Befriend The Darkness

     Feelings don’t have to stop us…

     We addicts need to learn to sit down beside our dark feelings and befriend them. We cannot let our feelings control, overwhelm, or have power over us. We must stay in the middle lane, do what we would normally do, and let our feelings fluctuate around us. Our feelings will always change, up and down, but they do not have to stop us and they do not have to have power over us. Whether good or bad, painful or joyful, the trick is to walk right through our feelings and push forward.
     Winston Churchill said astutely, “If you’re going through hell, keep going… Never, never, never give up.” Precisely. What are we going to do, stop in the middle of hell or turn back only to start all over again? I’m all set with that. If you fight your thoughts and feelings, they will only persist, and perhaps grow stronger. But if you let them just be, they will gradually dissipate and move on. And by letting them be as they are, by accepting them and gracefully moving through them or moving next to them, we grow stronger. We gain character.
     We don’t become strong men and women by wimping out, turning back, refusing do things that make us uncomfortable, popping a bunch of pills, pouring booze down our throats or shooting a spoonful of heroin. Nope. We grow strong and become free inside by walking right into our fear, our darkness, and our despair. Addicts must confront themselves to unlock the chains they are bound in.
God, teach me to accept and embrace ALL of my thoughts and feelings. Teach me to take the middle road, not too high or too low… 

Families & Codependency

     Families don’t need to suffer…

     First, I should mention that a similar post hurt the feelings of an anonymous parent who had falsely interpreted the message as faulting parents for our addiction. Every single word I’ve ever written about addiction firmly asserts the precise opposite of that, that nothing outside of ourselves is to blame for our addiction and our selfish, destructive behaviors. That post was, To Parents, Spouses & Codependents. So just because the title of this older post below is Families & Codependency, that doesn’t mean that all family members and spouses of addicts are codependent, and as such, may not apply to them.

     Listen, my job is to tell you the truth, not to lie to you, or try to sound smart, or ramble on about shit I know nothing about, like your average therapist, addictions counselor, psychiatrist, academic, intellectual, meeting goer, news anchor, politician, government agency, methadone clinic, etc. etc. etc. Nope, sorry. If I don’t tell you the truth and help vaporize the pile of bullshit you’ve been fed, swallowed and stored up in the attic, then I’m doing everybody a great disservice.


     Families and spouses can become gravely sickened and pretty much go insane, just as the addict. Let’s face it, if you live with a crazy person, chances are you’ll find yourself going some degree of crazy yourself. An addict’s negative energy permeates all who surround him. If and when the addict gets better, spouses and family members are suddenly slammed with the pile of crap inside of them that had built up and was perhaps ignored by necessity. They begin to suffer greatly and wonder why. 
     Why do I feel more awful now that he or she has gotten well? I should feel better now… but I feel worse!
     Our addiction is their bridge to insanity. The addiction of another can become a necessary preoccupation from their own worsening mental sickness, anxiety or depression. In a strange, almost pain-dependant way, families remain in a comfort zone of their own by trying to control, fix, manipulate, instigate, antagonize… all things a healthy person would recoil from. But for co-dependants, addiction provides them with a strange relief by enabling them to constantly deflect their own pain, self-responsibility, character flaws, or dependency issues. This is why most couples break up after the addict gets better. If one person gets better and the other does not, there isn’t much of a happy future ahead. Also, the sober addict is often nothing like the way he or she used to be. His or her spouse might wake up and realize,

     Wait a minute, I’m not sure I even like this person! Sure they were an asshole when actively drinking, but it was that old personality I fell in love with, not this new one.  
     Regardless of what happens, once an addict achieves health and sanity, many family members and loved ones cannot help but realize how much pain they are in. Therefore, parents and spouses usually need the same thing addicts do – for the hole inside them to be filled. It does not seem fair, and the truth is, it’s not. But it’s reality. Codependents have always had us addicts to distract them and to blame. If we suddenly get better, there is no more distraction and nothing more to blame. Everything inside that the codependent has neatly tucked away now stares them right in the face. Time to take some action.
     I strongly suggest that any spouses, parents, close relatives or friends who are suffering, even long after the addict has recovered, go out and embark on a rigorous Twelve Step process. It may save them as well. To note, they can follow the exact same Big Book Twelve Step directions that we do. All they need is to find a recovered sponsor or an al-anon sponsor who has taken these Steps and recovered.
    Ultimately, the only thing you can really do to change anything is to let go of the addict and go heal yourself.
God, please give our families and spouses the willingness and power to heal and grow…

Good Things Come…

     …To those who serve God.

