Comments & Responses
Comment from Addicts Who Don't Get Better Don't Really Want to Change:
"Hi Charlie, I just wanted to say thank you. I just finished reading your book and you gave me freedom. I’m the mother of a alcoholic who has not learned. 4 times he has drank his way to the hospital with doctors saying he should not have lived and countless times he has thrown his life away only to be rewarded by my mother, his grandmother who gives him whatever he feels he needs at the momemt. I on the other hand have fought both enablers for 13 years and felt I was alone in my disgust with addicts and alcoholics till I read your book. So thank you for giving me my life back, back from not feeling bad to enjoy my life, my sunsets and my achievements and not to feel guilty that my son doesn’t want to do the same. I pray for him every day and that is the best thing I can do. But he needs to do the work, not me. Thank you"
You're so welcome, but the truth is I did little, if anything at all. God provided the freedom you feel, as the process or act of letting go is an actual internal event, one that I believe is given to us by God for those who earnestly want to let go, change, or be free. But thank you for the words, and God bless you.
Comment from Pissing Active Addicts Off Tells Me I'm Doing Something Right:
"charlie...you are the absolute best! I am 3 weeks into recovering from my 8 year relationship with a severe alcoholic. Finally had him removed from the house after his 4th relapse. 3 weeks ago he came home very intoxicated while I had a 73 year old handyman replacing my furnace thermostat...my partner beat the heck out of the guy because he said we were having an affair...delusional alcholic jealousy. It was the last straw. I really love how you can verbalize the torment the enabler goes through and guidance on how to stop enabling. I just ordered your book. Thanks for this site." Gaylinn
Gaylinn, totally my pleasure. I can only verbalize it as it is my experience, as both an addict and with enabling and codependency. Addiction, like so many other self-induced, selfish maladies, is a byproduct of narcissism, hence you see narcissistic behaviors so amplified, such as paranoia, grandiosity, immaturity, distorted thinking and memories, deranged and unfounded suspicion and accusation, the total lack of responsibility, accountability, honesty, remorse, etc, etc.
Comment from Effects of Alcohol & Self-Neglect on the Non-Addict:
"Charlie, a great post concerning the need for balance in life. Self-care does not have to be selfishness and I know that intellectually, but it is hard as hell to incorporate the distinction into my daily life. The disciplines of 10 11 and 12 certainly help a lot here. I love your Insight about being a good parent or good employee and yet being irresponsible to myself. Happens all the time. It seems that life, like a 12-step program, is full of paradoxes."
Believe me, just because I know this doesn't mean I don't struggle with this each and every day. Achieving this sort of balance is most certainly a lifelong endeavor, one that I pray we all find. Well said re the paradox of life. Thank you.
Comment from Why Alcoholics Hurt People:
"Your blog is literally saving me and my mom. My sister is an alcoholic. She has been for 15 yrs. finally her husband and kids thru her out and sent her to us and we have tried to help her but she refuses. Your blogs are a lifesaver and mean so much. Thank you for posting these."
"You're welcome, and I regret not being able to write here more often. Life evolves, and I have thrown myself into other work this year in an effort to provide more substantially for my family. I'm about to start another large construction project in the next few weeks, but do plan to keep writing as time permits. I also want to start a new blog about our cultural/spiritual/economic decline and the strategic dumbing-down of the population via academia, mass media, cultural marxism, etc."
Comment from Real World Experience Is Everything:
"Wow is all I can say Charlie. I am the mother of an addict and read your blog a lot. Sometimes your blunt writing is hard to hear but for the most part I reflect back on the 5 plus years I have been dealing with my son and realize you are correct. Thanks for your insights and keep writing!"
"Bless you, Christine. I wish I had more time and inspiration to write. There have been many things (comments, articles, news reports, interviews) I've seen this year that deserve a post, and I would like to address them at some point, or rather, address the BS they are soaked in ;-)"
Comment from Real World Experience Is Everything:
"Amen Sir Charles, you speak truth. 100%truth. And as a recovered addict no longer running from the truth I do testify. For the uninitiated and victim families the b.s. can be deceiving especially when it is sanctioned by the establishment medical and pharmaceutical industry complex. The addicts however know the truth but being the cowards they are will jump on the gravy train. Hopefully with full disability as well. Addicts are leeches. I was offered suboxone "treatment"haha when I was most vulnerable after detox. I almost succumbed, however God was with me. Everything you say is a true and honest assessment. I would say brutally true, but there is nothing brutal about it. "Tough love" is only tough to those being enabled. Let's talk tough and lock addicts in a dungeon for six months and a nice round of cold turkey, instead of coddling them with more drugs. Are you kidding me? Treatment? Like the clean syringe programs. Sanity? (Not to this Ex with hep C))There is as you know one true reality. One true solution. It is moral and spiritual indeed as you always say. There is nothing I can add really to your thoroughness on this subject. I just want to voice my support for your dedication, hard work, and service to humanity. I was fortunate to have someone that cared about me pass "the privileged addict" on to me as I began my recovery journey. Addicts demand 'tough love' it's their only realistic hope and chance to come clean and live a beautiful life on this beautiful earth. Thank you Charlie. I have benefitted greatly from your honest voice in the wilderness. God bless you and your family.Thank you God"
Amen, Donald. God bless you, sir.
