Banning Drugs & Socializing Treatment is Useless

     Some people just don’t get it…

     Banning drugs does nothing to curb drug use.

     As well,

     Taxing people for more treatment centers does nothing to increase recovery rates.

     If addicts want to get high, they will get high.

     If addicts want to recover, they will recover.

     This is what clueless sounds like:

     “They should pay for this!” They should pay for that!”

     Who’s they, the government? Um, dumbasses, the government pays for shit with money they tax from the few people still working in the private sector. And when they just print money to pay for shit that they can’t pay for, (deficit spending), it comes from your children, as new currency is borrowed into existence. Most people don’t know this, but our monetary system is literally designed to bleed you slowly over time.

     Anyway, ban oxycontin and we will just start drinking. Ban drinking and we will just start cutting ourselves or something. We will get what we need no matter how much you try to control everything. And where does it end? Who are all of the whiners to endorse just taking people’s money? Who are they to draw the boundaries of our freedom?

     So you can’t just control and ban everything you think is bad, for that sort of power trip lays the foundation for tyranny. I realize the collectivists would love to just tell people what they have to do, what they have to think, where they have to work, what can and cannot be produced, and what can or cannot be on the market, but the truth that is inexplicably lost on them for some reason is that all socialist societies throughout history have collapsed after devolving into impoverishment, massive unemployment, massive dependency, a total loss of freedom, privacy and authoritarian rule. It is an abject failure.

     Obviously, nobody wants poison to be sold or for the earth to be polluted, but that’s not the point I’m making. Freedom and free markets is the only way to go, so long as you prosecute fraud, corruption and criminal activity, which we don’t currently do. In fact, the current mandate is to promote failure and reward fraud and corruption… and then run for office, of course. But we must distinguish between what is an actual threat and what is simply a political movement based on nonsense.

     At any rate, if you just ban and control and tax everybody until they are bleeding out, guess what happens next? Civil unrest. Chaos. Total breakdown. Great job.

     Try dealing with the real world as opposed to the theoretical world. 

Semantics Are Important

     Sort of an interesting comment recently about recovering vs. recovered. The assertion was that whether we used the term ‘recovered’ or ‘recovering’ was merely semantics. Now, needless to say, if what you’re doing works, then great. However, my specific use of the two terms describe two totally separate conditions, and as such, is anything but a cursory study of semantics. This often happens where someone just looks at the title of a post and quickly replies before actually comprehending it.

     The majority of people who “join” AA, go to meetings, and relapse chronically are certainly not recovered, and therefore, we wouldn’t choose to use that term if we’re still owned by our alcoholism or addiction. To note, many people in AA are not alcoholics anyway, and in that case, neither term is relevant.

     When I say recovered, I am using the term to describe being free from the mental obsession. In other words, a recovered person no longer suffers from thoughts to drink or use. When I use the term recovering, I am sadly referring to the more common state of still suffering from the mental obsession and therefore subject to relapse at any moment. Thus, to be recovered is an entirely different condition than being recovering, if we use those terms to describe the above two conditions. A recovered man is sane; a recovering man is still very much insane.

     The comment also described being recovered as including freedom from both the mental obsession and the physical allergy. If you are recovered from the physical allergy to drugs and alcohol, that would imply you can drink or use normally, moderately and recreationally, like a normal person. So if you don’t have the allergy, then you’re not an alcoholic or a drug addict, and you never were.

     The point is that we never recover from the physical allergy once we have crossed over that line and broken our bodies. We will never be able to drink or use drugs normally. If we are alcoholic or drug addicted, then we die with the allergy. This is just an unfortunate fact for all of you who are bummed out that we can’t drink recreationally. Ironically, were an individual who misses drinking actually become recovered, they would have no interest or desire whatsoever to become a normal drinker again. Talk to a recovered person who has had a profound spiritual experience and you’ll know what I mean.

     So you can make a non-addict into an addict, but there is no turning an addict back into a non-addict (physically speaking). Hope that clears it up. It is very important to realize that if you’re still suffering from the mental obsession, you are not okay, and you will relapse at some point in the future, probably sooner than later.

     However, once you experience a psychic change and your obsession is lifted, then you will know what I mean when I say recovered, and why using that term has nothing to do with being recovering or being complacent about my illness. I am recovered simply because I no longer suffer from thoughts to drink or use, not because I am cocky about my addiction or my recovery. I might be a cocky shithead asshole anyway, but not about drug addiction or alcoholism. I assure you that I take addiction and recovery as serious as life and death.

     As the big book so eloquently states, “We are on a life and death errand.”

     That being the case, I would figure out how to become recovered if you’re still struggling and fighting to get through each day, or if crawling from meeting to meeting isn’t cutting it, or if you have mind-blowing depression and still want to drink or use at every turn. Trust me, being in recovery is no place to be, and it certainly is something to take far more seriously than dismissing it as semantics.

