"Does Narcissism Go Away In Recovery?" Comment/Response

Comment:

     Hello Charlie. I truly love and admire your work, and so appreciate all of your efforts and dedication to yourself, your family and God (maybe not in that order…but you know what I mean ;))

     I have been reading your blog for a while, as I have been a member of alanon for a few years, but have struggled with this idea that alcoholism is a “disease” and that we should have “compassion and understanding” for they know not what they do. Huh? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that.
All that aside, my question is about alcoholism and narcissism. I understand you likely can’t have one without the other, but do you feel, or have you witnessed perhaps in yourself and others, that once recovery is found narcissism is completely removed from them? Or do you believe it may already be a personality disorder, and the compulsion to use is because narcissists loathe themselves so much that they use it to self medicate?

     Just curious. Would love to hear your thoughts on this 🙂

     Thank you, Charlie.

     Be well and keep writing!

Response: 

     Hey thanks, although I’m afraid you’re much too generous, as my failures and mistakes pile up with some frequency.

     In a nutshell, yes, if an addict engages in rigorous, comprehensive, spiritual recovery and other-centered action, then the narcissism and/or other mental illness, whether situational/drug-induced or preexisting, can be significantly reduced, if not vanquished altogether. In other words, both are simply varying byproducts of the same core problem. Underlying both addiction and narcissism is spiritual malady, and thus lifelong commitment to spiritual growth and a willingness to do anything it takes to grow and change can alleviate either/both. This is why the Steps actually work, because the solution is comprehensive. The process is meant to change the person, the core, not merely address symptoms of addiction and so on. And of course, the power of God can do anything. As far as narcissism leading to drug use etc., we’ll get into that and other stuff below.

     More importantly, yeah, you don’t believe what you heard in al-anon because it is bullshit. We know when we hear bullshit because we can feel it. Most of us have a gut conscience, and we know when something just doesn’t feel right or when the reasoning or rationale behind it is off. Whenever we hear bullshit, propaganda or just plain nonsense, a bell should go off, and if it doesn’t, then we may have become programmed or worse, as besides drugs, indoctrination or severe mental illness are perhaps the only things strong enough to blot out the conscience and the rational, clear, sane mind. External power, though an illusion subject to the power of suggestion and the gullibility of the masses, may also do the trick.

     “They know what what they do?” We know exactly what we’re doing. We know we’re using drugs and we know it’s wrong. I used to get down on my knees every night after getting jammed out of my fucking mind all day and say to myself, “God, forgive me for this sin. Forgive me for what I’m doing to my family.” It was a selfish, hollow prayer, but you see the point. Using the disease model to excuse, rationalize and even justify our behavior is outrageous. When did the Snowflake State get this out of control?

     I’ve written about this to some extent in older posts such as “Narcissism In Recovery,” and of course, “Elements of a Narcissist & the Victim Mentality,” which deals with the delusion of victimhood and covers some of the elements of narcissism. I may paraphrase from these a bit below and try to expand on stuff as well…

*

     I’m not so sure that narcissism is ever completely removed from an addict, lol… but we can absolutely reduce it to the extent that it’s no longer clinical. An addict who has dug deep, become brutally honest with himself/others and has induced a psychic change, as it were, certainly becomes less narcissistic. However, narcissism is a powerful trait or character flaw, and one that we addicts sometimes carry far into recovery. Needless to say, poor effort or flat out ineptness when writing our inventory certainly doesn’t help matters. One of the more surface or easily visible examples of this is when the addict continues to hold the external world responsible for how he or she feels or for what is happening or not happening in their lives. So you may hear stuff like…

     “If only my spouse would do some work on herself, I’d be much better spiritually.”

     “If my boss was only there when I went to make an amends, I’d be okay right now. And I’m crossing him off the list because I tried to go.”

     “If only my family would change, too, I wouldn’t be so RID-full and feel like using again. I know I was an addict and stuff, but they are such assholes about it and my mom is so passive-aggressive.” 

     “If people would only forgive me, my depression would be gone by now. Don’t they know I’m trying to do the right thing?” Um, why should they care? Remember it was you who wronged them and your amends isn’t about you, it’s for them.

     “Well, I’m doing pretty good but since my job sucks, I can’t make my financial amends, and because all the other jobs out there suck and the economy sucks, I may have no choice but to stiff them, and then if I relapse, it’s not my fault.”

     “I was doing well but because of global warming and Trump and guns and micro-aggressions like the Starbucks Christmas season coffee cups, I am just too angry and offended to go to a meeting. Plus I can’t get out of my house because there’s 3 feet of snow blocking the door and the guy didn’t show up and I can’t shovel that much and it’s -10 degrees out.”

     You get the picture. Because we have been so filled to the brim with pride and arrogance, we cannot see the truth that nothing outside of us is responsible for how we feel or for what happens to us. Our self-centered frame of mind tells us that even our recovery is dependent on the outside world.

 
     Narcissism occurs when we begin to perceive ourselves to be an extension of everyone else, and as such, we falsely believe our feelings to be dependent on what happens externally. In plain English, we blame others for how we feel, which is delusional. By the way, it is also narcissistic when I start thinking others should think or feel the same way I do about something (so feel free to disagree 😉 and sadly, this rigidity and particular aspect of the mental disorder we see not only in addicts but it has become a central characteristic and intellectual requirement of liberalism, so we’re now talking about millions and millions of people. Scary.
   
