Boy, Have We Lost Our Way…

Haha, wow… someone just searched for: “12 Step posters without God.”

That’s like saying,

Can I have a car with no engine?

Can I have a pair of lungs that can’t breathe?

Can I have a heart that doesn’t beat?

Can I have a body with no soul?

Can I have a bottle of medication with no medication in it?

Can I have a solution without the actual solution?

Can I get a Big Book without the word “God” anywhere? Sweet, thanks.

Actually, can I just get a blank Big Book? Perfect, thanks.

Can I have a big, bright 12 Step poster to stare at but never actually do any work on myself? Thanks, that’d be great.

Can I just please get the miraculous power of God to heal me and lift my addiction without having to ever believe in Him, admit His existence, or have any humility whatsoever? Gee, that’d be so awesome. Thanks!

Boy, have we lost our way…

P.S. Here’s a little wake-up call for everyone out there sipping on the fed/cnbc Kool Aid. Please be advised before you lose your shirts all over again. Recovery a not-so-amusing hoax… The Retail Death Rattle. You also want to be careful not to drink Piketty’s economically delusional Kool Aid as well, unless of course, you want to, like the French, completely annihilate the economy and drive capital as far away as humanly possible. And I suppose you could peruse this one as well, just for good measure… The Federal Reserve’s Murder of the Middle Class

The Power of the Steps

     I know I write some rather scathing indictments of the medical Establishment when it comes to addiction and recovery. And though I’ve also tried to describe the power behind a rigorous Twelve Step process, allow me to elaborate on the profound workings of this solution. Words on a page or screen are totally deficient here, and despite the fact that it’s impossible to truly describe something you haven’t experienced yourself, we should nonetheless attempt to do so for the very future of addiction treatment.

     There is a reason doctors don’t suggest this and send you on your way, and it is precisely because they have no idea of the sheer power and mystical events that can take place when one embarks on a thorough, rigorous, and fearless Twelve Step process, as it’s laid out in the original AA text, published in 1939.

     Since recovering 9 years ago, I have been fortunate to see a few others do this work, and let me tell you, it is something you don’t want to miss. It reminds and reassures me of the power of this solution, the power of God. Having seen it in others, I know that it is real, I know that my own experience wasn’t just some aberration, just some isolated, mystical flash… perhaps even a hallucination.

     While the first two Steps are largely educational, despite the presence of humility during a 1st Step experience, you being to see the mettle of a man (or woman) after he takes a 3rd Step and begins to write a moral inventory of his entire life. Remember, this is a life exorcism – every single resentment we’ve ever held towards every family member, friend, girlfriend, spouse, teacher, colleague, boss, bank, school, institution, norm, moral, platitude, random person, you name it. All of it.

     Then your man has to find his own self-seeking, selfishness, dishonesty and fear in each resentment. Say you have 2000 resentments, that’s 8000 answers you must dig for. And forget about being done as you then must embark on an entire fear inventory and an entire sex inventory. That’s a nice little stack of notebooks filled to the brim with every bit of poison you have stored up inside over the course of your life, and you will soon spill your guts of all of it.

     As you see your man read his inventory, if he has been brutally honest, you will see him change before your eyes. You will witness physical changes. You will witness bio-chemical changes. You will see a jaded, hurt and damaged soul become vulnerable and then become an innocent child – red in his face, a softening of the eyes. You begin to see him filling up with something very powerful, something other-worldly.

     The man meditates and then once again asks God to remove it all from him, and after this 7th Step prayer, miracles can occur. The man becomes lit up with Spirit. It is a material change. He looks different. His posture is different. His eyes are aglow with the knowledge and serenity of God within. His bio-chemistry is different. Serotonin and dopamine levels have returned to normal. His depression has vanished. His mental illnesses have vanished. His fear has vanished. He is free and without limit. Drinking and using drugs suddenly sit last on his list of problems. The obsession to use is just gone. He has no thoughts to self-destruct. All he cares to do is make things right, help others, and get closer to God.

     The man returns home with a new attitude and a new understanding.  He goes around on a mission from God, making it right with everybody he possibly can. There is nothing he won’t do to get better and stay close to the Source. He has suddenly become a better husband, father, son, brother, friend and colleague. People can trust him. People being to count on him, even look up to him. He is a changed man.

