Are You Free?

Achieving physical sobriety is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement.

Achieving recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is not an accomplishment, it is our responsibility.

     True freedom means we don’t just get sober and remain untreated lunatics, we work on ourselves until we are well, and then we go serve.
     True freedom means we forgo the psychotropics, the methadone maintenance, and yup, the suboxone. Sorry.

     True freedom means we don’t reward ourselves with sobriety chips just because we stopped hurting other people. 
     True freedom means we don’t pat ourselves on the backs for staying sober or for doing the right thing.

     True freedom means if we go to three meetings a day and we’re still out of our freaking minds, we consider embarking on some REAL WORK.
     True freedom means we don’t just ‘take what we want and leave the rest’, as half-ass measures will yield half-ass results.
     True freedom means understanding that our suffering ISN’T NOVEL, that we are just one of 7 billion who all feel the same things.
     True freedom means means we forgo the whining and complaining. We are not victims. Plus, it’s selfish.
     True freedom means we don’t let our feelings stop us.
     True freedom means we have the guts and the courage to take Steps.

     True freedom means we give 100, not 99% to the Steps.
     True freedom means we don’t leave anything out of our inventory.
     True freedom means we unearth the deepest, darkest, sickest skeletons in our closets. 
     True freedom means we make ALL of our amends, and those we can’t find we pray for God to put them in our path.

     True freedom means we never shy away when our help is sought or needed.
     True freedom means we don’t expect anything in return when we give of ourselves.
     True freedom means we speak up when something is wrong, even if we fear confrontation.
     True freedom means we are willing to step outside of our comfort zones.
     True freedom means we take more action when we start getting depressed.
     True freedom means we don’t live in the past or worry about the future, neither of which exist.
     True freedom means we live in the moment and just do what’s right in front of us (not my phrase).
     True freedom means we have faith and understand that so long as we do our best to live by spiritual principles, we will have everything we need.
     True freedom means we are still and we know that God lives in our hearts. We are at peace.

Intangible Connection

     “But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.18

     Why is it that 10 years of psychotherapy, psychiatry, pharmaceutical interventions, social workers, addiction specialists, group therapy, AA & NA meetings, all sorts of ‘frothy emotional appeal’, and trying with all my might to exert my broken willpower only facilitated my descent from weed-obsessed teenager to acid tripper to raging alcoholic to pillhead to severely depressed, full-blown heroin/cocaine addict?
     And why is it that after 15 years of failing miserably with all the physical world had to offer did I meet a recovered addict and feel an indescribable, intangible connection that drove me to suddenly become willing to do ANYTHING it takes to get better?

     “That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except a sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured – these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach is made, many take up their beds and walk again.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, pp.18-19

     Soon after I met and bonded with a recovered addict, I met God… and have been free from the slightest urge to self-destruct ever since. In fact, 8 years ago, on my hands and knees, from the very instant I read the 7th Step prayer, I have naturally repelled drugs and alcohol. There is no desire anymore. I don’t struggle. I am a free man. That is why I wrote my book and why I write this blog. Anyone capable of being honest can recover permanently and never again fight or struggle to stay sober. Not only that, but we can be filled with a tremendous sense of peace and purpose. Trust me, it only gets better and better.

God, please help addicts and alcoholics who still struggle find their way to the Steps and to You… 

Law of Attraction

See also: Karma & Think Right, Act Right.

     “I believe the people we attract to us are those who, in a sense, mirror who and what we are at the time. On a superficial level, crossing paths with an angry driver reflects anger in myself. On a profound level, crossing paths with the chemicals of a lover and burning a diseased relationship to its end reflects the time, place and need to learn a life lesson.” -The Privileged Addict, p. 84  

     Indeed, just about everything we attract reflects some part of ourselves. The intimate relationships we have, the jobs we have, the challenges we have, the problems we have, are all somehow built into our life blueprints. These events occur to teach us major life lessons.

     Intimate relationships, for instance, are great vehicles for such growth, and upon reflection, the lesson to be learned is often quite specific. One of my old girlfriends had Borderline Personality Disorder (Um, don’t touch BPD with a 10-foot pole and gloves on). Before we met, I couldn’t set boundaries with anyone, I couldn’t protect myself emotionally, and not only was I an addict, but a horrible codependent as well, often falling for her performances as some sort of victim. It was all bullshit, of course, but I fell for it every time. I failed to learn my lesson that time around, and along came another damaged creature to try to teach me the same lesson once again.

     On a simpler level and in everyday life, we may have negative encounters with others. Trust me, that is no coincidence. These people or situations are merely a reflection of something inside of ourselves, usually something we try desperately to avoid, something we loathe. When we engage negatively with someone, we usually identify one or more unattractive traits in them, and so we typically judge, criticize, and lash out at them.

     That is projection. It’s much easier to project our own flaws onto others than to take ownership and responsibility for them. In fact, I think most of what we say when we lash out is projection. When we think we’re infuriated with someone, it’s probably not them at all. They are merely serving as a mirror, and we should have the courage to look into the mirror in front of us and see the truth… that the ugliness, the thing that pisses us off so much really lies within.

