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???

One thought on “To Recover Is To Grow Up & Restore Our Conscience

  1. Are these articles meant to be shared with the addict ? Cuz I want to share some of these with him. You writing is spot on in my opinion.

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