     This is the power of the Steps, my friends. Tell your doctor about it so he can prescribe something other than synthetic opiates to a drug addict. Tell your so-called treatment specialist about it to help them with their ignorance of addiction. And tell those other bloggers and dual-diagnosis pumpers out there who haven’t a clue in the world about addiction and the Twelve Steps.

Ways of Telling if Your Addict is Recovered

Instead of running away from life’s challenges, they run right into them.

Responds to the needs of others.
Eager to do service.
Eager to grow spiritually.
Puts their relationship with God above all else.
Doesn’t mind working hard.
Doesn’t mind being responsible.
Doesn’t mind taking care of themselves. 
Wants others to get better.
Can walk through strong and uncomfortable feelings.
No longer avoids life.
No longer avoids pain.
Can suffer and has no thoughts to self-destruct.
Can lose a loved one and has no urge to drink or use.
Steps up and takes care of their family.
Makes amends to creditors and stays out of debt.
Doesn’t behave immorally in other aspects of life (lying, stealing, adultery, etc.)
Has a glow to them.
Has a quiet confidence.
Can look you and the rest of the world in the eye.
Is no longer ashamed.
Is no longer fearful and fear-driven.

Continues to get stronger and stronger, even when they are vulnerable or suffering.

Is able to accomplish more and more as time goes on.

Willing to try new things.
Willing to go to any length to get better and stay better. 
Triggers don’t exist anymore, and even though triggers don’t exist anyway, they no longer perceive anything to be a trigger.
They are content and at peace.
You can just tell they’re okay.  

Authenticity

     Ever left for a meeting or something feeling all confident and pumped up, and then by the time you get there, you’re totally deflated, no longer confident, and altogether introverted? Yup, that’s what happens when we try to control the way we feel. And the sad truth is that even when we show up the way we want to, it still doesn’t seem to work out the way we planned.

     That’s because other people respond to authenticity and are turned off by phoniness. So whether we feel confident or whether we feel quiet and self-conscious, go as you are, and your honesty will put you in the best possible space for the best possible outcome.

     Back in one of my dark, living in Boston phases, I was sort of off the heavy stuff and felt pumped up one day, you know, because I was only smoking pot and only putting down the better half of a twelve pack at night. That’s what me doing well looked like. At any rate, I’d gotten some jacket for my birthday and my hair was long and obnoxious, so I thought I would take some headshots downtown to a modeling agency.

     I skipped out of my Jamaica Plain apartment brimming with confidence and high as shit on my ego and vanity. But alas, during the long subway ride into Boston, I realized just how broke, skinny and ridiculous I was. I got off the train totally deflated and walked up to the agency shaking in my boots. The girls were just like, uh-huh, whatever, and threw my photos in some heap under the desk. 
     Now that is truly pathetic. Maybe if I was on my way to do something useful, selfless, good for others and good for the world, it may not have been such a disaster. But that wasn’t gonna happen, as I was just a useless and self-seeking piece of shit… and as far away from my authentic (true) self as humanly possible. 
     At any rate, don’t worry about how you feel or try to control it. You won’t be able to. Just do what you were going to do with sincerity and authenticity. Whether you’re confident and charming or nervous and insecure, you still have a 100% better chance just being who you are and where you are at the time.

God, please help me to become more honest and authentic…

Textbooks Can’t Help Speedballers

     Textbooks can’t help speedballers. You can’t think, know, prescribe or lecture your way out of the mental obsession. That’s what it means to be an addict. That’s what addiction is. It is an insanity that comes on and takes over. So if your doctor told you that science can prevent you from shooting heroin and cocaine, you need to stop drinking the Kool Aid, and fast before you die.

     Intellectuals should do drug addicts a favor and stay in the classroom pretending like they actually do something, because when it comes to say, speedballing, the only chance you have is to listen to the people who actually have the illness of addiction, who have embarked on a rigorous program of spiritual action, and who have recovered completely from a seemingly hopeless condition of mind and body.

     Intellectuals, doctors and the like will never be able to help a miserable crack addict or chronic intravenous speedballer. They don’t know what to do because they don’t know what they’re dealing with. They think they know what they’re dealing with, but they don’t. They have no clue. They just sort of blab on and on and on… and then prescribe something. That’s all they know – prescribe more drugs and go to therapy. And what could be more contrary to a solution for drug addicts than more drugs and more talking?

