Do the Opposite of Therapy

 

Feelings, beliefs, the past, other people, the world… none of it matters. It’s all about action and moving forward. Never forget that recovery is not a function of time, faith or will. We cannot just get sober, sit around, hit some meetings and whine on the therapy couch. We cannot wish ourselves better. Recovering from alcoholism and addiction is purely a function of action. Right action.

From Do the Opposite of Therapy:

So if therapy is sitting on a couch and talking about yourself, you wanna do the opposite of that.

Comment:
I can’t wait to get my hands on your new book Charlie! ūüôā

Here is a question for you about your comment that we should do the opposite of therapy. What about those people whose lives have been destroyed by an addict – partners who have been abused in every possible way for many years – codependents I guess you could call us. Do you think therapy is a waste of time for us, too?

Sometimes I wonder how I am going to pick up the pieces and get my life back.


Response:

Thank you so much about the book! Taking longer than usual because of new baby and toddler, but coming along nonetheless.

So I was talking about addicts and alcoholics specifically. I guess I wouldn’t know if therapy wasn’t totally useless for non-addicts because I am an addict through and through, but I do believe strongly that action and removal of self are ultimately the best things for us. I also know many non-addicts who haven’t changed at all after years and years of therapy, but then again, maybe their therapists are just clueless. But if it feels good or provides you comfort, that is all that matters.

When I write these things, they are directed purely towards addicts and alcoholics, unless otherwise noted ūüėČ

When it comes to addicts, you kind of have to turn everything around. We’re not normal, so what may be appropriate for everyone else, an addict may need the opposite.

For example, if my sister stole something from me, I might just go talk to her and perhaps even tell her not to beat herself up, but if she was an addict and stole from me, I would probably have her arrested. The first sister may have needed compassion and not to judge herself so harshly, whereas the addict sister needed to be humbled.

And to note, I’ve never come across a case where an addict didn’t need to be humbled, and in a significant way.

Bless you. 
     
     This can be summed up with one simple and inspired anecdote, told by the sponsee of a friend of mine.
     
¬†¬†¬†¬† “When I tell my therapist about something that pisses me off, he says, ‘Yes I can understand why that would make you angry.’¬†When I tell my sponsor about something that pisses me off, he says, ‘What was your wrong in the situation? Don’t focus on others, focus on yourself.'”

¬†¬†¬†¬† Beautiful. Clearly God was speaking through this guy, though I’m sure it was lost on everybody else in the meeting.

God, please teach us not to ask others for answers but to find them ourselves, to focus not on others but rather ourselves, and to blame not others but rather ourselves…¬†

Elements of a Narcissist & the Victim Mentality

“Hell hath no fury like a narcissist unmasked.”

     * Have poor or no memory of events. Narcissists will rip you apart at the seams and then have little to no recollection of the event just days later. When they do have a memory of events, reality has shifted. They see themselves as the victim and you as the abusive one.

* Have no interest in your life. Narcissists have no interest in anybody’s life but their own. They will dump their woes on you for hours without ever thinking it might be appropriate to shut up for a second and ask you about your life. They are jealous and envious of any blessing that may come your way, and will work to change the conversation at once.

* Engage in pathological projection. The narcissist will attribute or ‘project’ every negative quality they own onto you, while never taking ownership themselves. Conversely, they will attribute any good qualities, if they exist at all, as well as any personal accomplishments, to themselves and nobody else. So if it’s bad, it’s you. If it’s good, it’s them.

 

* Have delusions of grandeur. Narcissists believe they are divinely gifted and wonder why the world’s richest and most famous don’t lay down the carpet for them. They believe themselves to be in circles they are not actually in, nor have any business being in. They believe they will no doubt be seen and discovered, that others should just sort of magically see their brilliance.

Narcissus gazing at his own reflection.

* Believe everything is about them.¬† Even if nothing has happened, the narcissist will often make something up to suit their needs. “I saw the way you looked at me the other day” is a typical sort of comment, even if you were looking at nothing and thinking of nothing. I once worked for a woman who ran this school who especially met this criteria, as well as many others, so you really have to be careful.

* See others as an extension of themselves. Narcissists believe that the only person who truly matters is themselves. They believe that the only feelings and thoughts that matter are their own, that the thoughts, feelings and lives of others are not nearly as important and that nobody suffers in the same way they do, as if they are somehow unique from the rest of the human race.

* Believe themselves to be victims. Narcissists will concoct stories out of thin air when you refuse to give them exactly what they want in order to paint themselves as some victim of your imagined cruelty. They will say anything to convince others in your camp that they have been victimized by you. They will do anything to prevent others from seeing how insane and sadistic they truly are.

