Trust Me, The Root of Our Problem Is Selfishness


     So everybody’s wrong, right? Uh, no, I don’t think so.

     Regardless of what changes may occur to the brain from abusing drugs and alcohol year after year, the root of our problem is selfishness and the root of our recovery is unselfish action. Whether you want to believe that or not doesn’t change the truth. Whether you want to explain away an illness by blaming others, blaming environment or blaming genes doesn’t change the fact that addiction is acquired through selfish action and it is vanquished through unselfish action.

     I tracked some more searches for you over the course of the last two days. Hopefully this will help to illuminate the nature of our malady. Addicts can be likened to children who refuse to grow up, as growing up means shedding the ignorance of youth and the fantasy of adolescent narcissism. Growing up means hard work and personal responsibility. Growing up challenges us and pushes us out of our comfort zone – the one thing addicts don’t want to do – feel uncomfortable.

     With addiction, we need to challenge conventional wisdom. What you think will work for you or your addicted loved one may be the last thing you want to do, so consider trying the opposite. In fact, since nothing and nobody can stop an addict, we should probably do nothing at all. Blasphemy! Actually, it’s not. It’s common sense, which is uncommon. People usually choose to get better on their own as opposed to someone telling them to. Left alone, we are much more likely to change than if we are followed around, coddled and so forth. Huh?! Why! Charlie, you dumbass!

     Cool, no problem. Do whatever you want. However, the people who tried to intervene and shower me with pamphlets, doctors, pills and even love and friendship simply delayed my recovery. Allowing me to sink lower into the depths of darkness and despair was what closed the gap between me and God. The lower we go and the worse we get, the closer we get to God, one way or the other.

     Sure you don’t have to lose all of your teeth and become a walking STD before recovering, but trust me, most addicts won’t stop using until they want to stop. To be more accurate, most addicts won’t change until they want to change, short of some miracle… and yes, those occur as well, though not usually while we’re sitting on our asses nodding off after a trip to the methadone clinic. 

01/23/15 – 01/24/15

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God, please rid us from the spiritual disease of selfishness, the preoccupation with self, and the addiction to comfort…

10 thoughts on “Trust Me, The Root of Our Problem Is Selfishness

  1. Thank you for your blog/site. I read it often, .

    While I “thought” recovery had started, and I was doing what I could to help out with things, today I have found that sometime within the last week my child has cleaned out my house, stolen everything in my home of value, stolen my bank identity and emptied my bank account, stolen everything. Literally….not – stolen my sanity or stolen my heart or whatever we all say. No, she took everything.

    Anyone who is reading this, please believe what Charlie says and take his advice. He is correct. We all think they will get better, hold their parent to a higher standard and NOT hurt/take advantage of us, etc. Wrong. So, when the police had shown up at my door all those times and I “didn't know how to locate her” or when she called from jail and I bailed or when I though she was on her way to stability, its a lie. With every bill you help out with, its their own money that is now freed up for them to use/spend on drugs/alcohol. Don't believe them. They lie. Its all lies. Even when they go to church with you and cry and pray out loud. Its all just a game to get more money out of you to continue using on your dime/support.

    Believe what Charlie says. YOU are NOT different. Read this —–> YOUR SITUATION IS NOT DIFFERENT. Today, I am emotionally and financially devastated. While she is using my $$ for God knows what, now I cant pay my house payment.

    Thank you again, Charlie. I honestly, honestly, honestly don't now where to turn. So, I appreciate you, here.

  2. I don't have an account listed to publish my name, so I use anonymous. But my name is Jen and wanted to tell you that I'm praying for you. I'm so very sorry for the heartache you're going through. I know the pain of a loved one's betrayal. The lies, stealing, manipulations, crocodile tears… Actually have one in rehab for a little over two months and got on here to comment yet again to how spot on and amazing Charlie is, and saw you're comment. The root is selfishness. For all the talk about addicts low self-esteem and self hatred, their actions show quite a grandiose entitlement that begs to differ. So many prayers and hugs sent your way… Please know you're not alone in this hell, and thank God that while this time is awful, you are wiser and stronger now and won't ever let it happen again. It almost becomes a godsend when we hurt enough to build a wall of protection, and a relief when enough becomes enough to shut and lock the door to our hearts and sanity. Charlie's advice is dead on. Sober or not, if selfishness is there, it's only a matter of time. Please know you're in my thoughts, and not alone in your wake up call to this. Tonight I shut the door to my heart to him, and am praying for me and you instead. Like Charlie said, they can find God best in the darkness. However, it's time for us to feel some light. Praying for a financial miracle for you!! Jen