     Personally, I recovered by getting out of my head, out of the textbooks and theorizing. I simply acted. Good things happen to those of us who work hard. That I’m convinced of, aside of course, from outside forces such as government and central bankers that screw everything up and are hell bent on transferring your wealth into their own do-nothing hands. But besides the moral degenerates who run/ruin the country, all we can do is continue to work hard and take action everyday, and as such, we may get somewhere.

     Chronic speedballers have no chance in hell with conventional methods. Group therapy and role play about mommy and daddy isn’t gonna cut it. Having an NA sponsor whose only advice is “go to meetings” isn’t gonna cut it. Substitution drugs and antagonist injections aren’t gonna cut it. Substituting one science project for another isn’t gonna cut it. Listening to the Ivy League boys at McLean isn’t gonna cut it. Following someone who has zero experience with the mind of an addict isn’t gonna cut it. Chronic speedballers need one thing only, and fast before they die:

     God.

God, please help those who suffer become so hopeless that they finally reach out to You…

Question Who You Are

     “Those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours.” – Orrin Woodward

     It was the people who told me what I didn’t want to hear that saved my life.

     Perhaps the only chance we have is when someone finally challenges us, challenges our most precious and deep-seated beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, perceptions and opinions. Questioning who we are, what we are and what we think is vital to the growth of any human being, not just addicts. But the difference is that addicts MUST change or else we die. Normal people can continue to remain as blind as they please, but not so with addicts.

     In this sense, it’s better to be controversial than not to be. I realize that the mainstream/statist news puppets have made that term a dirty word by linking it to everything they want you to see as bad or anti-status quo. They love to report lies and berate guests for being “controversial”, as if being controversial, as if thinking and acting for yourself, as if being original and having your own ideas is somehow a bad thing.
 
     But the truth is that controversy is what makes the world turn. It is the very people who ARE controversial, who challenge the status quo, who challenge themselves and who challenge others, that make the world turn. So next time you hear some bullshit, try speaking up and see how you feel afterwards.

God, please shield me from becoming brainwashed and complicit… teach me to think, speak and act for myself…

Why Are Humans So Damaged?

   
     Why are we humans so sensitive emotionally, psychologically, socially, spiritually, you name it?

     Perhaps it’s because we don’t accept ourselves, because we feel ashamed of being human, having a human body and mind, with all sorts of natural imperfections. We feel ashamed of simply being who and what we are, which is so sad as it’s totally beyond our control. We cannot change the fact that we are human.

     So to become untortured by our physical and mental reality, it might help to a) stop thinking and just be where we are, as neither the past nor the future exists, b) live deliberately and mindfully as in nature, totally lost in the moment – think Emerson’s transparent eyeball from his essay Naturec) stop wanting or expecting to be anything more than who and what we are, and d) simply realize what we are, which is human, and relax about it.

     Nothing is perfect except imperfection.


God, teach me how to better love and accept myself, that I may let go…

Addiction Is a Moral Failure, Obviously

     Everybody knows that using drugs is wrong…

     Let’s get something straight. Addiction is without question a moral failure. Why do people freak out when they hear that? It doesn’t have to be such a big deal. It doesn’t mean you’re the worst, most evil thing to ever trod the earth. It just is what it is. But hey, for all those who think addiction has nothing to do with morals, please allow me to explain the following fact:

     If I lose my moral compass, I will relapse. Fact. My moral compass (which is God) is the only thing keeping me sober. Fact. Yes I was restored to sanity, but 9 years later, the only thing keeping me sane is that fact that I care about what I do. I care about the effects of my actions. The minute I stop caring about consequences is the minute I get sick and eventually relapse. And when we stop caring about consequences, what else is that except for a moral failure?

     Please.

     You cannot maintain a state of recovery without a moral compass that is alive and well within. That is a fact. If you can do the wrong thing and not give a shit about hurting others and somehow stay sober, then you’re a sociopath or a psychopath, and in that case, you’ve got bigger fish to fry than alcoholism.

     Mutating myself into an addict was a moral failure. Drinking and using repeatedly until I crossed that line, broke my body and became an alcoholic/addict was a moral failure. Drinking and using excessively whether you’re an addict or not is a moral failure. Continuing to remain an addict and failing to look for a solution to stop hurting others and to stop killing myself is a moral failure. Being presented with a solution and failing to employ it is a moral failure. Acquiring a solution and getting better and then relapsing is a moral failure. Regaining the power of choice and regaining one’s moral compass and then using again is a moral failure, obviously. Using or doing anything once I’ve lost control of it is a moral failure. Doing anything that causes pain or harm to self or others is a moral failure.

