To Recover Is To Grow Up & Restore Our Conscience

     We speak of fundamental change for the addict who seeks to get better. The Big Book refers to this as an “entire psychic change,” and Jung further describes this sudden change by stating, “Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes that were once guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions begin to dominate them.” (Alcoholics Anonymous) As well, Williams James provides several accounts of significant and sudden conversions in “Varieties of Religious Experience.”

     Conversions and psychic changes may also well occur over time through repeated right action, and this is how we can distinguish between those who are recovered – i.e. those who’ve been made sane again, those who are glowing with the fire of God inside, those who have no mental obsession to drink or use drugs… versus those who have simply achieved physical sobriety but are still a total mess – insane, self-centered, and subject to relapse at any point in time and for no apparent reason. 
     There is never a reason why addicts use and alcoholics drink. We drink and use because that’s what we do. We love using drugs and drinking alcohol. It is our first love in this world. We are married. Sure it is a false love and a false solution, but nonetheless, we believe we have found the solution to living life. Everything else is secondary to using and drinking. And until God becomes first in our lives, there is virtually no hope. Substitution drugs and watered-down programs will fail you every time, including Swedish massages at Passages Malibu, Filet Mignon on the Cape, hot tub orgies at Narconon, play time with social workers doing role play and inventing a list of triggers, and last but not least, Methadone, Suboxone, Seroquel etc… and, oh yeah, every psychotropic known to mankind.

     But what does it mean to have an entire psychic change? Rather, what causes it? This sort of fundamental and life-altering change is certainly powered by God, but we addicts must induce it through hard work. Put simply, we addicts (i.e. we permanent adolescents), need to engage in something that the rest of the world does naturally: 
     Growing up. 
     Unfortunately for you parents and spouses, addicts have no idea what this means. 

     “We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs.” – Alcoholics Anonymous

     Growing up means that I no longer see myself as a victim. Victimhood is a state of mind, and a narcissistic one at that. Believing oneself to be a victim is delusional. Yes, there are real victims out there, but the ranting, whiny, drug or alcohol addicted pity-pot is not one of them. Read “Victim Mentality” for more on this. As well, here is a list of older blogs geared for parents and spouses etc. – “Posts Geared for Parents, Spouses & Codependents.”
     Growing up means that I begin to see life from the point of view of someone other than myself. I begin to understand that my suffering is no more acute or unique than anybody else’s. I begin to understand that other people suffer – they have their own pain, feelings, thoughts, opinions and a worldview that may differ from my own. I understand that suffering is no novelty, it is simply called life on Earth, and that I am no different or more special than the other 7 billion people on our planet. The only difference is most people can wake up feeling like shit and still go to work and be a responsible parent etc without banging a bag of dope (or smearing CBD oil all over their third eye). 
     Growing up means that I become less focused on self and more focused on others and their needs. I understand that my focus and preoccupation with myself and my feelings and comfort has been pathological. I begin to see the importance and the rewards in helping and taking care of others. 
     Growing up means that I begin to see that I am solely responsible for my own choices – my actions, thoughts and words. I also understand that I have a basic human responsibility to act in a way that I would recommend for all others. Imagine if all the world did as we do? What an F-show that would be!
     Growing up means that I make amends to all of the people I have wronged and continue to make amends at once when I commit wrongs in the future. I also understand that the point of making an amends is not to clear my own conscience so I can sleep at night, but it is for the object of my amends and as such, they have the right to either listen or to speak, to say whatever they may need to, now or in the future, and that they may ask something additional from us and we are to respond. Our sanity depends on it. 
     Growing up means that I do not simply make a one-time amends to my family members and close friends, but that I change into the person I should have been day after day, year after year. Our mothers and fathers and spouses and children do not need a rehearsed soliloquy and then off we go. They want the son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or spouse that they deserved but never got. 
     Growing up means that I make adult choices such as not accumulating debt. It means that I strive to make all of my financial amends and that I go out into the world and work hard. Yes, that means full time, and it does not mean you can take a week off to cry because Trump was elected, lol. 
     Growing up means that I take care of my mind, heart and spirit, that I nourish myself appropriately through exercise, prayer, mediation, good nutrition and service.  
     Growing up means that we nourish our relationships by listening deeply to our partners and understanding their needs, and then applying specific action. 
     The list goes on… feel free to add to it… and feel free to let addicts know that this is the proper way to conduct themselves. It is not cruel or offensive to tell addicts the truth about their behavior and the effect it has on those who love them. How is this offensive and hateful to addicts given we drive a knife directly into our mothers’ hearts???