* Are extremely self-seeking. All the narcissist cares about is how they are seen by others, and they will destroy, mar or abuse anybody they need to in order to protect their self-image. What’s so fascinating is that the narcissist often has no idea that the way they see themselves is totally removed from reality. They have no idea how truly horrible they are as people, how vicious they are, how demented they are, how sadistic they are, how delusional they are.

 
* Are pathological liars. Every single thing out of a narcissist’s mouth is a lie. They need to lie in order to protect their warped self-image, to get what they want, and to hurt those who disobey them. As well, everything is a big deal. Molehills are made into mountains, so if they perceive you to have slighted them in any way, watch out, as you will be targeted and incur their wrath swiftly.

* Take no responsibility for their actions. Narcissists will never be accountable for what they have done. They will abuse with ease, but are completely incapable of taking any responsibility. They are proud, deranged and shattered, and will often twist events to avoid the truth. Don’t expect an apology from a narcissist because you won’t get one, let alone real change. And if for some reason you do get an apology, it is only because they have some self-serving agenda.

 

* Have no guilt/remorse and are desperate for attention. Narcissists will hurt you deeply and never think twice about it. They have no feelings for anyone and are incapable of loving. Narcissists are sociopaths and have a pathological, whore-like need for attention. There are no ends to which a narcissist won’t crawl to get attention, often concocting stories and fantasies about themselves as heroes or victims. They are the center of the universe and everybody else is to be used in some way. Everything is about them. Everything. They truly enjoy hurting others and take pride in their sadistic ability. They are extremely selfish and manipulative but fail utterly to see it. They truly believe they have never committed a wrong, that they are normal and quite loving. Needless to say, they are totally delusional and deranged. The only thing that matters to the narcissist is the narcissist.

     To sum it up, below is an excerpt from Victim Mentality, which is a typical narcissist frame of mind. They are sort of borderline in the sense that they can wave from vicious to victim to normal and back to vicious again like a merry-go-round. They are monsters, so watch out. You must protect yourself and remain vigilant.

¬†¬†¬†¬† “Victim is a state of mind…

¬† ¬† ¬†Victims believe that their feelings and their circumstances are all caused by something outside of themselves. They are ignorant to the fact that they are 100% responsible for how they feel. It should come as no surprise that victims have no interest in your life. They will blab on for hours about what so and so did to them without ever thinking that it might be appropriate to shut up and ask you about your own life, feelings, or struggles. When good things happen to you, it’s like a dagger in the victim’s heart. Success for you means jealousy and resentment for the victim, as they quickly dump their woes on you to divert attention away from your blessings. If you do not agree that they are victims, they will turn on you viciously. They will only reach out to you with charm or kindness when they want something from you. And you better give it to them to avoid incurring their wrath. They have no shame. They are desperate.


¬† ¬† ¬†Victims believe that all negative feelings or events that happen to them are somebody else’s fault. They see their circumstances purely as a result of events acting upon them as opposed to causing the events themselves… unless it’s something good, of course. It is always what someone said or did. It may even be the whole world’s fault, as each and every one of us somehow owes the victim something. Whatever the cause, it is anything but themselves. Guess what? Victims are narcissists. The victim frame of mind and worldview is a narcissistic one.”¬†


Pills, Science & Academics are Useless

January 10, 2013   

¬†¬†¬†¬† “We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception. With our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, The Doctor’s Opinion, xxvii

     Translation: You cannot fix an alcoholic or an addict without fixing him morally and spiritually. Pills and science cannot change addicts, turn them into better people, make them act right, or give them what they truly need to effect lasting recovery. Does taking a pill give you meaning and purpose? Do taking a pill give you principles and morals? Do taking a pill give you God? Nope. There is utterly no hope for alcoholics and drug addicts to get better if mainstream treatment methods and attitudes continue pumping medication as the solution.

¬† ¬† ¬†Believe it or not, there are doctors out there who specifically treat drug addicts. I know of one. In fact, he asked me to work for him at one point, running groups in Brookline to supplement his program of methadone, suboxone, seroquel, clonodine and God knows what else. His mission is to prescribe for drug addicts. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get sober to become a puppet or a guinea pig.¬†Let’s just have a look at that phrase again:

     Prescribe for drug addicts.

     Huh???

¬† ¬† ¬†Addicts or alcoholics who go to one of these guys or to some pain clinic have either a) run out of money but are still trying to get high or b) are trying to appear to their families or spouses that they are working on themselves but are getting high at the same time, which isn’t possible. You can’t work on yourself in any way, shape or form while jammed on some elaborate cocktail of mind-altering drugs. Try writing a thorough, honest and insightful inventory after re-wiring your brain with methadone, suboxone or some insane psychotropic. Better yet, try praying or meditating. That should be fun.

     Why do you think the DSM was created?
   