     I used to wonder why I didn’t have this and why I didn’t have that. Why aren’t I a famous writer and why aren’t I a rock star? Why can’t I get ahead financially and why aren’t I a billionaire already?

     Answer: Change the focus. Serve God and good things will come to us.

     If we anxiously push and force and exert our will to obtain worldly things (including people), they will naturally elude us. Only by letting go of our selfish desires will they begin to manifest. Abundance is all ours once we forget about self, once we let go of needing anything, once we let go of outcome.

     And even if we don’t get smothered with abundance and prosperity, serve God anyway because it is the right thing to do, the strong and courageous thing to do, the honorable thing to do, the spiritual thing to do. Serve God, because if we don’t, we become empty and meaningless.

     And if you’re an addict and you begin the Steps and take a 3rd Step and then turn your back on God, watch out. Bad things will happen. The Steps didn’t fail you. God didn’t fail you. You failed yourself. Good job.

     After many years of being recovered, I’ve found that life is not about self. Sure it is about growing spiritually and living life with strength, love and honesty. And it most certainly about hard work, creativity, contribution, growth and success. But it is without question about others, about family, about our children… and their future.

God, please give me the strength and willingness to do Your will and Your work, and do it well…

Culture Of Mental Illness

     America’s perverse focus on mental illness has certainly crowned us the worldwide hub of pharmaceutical intervention. In fact, we celebrate that fact and glorify not only the discovery of a new disorder but also the magic pill to treat it. If you watch TV for a couple of hours on any given night, you will see reports and advertisements about a myriad of different disorders and some ‘amazing’ new drug to treat the symptoms. Of course, it’s only the symptoms we want to treat, though, because actually solving our problems would render an entire industry useless and impotent. Furthermore, people might start to think and act for themselves, and we certainly can’t have that.

     America’s explosion of mental illness and pharmaceutical interventions have achieved the precise opposite of what they advertise: Exacerbate mental illness. In fact, the more names and the more disorders and the more drugs we peddle to the masses, we achieve escape velocity, if you will. It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We now cause mental illness just by focusing on it so much. Incessant scrutiny of the Self not only causes but fuels spiritual malady.

     This is the tragic irony about psychology and psychiatry. Ever more disorders and ever more drugs have done one thing and one thing only: led to an absolute explosion in the incidence of mental illness. It’s amazing to me that Harvard brass sends off countless PhDs every year without so much as a clue. These guys are academic geniuses yet couldn’t help someone if their lives depended on it. So either these guys really aren’t so bright, or, and this is my feeling, Harvard is shoving a bunch of nonsense down their throats.

     The pharmaceutical elite are no dummies. They know that the more disorders that the APA creates out of thin air will only necessitate more and more laboratory cocktails, i.e. enormous profits.

     It doesn’t matter if every man, woman and child are being diagnosed with some abstract disorder that they don’t really have, just so long as they swallow a couple of psychotropics everyday. It doesn’t matter if their brains are re-wired, leading to a psychotic break and suicide… or perhaps a demonic trip to the local elementary school.

     It doesn’t matter if the gullible, uneducated, uninformed masses of American parents are told by some clown that their 3-year old has Bipolar and ADHD and must take an anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer, an anti-psychotic, a benzodiazepine and a stimulant in order to have a good life.

     It doesn’t matter that our children are then over-medicated by said parents and, hey, what do you know, the kid doesn’t wake up for school Monday morning. We just killed another 3-year old.

     Now, I know his or her future may be somewhat bleak anyway considering they will inherit a bankrupt government with somewhere between 20 to100 trillion dollars in national debt, well over 200 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, and about a quadrillion dollars in highly leveraged, about-to-explode OTC derivatives, but hey, what does everybody say we leave the kids out of it.


God, please show the Establishment puppets the error of their ways…

Maker or Taker?

     What defines a successful life? Did we try our best? Were we honest? Did we serve? Did we continue growing? Or did we settle, conform, cower, take the easy road? None of us can judge one another, and we don’t need to. We can well judge ourselves. We know better than anybody what we are made of. We are the most qualified to know whether our lives are a success or not.

     Misguided and historically illiterate Keynesian economists like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and fed chair Ben Bernanke make the classic mistake of cooking up short-term fixes while ignoring long-term consequences. And this time their solution is so beyond reckless that even the likes of Bernie Madoff would be humbled. Now, given that they both appear to be a bit touched, let’s go easy on them.

