"How Does God Remove Your Mental Obsession?"

     Saw this search phrase/question on the stats page.

     Nobody truly knows the exact how of it, the precise mechanism of God’s power, which is surely unreachable and thus unknowable to us shallow, mundane creatures. The closest we can come to the answer is by experiencing it ourselves. Although once our obsession is removed and has become a reality, there is little need to ask the question anymore.

     But it seemed like such a genuine and sincere inquiry, I thought it deserved some kind of pathetic-at-best answer.

     Answer: God, being unlimited in Power, can do anything. He can literally rewire your brain such that you suddenly have no desire to drink or use. He restores your mind with the power of choice. As a direct result of rigorous spiritual work on self, a sincere desire and willingness to change, and when reaching out humbly, God can very suddenly or over time remove our obsession and restore us to sanity. God can alter our minds fundamentally, such that bio-chemical imbalances, obsessions, urges, thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that have haunted us for years are removed and replaced with balance, sanity, reason, spiritual principles, an entire change in attitude and the birth of a strong and accurate moral compass… but only if we work hard for it.

     So if you are an alcoholic or drug addict and your obsession to drink or use is suddenly gone, you have no one to thank but God. Trust me, don’t thank yourself. You didn’t do it. If we have lost the power of choice, then how can we suddenly re-insert it? We can’t. If we have lost an innate power, the power of will, then it can only be restored by our Creator. This sort of power comes from somewhere outside of ourselves, somewhere well beyond the bounds of human faculty.

     If you are a true addict and you can quit ‘upon a non-spiritual basis’, then let me know… and also let me know what the quality of your recovery is. Let me know what your relationships look like, and your career, and your emotional and spiritual well-being. I’m curious. I’ve never seen it done before, which is why I write this blog. It’s why I wrote the book.

      A recent commenter (anonymous, of course) on some old post about triggers suggested I am grossly misguided regarding addiction, and that relapse prevention works for “most people”. Haha, that’s funny. Please. Talk to some parents, buddy. I went from an emaciated, lesion-covered, hopeless, pathological monster to completely and utterly free inside. I’m now a recovered alcoholic and heroin addict who hasn’t the slightest urge to self-destruct… I think I know what I’m talking about. But even so, who gives a shit about what I write? Um, does it matter one bit? I am nobody. So don’t worry about it.

God, please remove the obsession to drink and use drugs, and restore me to sanity…

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…

Addiction Is a Spiritual Problem

     Addiction is a spiritual problem.

     Yes, I understand there are physical and mental components, but these elements manifest themselves after we have become spiritually ill. Addiction is a symptom of spiritual malady. That is the truth, regardless of what anyone may say.

     Before moving on to the solution, it is imperative to explain the mental component to better help non-addicts truly understand what it’s like to be an addict. The mental problem we have is why once we get sober, we cannot stay that way. People have to understand that there is nothing that can stop us from using once that switch goes off in our heads, even if we’ve been sober for months and months at a time. This is what it means to have no power, to have lost the power of choice. Perhaps a brief anecdote may help to describe the curious phenomenon of having a broken mind, if you will.

     Years ago, while working in Boston, I writhed in bed for days like a coward before finally kicking OxyContin and heroin. I withdrew all substances from my body and was totally clean and sober. About five days later, as I began to feel better, I remember having a conversation with myself as I drove home from work. I was done. I knew it in my heart. I went over my entire life and came to grips with the tragedy, loss and heartache my addiction had caused everyone around me. I felt strong and confident. I wanted a better life. I committed to never going back. I was done for good.

     Then the phone rang.

     It was my one of my dealers.

     This you must understand: As soon as the phone rang, for all intents and purposes, the car drove itself off of Storrow Drive and straight to my dealer’s house. I didn’t think for a split second. I couldn’t. Why? Because it was just a reflex at that point. I saw my caller ID and the entire 20-minute conversation I had with myself seconds before just vanished into thin air and I ripped the steering wheel around and sped to his house without a single thought entering my head (except what’s the quickest route?). And please don’t mistake my phone or the dealer’s number as a trigger, because it’s not. Breathing is the only trigger. If the dealer didn’t call, I wouldn’t have made it out of the city anyway. The phone is irrelevant.

     To note, what I just described was purely a mental phenomenon and had nothing to do with the physical disease of addiction, or rather, the physical compulsions associated with addiction. The ‘disease’ portion of our addiction only manifests AFTER we begin using. When we are completely sober, what occurs is purely mental (and spiritual, of course).

     And that, my friends, is the mental obsession. We have no defense against it. Trust me, no doctor, pill, therapy session, call from a sponsor or relapse prevention program can do anything at all once an obsession of this sort manifests itself in our minds. That is a type of insanity that cannot be fought and conquered by any human force. We are completely, utterly defenseless. That is addiction. That is why we can’t stay sober. We go insane.

     So what is the solution?

     If our problem is spiritual than so must be our solution.

     The solution is spiritual action, or practically speaking, SERVICE. The very moment we become other-centered is the very moment we begin to change and recover permanently (mentally, not physically, as we will never be safe from actually drinking or using drugs of any sort. Our bodies are permanently damaged). But the secret to addiction is service, which is why the entire Western medical community has no clue how to treat it. They try and they try but they just can’t seem to crack it. Plus there’s no financial incentive in telling drug addicts to simply give of themselves. But if we really want to get better and truly change, we have to serve others instead of ourselves. Service is the SILVER BULLET. Best thing for addicts, by far.

     And why does spiritual action and service work? Because with each right action, we are brought closer to God. And GOD, of course, can heal anybody of anything.