¬† ¬† ¬†Psychiatry has, of course, been co-opted by the pharmaceutical industry and the government. It seems like they want every man, woman and especially child in America to be medicated to the hilt. I personally don’t believe it ends with the pharmaceutical industry and speculate the agenda is deeper and perhaps more devious. It’s the same with our educational system as well as our monetary system. Needless to say, healthy economies don’t run on massive debt bubbles. Healthy economies run on savings and production, not debt, taxes and consumption.

¬† ¬† ¬†We passively agree and believe what we see and hear on TV, but the truth is that we are being medicated, manipulated, dumbed down and fleeced economically. Yes, I know that is¬†off-topic, but it is so important to our future that we begin to wake up to the de facto¬†banana republic¬†that we are blindly endorsing. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to change course. Mark my words, a storm is coming…

God, please keep me close to You today…

Illusions of Psychiatry (Article)
Doping Kids with Ritalin (Article)
Psychiatrists Drugging Children for “Social Justice” (Article)
Over 67% of People Prescribed SSRIs Not Depressed (Article)
Ritalin Use for ADHD Children Soars Fourfold (Article)
Raising the Ritalin Generation (Article)
Unhinged – The Trouble with Psychiatry (Book)
Anatomy of an Epidemic (Book)
Deliberate Dumbing Down of America (Site & Link to PDF)

*
May 11, 2014

“But the actual alcoholic or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely uable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge. This is a point we wish to emphasize and re-emphasize, to smash home upon our alcoholic readers as it has been revealed to us out of bitter experience.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.39

“The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.43

¬†¬†¬†¬† “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.”¬†– Winston Churchill

     There is nothing more useless than an academic. Well, perhaps a few things, but not many.
   
¬† ¬† ¬†Even though I am a drug addict, I always blew through school. I packed my brain with book after book and remembered practically everything I heard, read or saw. I wrote essays an hour before class and memorized text books front to back so I could walk out of exams thirty minutes before everybody else… and yes, even when I was jammed, though I’ll admit I didn’t do quite as well during my falling down drunk phase.

     The point is that being obsessed and preoccupied with academics and whizzing through school got me absolutely nowhere Рless than nowhere, in fact. Relying on my intellect to improve my life and become successful landed me in detox at the age of 28 Рemaciated, broken and hopeless.

¬† ¬† ¬†NO, I’m not saying that knowledge is useless. I’m saying that focusing solely on intellectual pursuits is an empty proposition, for me anyway. Nothing changed in my life (whether recovering from addiction or having financial success) until I began to simply do certain productive and beneficial things day after day – like working hard, praying, meditating, exercising, writing inventory, helping my family, working with other alcoholics, speaking to groups, etc.

¬† ¬† ¬†My success in recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction, my success in creating a family and a business and whatever else I’ve done that is worthy has practically nothing to do with all the shit I’ve learned (except what I have taught myself and learned on my own), which is especially disturbing given the powers that be seem bent on telling the youth how worthless they are without a college degree and oh by the way, here’s 200k of debt from JP morgan in order to get one… but neither party cares of course, as the loan is backed by the government and never to be forgiven in bankruptcy court should you find yourself unable to get a job in our Gov/Fed-ruined economy.

     It seems to me that perseverance, entrepreneurship and perhaps some financial IQ are worth considerably more than an overpriced liberal arts degree where kids learn to whine about non-existent micro-aggressions, be offended by everything, hate freedom and write #resistcapitalism on their iphones, even though freedom and capitalism are what have generously provided them their idiotic college professors and smart phones to begin with (See Why Capitalism is Great). Why does no one expose the sheer ignorance of this ideology? Just curious. At any rate, it was through consistent right action that God blessed my life, restored me to sanity, got me from A to B, cultivated this connection or that connection, landed me here, landed me there, and now suddenly I can look down on my life and say,

¬† ¬† ¬†Holy shit, I’ve gotten somewhere…

Try Shooting God into Your Veins

July 11, 2012

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

¬† ¬† ¬†If I can take a 1st Step, then I can take a 2nd Step. Without knowing it, by taking a 1st Step, we’ve already taken a 2nd Step.

¬† ¬† ¬†I remember sitting in treatment and a fellow knucklehead was trying to convince me that I had no power. I went on one of my embarrassing rants, asserting that I had power… just let it get a little out of hand. That’s when another guy stared me down and told me if I was still thinking that way, I just wasted my first three days.

¬† ¬†¬† And then the 1st Step hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that for all the things I could do, the one thing I couldn’t was to control my addiction. Drugs and alcohol had me by the balls. That’s probably why I was sitting in rehab wearing four flannel shirts in the middle of summer after stumbling into detox looking like a corpse.