     To note, semantics refers to the branch of linguistics concerned with meaning, context, implication etc. So I don’t mean to be a dick, but when you say “Hey, recovered/recovering, it’s just semantics”, you really aren’t making the point you’re trying to make. You are saying that the meaning, context and implication of these two terms is exactly the same, when semantics quite literally deals with the difference in meaning between the two terms.

     So guess what… you’re right!  I am dealing with semantics, and I’ll just assume that we’re now all aware of why it is important to do so.

Book Update

      Since December, I have been actively writing a new addiction book entitled, “Anybody Can Take Steps”, which breaks down the 12 Step process for anybody, addict or not. There is no reason why these universal tools and insights should be limited to the maladies of alcoholism and addiction.

     The book also tries to describe many of the challenges we face today regarding our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, habits, relationships and social dynamics. More importantly, I try to repeatedly connect all of that stuff to the importance of attending to our spiritual health, as many of our problems can be explained by some void or emptiness, by some disconnect or lack of purpose.

     At any rate, I’m almost done with the rough draft and then I will edit it and publish it.

     I’m also writing a book entitled, “Privileged Addict Quotes”, which will be a collection of the best quotes, ideas and concepts from the last several years of writing and blogging about addiction and recovery. Who has the time to read the entire blog or the books? Besides, some of it is repetitive and can be left where it is. So this book will simply give you everything you need in one fell swoop.

     Remember, of course, that written work is just that, words on a page, and can never be equated with action. Reading can be wonderful, refreshing and educational, but we must work hard if we are to effect real and lasting change in our lives.

     In the meantime, I will continue blogging as much as I can. Promise.

     At some point, however, I want to get back to some other more creative writing I do. Writing about addiction and recovery has been one of the great loves of my life, but it is very targeted and limited stylistically. I’ll probably always continue writing about addiction throughout my life, but I do have to make some time to work on other projects.

     God bless all of you.

     And thank you so much for continuing to read this nonsense 😉 

Recovery Is Very Simple

     


     The only thing necessary for an addict to recover is for he or she to decide that they really want to change. If you really want it, anything is possible. There is no such thing as ‘he or she tried their best but still relapsed and went into the darkness’. If we truly want it, and not 99.9% but 100%, it will happen. Trust me, if they failed, they didn’t really want it. They didn’t want to change completely. 



Don’t Ever Give Up

“If you’re going through hell, keep going… Never, never, never give up.”  

*

     My poor dad, God bless him, died from early onset, atypical dementia. He deteriorated over the course of 12 years as his brain gradually degenerated. Early onset, atypical Dementia? Lol. Um, no. My Dad was a very sad, broken, severely depressed, dry alcoholic whose spiritual malady began to manifest organically as his brain turned on itself.

     What’s the point, you may ask? The point is that whether we are alcoholics or addicts, whether we are parents or spouses, or whether we are just human beings living on earth, we are all faced with the same question:

     Are we going to give up?

     Really, what could possibly be gained from giving up?

     If you’re in the middle of hell, why turn around? There is nothing to be gained by turning back and everything to be gained if we keep going. The lesson my dad taught me was to never give up. He gave up and lived the last ten years of his life in a piss-reeking facility in Belmont, Massachusetts, staring at his navel all day long while shitting his pants and taking out the nursing staff with the most horrendous sewer breath ever known to man.

     Trust me, you don’t want to go out that way.

     So don’t ever give up on yourself. You can love addicts from a distance by fighting for yourself, for your own soul, and by finding your own strength and wisdom and serenity. Don’t let anything or anyone take you out.

     If you do, it is nobody’s fault but your own.

Also see, Never Give Up & Befriend the Darkness

P.S. I have tons of old posts I never published. They only take a few minutes so I usually write several at a time and then post one of them. What should I do? Publish them? My only hesitation is that they’re old, you know, like, old energetically… but then again, they might be something for you to read while I finish the book…
  
God, please fill me up today with your wisdom, strength, power and grace…

Who Really Gets Us Better?

     Another question I get sometimes is,  

     “Charlie, why don’t you take credit for your recovery? I don’t understand, obviously it was you who did all this work and accomplished what you have accomplished.”

     Thanks, but no. I take no credit for what happened to me, for the ability and the power to do good, and for the blessings in my life that have occurred as a result of taking Steps and trying to get closer to God. Yes I did some work and gave it my all, but you have to separate the work we do from the work God does. And no, this does not conflict with cause and effect. Sure I believe that if we work hard, we will yield positive results, but that doesn’t mean we are the source of the results.