Comment from Real World Experience Is Everything:
Charlie, thanks for your perspective with your writings. Reading your blunt but honest perspective has helped me (over time) open my eyes to see the "privelged addict" aspect of addiction. It's a harsh reality but for me, so important to recognize, part of learning to not enable. With this writing in particular, about a very serious subject, I found myself laughing out loud at some of your sarcastically written statements. You make some really good points and as the parent of an an addict who has not yet seen the light and the wife of an alcoholic who got real and got sober eight years ago, I think it's really important to not make excuses.
The accepted practice of suboxone is baffling to me and feel like the industry of recovery in general has a whole lot of room for improvement. But then again, maybe that's irrelevant because until a person decides to change, nothing will change anyway.
Thank you, Charlie.
My pleasure. The accepted practice of suboxone (and a myriad of other substitution drugs) is baffling to you because you have common sense and innate or intuitive wisdom. All I can say is we can liken this to Socrates's Allegory of the Cave - that we sort of live in the dark until we step out and become enlightened. Once the delusion, or the sort of comprehensive brainwashing we may have received shatters, we simply begin to see the truth about everything, and the difference between what is right and wrong becomes glaring and acute. More importantly, there is no more moral relativity - the deranged and degenerate philosophy of the modern-day progressive.
Comment from Some Truths about Addiction:
You have helped me so much! I wish you would keep writing!
You are so welcome, Stephanie. I will try to keep writing regularly at some point. I promise.
Comment from Real World Experience Is Everything:
"Even if what "Unknown" says is true about addiction being genetic, it doesn't relieve them of the responsibility to get sober. If my parents were diabetic, I would make sure I limited my weight and sugar intake. How one becomes an addict is less important than what one does once they are. And you, by far, have the best advice on the internet on how to overcome addiction, and how to deal with it as a family member. It's just that many people won't do the hard work, and don't want to hear it."
SPOT ON, Doreen! Finally, someone who gets it. Well, many of you get it. Of course, many of you are parents and spouses, which is why it is much easier for you to observe addiction objectively and see the truth. And just to add to the genetic theory, no alcoholic or drug addict wakes up one day and suddenly they are some fully blown junkbox. So we are also responsible for the effort we put into becoming addicts. Remember, the process of losing choice is itself a choice - and a very selfish and destructive one at that.
Comment from Taking Credit:
"How sobering! Thank you, Charlie.
I've just realized that even though I was grateful to God for all things good in my life and said a prayer of gratitude daily many times over for years and years (learned how to pray "p r o p e r l y" from watching Oprah show in the nineties, LOL), I was proud, inflated by the sense of my own specialness and bursting by the seams with pride that I, me, by myself was better than the remaining population of the world who was praying 'the wrong way', who didn't know to to commune with God properly, humbly and intimately.
I was also doing it because I was scared that if I prayed the wrong way, God would abandon me altogether in the darkness. I was trying to please God, tickle God's ears, essentially, instead of serving God and people. If that isn't selfish and MANIPULATIVE, I don't know what is. Oh. My. God...
Thank you for this article, Charlie. It made me understand the peculiar nature of the "scales of pride and prejudice" that fell from m y eyes when I gave birth to the concept of God of my own understanding."
Amen, Mila. In early recovery, I remember taking spiritual actions for the same narcissistic reason I used drugs and alcohol - to essentially FEEL better. Why not simply take action and do God's will to stay sane... or just because it is the right thing to do? Why not take actions that get me better simply to be more useful to God and Others? If we do not shed our pride, if we carry our narcissism into recovery, we are toast. I had to stop seeing the world around me as acting upon me, but rather see myself as accountable and responsible for my reality. I came to believe that the negative things were purely the result of my own self-will, while all of the good things, all of the blessings, and all of the good things I did or accomplished were God, were from God and were powered by God.
Comment from Depression, Real but Impermanent:
"Charlie, I also found that my 40 yrs long intractable depression lifted along with the obsession to use and a devastating cognitive deterioration was repaired after I took the first nine steps in one day and by that day's evening and ever since now diligently and devotedly do my daily 10-11-12. SOB, Everything is Real now. Awesome.
I have no idea whether it only applies to AA's, or depression is generally speaking a spiritual malady and thus is treatable by the 12Steps. God is almighty, after all, why not. I see in the rooms people with severe depression and anxiety still going on, although their obsession to drink is gone, they are re-socialized and they are in that sense recovered AA's. I don't know why they still have it and I don't. But then Bill W. smoked all his life and also suffered from bouts of depression post-conversion. In my case a l l addictions were swept away, wholesale, along with GAD and intractable depression. I wasn't asking God for anything, well, I did ask God to accept me and be my director, that's all, and I certainly didn't have any expectations, except one. I wanted to experience love before I die, at least once. They disappeared by themselves, pufffff...
