Internal Authority

     Alcoholics and drug addicts lack internal authority.

     That is, they have no authority or control over their emotions, their thoughts, and most unfortunately, their actions. Because we have no internal control, we allow other people, things or events to dictate how we feel. Even more sad, we allow other people or other institutions to make decisions for us and to take care of us.

     This is why we are such a disappointment, because others have to make decisions for us and take care of us financially, physically, emotionally, etc. Having no internal authority over ourselves, we succumb to external authority, and thus, we are slaves. Truly, we active and/or untreated addicts are a waste of precious natural resources, not to mention a waste of a precious life.

     So please do your parents and the already fleeced taxpayers a favor and take care of yourselves. Most of us are plenty talented enough to at least accomplish that. The secret is to become willing and to be a tad more unselfish. Get better and give back, as there is now no other option. We have officially given up the right to drink, use, hurt others, or in any way, shape or form do the wrong thing.

     And yes, I screw up all the time. The trick is not to do so intentionally, but either way, we must see our wrong and then go make it right. That’s why we write inventory – to identify our wrongs. That’s why we pray for willingness, for the power to then go and make them right. If we cannot or if we refuse to correct our wrongs, to become accountable and attempt to relieve those we hurt, we will never recover from anything. Doctors and counselors will tell you that you relapsed because you were triggered.


     We relapse because we are doing the wrong thing, coupled with our refusal to grow up and act like an adult, to be a good person, and to do the right thing. Moral action and God alone can remove the mental obsession. Science cannot. It has never been able to. Goodness and spiritual fitness cannot be injected – they must be earned through hard work, right action, and Grace.

God, please teach me how to take better care of myself, that I may stop depending on others…

Get Over Ourselves

     Guess what?

     Even when we are sober, sane, honest and living right, life can get pretty dark, heavy, tough and challenging sometimes. But we walk thought it all, just like everybody else. That is how we get better, how we get stronger. It’s how we dissolve character flaws and how we build character.

     Addicts don’t get it. Our experience and pain is no more unique than anybody else’s. Going through tough times is called life on earth. This is key. We can accept that our life experience is both up and down, and push through it all. This is just what it means to be human. 
     We spend so much time while we’re using and even in recovery and especially in meetings talking about our feelings, thoughts, behavior, lives, relationships, what we’ve done, what we’re doing now, and on and on endlessly. Maybe we should consider veering away from the perpetual self-focus. Maybe we should try focusing on others, or even just living our lives without talking about it so much.

     Addicts LOVE to broadcast anything and everything about themselves, like a teenager – entirely clueless that nobody is looking at us, nobody else cares what we’re doing, what we’re saying or how we look. But since we’re not clueless teenagers with a case of developmental narcissism, perhaps we should get over ourselves?

Letting Go

     Letting go is when I no longer care what others think of me. I no longer need the approval of my family. I no longer need approval of who I am, who I’m with, what I believe, what I’m thinking, what I do for work, etc. And I no longer need to preach to others because I am okay with myself.

     When we need to prove or preach something to others, the sad and rather unattractive truth is that we don’t entirely believe it ourselves. But if we are okay, inside and out, we don’t need to prove anything to anyone. We don’t need approval, validation, credit or recognition. 
     The day I let go was the day I stopped caring what other people thought about my life and what I was doing. It was the day I stopped needing for my friends in recovery to see all the stuff I was doing to help others. I didn’t need to show off, or need a pat on the back, or need smoke to be blown up my ass. And this is true peace – when you no longer need something outside of yourself to be okay.

    Letting go is also forgiveness. That’s why the process of writing a thorough inventory can truly save an addict’s life. Clearly understanding our resentments has the power to fix an addict for good. If we can successfully dissolve our anger and resentment then we can forgive, and when we can forgive, we are free. There is no more need to hurt self or others. That is peace. Ridding ourselves of resentment is crucial to the process of restoring ourselves to sanity. And sanity, of course, means no more addiction. Sanity means life. Enjoy it.

     Finally, it is important to understand that letting go is a process. We don’t just read it in a supermarket self-help book and wala, we’ve let go and our life magically gets better. Letting go is the result of hard work. As we continue to take Steps year after year, we step back one day to realize that we have let go. We are completely okay with the way things are. We are okay with life. We are free inside. We have recovered.

