Menial Tasks/Tactics

     I now employ a slew of tactics to ward off the depression, anger, boredom, frustration and other spiritual demons. The Big Book refers to them as RID (Restlessness, Irritability, Discontent), and they occur when we remove the substances. In fact, they tend to occur when we remove any kind of distraction whatsoever. And besides the spiritual or psychological work that all of us addicts and alcoholics must do, I usually have to engage in all sorts of menial tasks to try to get out of my head and raise my seratonin/dopamine levels. Ultimately, however, there no is activity that can fix us or free us. We must turn to something much Greater. 

     But they sure are useful.

     Exercise is one. And sure it’s like a form of torture to get up and go for a run after years of remaining sedentary. Making it a routine is near impossible, but I can assure you that once you motivate to exercise enough times, it becomes less difficult, and eventually it’s just like eating or sleeping… or something you just have to do in order to ward off the various forms of insanity.
    Menial tasks such as cleaning, organizing or gardening can also bring me back into the moment and clear my head. Pick up a broom and see what happens. If your mind is in any way as active and nutso as mine, it may help. The past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet, so why go there? Just to cause us more pain? To think that I might actually be pain-dependant, or something equally masochistic. How ridiculous.
     Finally, there is no such thing as missing out. I used to think that if I stayed at home and cleaned, then somehow I was missing out on life, on having fun, on some job, or maybe on becoming a star! Nope. There is no ‘missing out’. Because even if I was living some fantasy dream, none of it would matter if I was constantly suffering. 

     Who cares what we have, what we’re doing, or who we’re with if we feel like complete and total shit? All that really matters is how we’re feeling inside. If I am content and at peace, then it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing. That’s why some of my happiest times are when I’m scrubbing scum off of my kitchen floor or scooping up a pile of dog shit in my yard.

God, please show me healthier, more productive ways to distract myself when necessary…

Drugs For Drugs?

     Guess what the best, Harvard educated minds gave me to solve my problem with drugs? Drugs. Yes, I’m aware that such advice sounds like a ridiculous joke. And yes, the best and brightest of an entire medical community know little more than nothing about addiction and treating addiction. Doctors and psychiatrists think that addiction is purely a bio-chemical issue. They also think that addiction should be part of a dual-diagnosis (hoax), sitting beside some mental illness. The truth is they haven’t the faintest clue how to treat your addiction, so they just treat you for mental illness (and usually fail at that as well, especially since much of it is induced by the substance use).

     Take some of the drugs I’ve been offered just for the drug-related portion of my problem: methadone, suboxone, ativan.

     Methadone and suboxone are opiates, like heroin or oxycontin. The argument is that at least you’re not buying dope off the street and we can ween you off in a clinical setting. So the solution is to remain an absolute junkhead, but hey, at least it’s prescribed… and after years of methadone ‘maintenance’, I can try to ween myself off it once the withdrawal effects have become so bad that I’d rather just kill myself or shoot dope again.

     I was given Ativan to calm down and sleep at night, and it took all of a week to become a full blown benzo addict. Benzodiazepines such as valium, ativan, xanax and klonopin are the modern equivalent of barbituates. They have replaced old-school barbiturate tranquilizers because they don’t depress respiratory functioning. Why is this important? Because they pass these things out like Skittles. Everybody with anxiety has xanax in their pocketbook. But doctors assume that people with anxiety also drink alcohol, and if you were to drink on a barbiturate, it could just stop your breathing altogether, especially once you pass out.

     Now for the psychotropics. When I worked at an alternative recovery high school, many of the kids were on some combination of hardcore psychotropics. Seroquel was as common as cell phones. Very popular. But there are also mood-stabilzers like depakote, anti-pyschotics like zyprexa, and of course a slew of SSRIs and MAO-Inhibiters, commonly known as anti-depressants. These are powerful bio-chemical drugs that literally rewire your brain. The end result is that I become nothing short of a zombie – emotionally, psychologically, creatively etc. After years of use, you need to embark on a recovery program just from the physical and psychological effects of the drugs you took to help yourself. Plus there’s a good chance you may have irreparable brain damage. And remember, these were the drugs that were supposed to help you with the other drug problem you had.