     For addicts and alcoholics to truly change, we must be aware of what we attract to ourselves. Everything that comes our way offers us an opportunity to learn some lesson. If we fail to learn, rest assured, something or someone else will come along to teach us the exact same lesson, over and over again until we finally get it. If we do learn the lesson, that’s when we change and begin to grow. And then it’s on to other life lessons.

     If we have the courage to face life and learn our lessons, we will perhaps move on from earth. But if we fail to learn what we are here to learn, then we may come back to attempt these lessons once again. And if we not only fail to learn our lessons but actively become more destructive, abusive, remorseless, heartless, grandiose and self-centered, we may very well end up in a not-so-friendly place once we leave.

     The point is that it matters what we do, what we say, what we think. It matters how we conduct ourselves. Despite the fact that I still make mistakes day after day after day… I, for one, plan on moving on.

God, help me remember that those who I attract and those who I resent are my teachers. Teach me to accept and love myself that I may accept and love others and do Your work well…

Privileged Addict Quotes

“Recovery is not a function of time. It is a function of what actions you take and at what frequency you take them.”

“Achieving physical sobriety is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement.”

“Becoming recovered from alcoholism or drug addiction is not an accomplishment, it is our responsibility.”

“Resentments are like acid to the seeing eye. The burn and blind us so we can’t see clearly.”

“We make amends for the object of our amends, not to clear our conscience.”

“When I get out of my own way, what fills the space is God’s will.”

“Why should we reward ourselves with sobriety chips just because we stopped hurting other people?”

“The absence of Self is to the benefit of anyone, addict or non-addict.”

“It’s useless to study or understand the 1st Step intellectually. We must feel powerless in our hearts, our guts, our cells.”

“Alcoholism is not a function of when you drink, it is a function of how you drink.” 

“If you can’t pray for someone you resent, you aren’t cut out for the Steps.”

“Talking is not a solution.”

“Having horrible feelings isn’t a novelty.”

“If we have the capacity for honesty, we have the seed of God within, and we can nourish that seed into a fountain of strength.”

“Drug addicts should be roasted and humbled beyond belief, and then built back together one spiritual brick at a time.

God, please keep me close to You today…
     … Please stay tuned for the release of Privileged Addict Quotes, which will include every quote from Privileged Addict Quotes 1, 2, 3 & 4 as well as both books.

Privileged Addict Quotes 2
Privileged Addict Quotes 3


     Addict or not, no one can escape Karma. Cause and effect is absolute. It is a truth. If we hurt someone, we will hurt ourselves. If we help someone, we will help ourselves. If we lash out at others, they will lash out at us. And if they do not immediately retaliate, rest assured that your luck will change in some other way. When we wrong or abuse others, we have at that very moment set in motion the irreversible law of cause and effect. Sure regretting our wrong or attempting to make it right is very constructive, but nothing will save us from reaping what we sow, one way or another. This is one of many unfortunate (or fortunate) facts that all addicts have to come to grips with if they are to truly recover and effect real and lasting change.

     Crucial to my recovery and to turning from a man-child into a responsible, accountable man was understanding and embracing the law of cause and effect. Cause and effect is a universal law that is reciprocal. It holds true not just in the physical realm but in the mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual realms as well. What we think, say and do all have consequences, whether we like it or not, and whether we believe it or not. The single most important thing for an addict to smash into his foggy head is the knowledge that everything he or she does has a consequence in kind. All negative thoughts, words, actions and behaviors yield negative consequences. Conversely, all positive thoughts, words, actions and behaviors yield positive consequences. Whatever we do, rest assured we will reap the consequences spiritually (‘spiritually’ meaning inclusive of all realms).
     But once we learn, understand and embrace this law, once we begin to truly care about what we think, what we say, what we do… then there in nothing that can stop us. There is nothing that can tempt us or throw us off of our new path. Relapse is then unthinkable because we know deep in our hearts that everything we do will come right back and slam us in the face. We will have reckoned with God. We will come to know the only fear on earth that is healthy: The fear of doing wrong.
God, remind me everyday that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction…
     To note, there will also be consequences to much larger, collective actions, such as our collective profligacy and the ensuing result, not the least of which is the blatant, immoral and ruthless annihilation of our children’s future and standard of living:
     If anyone thinks that our national debt is serviceable at market-determined interest rates, than I can’t help you. The federal reserve isn’t manipulating interest rates at 0% to stimulate the economy and help the people of America. On the contrary, ZIRP is destroying seniors and savers (aka the middle class) who rely on interest income. So no, it’s not for you or me. The fed won’t ever raise interest rates because at a reasonable 4 or 5%, the government would default. ZIRP is nothing more than an illegal subsidy (ongoing bailout) for the banks and a way to cover up the fact that our government is completely insolvent, or broke as a joke, if you prefer.
     The truth is that the whole thing is a scam, and even more depressing is that so few have any clue about our monetary system, that every dollar out there has been borrowed into existence and has to be paid back with interest, thus ensuring inflation, ever-growing debt, and a lower standard of living for future generations. Why the scam, you may ask? You can figure that out on your own, but if you think the lunatics in Washington, the criminals at the big banks, and the ivory tower counterfeiters at federal reserve are on your side, then you might want to stop drinking the Kool Aid before your retirement takes a nosedive all over again.