  3. Thank you, Jen.

    Almost not functioning at this point. I have to go to work, obviously, today and I cannot even fathom how that is going to happen, I am so upset. I have not called the police. I am sure I should. I just want it all to go away. Im sick, physically, and pacing. Wondering where I went wrong. I appreciate your post and to have a place to come and vent, reason, whatever. Just cant quit crying. Your words mean so much. I have not prayed all night. Maybe its time I did…

  4. And as I have spent the last two days scrutinizing, she has been stealing from me for months. Never think you are looking too closely. They are very sneaky, but they lose in the end. It's def the devastation I needed to turn away, let the consequences fall where they may.

  5. As a parent we take a silent vow to teach our children right from wrong. I know you don't want to call the police and file charges because you don't want to feel that you caused her to have a record or to sit in jail. But that may very well be the day she finally wakes the hell up, or at least saves her life from being on the street. A lot of times banks have theft coverage where your money is returned to you. At least a police report of theft helps with the mortgage company. But as long as she is comfortable and not held accountable, nothing will change. You respect Charlie, so please hear his advice in making her uncomfortable. We cannot stay healthy putting an addicts care before our own. We go down with them when we do. Despair feels awful. It's time to get mad! If you're putting her first, and she's putting her first, where does that leave you? I guarantee you will continue to be an easy target if there's no consequence. But I know you've had enough! Shake that shock off and grasp that anger with everything you have! Then call the police, file charges, call the bank, and call the mortgage co. This is where your power lies, hon. When we say that we will no longer be a victim, we no longer become one. I tried the soft way for years. When I got pissed, when I had it, when he knew I meant business and manipulations didn't work, changes happened. For so long we hope, wait, and pray for them to change. But it's we that has to lead the way. By making it as uncomfortable as possible. You're first priority is YOU. Next is being a parent to this girl that needs consequences, just as a child needs discipline. You're not her friend, you're her parent. And she's not being an adult, so see her as a child that needs rules, for nothing is truer. Rules and consequences may be the only guidance you can give her, but it's your only shot to save both of you, Lor. Prayers behind you 100%! Feel that anger!! Jen ((hugs))

  6. Lor, thank you for reaching out and God bless you. I am thinking of you, and am praying hard for you and your daughter this morning. This is devastating, and I would certainly call the police. Though it may not help much with the feelings, it is a step in beginning to pick up the pieces. As well, they may be able to recover some of things from various pawn shops etc. Going to pray now…

  7. Thank you, Jen, for reaching out and for your words. I may post another old one about enabling just to hammer this subject. We cannot allow people who are lost and sick (at least for now) to steal from us whether emotionally or physically and financially. Bless you, Jen.

  8. God bless you too, Charlie. Your words have been a godsend to me! I can't thank you enough for helping me see what recovery looks like, for its allowed me to trust myself that even in treatment, he's nowhere close. You are so right how loved ones lose sight of what's up or down, so much we can't trust our own judgment anymore. Losing that was everything, for I couldn't trust my own head or heart. But you shed light on it in such a way, I have faith in me again. I know my gut feelings, and it's empowering to feel something and be told you're right, no matter how many times they say you're crazy. After years of selfish behavior, he told me now he has to be selfish and put recovery first. What?! “Oh but there's meetings, group therapy, counseling, his FEELINGS… ” lol. Then to explode in defensiveness when I stated that I don't feel valued at all by him… This should be ME time, others time, not more selfish him time. And that's my closure. You validated every thought and feeling I had, Charlie, what genuine recovery is. And even more, that I do deserve more. How can I ever put a price on that gift? Jen

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