Most People in AA Are Not Alcoholics

     No offense, but most people who go to AA and say how meetings and the fellowship and calling their sponsor kept them sober all these years are not actually alcoholics. I’m not saying they’re not wonderful people who deserve a social group and what have you, but they are not alcoholics. They’re actually just pretending to be alcoholics, and again, I really mean no offense. Most people in AA are heavy or even moderate drinkers whose lives are affected by alcohol in some way, but they can stop on their own willpower. They have power over alcohol.

     The true alcoholic is powerless over alcohol. When we are truly powerless, meetings and fellowship and sponsors and sobriety coins and slogan recitation and putting chairs away and stuff cannot keep us sober. It’s all good and well, but none of it can keep a true alcoholic from drinking. None of that stuff has the power to lift his obsession, which is basically the equivalent of making a lunatic sane again, which pretty much requires nothing short of a miracle that is earned through rigorous internal work in which the addict’s heart, soul and brain are completely rearranged and fundamentally altered.

     The other night, a woman in my friend’s group said how the key to recovery is time, though nothing could be further from the truth. She was a sweetheart, but not a real alcoholic. For a real alcoholic, recovery is not a function of time at all. Time gets us worse, not better. Time is only worth as much as the actions we take during said time. I recovered quite suddenly, just like everybody I know who is recovered. Those who recover from alcoholism or addiction have had a spiritual experience that has lifted their obsession to use, restored them to sanity, and established a real and active relationship with God, as if a telephone line has been activated between them and Power, and can be tapped into or accessed when needed.

     Meeting goers are usually types who also fail to be accountable for their addiction, such as a recent ibogaine troll, who said he was a full blown addict right after the very first sip of beer he drank when he was eleven. Listen, we all know addicts are full of shit, but this nonsense is also peddled by mainstream treatment professionals; that we becoming addicts has nothing to do with us, that even the first few times we used was not our choice at all. I really can’t think of a more dangerous thing to say, forget about the fact that it is totally false. The very thing preventing addicts from getting better is just this kind of thinking, that NOTHING is our fault because we are born with this disease. 
     Not true. Everything we do is our fault, and this is PRECISELY how we recover: Total honesty and total responsibility.
     We acquire this disease by using over and over and over and over and over and over and over until we finally break ourselves and acquire this allergy or compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession that prevents us from staying stopped once we stop. Believe me, regardless of how sweet and talented and innocent you think you are or you think your child is, every addict in the world puts considerable effort into destroying their bodies and their minds enough to cross that line and become an addict. Nobody is born a full blown addict. Please. That is just wrong on its face. Nobody starts off powerless. Powerlessness is acquired through hard work and effort, i.e drinking or using like a pig, year after year.
     So there is no such thing as an eleven year old having one beer and from then on they are a full blown alcoholic. This is just too ridiculous, and it is typical of our culture today, a culture that promotes finding ways to abscond oneself from taking responsibility for one’s self-created problems and illnesses, such as alcoholism. “Well, it’s not my fault because I was eleven when I started and right away I was fully blown.” I beg of you to understand that it is no one’s fault but our own for becoming addicts.

     There is no compulsion, no actual illness or disease, until you have used a thousand times first and acquired this allergy that ANYBODY can acquire, by the way. And I realize how painful it must be to have this stuff explained continuously, but hey, somebody’s gotta do it.

You Really Have to Ask Yourself, Why Not?

     I know deep in my heart that there is no miracle drug for addiction, nor can any person, place or worldly thing change us or fix us. We absolutely MUST do the work for ourselves. Only through hard work, faith and courage might we induce a true miracle to occur, and only God Himself can perform such miracles. This I know with every cell in my body.

     So the point of this blog was really just to get people thinking, challenge some perceptions, and to inspire others to employ and engage the prophetical solution contained within the Big Book entitled Alcoholics Anonymous.

     Nine years ago, I had to have others take Steps and witness the relief and spiritual rapture that I myself witnessed while immersed in this process. Today, I have to admit the truth that I don’t really care what anybody does or doesn’t do. Sure I will continue to share my story and the solution, but there is no compulsion anymore. You really can’t chase anybody around, change them, or force them to do anything. Plus, most of us only hear and care about what we want to hear and care about.

     However, I do know that God exists, and I know that if you truly want this incredible and mind-bending liftoff into the 4th dimension of existence, you will get it and get it in spades. I had a very strange and mystical white-light experience and have been forever changed since then. Everything that used to torture me and destroy me and kill me like addiction and depression is just gone. I have always been convinced that this sort of spiritual experience and fundamental psychic change is available to anyone who does the work thoroughly and fearlessly. Today I am not so sure.

