Anybody Can Recover

     I was a selfish, depressed, disgusting, indulgent, narcissistic, alcoholic, heroin addict pig. Today I am recovered.

     Anybody with the capacity to be honest with themselves can recover and go on to live an incredible life. They can become well-respected members of their families and communities. They can love, listen and serve others with distinction. If they do the work, anything is possible. If they give their lives to God, miracles become a near daily event. So the only question is, why not? Trust me, it’s not our fucking brain disease that keeps us from getting better, especially given the fact that we gave it to ourselves and can recover mentally at any point in time. It is the fact that we don’t want to change. It is pure selfishness. Please try to wrap your head around that.

     On another note, I am nobody. I couldn’t care less about the specifics of my self or my identity. I can be interchanged with anybody who has recovered. I do this because my experience as someone who was a hopeless drug addict and then recovered can help others behind me. It can also serve to help family members and spouses understand the illness of addiction, why so many of us fail, and what we really need to do in order to truly recover – to effect real and lasting change.

     So the purpose of the blog and the story I wrote is the same purpose as when I run a group, or speak publicly, or work with other addicts or their families individually. That purpose is to do whatever I can to help others find God. That is the point of the Twelve Steps. That is the point of recovery. That is the point of life. And don’t forget to have some fun.

     I am now actively writing another book with the working title, “Twelve Steps for Anybody.” The first draft is almost halfway done, and I’ll just need some time to edit it. This book will break down the Step process for anybody, addict or not. I hope it will expose this solution and serve as a guide for families, spouses or anybody suffering from anything at all. I am convinced that harnessing these tools can bring about greater health, freedom and inner peace, regardless of what ails you.

     I’ll continue to blog as well, but this book should be my primary focus for the immediate future. Also, we welcomed our little baby girl to the world on Thanksgiving Day. Let me tell you, she is an angel. So I’m on lockdown around here with our two gems and our puppy dog… but I will ring up as many posts as I can and keep you posted as to the progress of the new book.

Privileged Addict Quotes 3

     This is the third installment following Privileged Addict Quotes and Privileged Addict Quotes 2. Enjoy.


“Hitting bottom occurs when we can no longer lie to ourselves. Getting better occurs when we can no longer lie to others.”

“The reward in not being an addict is not being an addict.”

“I started getting better when I started hearing what I didn’t want to hear and doing what I didn’t want to do.”

“Being recovered has nothing to do with what I’ve learned or read or blabbed on and on about with a therapist. How ridiculous the notion that we can talk our way into recovery, when all addicts do is talk.” 

“Who and what we are is the sum of what we do. We do not talk or study or pill-pop our way into recovery. We act our way in.” 

“Psychotherapy and addiction don’t mix, as the fabrication of reasons is totally counter-productive.”

“Words and ideas are but dormant seeds – devoid of power unless grown and cultivated via rigorous and repeated action…

     … Please stay tuned for the release of Privileged Addict Quotes, which will include every quote from Privileged Addict Quotes 1, 2, 3 & 4 as well as both books.

Do You Want The Truth?

     You know that feeling you have when you hear the truth? It sort of rings throughout your entire being like a perfect melody or chord. We call that harmony. You know when you have heard or seen the truth because you can feel it deep within and you become clear. Well that is how I feel about the following statement.

     Addiction is a consequence of doing the wrong thing, while recovery is a consequence of doing the right thing. For some reason, harmful and immoral behavior especially effects alcoholics and addicts. It ravages and wreaks havoc on the soul, and that is a perfect recipe for drug addiction. If I fail to understand this, I will never be able to recover or to help others recover. It is absolutely crucial to understand the connection between addiction and doing the wrong thing.

     Addicts must continue to employ the false solution of drugs in an attempt to mask the damage they are doing to their conscience. An addict in the thick of it is a tortured soul, writhing in psychic pain, delusional, warped, abusive, probably experiencing frequent and terrifying nightmares.

     The connection between using drugs and alcohol and what it does to the soul and the conscience of a person must be respected at all costs. To repair an addict, to either suddenly or gradually remove his addiction, i.e. his mental insanity, his conscience must be restored, and thus his soul. This you must understand. An addict must repair himself morally if he or she plans on ever achieving freedom and serenity.

     Addiction is synonymous with doing the wrong thing. Healing and recovery is synonymous with doing the right thing. One of the wisest things you can know about addiction is how little it has to do with the physical or scientific aspects – i.e. trying to reduce cravings, getting the brain chemicals just right, getting the relapse prevention meds just right, getting the externals just right, getting the relationships just right, getting the trigger avoidance plan just right, etc – when the only treatment for the physical allergy is pure abstinence.

     By doing this, you are essentially leaving the ADDICT WITHIN completely in tact and trying to cure something that is intangible by manipulating physical symptoms and what lies outside of us.