     But the point is that knowing all about our flaws is completely useless if we don’t cleanse ourselves properly via inventory etc. so that the work we do actually works. This is why therapy is often useless. Talking, reading and studying doesn’t change people. Action does. So if our recovery is dependent on what’s taking place outside of ourselves, we aren’t really engaging in recovery, as recovery itself is both the identification and active removal of our narcissism through service or selfless action.

     As far as preexisting narcissism goes, it certainly may be the case that an individual’s NPD may lead to drug use. Younger narcissists and true sociopaths (severe NPD cannot be cured, baring a miracle, whereas narcissism that is more situational or drug-induced can be undone) are especially delusional, believing they are invincible and have the right to do as they please and everybody else must conform or go to hell. So yes, a narcissist may be so damaged that he or she begins drinking or using drugs to alleviate or cloak the self-hatred. These types of narcissists will not admit they despise themselves and thus using may become an outgrowth of such a significant denial.

     That said, a walking pity pot who openly admits, whines and complains about how miserable they are is also narcissistic. I have to say, there isn’t much less attractive than a blood-sucking pity pot or an arrogant, Holier Than Thou, self-righteous, virtue-signaling asshole who believes he knows everything and all those who disagree must be mentally retarded. Generally, you see that kind of attitude in those who are themselves quite stunted intellectually. They lack a connection to reality, a connection to life and to God that allows them to gain true knowledge, and more importantly, wisdom.

     So when a preexisting narcissist begins to use, it certainly amplifies the symptoms, sometimes exponentially. I had a narcissistic in-law who literally went off the deep end when drinking. The wrath, ruthlessness and cruelty went into overdrive. And sure anyone who becomes an addict must also become a narcissist, but I think ultimately some degree of narcissism is there to begin with, as the process of becoming an addict is an act of pure selfishness and immaturity. It is the behavior of someone who believes they suffer more than others, that their lives are tougher, that their feelings are tougher, that nobody understands, that they are somehow unique and special and different from all the rest.

     That is, of course, delusional, but nonetheless, these are the sorts of beliefs that precede and fuel the growth of an addict. And when someone feels this way, the belief is necessarily accompanied by a lack of connection and understanding of others. The belief that we are special and that nobody suffers or feels the way we do has to be proportionately accompanied by the inability to see others,  to hear others, to listen to others, to understand others, to step into their shoes and so forth… and that is, of course, narcissistic.

     To note, anyone you see today who refuses to hear or understand the other side is pretty much a narcissist, so don’t be fooled by the wrapping paper and the signs, even thought most of the signs are generally incoherent, explicit and rude. Those who preach the loudest about tolerance and love and social justice and equality and intellect tend to be the most intolerant, hateful, unjust, partial and dumbest people out there. Behind the lofty, conceited, patronizing attitude is a sort of cognitive vacuum, let alone the scorn and contemptuousness. And then underneath that is self-hatred and insecurity. Those who preach the loudest usually don’t know what they’re talking about and are not secure in what they believe. Those who are truly tolerant are just tolerant. They don’t scream angrily. They are quiet about it because there is no need not to be as it is simply who they are. Good, decent people are generally the quietest. They don’t whine and scream and judge and attack and project. They are too busy going to work, taking care of their families, enjoying life and so forth.

     Not to get too ethereal or whatever, but this is indeed how the devil is supposed to work, to brainwash people by cloaking himself in “peace and love” etc. but in a dark and manipulative way as to effect division, hatred, depravity, deviance, confusion, selfishness and of course, a full-on hatred of God. You hear the words fascism and racism being thrown around a lot today, but true fascists and racists call everyone who disagrees with them a fascist or a racist. Free speech and free expression only applies to them and all the rest must conform or be smeared, hated, attacked, isolated and despised. Ring any bells? They are tyrants. It’s called projection, masking hatred. They also have no clue what they are talking about, but that’s a whole other subject. When you are historically, economically and scientifically illiterate, have no argument and no facts, you just shout “racist.”

      Narcissists are never satisfied with anything. They make demands and as soon as they get what they want, they are immediately disappointed and demand something else. They falsely believe that when they get what they want it will somehow change how they feel. The pretend to be victims. They think that the totality their woes and feelings are dependent on the outside world, on others doing, thinking and speaking as they say. It truly is mental, isn’t it?

Happy Easter! God Is Good.

Oh, if saying Happy Easter offends anyone or you think saying Happy Easter is a micro-aggression, please seek psychological help 😂

P.S. Many read this blog but only a few comment. Totally cool, of course, but please don’t be shy, as the comments, especially those more colorful with your thoughts, ideas and questions are great because they give me something focused to write about. After so many posts and so little free time, I’m sometimes at a loss 😉

Shame

    
     True knowledge is gained through the experiment of living life. I have gained some truth about myself and my life from the results of my experience, through the tools that I have acquired and been given, and through the actual consequences of my words, thoughts, and most importantly, my actions. I know what has failed me and what has brought me success. And I can reasonably assume that anyone who shares a similar experience may also experience similar results.