     There is just no getting around any of that.

Recovery Inc.

     Allow me to post the guest blog I wrote for the Addiction Journal blog, a great resource written by a parent of an addict and fellow New England guy.

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RECOVERY, INC.

     The very concept of recovery threatens the industry of drug and alcohol treatment. There is no money in recovery. There is only money in relapse, pain, struggle, heartache and destruction… 

     Where do you suppose the ridiculous cliche “relapse is part of recovery” comes from? My best guess is from the iniquitous dens of corporate marketers, advertisers and government agencies. If they can infect every addict and every parent with the idea that we are never truly okay, it all but ensures continued extraction of your life savings, IRA, 401K, college fund, or perhaps your entire house. But don’t question BBR (Big Business Recovery), because everybody knows you need a $63,000 tropical resort with a sauna, masseuse, and some juicy tenderloin in order to get better.

     By the way, addicts love that cliche, which is, of course, a dead giveaway. To state the obvious, relapse is NOT part of recovery. Relapse has nothing to do with recovery.

     The last thing BBR wants is for addicts and alcoholics to fully recover. It would put them out of business. Actually getting better would choke profits and render the whole industry rather impotent, and we certainly can’t let happen, as allowing failing businesses to fail is now sacrilegious in the era of corporate welfare. But BBR relies on the notion that addicts will always be sick and struggling, fending off relapse and depression etc.

     The fact that there are countless treatments for addiction is NOT because we need a zillion different treatments to address every individual addict’s myriad of special needs. We all have the same illness. It is the illness of addiction. Trying to compartmentalize addiction is a marketing strategy. The more symptoms and the more dual-diagnoses that exist, the more treatments can be produced, and therefore sold. The pharmaceutical elite are no dummies. They know that the more disorders the APA creates out of thin air will only necessitate more and more lab cocktails, i.e. enormous profits.

     Part of the problem is that conventional treatment and even modern AA wrongly focus on the more immediate symptoms of active addiction as opposed to focusing on the person, on the soul, on expelling the various forms of poison within to allow something much Greater to come in and fill us up.

     To only focus on our symptoms is to ignore what truly ails us. Symptom management is the strategy of those who do not understand addiction. Classroom or academic addiction can be as dangerous to the chronic and hopeless addict as the drug itself. Personally, I believe addiction to be a spiritual problem, which simplifies treatment quite a bit, or in the eyes of the Establishment, simplifies it way too much. Recovered addicts like myself are the biggest threat to BBR. Why? Because I recovered entirely with nothing more than a Big Book, some paper, a few pens, and another alcoholic. And I didn’t just recover from drug and alcohol addiction, but from anxiety, depression, fear, chaos, insanity, debt, professional failure, relationship failure, bad luck, etc., etc., you name it.
     The truth is that BBR purposely takes the teeth out of recovery. They must or else too many addicts would recover. Oh the irony of recovery as a threat to the recovery business. They also continue to remain ignorant to the very crux of our problem: the fact that we have entirely lost power and suffer from a form of insanity we like to call the mental obsession. Needless to say, it is going to take something quite powerful to re-insert Power and make an insane addict sane once again. I’ve never seen it done via man-made remedies, so as far as I’m concerned, this is the sort of procedure that can only be done by God. I am also quite certain that no addict can stay sober and live a good life without developing a moral compass, a spiritual life and a purpose – neither of which are commonly recognized and offered by BBR. 
     I personally have 15 years of direct experience with BBR. My poor Dad blew thousands and thousands and thousands on countless doctors, therapists, social workers and addiction “specialists” and not a single one could offer me a solution or even tell me what to do when I walked out of the door except to come back in a week for another 55-minute session of talking, which is probably one of the worse things for an addict. All we do is talk, folks. We’ll talk you in circles. Sorry, but talking is not a solution. Nor is attending to our feelings. Or focusing on reasons and “triggers”, neither of which exist. Avoiding people, places and things that ‘make’ us want to use is a useless endeavor, as nothing makes us want to use. We want to use all the time. We don’t need a reason, or rather, an excuse.
     But now I get it. No doctor, therapist, or overpriced treatment program is going to tell you to just enlarge your spiritual life, take some right action, and then send you on your way. And yes, it matters who you follow. How funny it would be if it wasn’t so tragic: Big Business Recovery will sell you anything except a solution.

C. A. Peabody
The Privileged Addict