     Finally, many of the kids were on stimulants for ADD or ADHD, such as ritalin and adderall. Pumping kids or addicts (or anybody) with speed is one of the dumbest things a doctor or parent can do. You might as well just give them cocaine or crack. Long term, consistent use of these drugs, as well as seroquel and other anti-psychotics, can lead to permanent brain damage. Seroquel et al can cause Tardive Diskenisia, an irreversible neurological disorder that includes such permanent symptoms as tongue protrusion, grimacing, rapid eye blinking, lip smacking, rapid arm movement and other involuntary movements. Try going to a job interview and sticking out your tongue at the interviewer about a hundred times uncontrollably. Great solution.

      So that is what one of the best psychiatric medical teams in the country had to offer me. Or I could have just been treated for my alcoholism. Is it any wonder they don’t prescribe a spiritual program of action that may work wonders but offers no financial incentive???

God, make me willing to take action to get better, and give me the power and the strength to act without more drugs…

Grand Canyon

     One of the things that tortured me about being sober was the enormous space between who I was and who I wanted to be. Being jammed helped me forget about what I could do with my life, but sober, it hit me like a ton of bricks. All of my abilities stared me in the face. Ruled by fear, I never pushed through my feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity to just do what I loved. I never really pursued my gifts… yet remained convinced that I was put on earth to write songs and stories, play music and act.

     The great canyon between who I was in reality and who I knew I could be felt too overwhelming. Crossing this great divide was too far a journey. I barely took a first step without going to pieces. And it was this very gap that killed me. It ripped me apart inside. It was this predicament that caused me endless agony. It fed and fueled my depression. It maintained my state of sober paralysis. And finally, it convinced me that the easier choice would be to just become a drug addict. Doing what I loved would require feeling uncomfortable at times, and being the loser that I was, that was completely unacceptable.

     Ironically, now that I’m sober and actively working on myself, things have changed. One thing is that I don’t consider my art to be the most important thing in life anymore. First is my relationship with God. Then my family. And then my art – music, writing, acting. But without my spiritual health, nothing else is possible or sustainable. Once I start trying to make my own decisions, once I start trying to control my life, once I start acting on self-will, it all goes to shit. So if it is God’s will that I play music or write or act, then so be it. Then I can do it and do it well. Then I can even succeed in it. But if it is not God’s will, then I must do other things.

     What I’ve learned is that it’s basically okay to either use these gifts or not use them. As long as I’m at peace inside and as long as my conscience is clean, then it really doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I’m happy as a clam doing menial labor so long as I am okay inside. But I’m also quite sure God doesn’t want us to hoard our gifts. As long as we do the right thing, we should use them and share them with the world. But I’ve learned to let go of the result. Before, I needed to have a hit album, a #1 bestseller, and a movie deal in like two weeks or else I’d become infuriated and hopeless and quit. Now I can just play music or write or act for the sake of doing it. If something becomes of it… great. If nothing happens at all… great.

     All I care about now is making sure that I’m being useful to God and to others. All that matters now is that I’m being a good husband, son, brother and friend. All that matters is that I am doing what God wants me to do… and that pretty much means giving of myself.

God, teach me not to hoard my gifts, and to let go of the result…

Removing Substances

     Fallacy: Once I remove the alcohol, I’m no longer an alcoholic.

     When we remove the drugs and alcohol, what is left? Well, let me tell you what is left: A living, walking, breathing nightmare.  We alcoholics are worse when you take away our alcohol, not better. If you think we were selfish when drinking, just wait until we try white-knuckling it. Our self-absorption reaches new heights, sometimes becoming pathological. Our preoccupation with self reaches new heights. Our minds become saturated with nothing but our feelings, our thoughts, our discomforts, our frustrations, our boredom, our anger and our depression. Our attitudes deteriorate rapidly. Our capacity for intimacy and friendship deteriorate rapidly. Our willingness to serve others becomes non-existent. To even think about others becomes a form of torture. So I hope there is no one else in a sober and untreated addict’s life because they’re definitely not getting any attention. In fact, they’re most likely getting less than nothing, i.e. an annoying, pissed off, useless jerk. Sure, we’ll gladly listen to you blab on about your day when we’re completely jammed. But if not, it’s when are you gonna shut up so we can go use the way we want to?

     So what is the solution for this sort of hopeless predicament? Should we go to therapy, outpatient addiction treatment, inpatient treatment, psychiatric treatment? Should we switch jobs or towns or schools? Should we take our drug addicted teenagers out of school and send them to a recovery high school? Ummmm, let’s see… NO! Unless you want to fail. Unless you want to relapse. Unless you want to talk about triggers and feelings and your family. Unless you want to be coddled and given opportunities that you don’t need. Unless you want to continue the bullshit of not addressing your real problem, which is spiritual. Unless you want to forgo a real solution that produces real results. And trust me, you better be able to get better in a normal environment. No cushy program or recovery school or physical location will keep you sober.