     This is precisely why the Big Book prophetically states that you can rely on anything a [recovered] alcoholic may say about himself. A recovered person who has gained clarity and success knows himself, or at the very least his addiction, completely. The reason my experience makes sense to me is because I understand who I am, and the more we understand ourselves, the more we understand everything.

     As I’ve suggested before, I don’t think we are really that complicated. We are essentially just human creatures on earth, sometimes doing good stuff, sometimes doing bad stuff, and sometimes just hangin’ out. And given the existential law of cause and effect, you probably wanna try to do more good stuff than bad stuff.    

     In my book, I described the sort of behavior that saved my life as ‘spiritual action’. We can’t get too bent about word choice because the solution and the knowledge gained through experiential success is very practical, grounded, fact-based (in its purest sense) and time-tested. So when I say spiritual action, I’m not talking about fluff. Spiritual action means moral action, as well as many other practical actions such as prayer, meditation, exercise, work, art, music, creativity and outdoor activities that benefit ourselves, others, and the greater world around us.

     In my previous post, I wrote that our core problem is spiritual. To note, I refer to the totality of my being as spiritual, and thus any disconnection from self, others or God is a malady of my spirit (that is, my entire being). At any rate, for those of us who need the fluff taken out, we can easily break down our core problem more practically. Thanks to our friend, Jim, who commented on the nature of our malady as being rooted in deep emotional stuff, some of which lies below the level of our consciousness, as opposed to spiritual. I completely agree, but I simply choose to contemplate my emotional life as my spiritual life. At any rate, he kindly reminds us what our core problem really is, and this is perhaps the most accurate thing I’ve heard from anyone in years.

     So what is our core problem in simple, layman’s terms?

     Shame.

     Human shame [and perhaps sadness] is a universal epidemic. Addicts and alcoholics have no monopoly on shame.

     What are we ashamed of, you may ask?

     Why being human, of course. We are ashamed of our human bodies, for one. We are ashamed of our minds, our thoughts and our feelings, especially our feelings of self-consciousness, insecurity, depression, anger, jealousy, envy, weakness and stupidity. We are ashamed of our feelings of powerlessness, meaninglessness and purposelessness. We are ashamed of our size, our mortality, our past, our future, our frailties, our failures and our insignificance. We are ashamed of our greed, our lust, our gluttony, our cowardice, and the list goes on and on. You get the picture, I’m sure. Being human by definition is a vulnerable condition both internally, externally, and most importantly, spiritually.

     The Big Book says the knowledge of God is in our make-up as human beings. I believe we all know that God Is on some level, even the atheists and the silly agnostics out there. To deny God is really to deny your human being, your existence. And forget about addiction and alcoholism because that, my friends, may be the most precarious position of all.

God, teach me how to better love and accept myself that I may better love and accept others and do Your work well…

Action or Grace?

  
Comment:

      This is a theological question! From reading your blog I sense you are a Christian?

      Well, most of my personal theology comes from what I learned in the the 12 Steps. I consider myself a Christian and so I have in the past few years taken to attending bible studies at both very liberal but also conservative churches. Trying to cover all bases in my research.

      So here’s where I get tripped up. I keep running into the concept of predestination, or also referred to as Election. That it is to say that by grace alone that we are saved. Only some are chosen and actions seems to have little merit. However, from my 12 step readings I could never accept that view. Faith in action is all important!

     Where do you stand on this? Have you found a church where you feel that your 12 Step knowledge fits in with their teachings?

Response:

      Phenomenal question. You must be a teacher or professor, or if not, would make an excellent one. Imagine a teacher who actually asks question as opposed to shoving their personal ideology down their student’s throats!

     Wait, what is a liberal church? Is that an oxymoron? (kidding, kidding…) Yes, I am a Christian, though not a very good one. I consider myself to be seriously flawed, but I do try, and more importantly, I want to be a better man than I am. One of my favorite prayers is, “God, make me a better man today.”

      First, try to not to worry about it too much. Obviously we must work hard and act along with the power of God, as we certainly feel the effects of what we do and don’t do. So action and grace are certainly connected, that is, one may induce the other, or perhaps both were meant to be as they seem to act symbiotically in most cases. But let’s have a discussion nonetheless, especially since it gives me something to write about.

*

     The way I see it is that the two are not necessarily in conflict. That is, we are saved by both action and grace. I’d like to believe that those who are restored to sanity and find God have been both chosen AND have secured grace through action or works. I guess I should defer to my own experience, as that is all I know. Certainly I was touched one night and restored to sanity. I found God and became committed to God because I felt His presence and mind-blowing, limitless Power. So I was perhaps chosen to have this experience, but also may have helped to induce this event by way of the action I took.

      But perhaps me finally taking action was blueprinted as well. Perhaps nothing could have changed what has happened in my life. I mean, whatever is happening is on some level meant to happen simply by virtue of it happening. And then even the action I took was most certainly powered by God. So the credit goes to God for not only powering me but for also reaching out to briefly touch me, thereby instantly fixing my broken mind. At the same time, it seems there is little doubt, whether blueprinted or not, that I also recovered as a result of hard work and a sincere desire to find God and change.