     For a miracle to occur, sure we have to do the work, but that’s the point, that there are a set of actions that can wholeheartedly restore us to sanity, effect real and lasting change, and eliminate the mental obsession to drink and use drugs. So my only question is, why not? Why not do it and give it everything that we have within us? Why not, if it will free us and give our families peace? Why would we continue to be so unbelievably selfish? Why would we continue to be such cowards when we are putting so many others in such agony?

     “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

God, I pray for all who suffer to find peace, strength, success, joy and wonder…

Problems Are Self-Created

     Most problems are just a figment of our imagination…

     It is important to remember that our minds belong to us. So often we are misguided and mistaken in holding others responsible for what takes place in our own minds. Trust me, it’s better not to have this kind of attitude and thinking. Surely we create many of our problems simply by the way in which we think about them. But we can also sit down next to our problems, become the problem, and work through it. In this way, it isn’t really a problem at all. It’s just what is, it’s just what we’re doing, just living life, doing what comes next, and living in each moment without attachment.

     The trick is keeping our minds empty, and we cannot achieve this without consistent practice or repeated action as I like to call it (including non-actions such as stillness etc). No person, place or thing can change us, but we can certainly change ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us won’t do the work because most of us don’t really want to change. Some of us might do a little work and only see limited results and say, ‘See! That didn’t work… I told you!’, but this is not really doing the work anyway because we were expecting something from it, or expecting way too much.

     So we try to just to do the work, everyday, for the sake of doing it, because it’s good for us and it’s good for others. It also teaches us who we are, and when we understand ourselves perfectly, we can understand everything. As Shunryu Suzuki says, if we understand one thing completely, we understand everything. Working on ourselves gives us the power to deduce just about anything. It give us the ability to see things as they are. And as we get better and better, it all becomes so clear.

     Tibetan Buddhists and Native American tribes like the Navajo engage in the practice of sandpainting – painstakingly constructing beautiful, elaborate and intricate designs with colored sands only to destroy them when finished. The practice is performed and used for various healing ceremonies, to symbolize the concept of impermanence and the fleeting nature of physical life, or just simply to honor the process and the virtue of letting go, not holding on, not needing recognition, and perhaps not engaging in vain admiration.

      It’s so easy to forget that the past and the future don’t actually exist, so when we go there with our minds, we are in a sort of dissociated state, not in our bodies and not in reality, which is basically a form of torture. Don’t visit the past or the future with your mind. Neither exist, so why go there? If we be where we are now and only focus on what we are doing right now, problems and worries essentially vanish, because there is no room for them in an empty mind that is living in the present moment.
     Don’t worry, I fail at this all the time. I repeatedly state that what I know always exceeds my actual practice or the reality of my life. I often doubt whether I should be talking or writing at all. One thing I can promise you, though, is that if the anti-free speech powers that be were to suddenly delete this whole site, it wouldn’t phase me at all. I am unaffected by this sort of loss. And believe me, not caring (in the healthy way) is pure freedom.

God, teach me how to let go…

Counseling & Medication Doesn’t Work, Part 1

     It is crucial for addicts, parents and spouses to understand this and not be misled by treatment professionals who don’t understand the nature of addiction. Let’s face it, if you don’t understand addiction, then you don’t know what you are treating, let alone how to treat it. Counseling and medication has never truly worked for any really bad addict, and anyone who is really honest (in the deepest possible way) will admit as much.

     The condition of powerlessness cannot be restored via typical human methods. It just isn’t possible given the nature of the condition, which is the presence of the mental obsession and a soul that is very sick indeed, a soul that is spiritually bankrupt, starving, and crying out for nourishment. Of course we are all free do whatever we want, just don’t be surprised if an addict fails miserably with therapy and medication. In fact, I would expect relapse. And I would definitely expect the addict to remain the exact same person.

     I had severe, clinical depression. Yes, the kind that is bio-chemical. The kind that all sorts of doctors and people claim can only be addressed with medication. Hmmm, that’s weird, because guess where my depression is? Gone! Oh wait, guess what again? I’m completely unmedicated, and have been since I began taking Steps almost ten years ago. Upon reading this, many addicts and parents will push the play button in their heads and say,

     “No you’re wrong, Charlie. I tried that Step thing or my kid tried AA and relapsed, so it doesn’t work for everybody!”

