Broken Mind

     “Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than his body.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.23

     So true, it hurts. Perhaps what hurts even more is that our brilliant, saintly, heroic, divinely ordained, perhaps even angelic doctors and psychiatrists (forget about social workers and addiction specialists) don’t believe this or understand it in the slightest. They believe addiction to be a purely physiological condition, a bio-chemical imbalance. Needless to say, that is absolutely correct, in that the brain of an addict is a changed brain neuro-chemically. But what they aren’t telling you, or rather, what they can’t tell you is why an addict who has been sober for months or even years, whose brain chemistry has returned to normal, suddenly relapses? They cannot tell you this because it somehow desecrates their belief system, that things we cannot see or prove do not exist.

     But how naive and obtuse it is not to understand that wrong and immoral behavior can also produce changes to the brain, or rather to the mind. In fact, the disgustingly selfish and destructive behaviors of addicts do just that, warp his or her brain to the point of insanity. When you have a brain that is insane, or that is subject to go insane at any moment, no amount of physical sobriety or freedom from the physical condition of substance dependency is going to do or prevent anything.

     If we didn’t have broken minds, we could simply get sober and remain that way. But unfortunately for us and for all of you, that’s just not the case. The mind of an addict is a cauldron of lunacy. Here is a mind that may very well react normally to many parts of life, yet when it comes to drugs or alcohol, suddenly you are no longer dealing with something that responds to ration or reason. So until we fix our broken minds, there is no hope whatsoever that any true alcoholic or addict can stay sober.

     And this is why it is so crucial to actually WORK on ourselves morally and spiritually. Only through such work, through such expulsion of various forms of internal poison, may we bring ourselves back to sanity. To be accurate, the work we do isn’t actually what restores us to sanity, but rather, it allows us to be cleaned out enough to make contact with GOD and He is the One who restores our brains, sometimes instantly, back to sanity. God can and will fix our bio-chemical imbalances, so long as we get off our lazy asses, walk through some pain, and do some work (i.e take some right action).

12 & 12 – Step Four – Analysis/Insight
12 & 12 – Step Eight – Analysis/Insight 😉

God, please give me the power and the willingness to always keep my mind in tact…

Change Is Internal

     Nothing outside of us can change us (other than God). We have to change ourselves…

     The problem with addicts is that that we carry this flaw into our recovery. Our self-absorbed frame of mind tells us that even our recovery is dependent on the outside world. We have a grand old time blaming anyone and anything when we feel like shit or when something goes wrong. Because we are so full of pride and arrogance and bullshit, we cannot see that nothing outside of us is responsible for how we feel or for what happens to us.
     We must be aware that our narcissism still pervades our perception far into recovery. We often think that our recovery itself is dependent on things taking place outside of ourselves.
     If my boss was only there when I went to make an amends, I’d be okay right now. If my wife would only do some work on herself, I’d be much better spiritually. If my family would only change along with me, I’d be more recovered than I am by now. If people would only forgive me, my depression would be gone already. If I had only gotten that job, I could’ve made amends to my creditors, but because there is no work, I have to stiff them, and then if I relapse, it’s not my fault.
     Wait a minute, wasn’t the whole point of getting better to finally understand that we alone are responsible for who we are, what we are, how we feel, and what happens to us? Wasn’t the whole point of taking Steps to propel us into the light of reality?
     In order to grow, change or get better to any degree at all, alcoholics and addicts must fully understand that we are where we are because of us and us alone. No one and no thing gets us better or worse. If we change, it’s because we change ourselves. If we fail, it’s because we fail ourselves.
God, help me understand and remember that change comes from within…