    James 2:14-26 famously said, “Faith without works is dead.” So do we not expand or even establish our connection to God proportional to our works? But then what about grace? I reconcile the two by assuming they are both part of the same fate, that both the action and the election, if you will, are inseparable – that the action itself is the election, that I had no choice and would have acted no matter what in order to find God, establish the relationship, and induce the miracle that occurred that night up North. Do you see? Perhaps me choosing to finally act was no choice at all but rather simply God intervening in my life. Therefore, both my action and being restored were fated all along.

      Sure that may piss some people off, but it’s probably true. Sorry, but those who recover are meant to recover, especially since they are recovering. They are chosen, in a sense, to do this work and find God. Now, sadly, some may work hard for grace and fail (although I find that hard to believe if the work and the desire are sincere). I can’t see into anyone’s heart, but I do know many who seemingly took steps earnestly and never “got it,” if you will. Conversely, I know others who seemingly half-assed it and were touched profoundly and now have rock-solid faith, help tons of people and will never use again.

      This is where we must to defer to God and a much higher intelligence, one that may far exceed the limits of our understanding. Perhaps those who do not recover were not meant to recover in this life but perhaps in the next, or on some other spiritual level after death. Who knows. I certainly don’t. Perhaps they were not meant to recover in part to teach some lesson to yet others. I feel as though control is an illusion, though we’d all like to think it is real, that we can actually control things, especially things that lie outside of ourselves, even natural cycles and what have you, cycles that govern the universe and our entire existence. Ridiculous. Control will be ripped from us like a thief in the night. I think the hardest truth of this is for us parents, that we cannot control our children. We must give even them over to God.

      So when push comes to shove, Grace (i.e. the power of God) supercedes action or merit. God is (obviously) (much) more powerful and will choose some and perhaps deny others. I can’t fathom this or presume to know the workings or the power or the intellect of something so beyond human faculty. So while action no doubt helps your chances and may induce a miracle, it is God and God alone who gives grace – who restores, who saves.

      To see the truth, I think it’s important to sort of climb a figurative mountain and look down on everything from a larger view in order to gain true perspective. And I believe that when we step back and look from a larger view, we will probably see that whether we are chosen or not was all part of our blueprint. It is very hard, if not altogether impossible, to force our will regarding the longer-term. On some level, there seems little possibility in changing our ultimate fate. So even though I was a total shithead junkie, it was my fate to be restored and find God and nothing could have prevented the Universe from somehow conspiring to make that happen. Does this make sense?

      People will say, “No Charlie, you had a lot to do with it and you got yourself better! Why don’t you give credit where credit is due?” In fact, I used to speak at regional parent’s groups and many of the parents would say just that. They wanted to believe that I got myself better because it seems more likely for their own child than a miracle occurring. I would tell them that hard work and miracles are kind of two sides of the same coin. I mean, it’s hard to witness a miracle when you’re sitting on your ass, jammed out of your skull on methadone… no? So I would reply to them, “Sorry, no, I didn’t get myself better. It was God and God alone. Sure I did some work but the credit goes in full to God for actually changing me and restoring me to sanity.”

      One way or the other, God conspired to alter my life such that I received grace. And even the action I took was somehow willed and powered by God. Thus, I probably had no choice in the matter, and furthermore, to think we are all-powerful and to take credit for everything we do (for recovering, for our blessings) is arrogant and is just the sort of delusional, narcissistic frame of mind that gets us into trouble to begin with. Does that make sense? The point is that no matter what happens, our ultimate predestined fate will most likely occur no matter what, and though our actions may lead up to it, they are not ultimately responsible for the actual grace itself.

      Nothing is random. Grace will happen if grace is going to happen, whether I take action or not. BUT, I also assume that grace will not occur, or it is predetermined NOT to occur to those who refuse to do the work and take right action. Selfishness and sin pushes us further from God, not closer, so it would be hard to fathom someone being restored or chosen who is a pathological monster.

      P.S. The James 2:14-26 passage raises another important issue, which is that belief really doesn’t matter. We can believe whatever the heck we want to believe and I don’t think it secures us anything, nor does it make us who we are. If we believe something but have no love and no mercy and no moral decency, our belief is obviously empty and therefore meaningless. Belief only becomes something real when it is paralleled with harmonious action, action based on principles which define or characterize that belief.

      I thought I was a spiritual person when I got to rehab and then a recovered staffer looked at me at said, “I would question that.” Lol. At first it annoyed me but then the lightbulb went off. Um, yeah, you cannot be a spiritual person and simultaneously a self-absorbed junkhead with a worried sick, heart-broken mom in a fetal position unable to sleep at night.

      So there are many who believe but whom God is entirely absent in their lives and in their minds and hearts. Belief doesn’t really matter compared to what we do. And those who don’t believe but who take right, moral action will surely come to know God, sooner or later, I suspect. So anyway, I think that’s what I think… for now anyway 😉 What does your gut and your experience tell you?

Why Bother With Anything?

Because it matters what we do.

     I used to wonder about this quite a bit, trying to determine if there is a point to anything I do when my existence is but a tiny flash in the scope of the entire Universe, a mere vapor that appears momentarily and then vanishes. I felt as though I am so small as to be inconsequential and essentially meaningless. In space-time, as it were, we are basically nothing, almost immeasurable.