     What is the solution for an alcoholic or drug addict? Personally, I took Steps to get better. A group of recovered addicts pulled the 12 Step instructions out of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. They told me exactly what to do to get better. They told me what actions to take. So I took these actions and I recovered. I addressed the real problem with alcoholism and drug addiction, which is NOT alcohol and drugs. It is spiritual. If you can recover spiritually and replace your addiction with a greater purpose, then you should be alright. Otherwise, true alcoholics and drug addicts really don’t stand a chance.

     By the way, taking Steps doesn’t cost anything. Guess how much you (i.e. your parents who you you are stabbing in the heart) can blow on therapy and addiction programs???

God, please give me the willingness to do anything it takes to get better…

Fear Inventory


(Also see Resentment, Resentment Inventory, Resentment Inventory Example and Sex Inventory.)

     Fear is selfish. It prevents me from being useful and from growing spiritually. I thought it was real and that feelings might actually kill me. But by avoiding things that scared me, the fear grew stronger. So to deflate it, I do the exact thing that frightens me. If I fear confrontation, I confront. If I fear public speaking, I speak publically. If I fear intimacy, I become intimate. To conquer it, do it. Doing it vaporizes the fear and gradually the action in question becomes easier. Someone told me once that I don’t have to let feelings stop me. Guess I managed to block that out for a while.

     Fear inventory. The instructions are: a) write down each fear I’ve ever had, b) write why I fear each one c) dig deeper to find why I really fear each one, and d) figure out why it’s selfish to have that fear. The task was to peel away and uncover what was really underneath my fears.
Here are some basic examples:

1st Column – Fear               
Spiders
2nd Column – Why do I fear this?
They freak me out.                 
3rd Column – Why do I really fear this?                            
They make me act like a wimp.          
4th Column – How is this fear selfish?                                          
I kill them so I don’t have to feel uncomfortable.                   
1st Column – Fear
Public speaking
2nd Column – Why do I fear this?
It makes me self-conscious.
3rd Column – Why do I really fear this?
I have to step outside my comfort zone.
4th Column – How is this fear selfish?
I refuse to speak publically even though it may help others.
1st Column – Fear
Becoming Dad
2nd Column – Why do I fear this?
I’m prone to depression.
3rd Column – Why do I really fear this?
I fear what others think of me.
4th Column – How is this fear selfish?
Time spent thinking about this is time I’m not spending helping and loving Dad.

God, show me how my fear is selfish, and teach me that fear is a self-created illusion…

Adopt A Belief?

     One thing I tried to do to get better was to simply adopt a belief. I believed in all sorts of things. On top of that, I was a walking self-help book. I studied the spiritual principles of love and kindness contained within Buddhism and Christianity. Meanwhile, I was a liar and a phony. I manipulated people and abused them. I stole people’s time, energy, love and trust.

     Belief without action is useless. You could be a pedophile or a serial killer and believe in God. Just because I go to church and believe in Jesus or Buddha or Yahweh or Allah or whatever, that means I am a righteous person? So I can go hit the Sunday service and pray to Jesus but then come home and beat my wife, beat my kids, pound a 12-pack and watch the football game while everybody is bleeding in the background, and it’s all good??? That’s awesome. No need to worry then because even though I might be a total piece of shit, I’m automatically going to be saved and go to Heaven just because I Believe.
     Sure, many who believe in some righteous doctrine or code of moral principles are probably not serial killers or pedophiles or deadbeats sucking off the public trough. But the point is that a belief alone won’t change me. For me to actually become that loving, principled person, I have to back up my belief system with action. I have to act right 24/7, and be sure to make it right when I act wrong. I have to gather all that is within me to act morally, ethically, honestly, patiently, compassionately, courageously, lovingly and fearlessly. 

     By the way, I continuously fail to live up to this, but I try. And I now know in my heart that action is WAY more important than some belief system.
     So unless I practice the principles I claim to believe in, I am nothing. I really shouldn’t even be calling myself a Christian or a Buddhist or a Jew unless I live by the wisdom contained within each respective doctrine. I mean, would you rather have a friend who believes in what you do or a friend who is loving and loyal and listens to you, but he’s an atheist? Yup, I think I’d rather hang out with someone who doesn’t believe in jack shit but is kind, as opposed to the Jesus freak that goes home and flies into a rage. I guess a moral atheist is better than an asshole believer… but hey, what do I know?