     They believe that the way to solve a massive, unprecedented debt crisis and structural growth problem is to take on more debt – lots more. And when the bill comes due for the old debt, the solution is to borrow from new investors to pay the older ones. Sound familiar? Again, just ask Mr. Madoff what that is. And when the treasury can’t find anyone left to borrow from, the newest solution is to just print money out of thin air and lend it… to oneself. We have a name for that also: counterfeiting. And all the while let’s manipulate interest rates to 0% just to make sure we annihilate all savers, senior citizens, and the entire middle class, and provide free money 24/7 to the most corrupt banks on earth. Good job voters. You’ve been had. And you deserve what you get.

     By the way, in case you haven’t figured it out, bankers are takers, not makers. The only thing they make is making off with not only your take-home dollars, but your tax dollars as well. You pay taxes to the treasury who pays interest on the money that the fed and its member banks created out of nothing and lent to the treasury to use for all sorts of immoral, hegemonic nonsense. So you pay taxes for the privilege of using federal reserve debt notes that, by design, lose value the longer you hold them.

     As absurd as all that sounds on its face, you will also be able to find a slew of puppets on mainstream news outlets who manage to cleverly convince you that if you don’t believe in and happily accept this lunacy, this fraud and scam that the treasury, the fed, and the banks have going, then you are most certainly an idiot. Collectivist puppets love to call people idiots. If you don’t cover your ears to the gigantic sucking sound the government vacuum makes as it sucks all the productive capacity it possibly can out of the real economy, then you are a moron. Great argument, huh? The argument goes something like this,

     “What a moron!” Or “OMG, you are such an idiot!” 

     At any rate, addicts are Keynesians too. The believe that if they can just have more of something that doesn’t work, they’ll be able to solve their problem. If I can just get tons of OC 80s, then I’ll be able to quit, or at least function properly. We all know what happens then – I wind up flat broke, begging for more, or in a coffin.

     Addicts also think they should be taken care of and given money, jobs, privileges and blessings without having to lift a finger. Just observe the behavior of any addict to see how dangerous this frame of mind is. And as we all know from studying codependency and enabling, addicts who depend on others become crippled – more crippled than they already are. Eventually they can do nothing on their own and soon they become zombies, without a single authentic thought or idea. Those who give to you without you earning it are your slave masters. To quote Hayek, this is the “road to serfdom” my friends. We think free stuff saves people. In fact, it enslaves them.

     There are takers and there are makers. If you’re an addict or an alcoholic, you are a taker. So ask yourself if that’s what you truly want to be. Because if you truly want to be a taker, than do us all a favor and skip the emergency room next time you have a gran mal seizure from speedballing.

     “Never in history has too much deficit spending, debt, and currency debasement been solved by more deficit spending, debt, and currency debasement.” – M. Maloney

     Over a trillion dollars of student debt and not a single institution offers financial IQ.

     “The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth.

     The welfare state is nothing more than a mechanism by which governments confiscate the wealth of the productive members of a society to support a wide variety of welfare schemes. A substantial part of the confiscation is effected by taxation. But the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending, i.e., they had to borrow money, by issuing government bonds, to finance welfare expenditures on a large scale.

     In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold.” – A. Greenspan, 1966

God, help us…

Recovering vs Recovered

     Not sure why, but folks in AA look at me like I’m evil when I say I’m a recovered alcoholic. This is especially fascinating considering the title page of Alcoholics Anonymous clearly states, The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have RECOVERED From Alcoholism (caps used for emphasis – yes, pun intended).

     If we are “recovering” or “in recovery”, then we have achieved physical sobriety but continue to struggle. We are restless, irritable and discontent. We still want to drink. We fight to stay sober and get through each day. Terms like dry drunk and white knuckling it are reserved for those who are merely recovering.
     Why does this sound harsh and why make a fuss about the distinction?
     Because being in recovery is not the solution that AA prescribes. AA makes no mention that its program in intended to leave an individual suffering, craving, fighting and utterly miserable. And what sucks is that people commonly think that any alcoholic or addict who gets clean is always on the edge of relapse for the rest of their shitty, selfish lives.
     The truth is that AA is a rigorous program of action that brings a sober alcoholic or addict from “recovering” to “recovered”. Recovered is what we can achieve once we become willing to go to any lengths to get better, once we fearlessly embark on the Twelve Step actions laid out in the AA text book (The Big Book). When we have this spiritual experience and a psychic change occurs, our once broken minds become fixed and we are sane again. We no longer suffer from any obsession to drink or use drugs. We are no longer out of control emotionally. We no longer whine and complain and suck others dry. We no longer fight and struggle through every second of the day. In fact, a natural urge to repel drugs and alcohol lives in us and becomes stronger and stronger with each spiritual action we take.
     When we become recovered, people no longer see us as alcoholics. While in recovery, we still act like children and remain enslaved by our self-centered frame of mind. Recovered, we act like adults who can tend to the needs of others.
     Drinking doesn’t have to be a problem for alcoholics, nor drugs for addicts. Life, work, emotions and relationships don’t have to be a problem. If they are for anyone out there, then there is something wrong or missing in your program. I’m not trying to be a dick, I’m just saying that it blows my mind that there are so many thousands of men and women in AA who are fighting desperately to stay sober, when AA is, in fact, The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism.
     The solution is sitting right there for any of us lazy knuckleheads to harness and run with. We just have to open the book and do the work.
God, please show me what Your will for me is, and please give me the power to carry it out…