Thank you for you blog and your books, Charlie. I ordered them yesterday, can't wait for them to arrive. Maybe one day you would write a book specifically on sponsorship, to share your "experience, strength and hope" with that part of our step 12. I found that the statistics on ASPD in general population and in addicts, in alcoholics specifically are about 1-5%, 15-20% and 10-15%. The rest of us are capable of genuine honesty even before the Divine Intervention and our recovery rates can and ought to be just that: 80-90%, as Cleveland group once had them, 'back when'people were actually sticking to the recipe as written.
I found your blog yesterday by googling "AA and moral psychology" and felt happy to find a sister-soul who experiences and says all the right things that mine wants to hear. I'd been a wretched mess, an alcoholic mouse, petrified, unable to comprehend the world of people, hiding in the hole for 45 years and now I am so different, social, open and beaming, because I am not alone in a very real sense. It's us now, me and God, you and me and our fellow AA's. Dear God, we are so lucky we have each other!"
Wow, that is awesome, Mila. I suspect God must have simply touched you very early on (as God will touch anyone who sincerely wants to change), as it took me weeks to write a complete and comprehensive 4th Step inventory. That is amazing. But yes, I do believe depression can be lifted in the same manner as the obsession to drink and use drugs can. More specifically, it was the actions of the Steps that lifted both my obsession and my depression, almost instantly. And even when I suffered, it was different. I wasn't a coward anymore. I could walk through feelings of discomfort as I now understood that this is simply what life is - we suffer sometimes, but we need to continue with grace to do the right thing. That was over 12 years ago, and since that day, I came to naturally and passionately repel drugs, alcohol, or really anything that pushes me away from God. Granted, I am still a damaged, broken sinner. I make mistakes constantly. I've no doubt that I'm still riddled with a slew of character defects. But I know that God MUST come first in the life of an addict, and as well in those who are depressed. I believe that depression does not cause addiction, as one's feelings (or anything for that matter) do not actually make us drink or use. However, addiction certainly leads to depression, and is thus lifted as a byproduct of my addiction, or rather, my spiritual malady. Both are spiritual maladies, and as such, call for a spiritual solution, in my view.
Comment from Drug Induced Mania:
"Good to see you writing about allocentric attention, Charlie. It is a teachable skill, to use the allocentric pathway of processing information in our brain (God Consciousness, God's view of things). Dr. Austen talks about it in his lecture (and multiple books on meditation and the brain).
It's done via self-less meditation, which, when practiced at least twice a day, each session lasting at least 30 min, will have a lingering effect during the remaining waking hours. And the gray matter thickens in the brain eventually in those areas, the signal gets firmer and stronger, reaching the level of consciousness awareness with more ease, corresponding cognitive networks stay activated stronger and longer during the day.
We, addicts, physically change ourselves due to neuroplasticity, into healthier adults in our later years thanks to the ritual of communing with God via concentrative meditation followed by the receptive meditation enveloped in prayers. Becoming better with age. That is the physical meaning of the expression "spiritual fitness" which I hear in AA meetings in our area: )"
Amen, Mila. Doctors, more specifically faux doctors such as psychiatrists, have been mind-boggled at the suggestion that someone who is chemically imbalanced can alter their chemistry through simple, selfless acts of meditation, prayer, service, etc. That is precisely what happened to me, although I'll admit I've been slacking lately and challenged with some domestic issues. Of course, now the industry that once belittled such a notion has an entire wing at MGH, as science, which is by no means and by definition ever "settled", has proven by observing brain changes during and post mindful actions such as prayer and meditation.
Comment from God, Please Come Into This Room:
"I have just recently found your blog thank you for it I have been reading one everyday since I found it. I just read this and it touches me it was exactly what I needed this morning I have been all in my emotions today with some things that has occur in my relationship and it's hard right now not to have emotional days alot of what has happened has been of my own doings out of old addict behaviors trying to creep back in like self will and control have had to stop and talk to God alot appt this morning I can't afford to ever go back to who I once was thanks again"
Thank you. When my head gets in the way, I pray hard. And when in dire straights, go help someone or be of service in some way. Get busy. If you pray, "God, please help me to be of service today" or "God, please bring me someone to help," I guarantee you people will come of the woodwork with haste.
Comment from Trust Me, The Root of Our Problem Is Selfishness:
"Hi Charlie your story is truly inspiring. Do you ever travel around and share your story? We have several transitional rehabilitation homes in Parkersburg west Virginia where the drug epidemic has got so far out of control. If your ever in this area I would love you to lead at one of our NA meetings."
Thank you, Tonya. Believe me, I'd love to, as I'm quite sure it would help me more than anyone in the room. I used to speak regionally, but recently have been too busy with work and raising my two young children. However, if and when I can once again, I will.
Comments from AA Lunatic: "You Don't Know You Won't Shoot Dope Tomorrow!":
To my readers... I am still here, I am still with you in and I am still praying. I needed a break from this but I am here and I promise I will continue writing more as I become willing and re-inspired. God bless you all.
Let's pray hard tonight for the families, friends, injured and murdered souls of Las Vegas. May God embrace them, comfort them, and keep them.