     First of all, which Steps did you actually take? The watered-down non-steps that are so prevalent today in AA and in most treatment centers? And did you sincerely vow to turn your entire life over to this process and to live by spiritual principles? Did you leave anything out of your inventory, even just one little thing? Did you make all of your amends? Did you continue writing inventory, praying and meditating day after day, month after month, year after year? Did you work with other addicts, taking them through the Step process as others did for you? If your addict answers yes, but failed, they are lying to you, trust me. Second, if you actually took Steps the way they were laid out in the original AA text, you would never relapse again. To see why this is, you’ll have to go back and read every single previous post, so please go ahead and do that before replying about how the Steps only work for some, or how the Steps failed me or failed my child. The Steps and God don’t fail anyone. We fail ourselves.

     Treat the core of the addiction and the chemistry in your brain changes. Actually, it has been neurochemically proven that actions such as prayer and meditation change our brain chemistry. There is now an entire wing at MGH devoted to the effects of meditation and mindfulness. Don’t you love how they call Zen Buddhists whackjobs and then once it’s proven scientifically, they take all the credit and act like they knew the entire time? There is nothing more arrogant than an f’ing doctor, besides maybe an elected official or a fed chairman.

     But forget about the chemical changes induced by just prayer and meditation. What do you think performing an exorcism of your entire life via a 4th Step written inventory and then reading it for twelve hours and then meditating on it for an hour and then getting on your hands and knees and reaching out for God with single fiber in your being does to you? Yup, that’s right. For one, it annihilates your chemical imbalance, and that’s just the icing on the cake. In fact, you’ll probably be high as shit for a good long while… but high as shit on the Spirit and Power of God. Try that for some medication.

     Before I took Steps and committed my life to spiritual growth and good old fashioned hard work, I was in therapy for years, as well as on various psychotropics, and guess what? I got worse. Much worse.

     Why is that?

     Because I knew deep in my heart that I was lying to myself, avoiding the truth, and ignoring my real problem. I knew I wasn’t addressing my core illness. I hope it is starting to become clear what addiction is, that it is nothing but a byproduct of an underlying spiritual malady, or life malady. We don’t have a drug problem, we have a life problem. We have no purpose. Simple logic thus dictates that we must be treated spiritually and given a purpose.

     There is absolutely no reason to try to treat every single skew known to mankind with a never-ending buffet of medications. Why do you think doctors are always changing the concoctions, trying new ones, taking some away, adding others? Um, yeah, because they have no fucking clue what they’re doing and what they’re really giving to you, let alone the long-term danger. Go ahead, try them regularly for a while and then go off of them one day and see what happens. You will turn into a horrifying nightmarish creature, as your depression mutates into suicidal or homicidal psychosis. Sorry, but that can’t be good for you… or the local elementary school… or the local movie theatre having a midnight showing of Batman.

     I’m also good with developing Tardive Dyskinesia from too much Seroquel. Adderall and Ritalin will cause this type of brain damage as well, amongst others, and all for a purely situational, social disorder. Put one of those kids on a ropes course or behind a computer and he’ll climb to the moon or design a computer and become a billionaire. Ridiculous. Give him an instrument and he’ll change the world with beautiful music. Give her a paintbrush and you’ll have high society bidding up her abstract paintings. Please never let anyone convince you that ADD is an actual disease.

     Listen, I’m all ears but is it not absolutely insane how hell bent we are on medicating our children into zombies? Does nobody want to deal with anything anymore? I suppose I’m not really surprised. This is what you get when the masses have been programed to expect more and more and more, and all for free, despite the reality that there is no such thing as free. By the way, anything you get for free is taken from somebody else, and take a wild guess what happens when there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling the cart? Yup, that’s right, the cart stops. Brilliant deduction. If we cannot understand this most basic of equations, then please do yourself a favor and pare back your expectations for future prosperity.

     Part 2 re counseling and the futility of trying to figure out why we use coming up soon… We may also get into the dual-diagnosis hoax and why treating multiple disorders in an addict is totally wrong, as again, it is treating the symptoms and not the real problem. There is a difference between symptoms and core disease. Treatment professionals treat the symptoms (which is only a temporary band-aid) whereas the spiritual program of action of the twelve steps treats the core disease. The point is that drug addicts need more talking and more drugs about as much as they need to speedball heroin and crack into their eyeballs.

God, please give me knowledge of Your will for me and the power to carry it out…