Victimhood & Special Treatment

     This may be a bit over the heads of some recent critics who caste me as hateful and offensive (lol), but the entire modern liberal attitude towards addiction and the disease model is actually harmful to addicts, not helpful.

     When they speak of us poor, victimized addicts, stricken with the lifelong disease of addiction, what they are really saying is that we are damaged goods. Relegated to the ash heap of mediocrity, we are but poor, damaged snowflakes who must be coddled, medicated and subsidized like any other “oppressed group.” What this does is it limits the scope of recovery and change. Regardless of what we do, we will always be diseased and damaged, and as such, we will be showered with special treatment as if we have some sort of handicap or somehow suffer social marginalization. We are to receive compassion, kindness and hugs.

     Do the bashers have any idea what this does to the mind of an addict who is not recovered, who is still mired in the mental and emotional poison of lies, deception, self-absorption, cowardice, fear and entitlement? No, they don’t, because it is impossible for them to engage in a discussion or hear arguments contrary to their own… oh wait, I meant it’s impossible for them to simply hear arguments, as they do not have an argument. All I can hear once they get triggered are hostile insults born from anger and self-righteousness. To note, intellectual arrogance is extremely unbecoming, especially when it is delivered by those of whom knowledge and wisdom is merely a facade.

    For one, addicts who have been brainwashed to believe they are victims of a disease through no fault of their own will view themselves as yup, you guessed it, victims. This frame of mind, one of self-pity, will limit the vision, the will and the perseverance of the addict to embrace, believe in, reach for and fight for life-changing fundamental change. Addicts who are pumped with this patronizing nonsense of victimhood become attached to it emotionally, further sinking into the trap of self-pity, hopelessness and failure.

     How is that inspiring?

    The entire purpose of this blog is to inspire hope and to describe the spiritual solution as best as I can. Why? Because spiritual action is a comprehensive solution that will not simply leave an addict physically sober and holding on by a thread, but rather change one’s entire life that they may be catapulted into a miraculous life of personal growth, achieve amazing things, affect the world and serve.

     For 15 years I shoveled in “science,” and it failed me in the grandest way. I went to McClean Hospital and was treated by classroom psychiatrists with no actual experience with addiction or recovery, and then diagnosed and medicated with a salad of useless psychotropics. I had so-called addiction specialists tell me to write down my triggers and then simply avoid them, knowing full well that triggers do not exist. Breathing is a trigger. I went to “compassionate” therapists who tried to dig for the REASONS why I used – mom, dad, trauma, blah, blah, blah, only to leave with a pile of wonderful excuses. I tried CBT, which might work for normal people but for addicts it is entirely useless. Our minds our insane. We are not capable of thinking ourselves into right action. The only hope for addicts is that we begin to act right and the mind and soul will follow.

     Have you ever tried to work with a freshly sober addict? No? Please read The Privileged Addict as a testimony for right, moral action versus meds and theory… and no, I don’t care at all about selling it. Leave a mailing address and I’ll send you a copy of all three.