God, teach me the belief without action is totally, utterly useless…

Palpable Depression

     Sinking into a severe depression is absolutely brutal and absolutely terrifying. It is intense and it is crippling. The terror is thinking and believing that it may never end. You don’t know how to get out of it and nothing you try works. You think that the rest of your life will be filled with the agony of depression, void of all joy and pleasure. You feel like a veil of darkness covers every inch of your life experience. I know what this feels like. I’ve felt it many times. And when the depression lifted, I felt like it was gone and would never come back. And then it came back. Many times. It was the single greatest scar on my life experience, far worse than my alcohol and drug addiction.

     Depression stings. It bites and stabs and burns. It rips you apart. It paralyzes you. It numbs you in every possible way. It somehow grabs hold of your mind and robs you of your will, let alone your mere ability to function. It convinces you that there is really no reason to live life this way. 
     For now, I won’t get into some of my tougher views on depression. I know how brutal it is and how difficult it is to get rid of. So let’s just focus on what can be done.
     Many people will go straight for the meds. I shunned them. Maybe because I’m a stubborn, obstinate bastard. But I think it may have been something deeper. Somewhere in my maimed soul, I knew that pills were not the way out. I knew that even if they worked on the symptoms, they wouldn’t really cure what ails me. And I knew that when I stopped taking them, I’d be in the exact same predicament that I was to begin with: insane and untreated. So I personally wouldn’t opt for the meds… unless maybe you’re a schizophrenic psychopath.  
    Then there is the entire world of self-help, including books, natural medicine, diet, nature trips like Outward Bound and NOLS, and the list goes on… 
     Then there is the change of lifestyle method, which includes changing jobs, towns, states, friends, relationships, and on and on…
     All of the above failed me 100%. 
     Then there is action. Action is the only thing in this world that pulled me out of my depressions. It is also the only thing that subsequently evened me out and strengthened me enough that I have never slipped back into one. I know what everybody says… that all the things listed above are actions. Let me clarify. The kind of action I’m referring to is of a different nature. The focus is different. Depression shouldn’t be avoided. We shouldn’t try to cure it or rid ourselves from it. It IS us. Therefore, I need to walk right into it. I need to confront it. I also should show some compassion to it along the way. Why not sit down beside these horrible, painful, brutal feelings and befriend them? Why not embrace them as part of me? As the Native American proverb goes, What you resist will persist. If I try to fight the depression and make war with it, it will only get stronger and more palpable.
    Once I learn to befriend it, then I confront. Walk into the fear. All of those things that make you feel insecure and self-conscious: Do them! Over and over and over. Do the very things that your depression makes you want to avoid. And avoid the things that ease the depression. Sounds counter-intuive, right? Yeah, that’s because it is. Depression wants us to cower and avoid everything. It wants us to isolate and go further inward, becoming more numb and dysfunctional. So do the exact opposite. 
    The more I face depression, the more I can do the things that I least want to do… and soon the very things that I fear the most begin to lose power. Eventually, the depression will lift, but more importantly, I now have the inner strength and the centeredness to prevent it from taking me over again. 

     And that is the difference between taking pills and taking action.

God, give me the power to walk through my feelings, and teach me that feelings don’t have to stop me…

Resentment Inventory

     We write inventory to extract resentment, fear and sexual misconduct, which if left in the body will cause all sorts of damage, both spiritual and physical. Here we deal specifically with resentments, which block us from truly getting better, as they form a wall between us and God. But inventory is a miraculous tool and should be used by anyone seeking to grow and rid themselves of the various forms of spiritual poison.

     Before reading and using these instructions, please first read the post, Resentment.  

(See also Resentment Inventory Example afterwards for an example, as well as Fear Inventory, Sex InventoryMore InventoryHome Depot Inventory, Professor Masshole & Resenting Ourselves?.)

     So here are the instructions for writing resentment inventory:

     
     1) Write the name of the Person, Institution (place) or Principle (idea) that we resent. Just the name.
     
     2) Write the Specific Resentment we have towards that person, institution or principle. This could be what they did or said to us, what they did or said to someone else, or just some quality or trait that we resent.
     