     Then, as I gradually grew up and out of my addict mind and addict self, I suddenly realized how stupid I was. Everything that exists can be broken down into the same stuff. Therefore, our existence is determined not simply by God’s spiritual intelligence but by each and every thought, word and action of our own. We are literally shaping our reality, our world, and most importantly, the world we leave behind.

     Even less complicated is understanding that everything we do matters on an individual level. Cause and effect is indeed a universal law, and therefore what we do has a direct consequence to us personally, to our lives and to all that occurs in our lives. If I choose to become a selfish drug addict, my life will reflect that. I have created a life of chaos, strife, heartache, illness, fear, depression and failure. Conversely, if I begin to take care of my physical and spiritual/emotional
health, reality changes accordingly, sometimes in a big way.

     And when we merge this individual understanding of cause and effect with a universal understanding, we begin to realize that not only do our actions shape our own lives, but the entire world… and the world we leave in our wake… the world we leave to our children. So yes, it matters what we do. What we do creates our reality and the world we live in. What we do shapes the future for our children. And that’s why we bother to do things. That’s why we bother to do the right thing.

  God, please teach me that what I do matters and creates the world I live in now and the future I leave behind…

Suboxone = Product of the Nanny State


     There has been a recent uptick in the clamoring for subsidized Suboxone treatment. First let’s properly interpret that:

     People who probably don’t pay taxes (like addicts) or who are just misguided and for some reason love big government and spending other people’s money and/or who also believe that we are victims of a disease that we inherited or suddenly caught in the air somehow, are demanding that even more money be involuntarily taken from others by the government and redistributed to addicts in the form of “free” Suboxone, even though virtually all Suboxone prescriptions are already subsidized by you, the American taxpayer – the few people still left working responsibly in the private sector and choosing not to get jammed out of their freaking minds on heroin, the few people who understand that more government spending solves nothing, the few people who understand that more opiates, let alone free opiates, solves nothing, the few people who understand that we shouldn’t be subsidizing the effects of an addict’s selfishness.

     I’m still at a loss to understand how heroin users are victims and how their self-inflicted plight should be “nannied” by taxpayers in the form of free opiates. Trust me, Reckitt Benckiser is absolutely ecstatic at the billions pouring in, and knows it will only continue pouring in if nobody ever gets better. The government is perhaps even more ejaculatory over the development and acceptance of Suboxone and Methadone as it can tighten its noose of dependency over the masses. I’m also at a loss to understand how so many people think that more government can solve anything when government by its nature creates problems and because of the self-interest of career politicians has always failed to solve them. Remember that every interest has a lobbyist and a corresponding elected prostitute in Washington except us, the people.

     This is a two-fold travesty, to put it lightly.

     For one, Methadone and Suboxone are, chemically speaking, both opiates, so for those on whom reality is lost, the idea that you can treat an opiate addiction with more opiates is ridiculous. More opiates do not remedy an opiate problem just like more debt does not remedy a debt problem. Furthermore, Naltrexone is also added to Suboxone. If you think that is helpful, you do not understand pharmaceutical companies. Its purpose is simply to keep Suboxone users on Suboxone and nothing else. “Here you go, kiddos, here’s a free, new brand of dope, but you’ll be sick if you try your own brand, so you have to use our brand only. If you think they care about drug addicts, well, they don’t. Neither does the government. The government loves drug addicts. They are using us (which is, of course, our own fault for letting them) and leveraging the heartache of our loved ones.

     Suboxone has been deemed a miracle drug, which is an oxymoron, to say the least. Miracles only occur in the absence of drugs, not as a function of their presence. Many addicts and their families fall for the commonly peddled narrative that Suboxone and other substitution drugs will save your addict. Not only is this patently false, but there is no argument or case, whether scientific or spiritual, that can validate this absurd idea. When I press those to provide any fact or logical argument to justify substitution drugs, the last two left in the chamber are usually, “Well, at least they’re not buying it on the street” and “Suboxone and Methadone give them time to have therapy and treatment.”

     Let’s take the first argument.

     A) Does it really matter what brand of heroin you take, the dealer’s or Reckitt Benckiser’s (aka the government’s by proxy)? You’re still a 100% junkbox. At least on the street, you have to pay for your own drugs, whereas the last precedent you want to set for any addict (or person for that matter) is that they are entitled to drugs or anything else for free. Why does the world owe us addicts anything? The world owes us nothing. This is the exactly the kind of spoiled mindset and lack of personal responsibility that must be vanquished if the addict has any hope in growing up and effecting real and lasting change.

     Free is not reality. Nothing is actually free, and thus free is not a “right.” Anything given to you for “free” was taken from somebody else. Sorry, but that is a fact. We are now brainwashing people to despise anyone with more. What happened to “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods?” So we are instilling in addicts that taking things from others is just and moral simply because addicts don’t have them and others do? Lol, I thought we were supposed to teach addicts that stealing was wrong and they should probably stop doing it. The truth is that what is moral and just is quite the opposite. Martin Armstrong correctly points out that, religiosity aside, the ancient wisdom and universal principles of morality contained in the Ten Commandments indeed forbids socialism as the “creed of the thief, and yet is the cornerstone of the left.” Hard to believe that so many “educated” people who preach this stuff are so ignorant to the brutal consequences of such a depraved and corrupt system.

