“Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
May God bless you and keep you—until then.” – Alcoholics Anonymous p.164
So I tried. I went to see social workers and shrinks. I talked about my Dad, the abusive babysitters, my nutso grandmother and all sorts of messed up shit I had been through. Lol, what a joke. I saw some of the most ‘prestigious’ psychiatrists at McLean hospital who were convinced that I had some sort of severe chemical imbalance, that addiction was not my primary diagnosis (as if there’s such a thing as primary, secondary, tertiary etc. diagnoses – acute this, presenting that, disorder 3a not otherwise specified etc. Joke). I tried different combinations of science projects like the dutiful, blind and incapable guinea pig that I was. I tried group therapy, relapse prevention, trigger identification, role play, harm reduction, exercise, jobs, girlfriends, school, traveling, Outward Bound, art, music, herbal remedies, homeopathy, self-help books, visualization, crystals, polarity, past lives, psychic scars, new-age bullshit and entire belief systems. And what did I learn?
None of it could fix or heal what ailed me. It doesn’t work that way, despite popular belief. It wasn’t until I realized that drugs and alcohol had me and that I’d lost the power to do anything about it that I finally began to change in earnest. When I understood that I was not the smartest, most amazing and powerful thing in the Universe, I finally began moving forward and growing up.
Soon after, I realized that while there are some things I cannot do, such as fix myself, there is a great and unlimited Power that can. As I allowed the “scales of prejudice” and arrogance to fall from me, the entire world shifted. Humility and action changed my life… and then the miracles started occurring. When you take spiritual action and actually see results, that’s when you realize that God does in fact exist and that His great and unseen Intelligence is well beyond the scope of human comprehension. As my mind was suddenly and forever altered, I stood there thinking Holy Shit! I knew deep in my heart that the force of God was mind-blowing in its power – limitless and capable of anything.
The truth is that there is nothing God cannot do, and when you witness His power to heal, you understand that the solution to ALL of your problems is to simply do things that will get you closer to Him.
I left treatment still weak and damaged – bridges burned, countless hurt, no job and tens of thousands in debt. Within two years, I had made amends to every person and institution on my list, my debt was paid in full, my college degree was finished, and I had started some groups, spoken publicly, worked with guys in the Big Book, and chased a bunch of teenage addicts around at a recovery school and supported their families. More importantly, I had become a trusted friend and resource, and after years of uncertainty, suddenly became a rock for my family. YES, my mom doesn’t worry about me ever. From once sleeping with the phone and panicked 24/7, she lives in peace and knows with every cell in her body that I am recovered and will never use or drink ever again. If you want to confirm that, email me and I’ll give you her email.
And then after those first two years, that’s when my life really began. The foundation had been laid and it was takeoff time.
I sit here today with a few gray hairs, surrounded by my lovely family. We have a little boy, a baby girl and a sweetheart rescue lab. It’s been over ten years and I have done more than I would have done in a lifetime as a non-addict. What’s next? Who knows and who cares… but I can tell you one thing, and that is if any of you truly want to get better, you can. You just simply cannot give up and you cannot stop moving forward. There is no secret, no complex modality, no miracle drug and no special new formula. The answer is HARD WORK and GOD.
And you know what? I am grateful for my addiction. I would never have the amazing life and this access to the spiritual realm had I not suffered the dirty depths of opiate addiction and instead drifted aimlessly through life as your average, clueless, mundane zombie.
Physical loss of power is permanent. Mental loss of power is temporary and can be restored, and once this occurs, we have the power of choice back and can simply choose to stay sober and grow spiritually for the rest of our once shitty, now amazing, lives.
Lord, please show us the way to freedom…
Great blog. I will print and mail to my daughter who is doing great! By the way, I print and mail her lots of your blogs and she's also read your book.. I also imagine the book is being passed around Abion Correctional Facility for many others to read. Best to you and your beautiful family!
That is the best news I've heard in so long. I pray for her continued strength and action. And I hope many of her cohorts can read the book before the powers that be confiscate it and classify it as anti-establishment 'contraband' 😉 My very best to you as well, Liz.