When I was actively drinking and using, breaking up with women was a total disaster. Regardless of the circumstances, I was hell bent on getting the last word in – abusive word, that is. It was necessary to rip these poor girls apart in order to repair the sideswipe to my pride, ego and self-esteem as I heard the words, “I can’t be with you anymore.”

     EXCUSE ME?! How could anyone break up with ME?! She must be a delusional, stupid, worthless, piece of shit whore! 

     The feeling of rejection was just way too much for me to comprehend. Being a selfish addict (aka pathetic child), discomfort was to be avoided at all costs, even if that meant ripping my unfortunate girlfriends to shreds. You name it, I said it.

     Now that I have a wife of 9 years and a newborn son, I have to watch it with my mouth. We addicts are generally pretty skilled at the art of verbal abuse. Same with many of the personality disorders we might find in the DSM-IV. Especially NPD and BPD. Trust me, I have been most fortunate to have x-girlfirends, an x-boss, and a few relatives and in-laws with these personalities.

     They are great teachers, let me tell you. They are also great actors, portraying one side to the general public but turning into monsters with those who challenge them or stand up to their abuse. They can act normal, sincere, charming, even helpful and kind. Yet disappoint them or refuse to give them everything they demand and you will soon be demonized beyond belief. They will cut you down, make up lies, and scandalize you. They will paint you as a sick, twisted loser while painting themselves as a wonderful, shining angel, or hero, or victim (ugh, heros and victims). They can actually be quite productive, because they are not active addicts nor are they clinically depressed. No, what they are is completely nuts. They are sociopaths.

    I once feared becoming this way, as I fell into the trap of cruelty as a defense mechanism. As addicts, we must defend and protect our habits no matter what the cost. We must hurt, lie and abuse to get and keep what we want. We become so warped that we lose all sight of what we are doing. At some point, we get to the edge of darkness. We flirt with hurting others and not even caring. We flirt with sociopathology.

     And this is why I am so serious about addicts not just getting sober. We are damaged and therefore we must change profoundly. We must rid ourselves of these behavioral traits that one sees in narcissists, borderlines, and sociopaths. If you are an addict out there, ask yourself, do you want the shame, the burden, the curse and the caste of being almost human? Do you want to be a body without a soul? Do you want to be a monster? Because turning into such a thing is a lot worse than being an addict. At least addicts can get better. Most sociopaths and psychopaths cannot.

God, teach me to forgive and accept myself that I may forgive and accept others…

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…

Alcoholism & Sociopathology

     Just like narcissists and borderlines, alcoholics & addicts step very close to sociopathic territory. The difference is that narcissists and borderline types are generally untreatable, whereas alcoholics and addicts get close to the edge but retain the capacity for honesty and therefore the capacity to heal. But it can get scary for while, as we exhibit horrifying traits and behaviors, to which we show no remorse.

     In active addiction, we could not care less about our friends, families and spouses. In fact, we don’t give a shit about anybody. We have no idea what we are saying and what we are doing to others. We are cruel, manipulative and verbally abusive, yet are shocked at any such allegations. We can easily hurt others and walk away without so much as a thought. We refuse at all costs to take any responsibility for our behavior, always asserting how right we are about everything. We believe we are fair and just, even kind and patient. We wonder why others don’t see the world as we do, which is, of course, the right way. We wonder why the hell people wouldn’t want to be around us. And we are shocked to the core when people begin to shun us or sever their relationships with us. We turn on a dime and demonize the very folks who were up on a pedestal five minutes ago. Needless to say, this is the frame of mind of a severely damaged group of people.

     The good news is that unlike clinical narcissists and the like, alcoholics and addicts can change and recover. With the capacity to be honest with themselves, some willingness, and the help of God, we can identify our elaborate defects of character through a written inventory and extract them through Steps 5,6 & 7. I realize this is a rather harsh predicament for those poor sociopaths out there. Some of them who are not too far gone may still yet have a tiny seed of honesty and goodness left. And to anyone who may be floored by this analysis… have you ever met a pure narcissist or jumped into the shark-infested waters of borderline personality disorder?

God, please help me to be more honest…