¬† ¬† ¬†So I’ve just admitted that drugs and alcohol are more powerful than me. If I can believe that, why can’t I believe that there is something else more powerful that can fix me? Suddenly I realized that I didn’t have to freak out about believing in a Greater Power. There are an endless slew of things more powerful than us humans. We are at the mercy of so many forces, both worldly and other-worldly.

¬† ¬† ¬†But to keep it simple, if I’ve just admitted, felt, and understood that drugs and alcohol have power over me, it was simple logic to accept the possibility of something else more powerful that could effect positive change. And it wasn’t long before my blind faith proved true. There was indeed something much, much more powerful than myself, and it shook me to the core one night up North. For a brief time, I felt a force far greater than drugs and alcohol take over my body and mind. In an instant, it removed any and all urge to drink or use drugs. It emptied my mind and filled my heart. I’m sure you can guess what it was. And as it began to seep through my veins, I began to feel a sense of purpose. Instead of a compulsion to drink or use drugs, I felt a compulsion to help others.

     Seven years later, I still feel that compulsion. Living proof that the 12 Steps effect miracles and life long recovery (if taken directly from the Big Book and if taken thoroughly and fearlessly. 99% = 0%.)

God, teach us to be still and know…

Or I suppose you could just try this new cutting edge secular approach: Ithaca’s Anti-Heroin Plan: Open a Site to Shoot Heroin

What It Takes to Recover

     You have to just throw in the towel. You have to believe wholeheartedly that when it comes to drugs and alcohol, you have absolutely no power. You must be willing to be wrong, cede entire control and then look at the recovered person holding the Big Book and genuinely say,

¬†¬†¬†¬† “Okay, tell me what you did, I’ll do anything. Anything.”¬†

 

     Do you see? You have to let go completely and give up not just drugs and alcohol, but perhaps your entire previous life, including any previous beliefs, attitudes and desires that no longer serve you. That is the only way. You have to be willing to give up everything and literally hurl yourself into this process. If you really let go and give everything you have to this mind-altering program of spiritual action, that is how you get better.

     A kid I spoke to one time ended up going to treatment and after taking Steps and having a profound spiritual experience, the entire course of his life changed. His affluent parents called me almost disappointed and said,

¬†¬†¬†¬† “What about his job? He has this great job in the city! Now he wants to stay at the treatment center to help people and then pursue some graduate degree in theology!!! Oh no! What did you do to him?!?!”

¬†¬†¬†¬† Hahaha, um, would you rather have him in the city making money only to relapse again and again and again until he finally overdoses or sinks into some depression and then jumps off a bridge? If he’s not okay, he loses everything anyway.

     The bottom line is that this is what it takes to recover. You have to be willing to flip the table over and start over completely. You have to be willing to blow the whole thing up. You have to be willing to do go to ANY lengths, and that might mean starting a whole new life.

     If we have created a life entirely based on self-will and the principles which drive the addict mind, that life becomes obsolete when the addict has an entire psychic change. Think about it. The previous life is of little use because priorities and purpose have changed completely. Instead of doing things for self-seeking, selfish, dishonest or fearful reasons, the recovered addict now desires to do things that will help him and others to grow spiritually, things that are productive and useful, things that have meaning, value and purpose.

¬†¬†¬†¬† How could anyone complain about that… unless of course you are the folks mentioned above.

If It Looks and Smells Like a Shit…

¬† ¬†¬† … it’s probably a shit. ¬†¬†¬†

¬†¬†¬†¬† If it speaks selfishly, thinks selfishly and acts selfishly, it’s probably selfish.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Why can’t we just call a spade a spade anymore?

¬†¬†¬†¬† Understanding addiction and recovery does not require an advanced degree, although today one must question the contents of the degree itself. Why does the medical establishment refuse to admit that addiction is caused by nothing more than selfish action and it’s only defense is unselfish action?

 

¬†¬†¬†¬† I tracked some more search results for you from the last day or so. The list is completely unedited except for omitting all the ‘privileged addict’ searches.

     Let the people whose lives are so deeply affected by us tell you the truth about addiction:

