us, we drink or use. We do whatever we have to do to maintain our comfort... like a child who wants a candy bar even if mommy can't afford it. We will whine and shout and even begin to hurt ourselves until we get it.