     I majored in neuroscience and the “science of addiction” and I have learned through my experience that all intellectual pursuits regarding addiction were entirely useless and left me crawling into heroin detox an emaciated wreck. That said, when a handful of recovered addicts told me to begin taking right action and that doing so repeatedly will change me and induce an entire psychic change, I listened. I took action until I was touched by something much greater than myself (God) and then I continued to act, day after day, month after month, year after year. I do not suffer from recurring thoughts to drink or use. I repel drugs and alcohol as mere poisons that push me away from God. They have no power over me. I came to want God and goodness more than drugs and thus my problem was solved.

     Second, addicts are masters in the art of lies, deception and manipulation. Telling an addict not to worry about it because they are victims of a disease is the absolute worst thing you can do. It is asinine, and I’ll tell you why. Addicts love drugs and alcohol. Fact. We want to use and drink as much as we can and it is our top priority in life. We will do anything to use the way we want to, including lying to you, betraying you, manipulating you, stealing from you, abusing you and breaking your fucking heart. Giving us some sort of clinical pass for our atrocious and selfish behavior is not compassionate, it is clueless. We will use this and any other excuse to ride the self-comfort train as long as humanly possible.

    Addicts are like children who refuse to grow up. And if you treat us as victims, there will certainly be no growing up. Growing up and becoming a sane, responsible adult is the entire process of recovering.

     As I wrote in a older post from which the above meme was extracted, “I actually find what I do to be considerably more kind than beating around the bush and hurling empty platitudes and frothy emotional appeal at some addict who is clearly ill and is all too willing to tell you EXACTLY what you want to hear in order to keep using the way they want. Real kindness and real love is not allowing an addict to continue lying to themselves… and then showing them a solution that actually works. Make no mistake that the lies an addict tells himself are the primary ingredients of a lethal overdose.”

Progressives are Killing Recovery

   Had another standard discussion with an MD recently, and though we shared some common experience, our paths diverged on the nature of addiction and the dynamics of recovery. A very nice guy, by the way, so to be clear, our divergence was contained, I think, to medicine, God and addiction.

     Regarding the assertion that we need to start a new discussion and ‘end the stigma…’ um, why? In our new and insane world of cultural marxism where everything is offensive and no one is safe, the assertion that we should not refer to addicts as addicts, that to identify as an ‘addict’ is self-defeating and limits the scope of our persona, or something, is counter-productive. An addict is an addict and should be called an addict. We addicts should identify as addicts because it is humbling and humiliating… and yes, that is good for us. Letting addicts off the hook for their addiction and its attendant behavior is naive and it is a total disservice.

     Along this vein, he appeared to be in the “End the Stigma!” camp (sorry I didn’t idiotically put a hashtag before the social justice movement’s key phrase), which I’ve written about previously in the post, Fight the Stigma??? Lol. Not to rehash the entire thing, but ask yourself why stigmas exist? They exist when certain behaviors, attributes and mindsets run contrary to an acceptable and healthy social norm. And since addicts create themselves by way of pure selfishness, why shouldn’t there by a stigma attached to, say, becoming a toothless, STD-ridden crackhead? Sorry, but I just don’t get it. Having a stigma attached to behavior that is ruthless and destructive to self and especially to others is a good thing, as it is one common understanding that will prevent us from wanting to live that way and to be that kind of person.

     There was then an analogy made between addiction and Crohn’s disease, which is absurd on its face. Same thing as saying addiction is analogous to juvenile Leukemia – that is a medical condition outside of our control, which is ridiculous. Additionally, medical intervention in the form of medication is crucial to surviving and to remain ‘in remission,’ as it were. Sorry, but to put addiction in the same category as ANY other disease beyond our control is nuts, let alone obtuse. It lacks understanding of addiction, and therefore recovery. I must admit that it was difficult to even decipher the presented logic of this argument.

     K, so we are to liken addiction to a “disease” of which there is no known cause, one in which the victim has no control over, one where he or she will relapse by no fault or control of their own, and one that must be medically assisted with pharmaceutical intervention? None of that has any bearing to reality and it’s disappointing that otherwise well-educated people have bought (among many other falsehoods and ideas), the liberal disease model of addiction and are using faux science and collectivist intellectual arrogance to seal this claim as fact.