Why are drunks cowards?
Does alcoholism make you useless? (Lol, does the sun rise?)
are alcoholics selfish
alcoholics playing the victim
are all alcoholics selfish
why are alcoholics so selfish
addicted to being the victim
boyfriend is an alcoholic and our relationship will never be what I want
fear of writing my inventory
when an alcoholic tell you they care and then pushes you away
are alcoholics selfish
alcoholics are so selfish
addicts suck
recovering addicts still seflish
alcoholics are selfish
narcissist as victim
psychotherapy is a bunch of nonsense

alcohol treatment centers have watered down aa
alcoholic husband has everybody fooled
alcoholics are so selfish
why alcoholics hurt people
the hurt from an alcoholic
why are alcoholics so selfish
living amend
why is alcohol so selfish
alcohol broke my son’s spirit
recovering addicts never apologize
alcoholics are so annoying (um, no one says this about people with cancer)
why do alcoholics tell you they care…
alcoholics are selfish
are alcoholics selfish
aa how to become less selfish
how to love from a distance
examples of resentments
is someone selfish when they are an alcoholic
will the alcoholic miss me
mental obsession addiction
is alcoholism really a disease
dating an alcoholic
how to stay sober forever
addicted to victimhood
alcoholic men are pathetic and nasty
alcoholics are selfish
do alcoholics turn mean
alcohol and selfishness
recovering alcoholic is still so selfish
frothy emotional appeal
projection is active addiction
why triggers don’t exist
why does a person hurt the one the…
alcoholics are so annoying
can a narcissist change with God (A narcissist? Sorry, nope… although miracles happen;)
addicts that still have a moral compass (Huh?)
why are alcoholics selfish
why are addicts so selfish
alcoholics don’t care
why does he hurt us?

¬†¬†¬†¬† God, teach me to better love people. Teach me how to make my family feel loved, safe and comforted, that they may have greater peace, happiness and joy. Teach me to let go completely and give my entire life over to You. Teach me to accept everything…

What Haven’t I Done or Not Done?

 

From Why Alcoholics Hurt People:

Comment: 

Hi Charlie

I’ve tried all the recommended things to help my husband give up his alcoholism, but none seem to work at all. I recon use that he needs to acknowledge his need to change and be ready for that. He has acknowledged that and in our 3 year marriage we have had two 5 week stints where he has had a good go at giving up… I just wonder what it is about the 5 week mark that triggers a relapse though? Could be coincidental. Anyway, I have always been a happy person and I love the sober version of my husband, but hardly ever see him. Consequently I feel really lonely. I try to talk to him about what he needs from me to suppirt him in giving up, what are the hardest times for him and how can I help him through? I’m not the enabler type as I don’t play well with victim mentalities. I can dish out the tough love where/when needed too. I’m sick to death of all the advice about not saying this to the recovery alcoholic and not saying that… Having to walk on eggshells in case you do/say something that provokes a relapse… What about their nasty, thoughtless words spoken when drunk that they suffer no consequences for because there’s no recall or very poor accurate memory of saying their hurtful words? We remember and carry this because we weren’t pissed! The hurt is then exacerbated because the alcoholic minimizes the hurtful words/actions and makes out like we are exaggerating and won’t be convinced otherwise…. When does the alcoholic have to stop and think about how their words and actions are causing destruction to those around them and it’s NOT ok!!!! I don’t care if you’re pissed, it’s not OK to be hurtful! Yes alcoholism is such a selfish thing in so many ways. I seem to attract them. Why? I’m a hard working sensible person. Why do I attract people who can’t get their shit together and be responsible? I wish I could depend upon someone for a change, but I can’t if I didn’t step up to take care of all the important responsibilities everything would be up the creek! I’m so tired, I feel so lonely and I’m weary of feeling like beer is a much better option than me…. I feel so rejected. What now? What haven’t I done or not done?

Response: 

Bless you and thank you for writing and sharing your experience so honestly here. As far as trying to help and recommend things to an active alcoholic, I wouldn’t waste your energy, especially as it robs you of nourishing yourself and all of the responsibilities you have.

For one, alcoholic types don’t listen to anybody, but especially to loved ones. If he eventually decides to change, he will most likely only listen to another alcoholic, someone who uses and thinks the way he does, someone who is as pathologically selfish as he is but who has gotten outside of himself and recovered, someone who has something he wants (internally).

Of course, alcoholics also tend to see the defects in people as opposed to the good, but this is simply a projection of his own self-loathing… but don’t feel bad because self-pity etc is just another form of selfishness and immaturity, and it is self-imposed. Never feel bad for a pity pot.

About the 5-week mark, you need to understand that the physically sober addict is still completely insane and suffers from the mental obsession – recurring thoughts or ideas (about using) that do not respond to ration or reason. So he is walking around subject to relapse at any point and for no reason until he is restored to sanity. And think about it. After 5 weeks, someone who cannot live or accept life on life’s terms, who like a child cannot accept that human life involves discomfort, well, after a few weeks the novelty of sobriety will wear off and he will stop caring as the restlessness, irritability and discontent/depression set in. He has no solution and no active/real spiritual life and so he will drink again.