Nobody Knows How I Feel

      Probably the #1 argument of an addict:

     “Wanhhhhh, nobody knows how I feel, wanhhhhh!”

     Um, yeah, they do. It’s called being human. It’s just that other people don’t shoot heroin, smoke crack, or pound a fifth of vodka like a selfish, indulgent pig just because they feel uncomfortable. Imagine that.

     If we are sponsors and we let our sponsees whine about all of their problems and all of their feelings that “nobody understands”, we are terrible sponsors. It is clear that we have not taken Steps and therefore we have no business sponsoring anyone. We are only preventing him or her from getting better. Better yet, we may end up killing them.

     Stop them as soon as the pity-pot materializes and tell them that getting better has nothing to do with their problems and feelings. When they get out of their own way and let go of self-will, they will know what you mean. When God becomes present in their lives, they will realize that most of their ridiculous, petty problems are entirely self-created, that is to say, created out of self – too much of it.

     By the way, when I say created out self, that means that we alone are responsible for creating our problems and feelings. And the more we focus on ourselves and the more selfish we become, the more problems we will have and the worse we will feel. Conversely, the less we focus on ourselves and the less selfish we become, the less problems we will have and the better we will feel. It’s that simple.

God, please help me to align my will with Yours, relieving me of the torture of a life driven by self-will alone…

God Speak

    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” -Proverbs, 1:7

     Often when I speak to some group, people ask me about my faith specifically. Apparently it’s very important for people to know exactly what doctrine I follow, what God I follow. First of all, God is God – there is only one God – one miraculous, all-powerful, divine Intelligence.

     But anyway, the answer is that I’m Christian. I recommend Thomas Merton’s New Seeds of Contemplation for more insight.

     Are there other avenues to get oneself to God, to the limitless fountain of God’s love?

     Yes. In fact, I also resonate with Buddhist psychology and engage in Zen meditation. I once said this to a Christian fundamentalist at the gym, a man who is the principal of a local alternative public school for vulnerable youths, and he called me a new-age Satanist. Yup. Your tax dollars hard at work. Now I wear headphones when I go work out – volume up.

     So are all those peace-loving Buddhists who have never even heard of Jesus Christ going straight to hell?


     And if we believe that, we should pray, as this would indicate we are officially shut off. It indicates that we are no longer educable, that we have lost the ability to learn, change and grow. And, ah, it probably means we’ve never traveled anywhere.

     I once read the Ten Precepts (sort of the Buddhist equivalent of the Ten Commandments) end with an 11th suggestion and final plea: Question everything, even this. Genius. I only knew how important that truly was after I felt the power and presence of God for a fleeting moment up North, a sudden flash that altered my mind forever. That is when I questioned every belief I had accumulated in the first 28 years of life. And now I have no problem being wrong. That is freedom – the willingness to be wrong.  

     Trust me, going around desperately trying to force our beliefs on others is a crystal clear indication that we aren’t really sure what we believe, that we aren’t really sure who we are. Why? Because if we were truly okay inside, there would be no need to preach. We preach to try to prove what we believe to ourselves, not to others. Preaching is a cover for insecurity. And yes, I am definitely guilty of this. Sure I write this blog and yes it’s opinionated, but I do it because it is mildly informative and useful to bullshit addicts and their loved ones, not because I care at all that you believe me or follow me. I don’t want followers.

     I am simply fulfilling a promise I made to the solution that saved my life, a promise I made to the people who laid it at my feet, a promise I made to God… and those are promises I intend to keep.