God, help me become willing to take actions that help me to let go…

Origins of Addiction

     Addiction/alcoholism is simply a natural extension of a preexisting spiritual condition.

     Trust me, if we turn ourselves into addicts, there is something wrong with us spiritually. You don’t just become an addict because you broke your ankle and some doctor gave you vicodin and now you’re an addict even though you don’t have that type of personality and so it’s pretty much the doctor’s and the vicodin’s fault. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s our fault.

     We became addicts by selfishly avoiding discomfort. So us getting better must entail endless amounts of action, hard work and humility. We must demolish the belief that we can fix ourselves, that we can do anything because we are so amazing and so cool, so gifted and so genius. We must crush our arrogance and get underneath something. Sure we may be able to do all sorts of other things, but when it comes to drugs and alcohol, we are completely powerless. We have no control. So pretending like we can do what we clearly cannot is insane. When we’re ready to stop lying to ourselves, we need to get underneath God.

     Newsflash: Normal people feel all of the things we do (it’s called being human – we’re not special), but they are mature and courageous enough to face their feelings and do what’s right despite what they might be going through. This is also known as growing up. It’s what some refer to as becoming a responsible, accountable adult. Addicts should try it sometime. God knows America is in dire need of help as we spiral down the rabbit hole.

     P.S. Just to be clear, when I write these blogs, I’m simply talking to myself, so please don’t take offense if you’re another knucklehead addict out there reading this. I’m the demented shithead that I refer to when describing addicts. Writing these blogs reminds me of what got me better and what will continue to keep me better… and so they might resonate with other addicts or be somewhat useful for parents, spouses or friends of addicts who’d like some illumination on why we act like deranged idiots.

God, please help us to understand the nature of addiction, that we may better treat those who are afflicted and bring peace to those around us…

God Isn’t a Concept

     God is not a concept. God is/was before any of us.

     I think where we went wrong and where God became so loaded is when He became a concept of our selves – our separate, worldly selves… our false selves. In fact, the concept and belief that we are all separate is killing us. God is not an extension nor a creation of ours. God is not born of self but rather we are born of God. And I’m quite sure that all those who curse God wouldn’t be cursing Him if they died, for they would see that God is beyond human concept. Because those who curse God are not really cursing God but rather cursing someone else’s conception of God, which isn’t God at all.

     I don’t think we can even come close to conceptualizing or intellectualizing God. In fact, look at what happens when we pursue Him as an extension of self. When we define God from the artificiality of our limited, conscious minds, we do nothing but get further away from Him. We become clouded such that real contact isn’t even possible.

     The Power which is God is so beyond the reach of us and of our faculties that it’s a fruitless endeavor to try to define or symbolize Him. This is why we fight. Religious wars are not over God, but just over differing man-made conceptions of God, which have nothing to do with HIM.

     Holy wars are quite different, and that is between good and evil, both of which exist in our world. But as Thomas Merton says, “…instead of hating the people you think are warmakers, hate the appetites and the disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” –Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

     Man, I wish I could do that.

     But anyway, I’m quite sure that if we were to die, none of us would have the attitude or certainty we have while living in our individual selves, our separate bodies, our fabricated identity driven by ego. Perhaps we should just act, act right, act based on spiritual principles and leave conception and imagination to drug addicts and crazy people.

     From a previous post, Knowing God vs Having God: Truly there is a difference between knowing God and having God. To know God we simply have to believe, or read some doctrine, or perhaps drop by Sunday service and potluck. But to have God we have to perform. We have to take actions that bring God into us and expand His actual presence.

     And once again, from Merton: “Nothing could be more alien to contemplation than the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. “I think, therefore I am.” This is the declaration of an alienated being, in exile from his own spiritual depths, compelled to seek some comfort in a proof for his own existence(!) based on the observation that he ‘”thinks.” If his thought is necessary as a medium through which he arrives at the concept of his existence, then he is in fact only moving further away from his true being. He is reducing himself to experience, directly and immediately, the mystery of his own being. At the same time, by also reducing God to a concept, he makes it impossible for himself to have any intuition of the divine reality which is inexpressible.” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. 

God, please give me the wisdom, strength and courage to have You, not just to know You, that I may rest beyond concept in Your love and power…