At any rate, do not ask what you have or haven’t done, as you will never be able to change him. If you give anything to anybody, give it to yourself. If the situation is very toxic, you need to assess that seriously. As well, I wouldn’t make getting better a choice. If he really loves you and doesn’t want to lose you, he will get better, and if not, then he doesn’t deserve you (see A Message to Parents & Spouses). That’s how I see it. You see, we alcoholics who are not really better simply manipulate love and support, so do not shower him with privileges etc. If anything, I would get tough and set an ultimatum and then honor that.

Finally, on the left side of the blog under “Pages” there is a link to a post, “Posts Geared for Parents, Spouses & Codependents”, which addresses a lot of this stuff, so start there, and remember, peace can only be found in letting go, so don’t torture yourself trying to force your will, as it is a fruitless endeavor. Ultimately, we can only change ourselves, and perhaps elicit a local ripple effect from the source of change.

God bless you. I will pray hard for him, and for you and your family today.

How Much Are Drug Gangs & Drug Companies at Fault?

Comment:

¬†¬†¬†¬† If addiction is not anyone’s fault, why are pill and heroin addictions an epidemic in America today? The drug companies and drug gangs coming through the border are not at fault at all? So are you saying that if there weren’t pills and heroin, then all these people would be addicted to alcohol or something else? Just trying to understand why the blame is only with the addict.

Response:

¬† ¬†¬† Good question, and thank you for reading and writing. Google says my response is too long so I’ll publish it in a new post…
 
*

     No offense at all, but people will believe what they want to believe to help ease the pain, channel the anger, and deny what their child or spouse is doing to themselves. Nobody is forcing us to become addicts and nobody is preventing us from getting better. 

 *  

¬†¬†¬†¬† So there have always been drug gangs, synthetic drugs and so forth. Sure drug dealers are scum, but no, they are not to blame. Without evil there is nothing to oppose it. In other words, if people didn’t take the freaking drugs, there would be no more drug gangs and OxyContin to speak of. It’s called supply and demand. So if we are going to poison ourselves and mutate ourselves into addicts, then there will always be some evil scumbag who will continue to produce them, sell them, and exploit our weakness.

¬†¬†¬†¬† The point is that nothing outside of the addict is to blame for what he or she ultimately does or doesn’t do, which is also a much better attitude for the addict to have. If he even partially blames big pharma or drug gangs, he is rationalizing his drug use when there is no rationalization, and perhaps even using this as a reason or excuse for using or relapsing. How is that acceptable for anyone serious about recovering and conquering their drug addiction? The fact is there are no external reasons. We make ourselves into who and what we become regardless of what drug gangs, big pharma or the CIA are doing (the CIA buys most of the hard drugs coming into the US, but that is a whole other subject. All you need to know about that is the more doped out and dependent a population is, the easier they are to control and manipulate).

¬†¬†¬†¬† But the issue is, how does the availability of something actually cause the addict to pick up? I don’t get it. Are we not ultimately responsible? The availability of heroin and pills does not cause an epidemic, just as the unlimited availability of alcohol does not cause an epidemic of alcoholism. There is booze everywhere but not everybody is an alcoholic. The booze doesn’t crawl it’s way up my throat any more than the heroin shoots itself into my vein, so how is it Belvedere Vodka’s fault that I went and bought it and drank it like a fish until I became alcoholic?

¬†¬†¬†¬† Of course (some) doctors and drug companies and (all) drug gangs are doing the wrong thing, but nobody is forcibly shoving a needle in our arm. There have always been problems with drugs and alcohol. Before this current wave of opiate use, there was a wave of meth use sweeping the country. Before that, there was a wave of alcohol abuse among youth and on college campuses. So there have always been problems, but usually when the government calls something an “epidemic” it is just an excuse to expand government, tax people more and spend more, which of course means more money and more publicly funded jobs for them.

¬† ¬†¬† To assume that the existence of drugs is what is causing an epidemic is false, especially given drugs and alcohol are merely a sideshow to our spiritual malady. No I don’t condone drug use and availability, but people are free to be idiots. You cannot legislate against weakness, selfishness and stupidity. In fact, when drugs are legalized, as we’ve seen in Portugal etc, rates of use and chronic addiction tend to go down. They are taking the Zen approach. Box your sheep in and they will want to escape; give them a wide berth and they will stand still. Addicts tend to want to do what they are told not to do, so trying to control them is generally a fruitless endeavor.