God, we need You… 

What Does Recovered Mean?


     Recovered means that I no longer suffer from thoughts to drink or use drugs. They have no power over me.

     Additionally, I have no urge or desire to drink or use drugs anymore.

     In fact, I have a natural repulsion towards anything that pushes me away from God.

     And no, I’m not kidding.

     Nope, I’m not a lying sack of shit either.

     Well, sack of shit maybe, but it’s no lie.

God, Thank you for touching me with Your power, for saving me and removing my obsession, for giving me this life and for showering me with blessings. I know that everything good that I do and everything good that I have is from You and is You. Please teach me to better do Your will, and remind me always to put You above all else…

Spiritual Problem Calls For Spiritual Solution

Addicts don’t need pills and therapy, they need purpose and God… and meditation helps too.

     Let’s follow up to the post about the utter failure of the Establishment to fix drug addicts. There are two central reasons why. But generally speaking, they don’t understand that addiction is a spiritual problem and thus calls for a spiritual solution. 

     It’s deeper than just: we picked up, we used a lot, we became addicted. We addicts weren’t meant to be addicts (even though heroin and oxycontin delivered me to God). We are on the wrong life path, if you will. When inherently good, talented people get on the wrong path, it damages them spiritually. And many of us already had a spiritual void within, an emptiness. For me, I had no purpose or meaning in my life. Sure I had talents and did creative, productive things but there was no real purpose behind any of it, only selfishness. I had no idea of the importance of adopting and living by moral/spiritual principles.

     Sure addiction is a physiological dependence. But that is merely a symptom of an underlying spiritual malady. Failure to understand this leads the mainstream to only address the symptoms and not the underlying malady. That is why I tried everything under the sun and failed miserably every time. So it’s not really the drugs and alcohol we need to address, it’s ourselves – our spiritual condition. 

     And no one better understands how an addict thinks and feels than a recovered addict. As well, they are best equipped to give the addict what he or she needs to fix themselves. And I’m not talking about airhead AA sponsors who recite slogans, drag you to meetings, and call you for bowling on Saturday night. I’m talking about masters of addiction and the spiritual solution who are strong, grounded, free, at peace, and solid as rocks. It MATTERS who you follow. Trust me.  

     An even larger problem regarding the establishment is that they can’t even address the one symptom that cripples an addict and ensures chronic relapse: The mental obsession – a very special type of insanity that addicts acquire. 

     So let’s summarize the two problems with MSM, and what to do instead of falling into their traps.

     Mainstream methods fail because they don’t understand the crux of an addict’s mental problem – the mental obsession. Triggers don’t exist. In any given moment, a thought will come into the head of an addict and at that point they go temporarily insane. They suddenly forget everything they know about their problem and the idea of using (irrational and destructive) seems rational and reasonable. They obsess until they use again. It is like having a chip missing but one that no human method or remedy can replace. And even if they could, what can they replace it with? A new hobby? A job? School? Friends? A girl? A group? A therapist? Sorry, not gonna cut it. It must be replaced with something as powerful as the addiction itself. Thus I believe that an addict must have a vital, profound and fundamental spiritual experience to fix such a condition. That is, God must play a part. 

     The other problem with the establishment and the other reason why addicts fail to restore themselves back to sanity and achieve lasting freedom from drugs is that they fail to fix themselves morally and spiritually. No addict can stay clean for any length of time if they continue doing the wrong thing, if they continue to lie, steal, cheat, manipulate, deceive, wallow in self-pity, remain depressed, see themselves as a victim, complain, get angry, hurt others emotionally or engage in violence. We need to grow, evolve, and rid ourselves of narcissism. Everybody suffers, not just addicts.

     So I received a wonderful question on my ‘Establishment’ entry the other day, which essentially asked, ‘What then are we to do if these other avenues fail to fully restore the addict to sanity?’

     Needless to say, there are many ways to address a spiritual illness across cultures and religions. But for drug addicts, there is no other method as effective as embarking on the rigorous set of spiritual actions contained within the original Twelve Step program, as it’s laid out in the original Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. So we need to find a recovered addict who has taken Steps to bring us through this process. 

     Or, if we cannot stay sober long enough (out in the world) for the process to work, we may need to be removed from our environment and given the opportunity to take Steps at a place that offers this solution, and that does it the right way. Generally, these places need only be staffed by recovered addicts and/or alcoholics, as the solution and the process have nothing to do with clinical interventions, drugs, therapy, doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. In fact, the solution is free. Imagine that. 

God, teach us and show us the truth…