     B) When you give an addict opiates for “free,” you are engaging in control and manipulation. A drugged and dependent society is by far the easiest to control. Similarly, you hear calls now by communist tech giants and other globalist lunatics for universal income. This is extremely dangerous. Those who the State can make fully dependent are essentially enslaved, which is ironic coming from the so-called party of love and compassion. Dependent and drugged populations can be stripped of all individual rights, let alone dignity, and forced to adopt the will of their masters. This Orwellian, progressive nightmare is cloaked in and sold as fairness etc., which is indeed very clever as the truth is quite the opposite. Mark my words, the utopia everyone is clamoring for will indeed become hell on Earth. The indoctrination of our children in our schools and universities is especially sad and disturbing to see. Please speak up if you are a parent, and please teach your children the truth so their future does not soon devolve into a totalitarian nightmare.

     The second argument is comical. What addict who is high as shit and plied on Suboxone is going to engage in rigorous self-work, let alone consistent right action? What addict on Suboxone or Methadone has the ability to think straight, to reach any depth of honesty, to see things for what they are? That’s right, none. Addicts cannot earnestly engage in therapy or treatment while their minds are still broken and delusional. Change can only begin once the body of an addict is completely sober and the fog has worn off… and even then, it takes much more than the therapy couch and some tissues to pierce through layer upon layer of bullshit that the addict has bought, fed and wrapped themselves in so tightly.

     Even once we achieve physical sobriety (which is both a requirement and a responsibility), often it is only another addict who can gain the trust of someone in early recovery. Addicts do not listen to therapists. Addicts do not listen to social workers. Addicts do not listen to parents, spouses, relatives or friends. Addicts listen to other addicts – to people who have lived, used and felt as they have… and since employed a solution that actually works, a solution that heals the soul, a solution that changes the entire mind, attitude, understanding, direction, purpose and life of an individual. The addict who recovers is one who sees his addiction and the consequences of his addiction for what it is. The addict who recovers is not one who sees himself as a victim, but rather as a man (or woman) who is solely responsible for his past and for his new future.

     The second part of this travesty is, as already noted, the cultural shift away from individual rights, personal responsibility and destiny. To fund further opiate use in the form of Suboxone by taking money from taxpayers reaches a degree of immorality that sort of makes me nauseous (this gut feeling is how we know when this and other atrocities that we fund with public money are wrong). We are falling hook, line and sinker for the oncoming tyranny and progressive authoritarianism simply because of the way it is presented – soft and slow. A dependent society is one that has lost not only its soul but control of its destiny. The more power we give away, the less individual power we will have to live freely. This seems so basic and yet so many are drinking the Kool Aid without hesitation. It amazes me the sheer degree of propaganda today and the vast array of delivery methods, from mass media to the entire educational system and on and on…

Fourth Step

*
STEP 4
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


     Why keep such a miraculous elixir in the dark, hidden from the rest of the world? Written moral inventory is a mind-opening and potentially life-changing tool that should not be exclusive to alcoholics and drugs addicts. The 4th Step has the power and wisdom to entirely shift our perception of self and others. As we reach new depths of honesty and clarity, the 4th Step combined with the 5th, 6th and 7th may even restore or dramatically alter our brain chemistry. How could it be? Because we are about to rid ourselves of a lifetime of resentment, fear, self-deception and the emotional turmoil that has fueled and maintained our patterns of thinking and behaving. Imagine exorcising years of baggage you’ve been lugging around and the effect that would have. Sure we can become ‘hard wired’ by our habits and our ways, but our brain chemistry is by no means static and can change at any time, especially when such an enormous amount of internal filth falls from you instantly. The potentially euphoric emptying out and shower of relief is something you do not want to miss.

      In our 4th Step, we sit down and write resentment inventory, fear inventory and sex inventory to expel the emotional and psychological garbage that has piled up inside of us. We are human. Nobody is immune or exempt from anger, resentment, bitterness, frustration, judgment, projection, false assumptions, anxiety, fear, dishonesty, self-seeking and selfishness. Emotional or spiritual poison left unchecked can turn into a volcano just waiting to erupt… yet once dissolved, there is room to allow for something much greater and more powerful to come in and fill the void. The idea for addicts and alcoholics is to replace our addiction with something at least as powerful as the addiction itself, and the same goes for any other demon. Soft, fluffy, hollow remedies won’t work when we are powerless over something. We are going to need an engine with some real horsepower.

      The problem with harboring resentment, fear and sexual misconduct is that they slowly rot us from within, eating away at our physical, mental and spiritual health. Resentment is like a psychic acid, slowly burning the soul and eventually destroying us with jade, cynicism and self-delusion until we wind up depressed and full of self-pity. It will convince us that we are somehow victims and that something outside of us is to blame for our woes, but despite the problems we may have, whether real or imagined, to blame anything but ourselves is false. The French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, once asserted that our “existence precedes our essence”. While we are certainly born with certain proclivities, traits and personalities, the idea is that we ultimately make ourselves into who we become, regardless of external circumstances. If I become a hero, I have made myself a hero. Conversely, if I become a failure, I have made myself a failure. Inventory teaches us this truth, but only if we are willing to find it and then accept it once we do.