¬†¬†¬†¬† I personally believe that addicts will use just about anything if they want to get high. Most of us drink and use because we love drinking and using. Macro rises in drug use probably has to do with, if anything, the spiritual destitution (indifference/moral relativism/hatred of God) and economic depression sweeping the country, as well as the entitlement mentality that the morally corrupt establishment is promoting. Today kids are being coddled and taught that they should always feel comfortable 24/7, that everybody deserves a trophy. I don’t think people realize how destructive and dangerous this is to de-individualize the child and relegate them to the ash heap of mediocrity.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Look at college campuses today, where if the way the Asian food prepared in the cafeteria is not culturally authentic to the liking of non-Asian students, they are taught to be offended by this form of jaw-dropping discrimination and to fight for menu justice, lol. They are taught that anything which violates their ‘safe space’ should be muzzled and criminalized, even a simple and harmless disagreement (which is especially ridiculous given there are actual victims suffering actual atrocities in the world). Yup, that’s what you’re paying for. That is the useless and skill-set-less education they are becoming debt slaves for. Economic illiteracy and social hypersensitivity. And guess who gave students unlimited access to student loans and then made them unforgivable in bankruptcy court? By the way, unlimited access to student loans is what drives up tuition costs. I did an old post about ‘student slavery‘ for anyone who is interested.

¬†¬†¬†¬† But is this not the exact mentality of a drug addict, the ridiculous notion that he or she has the right to protect one’s conform zone at all costs, and that using drugs affects no one other than themselves? You cannot control the world. No matter how hard you try to control things, it will be ripped from you like a thief in the night. If a kid wants to self-destruct, he will self-destruct. So instead of blaming external things, we addicts should be focused on what really drives our addiction, which is pathological self-absorption. To counter this, we need to focus our attention outward. We need to first remove the obsession to use and then go and think about others, join the world, engage in service and grow along spiritual lines, as the Big Book states so beautifully. We need purpose and a moral compass. We need God.

Recovery Is Not a Theory

Read this.

    Everything I know about how I became recovered from drug and alcohol addiction (as well as depression, mania, fear, anxiety, boredom, angst and so forth) boils down to this:

     Nothing happens without ACTION.

¬†¬†¬†¬† You can learn everything there is to know about addiction and it won’t change you at all. You can learn everything there is to know about yourself and again, it won’t change anything. You can be loved by others and it won’t change anything. You can receive the best treatment and all the latest and greatest cutting edge meds and it won’t change anything. You can go on methadone or suboxone and it won’t change anything. There is no knowledge, no belief, no relationship, no group, no meeting, no doctor, no shrink, no pill and no science project that can turn an active addict into a recovered addict. Only the addict himself can change, with the help of God. He or she must actually get up off of the couch and work hard. Laziness breeds cowardice and cowardice breeds addiction and failure and death.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Addicts must engage in constant right action all day, every day. This is what the medical establishment doesn’t seem to understand, despite all of the degrees and the science and what have you. The addict is a special case. He is completely addicted to his comfort and pathologically focused on himself – his feelings, his thoughts, his life, you name it. It’s not even about the drugs and alcohol, despite what the behavioral neuroscientists and the geneticists will tell you. That is the truth, despite what you believe or want to believe. It’s about the person, not the drugs. The drug addict must change who and what he is. He must change his fundamental attitude and the way he sees the world and others. He must change the way he sees and approaches suffering and human life. He must change his entire perception of pain, responsibility and personal challenges.

¬†¬†¬†¬† If an addict does nothing, than his addiction (or rather, his obsession to use) will never go away. If an addict does nothing than nothing will he become. The addict alone will make himself into who and what he is. If he fails, it is no one’s fault but his own. If he succeeds, his success can be credited to action and God. So you must understand that self-knowledge and science projects are useless. Yes, that includes this blog. Completely and utterly useless. Words are but dormant seeds, but the more an addict does, the better he will get.

¬†¬†¬†¬† This isn’t cerebral. The isn’t academic. Intellectuals think that you can solve every problem with academics, the same way politicians and lawyers think you can solve every problem with more government and more laws. For instance, they just passed some opiate law in Massachusetts. Useless. More laws and more academics won’t solve anything, but they are blind and will never understand something they have never experienced. They are also programmed to think inside of a box, and thus there is no hope for you there. Listen to me, drug addicts don’t use because there are drugs being made and prescribed by doctors. Addicts are addicted to self, to selfishness, and ultimately, to self-destruction. Drugs and alcohol aren’t the main show. It is what lies underneath that causes the symptom of addiction.

¬†¬†¬†¬† So the day you see your addict DOING things, that is the day you are seeing your addict begin to recover. Without consistent action and 100% sobriety (including all mood-altering substances and yes, POT. Don’t let your half-wit teenager try to tell you that pot is not a drug), there is no such thing as recovery and change. Trust me on this. You can just tell if someone is okay or if he is still filled to the brim with bullshit. Recovered people glow whereas sick people do not. Recovered people are willing to do anything to grow whereas sick people are not willing to do much of anything.