     3) Write the parts of us that the resentment affects. Does it affect our  Pride (ego) or Ambition (desire), our Self-Esteem (self-worth), our Personal or Sexual Relationships, our Security (physical security/survival), or our Wallet/Pocketbook?
     
     4) Now the real work begins. In the fourth column of resentment inventory, we ask ourselves how we caused each specific resentment, because the truth is it had nothing to do with the other person, place or idea. This is where we discover our character defects, our maladjusted and unhealthy behavioral patterns that have caused us to become so spiritually ill, and caused others so much grief. This is the most important part of our inventory. If this 4th “column” isn’t done, than no real work has been accomplished. Today, many modern AA and NA workbooks and sponsors leave this column out completely… and that, needless to say, could be deadly.
         
     So in the 4th column, we ask ourselves how we were being: Self-Seeking, Selfish, Dishonest, and Fearful. Below are some guiding questions, but we should try to discover the deepest, most accurate answer for each of the following categories.
          
          Self-Seeking (i.e. Seeking a Self): How did we want to look or be seen by others, or by ourselves? Were we trying to be seen as a tough guy, a hero, a stud? Did we want to look smart, cool, strong, normal, successful, rich? How do we want to be seen by others? Addicts are VERY self-seeking – that is, they seek a self. We seek a self because the way we want to be seen is NOT the way we actually are. So usually when we want to be seen as tough, the truth is that we are a coward.
          
          Selfish: What did we want? What were we trying to get? What were we trying to keep or protect? What were we unable to see about the other person, about ourselves, or about the situation? We have to really DIG for this one. It is essential to find our selfishness in the resentment.
          
          Dishonest: How were we being dishonest? Did we or do we do the very thing we resent? Were we lying to ourselves or others about something? Were we avoiding some truth about ourselves, the other person, or a situation? Were we not being honest about how we felt? A good example is when we act nice when the truth is someone upset us. But instead of standing up for ourselves, we instead chose to act nice to avoid confrontation. This will cause a resentment… but you can see that it was our fault because we weren’t being honest about how we felt. Addicts tend to act dishonestly in many situations.
          
          Fear: What did or do we fear? What were we afraid of? Were we afraid of what the other person thought of us? Are we afraid of other people’s opinions of us? Are we afraid of rejection, failure, weakness, insecurity, cowardice? Are we afraid to be seen as weak, abnormal, mentally ill, insane, or a loser? So we ask ourselves what did we fear in the situation or prior to, that caused the resentment.

     It is so important to dig in with this process and find these answers, as it brings us clarity and understanding to the flawed ways we think and therefore act. Sure it may be that first answer that pops into your head, but it also may be something deeper or more subtle. We want the best answer, the most honest answer for each category.

     For example, when my wife is suffering and I’m trying to enjoy the football game or some other nonsense, I resent her (I know, pathetic). But part of why I resent her is my own self-seeking. I want to be seen as a perfect husband, so why on earth would she be suffering? And selfishly, I resent her because her suffering takes me out of my comfort zone and therefore I can’t enjoy the football game. 

    Or in some other circumstance, I want to look like a loving husband by doing something nice, but because she is suffering, she doesn’t notice, and therefore I resent her. 

     Many resentments are born from expectation, which fall under the dishonest category. Often the truth is that we expect someone to respond a certain way and when they don’t, we cop a resentment. Very selfish. In the instance of my wife, I expected her to praise me for all I’ve done and when not only she doesn’t, but she simultaneously has a problem with me about some other thing, I resent her. The resentment is actually my fault because I was expecting a different response from her. 

     Remember, when we don’t get what we want from others, we resent. And to avoid seeing the truth of our expectation and to avoid taking responsibility, we retaliate like children. That is just one of many character flaws to be identified… and eventually exorcised from our being through Steps 5, 6 and 7.

     Also to note, sometimes we exhibit our selfishness or dishonesty well after the event, like if someone abuses us but we lash out at others down the road who had nothing to do with the abuse. 

     It’s this type of searching that we must engage in to find our deepest truth. It’s this type of painstaking focus that we find purity in our work, and thus the greatest rewards – the rewards of change. So don’t be afraid, pray if you are stuck, and always remember that in every resentment, we were somehow selfish, self-seeking, dishonest or afraid, whether before, during, or after.

      Good luck… and check out the link below. 

12 & 12 – Step Four – Insight

God, help me to see those things that block me from You and Others…

Untreated Alcoholism

     The problem with only achieving physical sobriety is that we may never get any better.

     Why?