     There is indeed a known cause for addiction. It involves selfishly pouring booze down your throat or plying yourself with drugs like an indulgent pig until you develop the phenomenon of craving (a physical event), break your mind and shatter your spirit into a million pieces. As I wrote in The Privileged Addict years ago, the booze doesn’t crawl its way up my chest and force its way down my throat.

     We do not catch addiction in the air, nor are we born addicts. The notion that we are born addicts doesn’t even make sense. Let’s say I am supposedly born an addict but I never pick up a drink or use a drug and then die a sober man, am I an addict? Of course not. And no “addict” wakes up one day when they’re 13 or 14 years old and spontaneously morphs into a fully blown heroin junkie. We turn ourselves into drug addicts and alcoholics (same thing) through a succession of selfish choices. As noted in the meme above, the process of losing choice IS a choice.

     Furthermore, once we lose choice (that is, the ability to choose whether or not we drink or use) that itself is but a temporary condition. It is a loss of willpower. Sure an addict may never regain choice and willpower, but that is his or her choice as well. Those who do not recover their willpower (the power of choice) have chosen not to recover. Sorry, but that is the truth.

    I mentioned that I’ve been recovered for 14 years and got a smile of sorts. To clarify, aside from physical sobriety (which is not an accomplishment, it is a requirement and it is our responsibility), I’ve not suffered a mere thought to self-destruct in 14 years. If the mind and heart of an addict is fixed, the body is irrelevant, rendering the so-called science of addiction equally irrelevant.

     It takes but a drop of insight to realize that all of Western medical doctrine centers around the body of the addict, and thus symptoms of addiction, which are mere byproducts of an underlying malady that is spiritual in nature.

     Drugs and alcohol are a side-show and have little to do with addiction. Addiction is the sad and disgusting result of the person we are, the person we’ve become. To be clear, the person who mutates themselves into an addict, such as myself, is a cesspool of selfishness, entitlement and dishonesty. He or she is concerned with nothing but their own comfort, even at the expense of those closest to us. He or she is a person who has zero concern for others, or for the human/spiritual responsibility to serve. He or she is a person who has no purpose. The pre-addict is a Godless person.

     And herein lies one of the central problems with the progressive destruction of recovery. If you remove God and moral/behavioral destitution from addiction and its nature, you remove any and all hope of recovery. You remove recovery itself. There is no such thing as a miracle addiction drug. Miracles, and real, fundamental change, occur only in the absence of drugs.

     Why complicate something that is simple? Why drink the Kool Aid and fall prey to the degenerate propaganda of victimhood? So we addicts are all just victims now? Nothing we do is our fault? Addiction is just an evil entity that takes over our children, parents, siblings and spouses? Nope. Before you excuse yourself of responsibility and generate a fistpump because you just drove by a billboard that says, Addiction is a Disease, It’s not Your Fault (yup, saw that one Rt.1 outside of Boston)… talk to a few moms first… or dads… or spouses… or children of addicts…

…and then let’s talk.

     I am no victim of anything. I turned myself into an addict. We make ourselves into who we are. We are responsible for who we become, whether useless drug addict or courageous, productive hero. The choice is most certainly ours for the taking. This is the truth, regardless of whatever sugar-coated nonsense your doctor spews about addiction and recovery. Run from the office as fast as you can, become brutally honest, clean yourself of emotional poison and sin and delusion and fear and resentment… give tirelessly to others… make amends day after day after day… change into a good person… take right, moral, productive action over and over and over again and you will become free and know peace.

      Sure there have been challenges – the death of my father, 3 surgeries, divorce, etc. But challenges are just opportunities to grow and get better. There is one reason why I stand today a free man with three beautiful children, an incredible woman by my side, a lovely, peaceful, happy home and a successful business:

Hard work and God.