      The Big Book notes that resentment is the “#1 offender for alcoholics”, but one of the purposes of this book is to point out that resentment will crush anybody, addict or not. The secret is to realize that resentments are born within and therefore can be vaporized without anything outside of us needing to change. People tend to think the only way to dissolve resentment is for external circumstances to change, but that is not correct. Once a resentment grows within, its energy is there to stay until we ourselves change.

      We cause ourselves to resent because it is often easier to blame others than to swallow our pride and feel the discomfort of personal responsibility. By nature, we tend to be selfish, ashamed, emotionally immature and ignorant, and it is up to us to rise above our more banal, lower selves. If we loathe or dislike some part of who we are, we often project that quality onto others, seeing it in them instead of ourselves. In doing so, we develop a false perception of events, thus clearing the path to resentment. We see events as acting upon us as opposed to creating or attracting the events to ourselves.

      Even if we are wronged terribly by someone, the resentment that burns inside is still birthed and fueled by our reaction and response to the event as opposed to the event itself. No person or thing outside of us actually turns a switch and makes us feel, say or do anything, as we alone are responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions. Not to realize this is one of the great human illusions, next to fear. It is therefore our responsibility to rid ourselves of the resentment, and the truth is that only we can do this, with the help of God. The beauty of this process is that when we see the light and gain the ability to let go of our resentments, we can forgive. Once we can forgive ourselves, we can forgive anybody, and that, my friends, is a recipe for freedom…

Anybody Can Take Steps, pp.55-57

"Why Does He Hate Me So Much?"

Comment:
     Charlie, thank you for writing your blog. I’m the mother of an alcoholic son. My baby, my first born. He’s 28 with a new baby. They live with my husband, younger son and I and for years he has made my life a living hell on earth. He has abused and hurt every family member and friend he has. The only reason I allowed him to move into our home is because of my new grandson and the fear I had of what would happen to him. He’s now in rehab for the 3rd time and I hope this time will work. My husband threw him out of our house yesterday because after several warnings he kept being verbally abusive to me but Monday it was going to get physical. My heart is broken and I don’t know if it will heal. I know it’s just the alcohol but he ALWAYS makes it about him and ALWAYS turns himself into the victim. To be honest, I’m ashamed because when he put his hands on me and asked me if “you wanna throw some punches” and told me I was “messing with the wrong devil” I punched him in the jaw!! That’s when my husband had enough. He was so drunk he couldn’t form a correct sentence or stand straight yet he drove home!!!! Please tell me there’s hope. The worst thing is that his girlfriend (the baby’s mother) is currently in jail and an opioid drug abuser and in turn heroine addict. What a drama I have. Why doesn’t my son see the big picture and why does he hate me so much? 

Response: 
     He doesn’t hate you. He lashes out at you to avoid the truth about himself. Addicts and alcoholics have the most anger towards those who love them the most because a) we care what you think of us more than anyone else and b) you are usually the only people who stand in the way of us killing ourselves and using/drinking the way we want. As well, we use anger as a narcissist uses it, to turn the situation around in an effort to distort and change reality. It’s a petulant defensive mechanism, that by projecting what we are onto others and turning everything around on them, we can successfully avoid who and what we are, what we are doing, and most importantly, responsibility for our actions. 
     Imagine the shame he would feel if he suddenly woke up sane, clear and healthy? It’s almost as if we are so ashamed that we are blind to it. We bury our shame and lock it up in a box to pretend we are not crazy, abusive drugs addicts who are doing wrong by so many. Feeling shame, of course, would be the best thing for him, despite what you hear from these progressive nutjobs about how there is no shame in addiction and there is nothing immoral about it. Yeah, okay. Talk to some moms, some dads, some children and some spouses and then come talk to me. Everybody (including addicts) knows it’s wrong to use drugs, lose control and behave this way. He needs to be humbled in order to get better.
     He is delusional, and the lashing out is standard addict behavior. None of it means anything and it certainly doesn’t mean he hates you. In fact, as nuts as it sounds, it most likely indicates that he loves you. Addicts often start fights with their loved ones purely in an effort to continue using, drinking and doing whatever we damn well please. We believe we have the right to drink and use drugs even if that comes at the expense of abusing you. I suspect that if he has the capacity to be honest with himself and ever took steps, he will deeply regret the way in which he has treated you – his mother, the woman who birthed him, sacrificed herself, raised him, changed his diapers, fed him, nurtured him, comforted him, loved him and tirelessly worked to protect and nourish him. So it is not you. His alcoholism and his behavior has nothing at all do to with you or your husband. Zero. He is simply insane and broken and by his own hands.
     Addicts engage in this degree of narcissism when their minds and spirits are broken and their selfishness reaches its peak. The only way we can justify our lunacy is by seeing ourselves as (fake) victims and turning everybody who disagrees with us or who is honest with us or who tries to help us into the enemy. Addicts are the ultimate snowflakes. I will pray for him, that he in fact reaches new depths of hopelessness and finally sees the futility in alcohol as a solution… and then reaches out to God with all that is in him.
     I also will pray that his pathological selfishness and abusive behavior does not scar his son to any lasting degree. To have a child as an active addict is the ultimate sin – the sin being the failure to get better, stay better, grow up and act like a responsible adult for the sake and life of your child. To me, the idea that addicts have children and fail to get better shows an unparalleled degree of cowardice, let alone immaturity and self-centeredness. That their comfort and using drugs/alcohol remains more important than the well-being of a child is nothing short of abomination. 
     That said, I believe with all my heart that anybody who can be honest with themselves can recover. The only people who cannot recover lack the capacity to be honest. Psychopaths. So the truth is that every addict or alcoholic out there who is capable of honesty but fails to recover, especially the ones with children, are simply cowards.
     May God comfort you, nourish you, guide you and give you strength. Your resolve and your tough love is absolutely the right approach. He will ride the train as long as anyone will put up with it, as long as his loved ones will continue to shower him with privileges such as food, money, housing etc. Only when we remove these things from addicts might they have a chance to question themselves and their fate. Otherwise, his only priority will remain self-comfort and drinking alcohol. That said, I’m so happy to hear your grandson is under your roof, not only given the condition of his father but that of his mother as well. Much could probably be said about her own lack of courage and duty as a mother as well, I’m sure.