     Because sobriety doesn’t cure insanity, nor does it reduce selfishness. Sobriety doesn’t stop us from constantly whining and complaining, from thinking about ourselves 24/7. How ridiculous it is to get sober but remain mentally and spiritually warped beyond comprehension. In fact, if you’re gonna kick it and not really change, you might as well just keep drinking. At least you’d be making a small economic contribution.

     Most addicts are actually more annoying when they’re sober yet untreated, if you can fathom that. We remain needy and obsessed with how we feel all of the time.

     Oh no, what am I doing in life?! What am I gonna do today? What am I gonna do tomorrow?! Nobody knows what it’s like to be me. Me! Why do I feel this way? Poor me. Nobody has it this tough! The world owes me! I need a cigarette, I need this, I need that, I need to go to a meeting! I want cookies, I want ice cream, I want… wanh, wanh, wanh, wanh, wanh! 

     Yup. If all we do is remove the drugs and alcohol, we still act like drug addicts and alcoholics. But, hey, at least we’re sober! What a joke. Addicts and alcoholics can do as much, if not more damage to others by achieving physical sobriety but failing to actually get better.

     Once sober, I literally have a volcano of work to do on myself. I must begin to extract the cauldron of poisons that have turned me into a pathologically selfish drug addict. I must extract the poisons of selfishness, self-seeking, dishonesty, fear, and countless others if I am to truly recover. I must take it upon myself to fundamentally change the person I was. I must change the way I act, react and respond. I must change the way I view suffering. I must change the way I approach others. I must change my attitude towards life, work, relationships and family. For sure, I must change from deep within.

     Through right action, I begin to enlarge my spiritual life. I begin to accept that I shouldn’t be taking credit for every good thing that happens to me… and I shouldn’t be blaming something else for every bad thing. I begin to realize that the bad stuff is my own fault. It happens when I try to do things my way, when I exert my own selfish will. But the good stuff happens when I let go, when I step back a little and let something guide me that is much greater and more powerful.

     Even if you’re an addict and you don’t believe that God is present in your life, maybe you should change your mind because it’s much better to have a humble attitude as opposed to attributing your recovery and success to you and you only.

     Why?

     Because it’s arrogant not to. Are we really that powerful? Are we really all-knowing? Do we really have it all figured out? Please. Look how small and insignificant we are compared to the entire Universe.

God, give me the courage, power and willingness to walk through discomfort, just like everybody else…

Service = Silver Bullet

     Service is the best medicine…

     I remember plummeting off the cozy pink cloud I was perched upon after reading inventory and making some amends. I felt euphoric and invincible… and then all of my spiritual tools began wearing off. Eventually, there was no buzz anymore. Time to learn how to live life without always feeling good. Time to learn how to work on myself for the sole purpose of staying sane. So that’s what I did. I wasn’t going to become a coward again. I wasn’t going to be ruled by fear. But despite the fact that I feel mundane and human, there is one thing that still works every time: 

     Helping others.

     Every time I speak publicly at a meeting, school, sober house or hospital, I am filled again with a spiritual charge. It flows through me for several hours and I am reminded of this Power that exists beyond the scope of Self. Every time I sit down and take a sponsee through the Big Book, I am also filled with Spirit. The change is noticeable. You can see it in my face, in my red cheeks, in my eyes, in my posture. You can even hear it in my voice. When we go to speak or help someone, we tap into spiritual power… into GOD.
     Why is that? 

     I suppose it’s because when we give, it gets us out of our heads and our normally selfish frame of mind. Acting selflessly prevents us from being selfish. You can’t constantly think about yourself when you are helping someone else. It’s somewhat of a miracle actually. Many times I have entered a room with horrible cold. Then I open my mouth. What happens? For that hour or so that I’m speaking and giving, my cold disappears. It leaves the room while I try to be of service to others. Then it returns as soon as I leave. What is that, short of a miracle? Ask your doctor to explain that within the parameters of medical science. How is it that my symptoms disappear entirely, only to reappear once I get back into my car… into my head? 

     Ignore something and it’ll go away. Ignore yourself and perhaps your self will go away.
     So even though I have landed back on planet earth and seven years have gone by since I was zapped by the power of God in the mountains of New Hampshire one night, serving others works every time. If I ever really start to lose it and need something to feel better, helping other alcoholics and drug addicts is the key. Helping anybody is the key. Giving is the silver bullet to feeling better.

God, teach me to be of greater service to others and to You…