     So yes I made the effort, but the actual changes that occurred inside of me was the work of God. And yes I continued to make the effort and fight through some tough feelings, but the blessings that materialized because of this effort and consistency was the work of God. In fact, even the power that I had to work hard and fight and walk through pain and persevere, that is God as well. Everything good that I do and that I have is from God and is God. I of my own faculties am not capable of what has happened to me and how my life has turned out since, and it would be a grotesque and arrogant distortion of reality to think otherwise.

     Now listen, even if you don’t believe that, trust me, it’s a better attitude to have. Thinking that we are responsible for every good thing that happens to us is grandiose. Patting ourselves on the back and giving ourselves credit for our recovery and the blessings that ensue is a dangerous game, for that is the kind of thinking, the kind of attitude and frame of reference that got us into trouble to begin with. The arrogance, the presumed invincibility, and the almighty power we are somehow delusional enough to attribute to ourselves is precisely the sort of thing that drives our addiction and our painfully annoying addict behavior.

     So even if you don’t acknowledge the existence of God because you are caught up in the facade of words, symbols and ideology, get over it, because believe me, it is the kind of attitude that is crucial for us to adopt if we are to not simply get better but STAY better. Being an addict and all that accompanies addiction is an exercise in arrogance and grandiosity. True recovery, on the other hand, is an exercise in humility. The more self we can take out of the equation, the better.

     And this is not a way to beat ourselves up and self-deprecate! Today, you have endless nonsense and misinformation from the status quo trying to twist and contort the notion of powerlessness, as if you are all really that stupid. Understanding our powerlessness over drugs and alcohol is just a simple biological truth. We can’t drink or use normally. We can’t stop once we start. That’s it. It’s just an allergy, so to speak, and one that we gave to ourselves by using too much and one that we will now die with (great job). But it has nothing to do with seeing ourselves as some worthless piece of shit.

     The purpose of understanding our character defects is not to incessantly judge, criticize and ridicule ourselves. Quite the contrary. The point of that is to simply identify some of our more maladaptive attitudes, patterns and behaviors so we can LET THEM GO and move on. It allows us to identify when we are making mistakes in the future. It allows us to become better people. Contrary to the ignorance of not seeing the forest for the trees, this process actually builds confidence and strength. It actually rids us of self-hatred and insecurity. It allows us to stand firm and look the world in the eye.

     I have nothing but confidence and self-acceptance from understanding that I am powerless over drugs and alcohol, and that I had some pretty powerful character defects that needed to be unearthed, understood, exorcised and changed into a more positive and right way to see self and others. There is nothing wrong with understanding that we make false assumptions about others. There is nothing wrong with finally seeing that we have been falsely blaming other people for circumstances that we alone have created. There is nothing wrong with coming back down to earth and working to dissolve the myriad of false perceptions we have acquired over the years.

     There is nothing wrong with a little reality.

     So don’t listen to the Step bashers for they really are absolutely clueless. They don’t understand the most simple and basic of concepts such as powerlessness and moral inventory, despite seeing themselves as intellectual powerhouses and authorities on the subject. Do yourself a favor (if need be) and remove the pile of bullshit that you have been fed and have mistakenly stored upstairs as if it is some sort of sacred cow. We don’t need pacifism and coddling when it comes to addiction. We need activism (self-less action) and no bullshit.

     P.S. Done with 8 rough chapters of the new book. I’m also publishing Privileged Addict Quotes for those who just need a quick dose, which will literally summarize the best of all this stuff. I also have a fiction story that is almost done, Anjer’s Awakening, which is a long version of a short story I wrote back in college. Once I get everything copyrighted and edited properly, I’ll put it all out there. I know it takes a while, but it has to be done right. I hope you guys can pick these up when they do finally come out… and of course that you find them useful… and oh, right, that you enjoy them 😉

Uhh, What’s the Point of the Blog?

     One time an in-law asked me what the point of the blog was. Yup, nope, they couldn’t figure it out. Some of us are just a wee bit too short-sighted to understand the point of writing or what I’m trying to do, no offense of course. But for those who need it spelled out, this is the deal:

     First of all, both the book and the blog were simply a response to having children. With suddenly much less time to travel, speak and work with people individually, writing allowed me to continue helping right from home. Second, let me confirm that I myself am the knucklehead addict who I so often refer to generally in these posts. This is simply my experience with what addiction is, what works and what fails.

     Third and most important, the tone and the approach I choose to take is very much a targeted one. I am trying to get all of my fellow addicts and alcoholics out there to fight for their lives, to do this work, to give back the relief we have stolen from those who love us, and to make positive changes in the world by getting well enough to go help others. That’s what all this was about.

    Oh, and I also enjoy writing. I find it meditative and nourishing.

