Teabag Wisdom

     Astonishing the amount of insight that can be amassed from a box of Yogi ginger tea.

     “The art of happiness is to serve all.”

     “Trust creates peace.”

     “Your life is based on the capacity of energy in you, not outside of you.”

     “Obey, serve, love, excel.”

     “Chances multiply if you grab them.”

     “You only give when you love.”

     “The best way of life is to simply be.”

God, teach me to apply what I’ve learned, not just store it uselessly in my head…

Home Depot Inventory

     “A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke… We did the exact same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced of self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.” –Alcoholics Anonymous, p.64.

     Gee, I’m glad I didn’t listen to the guy who ran the Beverly Farms meeting years ago when he stood up from his seat in a fit of rage after I mentioned inventory and the above passage and constructed the following bit of eloquence, give or take. “Listen, I run a friggin’ business and lemme tell you, no friggin’ God and no friggin’ spiritual Big Book step bullshit keeps me sobah! It’s this friggin’ meetin’ and you friggin’ guys that keeps me sobah!”

     Um, I know AA is self-governing but I have a hunch that’s not the best advice.

     “Resentment is the ‘number one’ offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have not only been mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” – Ibid., also p.64.

     And the above is why I don’t go to meetings. Why add to the already steady accumulation of resentments? Plus, it was Alcoholics Anonymous that saved my life, a program which bears little to no resemblance to what takes place in some of these meetings.

Home Depot Inventory

1st Column (Who): Moron at Home Depot

2nd Column (Cause): a) Never cut my carpet after I ordered it, then forgot and sold the last of it to someone else.

3rd Column (Affects my…): Pride/Ambition, Self-Esteem, Wallet,

4th Column (My Mistakes):
Self-Seeking: I am the man. No one messes with me.
Selfish: I want my carpet when I want my carpet.
Dishonest: I make, and want to be forgiven for, my own human errors yet judge everybody else for theirs. (i.e. I know it wasn’t intentional.)
Fear: I’m afraid to let go. I fear looking bad to our new tenants.

God, forgive me for my sins, for being unloving and verbally abusive, for being intolerant and judgmental, for not forgiving and giving others the benefit of the doubt. Help me to see my character flaws, that I may rid myself of them and replace them instead with Your principles…

Should Addicts Be Taking Credit?

     Who really gets us better?

     I always thought that if I ever recovered, it was ME who got myself better. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea that something else could fix me, especially something intangible. I could only conceive of my own power. How narrow and limited of me. How small-minded and stupid of me. 
     Addicts love to take credit for every good thing that happens to them, for every accomplishment no matter how minute. They simply can’t handle the possibility or even the idea that something else may be responsible for what they have achieved or what they have been blessed with. If they land a great job, it’s all them. If they make a bunch of money, it’s all them. If they meet a loving, loyal spouse, it’s all them. If they are showered with good friends and abundance, then yup, it’s all because of them. They create everything… unless it’s something negative, of course. Then it’s suddenly someone else’s fault. This is the disturbing result of an addict’s sick mind and pathological self-centeredness. We’ve become blind to the greater powers at work. Plus we need for others to see what we can accomplish, how brilliant and talented we are.
     The sheer comedy of all this is that doing things my way, my genius way, landed me in a locked detox/psychiatric ward with my bony, emaciated ass hanging out of a hospital johnny. So after failing repeatedly to control, shape and mold my life, desperately trying to exert my will, it was such a great relief to stop relying on my warped head to guide me through life. When I stopped trying to get myself better, that is the very moment I began to change.
     So I don’t take credit for what changed me, for what removed the obsession to drink alcohol and use drugs. I don’t take credit for the things I’ve accomplished since I got sober. I don’t take credit if one of my knucklehead sponsees actually gets better. I don’t take credit for all of the miracles and blessings in my life. I don’t look around to see my wonderful life now and think, Wow, look what I did! I’m so the man! I’m so amazing and talented and strong! I can conquer anything! 
     When I began to do things that I could not previously do, I could no longer deny the truth. I had to give credit accurately. It was God who made me better and who keeps me better. Everything good that we do and everything good that we have is from God and is God. Fact. Addicts should be honest about credit. As tempted as we might be to tap ourselves on the back for something we did, try not to. Chances are we had little to nothing to do with it. And besides, isn’t it more humble and conducive to our spiritual recovery to have this sort of attitude?

Internal Authority

     Alcoholics and drug addicts lack internal authority.

     That is, they have no authority or control over their emotions, their thoughts, and most unfortunately, their actions. Because we have no internal control, we allow other people, things or events to dictate how we feel. Even more sad, we allow other people or other institutions to make decisions for us and to take care of us.

     This is why we are such a disappointment, because others have to make decisions for us and take care of us financially, physically, emotionally, etc. Having no internal authority over ourselves, we succumb to external authority, and thus, we are slaves. Truly, we active and/or untreated addicts are a waste of precious natural resources, not to mention a waste of a precious life.

     So please do your parents and the already fleeced taxpayers a favor and take care of yourselves. Most of us are plenty talented enough to at least accomplish that. The secret is to become willing and to be a tad more unselfish. Get better and give back, as there is now no other option. We have officially given up the right to drink, use, hurt others, or in any way, shape or form do the wrong thing.

     And yes, I screw up all the time. The trick is not to do so intentionally, but either way, we must see our wrong and then go make it right. That’s why we write inventory – to identify our wrongs. That’s why we pray for willingness, for the power to then go and make them right. If we cannot or if we refuse to correct our wrongs, to become accountable and attempt to relieve those we hurt, we will never recover from anything. Doctors and counselors will tell you that you relapsed because you were triggered.


     We relapse because we are doing the wrong thing, coupled with our refusal to grow up and act like an adult, to be a good person, and to do the right thing. Moral action and God alone can remove the mental obsession. Science cannot. It has never been able to. Goodness and spiritual fitness cannot be injected – they must be earned through hard work, right action, and Grace.

God, please teach me how to take better care of myself, that I may stop depending on others…