     P.S. You can and you will heal. You must take care of and nourish yourself, whatever that means and whatever it takes. Do not let anything prevent you from nourishing and loving yourself, and remove what you must to enable that to happen. In our darkest moments and in our deepest pain, we are in fact closest to God. 

Ways of Telling if Your Addict Is Recovered.

Instead of running away from life’s challenges, they run right into them.

Responds to the needs of others.
Eager to do service.
Eager to grow spiritually.
Puts their relationship with God above all else.
Doesn’t mind working hard.

Doesn’t mind working period.

Doesn’t mind being responsible.
Doesn’t mind taking care of themselves. 
Wants others to get better.
Can walk through strong and uncomfortable feelings.
No longer avoids life.
No longer avoids pain.

No longer avoids others.

Can suffer and has no thoughts to self-destruct.
Can lose a loved one and has no urge to drink or use, nor uses someone’s death or other adversity as an excuse of any kind.
Steps up and takes care of their family.
Makes amends to creditors and stays out of debt.

Learns how to conduct themselves financially.

Doesn’t behave immorally in other aspects of life – lying, stealing, adultery, envy, greed, etc.

Doesn’t want everything for free. 

Has a glow to them.
Has a quiet confidence.
Can look you and the rest of the world in the eye.
Is no longer ashamed.
Is no longer fearful and fear-driven.

Continues to get stronger, even when they are vulnerable or suffering.

Is able to accomplish more and more as time goes on.

Willing to try new things.

Willing to remove that which doesn’t serve their inner or outer health and well-being. 

Willing to go to any lengths to get better and stay better. 
Triggers don’t exist anymore, and even though triggers don’t exist anyway, they no longer perceive anything to be a trigger nor do they whine or complain about any so-called trigger.

They no longer demand that the world and others change to suit them. 

They are content and at peace.
You can just tell they are okay. 

Damaged Person Glass Analogy

Yeah that goes for potheads, too.

     Just heard this on the radio and thought it was clever:

     Take a person and see them as a piece of pristine glass.

     Some of us are smudged, some of us are cracked, and some of us are shattered.

     Great analogy, to say the least. Let’s elaborate a bit for fun.

     Smudges are easily manageable. Cracks can also be undone with some effort. But if we are shattered, there is virtually no hope, barring divine intervention.

     I assume the majority of addicts are simply cracked whereas, say, a true narcissist or sociopath is perhaps shattered beyond repair.

     Are you is someone you know smudged, cracked, or shattered? Trick question, as the shattered individual will not admit he or she is shattered. Have you ever seen a narcissist admit they are a narcissist?

     Nope.

God, help me to pray for those who are shattered, those who hurt others with no remorse…

God Brass

   

    If alcoholics and addicts have the capacity to be honest with themselves, they have the seed of God within. And because a seed that is nourished can grow forever, there is no limit to our spiritual growth. There is no limit to how deeply we can change and heal and thrive and give back. We must simply find the willingness to turn our inner seed into a fountain of strength.

     For willingness, we pray. Two of my favorites are ‘God, make me a better man today‘ & ‘God, bring the opportunity to help someone.’ I haven’t the faintest idea if the first one ever comes true. But the second one always does. There are always people to help.

     
     I’d like to think that the seed of God is in all of us. Someone I know once likened this seed to a ball of brass. Perhaps it is dull, worn, small and has lost its glow. Yet when we polish it and shed the layers of resentment, fear, selfishness and dishonesty, gradually it becomes brighter and brighter. It begins to grow larger and eventually it glows once again. Our conscience expands, and we become acutely aware of what is right and what is wrong. 

     So my job is to make sure I continue to polish my God Brass on a regular basis so that it never becomes dull or loses its shine, for with the withering of our conscience comes the destruction of the soul and all that is good.

God, help me to grow spiritually, that my God Brass may shine within…