     I am called many things, but let me just address the ego thing. Sure I’m an arrogant dickhead sometimes, but regarding the addiction and recovery stuff, I have a dinky little blog and a self-published book that I’ve only lost money on to this point. That’s not exactly rocket fuel for the ego, hahahaha. I am also the first one to admit how frequently I mess up, how I fail constantly to live up to spiritual principles, and how deeply I am flawed and damaged.

     But you see, that’s the point. This awareness of our problem and of who we truly are is absolutely crucial if we are to be saved. Honesty is crucial. And our journey doesn’t end there. After we become honest, we have to act – day after day, month after month, year after year. That’s what we deserve. More importantly, that’s what our families deserve. That’s what God deserves.

God, please give imagination, sight and wisdom to those who are dull, blind and stupid…

Huh?

     I’ve had the profound blessing of publicly speaking to groups of parents as well as the opportunity to work individually with moms and dads, either in the Steps or through general counseling and addiction education. One thing I’m always asked is something like,

     “Yeah but Charlie, you’ve had success because you’ve worked really hard and you are committed and passionate about this stuff, but my kid might not be able to do it like you…”

     Do what? Work hard? Please.

     “There are just certain things he can’t do, certain things he won’t do, certain things he’s not willing to do…”

     Um, no. Sorry. That’s not gonna cut it. There is no such thing as ‘he or she can’t do it’. There is only ‘he or she won’t do it’. And the only remedy for that is to suck it up and just do it. If they are not willing, then they need to become willing. And if they have trouble becoming willing, they need to get over their issues with spiritual concepts and pray for willingness. Whether they want to believe it or not, God is there. I can prove it, too, via my own experience and what happened to me and to my brain chemistry within a split second.

     So whatever your addict says about how such and such is just too hard, well, that’s all bullshit. And yes, even if they are riddled with 27 different mental disorders, as if there are actually 27 different unique mental disorders. Lol. The medical/psychiatric Establishment will tell you there are hundreds, but for the sake of remaining on topic, let’s just assume that you understand that the DSM-5 is all propaganda. The bottom line is this: There is no choice. We have to work hard whether we want to or not.

     But why? Why can’t he just hang out on suboxone and seroquel and rip butts all day and do absolutely nothing with his life? You don’t understand Charlie, he or she may need do that because of their depression and anxiety and attention deficit and the emotional burden of their feelings of sadness and self-consciousness and insecurity and boredom and stress and…

     You gotta be kidding me. Does he need a diaper too? Personal CNA? And do you really want the rest of the country to foot the bill for his selfishness? So we should now subsidize being human?

     I don’t think so. I’m not a brain surgeon but something just doesn’t add up. Being uncomfortable isn’t a novelty. Not being able to step out of our comfort zones isn’t a national crisis, a vicious and blameless disease we need to throw money at by taxing everybody else who didn’t choose to become preoccupied with self, comfort, drugs, alcohol… And please, no comments about that. The process of losing choice is a choice.

     So… the slow-to-think status quo has finally begun to grasp the notion that the power of choice can be lost but in return are now removing choice from the recovery equation? Wow. So we must now forgive the insane behavior of an addict but how dare we judge them and push them when they stubbornly and childishly refuse to work hard and go to any lengths to get better? Are we toddlers who must be coddled? Have we really become that programmed and politically correct? Have we really become that dependent and entitled?

     By the way, the current “addicts are victims of addiction” nonsense is a propaganda campaign to sell people their drugs instead of Pablo’s street drugs. It is advertising, cleverly disguised by academic elitists as credible science. We don’t need intellectuals and drug companies to fix addiction. We don’t need to be told what to do by people with zero experience outside of the classroom or the lab. We need recovered addicts and spiritual guides with real world, lasting tools of change.

     I don’t know why it’s such a rare concept, but guess what addicts and alcoholics need to address? Guess what our fundamental problem is?

     LIFE.

     But let’s stay on topic. Why should we consider there be no choice other than to get better and stay better?

     Because the moment we lose control of our drinking or using is the moment we no longer have the right to drink or use. We can and we must work hard simply because it is now our responsibility to do so. It’s not an option. We must get better. We must be responsible sons and daughters and siblings and friends and spouses and parents. It is requirement of living life.

     We say that addiction is not a choice, but why not recovery? If anything is not a choice, then it is doing anything it takes to fix ourselves and never again cower and justify the need to pleasure ourselves, if by doing so harms self or others.

     Sorry but you can’t blame being weak on your brain or your DNA. If you are weak, then you are just being weak. And to get stronger, you just need to be strong. There’s no other way to get out of the pickle we are in. We simply have to act and courageously walk through our pain. And if we find that it’s difficult, that’s because it’s supposed to be. But there is not one single addict out there in the entire world who is not capable of going to any lengths to get better.

    I know I said there is a blueprint and there is fate… but I also know that we can defy our fate and change our blueprints… and then, you see, changing our fate was our fate. Get it? Whatever happens is our fate 😉