     The truth is that our primary problem is not physical. It is mental. It is emotional. It is spiritual. Whether you want to see the truth or not, it doesn’t matter, as you can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality (Ayn Rand). So please, if you want to help an addict, you must help them to understand that they have been doing the wrong thing, and that the antidote for addiction is to begin doing the right thing.

     If we are completely insane, we must be cleared out first, and this is exactly what the Steps are for. They restore us so that we are able to begin doing the right thing. The restore us so we can think, speak and act sanely again. To cure insanity, you don’t treat the symptoms of insanity. You must cure the very insanity itself. Trust me, the primary issue with addiction is NOT physical.

     Addiction is without question a moral problem. This is just as much a fact of reality as the world is round. We addicts have crushed our conscience and we hate that, so we employ the most selfish, physically comforting and false solution that exists (drugs and alcohol) to mask the effects of destroying our soul. But when that band-aid is torn off, watch out. No medication will stop what is about to erupt. And thus the insanity, a defense mechanism, if you will, kicks in and we are taken over by an obsession, an irrational thought, and we relapse.

     The only way to keep an addict sober is to cure his or her insanity. And then the only way to stay that way is to take actions that keep us sane. These actions must be moral or spiritual in their nature. If you want the truth, that is it. Addiction is a consequence of doing the wrong thing, while recovery is a consequence of doing the right thing.

     So we must never abscond addicts and alcoholics from their behavior by falsely dismissing it as some uncontrollable symptom of our illness. That very notion is just plain bullshit, needless to say.

Spirituality Is Not About Rapture

     “Then six months into recovery, I came flying off the pink cloud I was perched upon. I don’t know why, but suddenly I came crashing down emotionally. It was the makings of a depression and I was absolutely terrified. I mean, I thought I was okay… so what’s all this about? I had a spiritual experience and a psychic change. Isn’t life going to be perfect from now on?

     But this is the great test of the spiritual life. Am I going to keep doing this work even though it doesn’t give me some spiritual charge anymore, even though I feel mundane and human and sometimes even depressed? The mistake was that I had become attached to feeling good even in sobriety. I used tools solely meant to keep me sane in order to get high in sobriety. I couldn’t or wouldn’t do things that were good for me or for others just for the sake of doing them, just because they were the right things to do.

     I began to realize that spirituality wasn’t about trying to achieve constant rapture. Nope. Spirituality was about facing reality and being human. It was about feeling all facets of life, whether happy, sad, angry, lonely, good day, bad day, whatever day. So I pushed myself harder and refused to let feelings stop me. The inevitable result was that for the first time EVER, I evened out. It was the beginning of real strength. No more too high or too low. No more holes or cracks in my foundation. No longer just a flimsy shell. No longer insecure and ashamed of being a person. I stood with my feet on the ground. I could look life in the eye.” – The Privileged Addict, pp. 189-190:     

God, help us to walk through it all with courage and grace…

The 7th Step Prayer & Onward…

     “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.76

     I personally like to recite this prayer out loud every time I read 10th Step inventory, and it’s probably a good idea to recite it every time we make a mistake or do some fucked up shit.

     There is no need to alter the words of the Big Book and to water them down via workbooks and the soft, new age language that is so characteristic of psychology and other social sciences these days. The Big Book delineates precisely what we must do, and so when we have completed our initial 4th Step inventory and have done our 5th, 6th & 7th Steps, we must immediately go out and begin making amends. The people who don’t earnestly make their amends, all of them, are those who will not make it.

     “Now we need more action, without which we find that “Faith without works is dead.” Let’s looks at Steps Eight and Nine. We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves. If we haven’t the will to do this, we ask until it comes. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol.” – Ibid.

Living Amends

     “But what about my wife and family? They have no interest in a few brief remarks of regret and then I wipe my hands and off I go. Nope. They deserve that I change and act right each and every day until I die. And the people in their lives deserve that I change. By constantly worrying Mom sick, I robbed her boyfriend of having a full relationship with her. I made an amends to him and others wounded by the ripple effect of my behavior. Constant effort is the right thing to do. Besides, they may need to spill their pain months or years from now. I don’t get to dictate when they get their time on stage.

     Up North, the wise ones were crystal clear. “Having the courage to make these amends versus walking away to remain in your comfort zone is what separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women in this process.”

     That’s all I needed to hear. No one tells me that I’m not a man. For fifteen years, I walked around difficulty and now it was time to walk through it. Facing the people I hurt was so powerful that it fundamentally changed me as a person. I began treating people with greater love and acceptance. I was becoming sane again. Any addict can get sober, but to fix insanity, he must change the way he thinks, speaks, and acts…
     …I came home one night after completing about half of my amends. As I sat down on the couch, something mystical occurred. A great sense of peace poured through me. It was another realized miracle and promise from the Big Book. A shower of relief soaked my spirit and I felt truly happy. Finally, I was okay. All worries and insecurities about my life vanished for good. To this day, I have been recovered. In fact, it just gets better and better.” – The Privileged Addict, pp. 183, 190