     Do yourself a favor and observe him or her. Are they doing productive things? Are they waking up at 5:30am before work to pray and meditate for an hour? Are they writing and reading inventory? Are they helping you? Are they trying to really listen deeply, to be present, to love you and understand how to love you better? Are they going out and helping others? Do they care about little else but growing spiritually? Bottom line, are they doing the right thing and changing internally? Are their glaring character defects subsiding Рthe narcissism, anger, judgment, jade, verbal abuse, frustration, depression, discontent, dissatisfaction and on and on?

     All you have to do is observe and listen to your gut and how you feel and you will know everything you need to know. There is but one recipe for change, and that is action. Remember that recovery is NOT a function of time, despite what some knucklehead will tell the newcomer at the meeting. Time spent untreated is frightening. There is no neutral gear for people like me. If we are not moving forward then we are moving backward and becoming sicker. Addiction is not about drugs and alcohol, it is about a person who is spiritually ill, and a spiritual illness calls for a spiritual solution. Sorry, but recovery never has been and never will be a theory.

Also see ‘Pot’ & ‘Words are Just Dormant Seeds’.

Let’s Stop Denying the Moral Failure of Addiction

¬†¬†¬†¬† I don’t get it. Regardless of the biochemical elements of addiction and compulsion, why wouldn’t we stress the moral necessity of recovering? What better incentive is there for an addict to stop using or an alcoholic to stop drinking than the resounding knowledge of the deep and agonizing pain we are causing those who love us?

¬†¬†¬†¬† Why is it such an abomination to assert the moral reality of addiction? Regardless of the degree to which an addict has lost control, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s wrong to use, that we gave up the right to drink and use the moment we lost control and began hurting those who care about us.

     There were only three things that drove me to get better, and one of them was when the Big Book taught me of my selfishness and the gut-wrenching heartache I was causing my family. The other two things were becoming sick and disgusted of the coward I was, and then becoming passionate about growing spiritually.

 So continuing to use drugs and alcohol has nothing to do with morals?
 

¬†¬†¬†¬† Let’s not forget that this “disease” is not synonymous with other diseases beyond our control, such as juvenile luekemia. You really think addiction is the same as some terminal disease beyond a child’s control? This disease, or illness rather, is one that we indeed choose to give to ourselves and one that we can choose to put in remission for the rest of our lives. Sure there is a compulsion, but that doesn’t mean we cannot choose to drag ourselves into detox and subsequently restore the power of choice through hard work. Are we not personally responsible to recover when it is absolutely possible to do so, and do so for life?

¬† ¬†¬† Addicts today are being infected with this notion that their ‘disease’ is beyond their control, but that is a dangerous and degenerate pile of bullshit. Addiction is not some evil force that flies through the air and takes over us. Sorry, nope. Addiction is the result of consistent and repeated acts of selfishness. Addicts and alcoholic are 100% responsible for mutating themselves into addicts by drinking or using excessively over and over and over again until they finally break their bodies. Addiction is then maintained as we break our minds and go insane.

¬† ¬† So the act of becoming an addict is also a moral failure. Everybody knows that drinking excessively and using drugs is wrong. Believe me, we have plenty of time to stop before we lose control, and guess what? Knowledge of the pain we are causing others would go a long way to prevent us from becoming addicts before it’s too late. It would be a total disservice not to incorporate the moral aspect into prevention. Sick actually.

Image result for grieving parents at funeral

 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We should know that what we’re doing is wrong. It is a moral failure to become an addict or an alcoholic, to maintain our addiction, and to fail to recover. Once we understand that we have lost control and once we have been taught of the hearts we are ripping out, there is no excuse. So to instill that knowledge seems to me to be of the utmost value. If I had truly understood the pain I was causing my mother, father, sister and wife, I may have not waited until I was 28 and on the verge of death to get better. Sure there are no guarantees, but that moral knowledge and awareness is one of the brightly shining lights that has pushed me and driven my recovery from day 1.

     What happened to human responsibility? Why have we lost sight of this? I suppose it is the cycle we are in, but like all cycles, it will eventually revert. They always do.

¬†¬†¬†¬† Caring about what I do and the consequences of my actions is the single greatest gift I’ve been given for my sobriety. And to maintain this knowledge, I do what it takes to stay close to God, to put my relationship with Him first. The moment this relationship moves out of first position is the moment I begin to get sick again, and believe me, this is true of all addicts and alcoholics. We must replace our addiction with something as powerful as the addiction itself, and we must nourish our shriveled up conscience back into a guiding light within. Without a conscience, no addict or alcoholic will make it.

¬† ¬†¬† So how about we get with the program and stop infecting addicts with this notion that it’s okay to continue using and crushing the soul of our parents? Does every addict need a trophy too now? Trust me, we want to encourage independence and maturity, not facilitate continued thumb-sucking.

Also see, Addiction Is a Moral Failure, Obviously.