Intangible Connection

     “But the ex-problem drinker who has found this solution, who is properly armed with facts about himself, can generally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.18

     Why is it that 10 years of psychotherapy, psychiatry, pharmaceutical interventions, social workers, addiction specialists, group therapy, AA & NA meetings, all sorts of ‘frothy emotional appeal’, and trying with all my might to exert my broken willpower only facilitated my descent from weed-obsessed teenager to acid tripper to raging alcoholic to pillhead to severely depressed, full-blown heroin/cocaine addict?
   
     And why is it that after 15 years of failing miserably with all the physical world had to offer did I meet a recovered addict and feel an indescribable, intangible connection that drove me to suddenly become willing to do ANYTHING it takes to get better?

     “That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, that he has no attitude of Holier Than Thou, nothing whatever except a sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured – these are the conditions we have found most effective. After such an approach is made, many take up their beds and walk again.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, pp.18-19

     Soon after I met and bonded with a recovered addict, I met God… and have been free from the slightest urge to self-destruct ever since. In fact, 8 years ago, on my hands and knees, from the very instant I read the 7th Step prayer, I have naturally repelled drugs and alcohol. There is no desire anymore. I don’t struggle. I am a free man. That is why I wrote my book and why I write this blog. Anyone capable of being honest can recover permanently and never again fight or struggle to stay sober. Not only that, but we can be filled with a tremendous sense of peace and purpose. Trust me, it only gets better and better.

God, please help addicts and alcoholics who still struggle find their way to the Steps and to You… 
   

Purpose

     If addiction is a spiritual problem, then a spiritual problem (amongst other things) is a lack of purpose. Let’s face it, what drug addict or alcoholic do you know whose purpose in life is anything other than using drugs or drinking? And even if we have some sort of purpose besides using, is it truly a purpose? Is the path we’re on truly serving ourselves or, more importantly, serving others?

     I had some grand ideas about my life. I figured that because I was so incredible and talented, I would be a best-selling author, a movie star, a rock star, and an enlightened guru all before the age of 21. No, that’s not a joke. And sure I wrote songs and stories and poems. Sure I auditioned for major roles in theatre and film. Sure I read anything and everything I could get my hands on if it pertained to truth, energy, mysticism, God. But… I was high as a kite before, during and after. The more I tried to grasp these things, the farther away they got. In the end, there was a giant abyss between who I wanted to be and who I actually was in reality.

     Sure there is no problem with going into one of the more ego-driven careers such as acting or music. But it’s only not a problem if you’re NOT a drug addict. Drug addicts don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Because preoccupation with self will lead to our destruction, our purpose in life must serve others and the greater good. We cannot simply prance around waiting to be the next big thing. In fact, worldly attention and glorification is just about the worst thing for us. If we have any chance of getting better, than we must live in humility. We must get off of our pedestal and forget about our vain hopes and dreams.

     I’m not saying that we can’t ever pursue our more self-centered worldly ambitions. I’m saying that we better be sane and humble enough first so it doesn’t go to our heads. We must give back enough and help enough people so as to rid ourselves of self-worship. Self is a losing proposition for addicts and alcoholics. It is only by putting our selfish desires aside and becoming other-centered that we may find our true purpose. And besides, what better purpose is there than helping others?

     The funny thing is, when we serve others and God, our hopes and dreams usually start falling out of the sky while we’re busy doing good.

God, please show me my purpose and give me the strength and willingness to carry it out…

Moral Compass

     The problem with alcoholics and addicts isn’t alcohol and drugs. Our problem is that we are void of spiritual principles. We have no moral compass. So getting better has little to do with just getting sober. To get better we must replace the poisons of fear, dishonesty, pride, resentment, self-pity, self-seeking and narcissism with honesty, courage, tolerance, patience, humility and other-centeredness.

    When we become a cauldron of moral and spiritual decay, we begin to have a problem with everything and everyone, even though our circumstances are nobody’s fault but our own.

     Without spiritual guidance, we are lost. We think it is normal and okay to judge, criticize, gossip, be petty and emotional. We become emotionally immature and eventually somewhat retarded. We slowly lose ourselves and eventually we lose our souls altogether. We take everything for granted as we become lost in self-absorption. Soon we are no longer capable of swallowing our pride at all. We can’t swallow our ego, our self-seeking, our fear or our dishonesty. We fail to ever admit our wrongs or take responsibility for anything. Humility is no longer in our vocabulary. Hey, what do you know… we’ve become sociopaths.

     By the way, if we are incapable or unwilling to ever admit our fault in anything, then we can’t have any genuine relationships. All of our relationships are phony at that point. And sadly, we are phony.

     Lack of spiritual guidance and action leaves us with no purpose, which gradually turns us into sociopaths. With no moral compass, we have no compass at all. We are lost in the dark. This is why we need to get better. We need to fix ourselves not because of our drug and alcohol addiction, but because of the people we’ve become.

God, help me do the right thing today…