Thursday, November 13, 2008
'I need to feel things'
'Put yourself first when it comes to Step 8'
'Be good to yourself'
'Wait two years to do the Steps'
Statements like that serve one purpose. - to serve up someones out-of-control Ego and to get the other guy drunk so his can be deflated, and possibly dead. There is a Fellowship book somewhere in the next 12 Step group you go to. That book has a tendency to be far more accurate than any addict or alcoholic sitting in the seat next to you. Even if one doesn't agree to all the principles of it - one must admit that it is, in essence, the only real shot at peace that one has left. Alcohol and Addictions are, by their very nature, killers. Bullshit and dishonesty are its main forms of food. It likes a bit of defiance and resentment for starters, then it works on a bit of pride and anger - and finally, after layers of misery, it washes you down with A HIT. Be honest. Do the program - do it the hard way, the only way. And get it out of the way so you can have an amazing life.
Monday, November 10, 2008
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I have met so many detached folk in recovery who repeat the above sentences over and over in order to remind themselves that they will never believe them. I have a hard enough time slowly becoming myself, hoping one day I will actually realize that I have a self, not to mind being so brazen and dishonest as to claim that I love myself. Years of 12 step groups, counselling and pain have gifted me with one asset that has saved my ass over and over - the ability to be somewhat honest with my 'devastating weaknesses and all its consequences'. It will more than likely take me the rest of my life to define my concept of love. Then it will take me another lifetime to connect it with the self I am supposed to be. Then and only then will I begin the process of connecting them both. In the meantime - I go to meetings.
As far as my relationship with God goes - I'm a bit like a lodger in one of those corny German movies who suddenly arrives at the door, asking to be given bed and board for some unnecessary painting and gardening jobs. A man so full of conditional love that my fourth name should be Al Capone. A human being with all sorts of compulsions and addictions coming out my ears, eyes and lies. A walking maelstrom of unreal fears made all the more terrifying because of my tendency to live in a candy-covered dreamworld.
There is something really awful about reality, even without addiction, it is often boring, tedious and repetitive. For those of us who are lucky to live in Western Society, it is by-and-large a mediocre realism of day-to-day struggles, smothered in lashings of egocentric resentments and frothy-eyed dementia. For the rest of the human race it is a nightmare of daily survival without any respite, quivering at the thoughts of the continuous cycle of breathing in and out. I guess one could concentrate on that shit all day -he'd get nowhere, except to a dark pattern of abstract and useless plans. Fighting for the will to smile. Making motives of self-fulfillment his one and only goal in life. Blaming everyone except himself for having no coffee on the shelf.
Anyway, back to this morning.
At 10'ish, I strolled to the local shop, only to find a Q 40 metres in length, 3 feet wide and ten wankers short of an English Rugby team. While I was waiting for the German cashier to get it together - I was eyeing up a tough-looking dude in the corner who thought himself to be a fit boxer from some place in East London. I had met those guys before and I did not want to converse. He had probably got out of bed, just like me, angry at frustrated at his place in society, too chicken to randomly hit a police man, too angry to tell anyone about it. He held a packet of cheap razors(ouch), 2 beers and a magazine about camper vans. He was probably a nice guy when he wasn't in a Q similar in size to the ones you see outside a Communist Bakery.
We continued to randomly tell each other to 'fuck off' without actually opening our mouths.
After a few moments of intense staring I made a decision to back down on this one. It was plain for all to see that the guy wasn't capable of thinking in peaceful patterns. There were far weaker clients in the Q than me, many scared old women that would have made better targets for his rage.
My carton of Milk was leaking and the cashier didn't give a rats ass about it. My over-grown toe-nail had made its way out of my sock. I turned my head, stared at my shoes, remembered that Anger for me is 'The Dubious Luxury of normal men' - in other words, I had to stop letting my crazy, out of control Ego determine how my day was going to go. No person, place or thing could side-track me. I had to turn my head because no matter how angry I am - other people have the right to be fucking angry as well. I must avoid it like the bubonic plague. I am an Alcoholic and an Addict, too dumb to have any real self-awareness when it comes to stepping over the danger line, especially when it comes to morning rage.
Anger destroys my mind. The addictive blood runs red with it - it is over-flowing from the well of an over-sized ego. It is the reason you and me fail to find freedom. It is the lost Opus of your tendency to self-destruct and it is completely useless to anyone but sorrow and suffering.
I paid for my healthy biscuit breakfast and left the shop. I rubbed the mongrel dog at the door - leaving with a packet of biscuits, milk, coffee and peace of mind. I could get on with my day in a safe zone of simplicity. There is nowhere else to live. I have given up my right to escapism. I have finally accepted the daily grind. I am happy in my crazy struggles. I am recovering one day at a time - hoping I avoid meeting that dude in the shop when both of us happen to be in the same zone as him.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
It is 4.36 AM and I sit here wondering how many of you out there would exchange your left hand to relinquish the addiction that is killing you.
From what I have witnessed throughout the last 33 years(14 in recovery), I find no reason to believe that there is anything but a spiritual solution to the disease of addiction - all addictions. DO NOT PANIC - SPIRITUAL DOES NOT MEAN HYPOCRITICAL.
In order to recover from any addiction - you need to find a level of faith in some entity greater than yourself, a strong belief that your destiny must be placed under the care of a group or a force that can manage it better than you.
You do not need to go the zillion routes that are laid out in thousands of money-making, self-help, mother-fucking guru books that are written and marketed to deceive people like you.
I am not saying they are not of benefit to people - other people. I am stating categorically that if you are addicted then you need to get real with it and stop screwing around with the only life you got. Cul-de Sacs are time-consuming decisions we make to deny ourselves the truth, they have become our main avenues of life, they are the ever-frustrating walls we build around us.
Alcohol Addiction, Drug Addiction, People, Eating, Gambling addictions - they all need to be quenched with the same spiritual elements - Honesty, willingness and a desire to go that extra mile beyond the extra mile that is way beyond the last extra mile you saw in your past.
I'm not saying you need to buy a new suit down the second-hand shop, take out that bible you got from an uncle who eventually died in a bar room fight, and go handing out tracts in your local town square. I'm not saying become a Jesus or Islam freak, (or a Bible bashing atheist either).
Religion has fuck all to do with what I am saying. Going to church, looking holier than thou, preaching to people who don't like you - these are best left to those folk who are not being murdered on a daily basis by their own addictive nature. People like us, simple folk like you and me need to actually practice what we preach, or else we will fail the acid test and go back pissing in our trousers, gambling our wages or picking up that pack of cigarettes again.
You see, Alcoholism and Addiction are so far ahead of us that it knows our sub-conscious. It is poison, death, darkness and deceit all rolled into one. It makes children nervous, wife's and husbands hopeless. It leaves innocent people dead on roads. It destroys and rumbles through families with ease - not giving two shits about who ends up in a coffin. It is bigger than you, smarter than you, wiser, brighter - richer than you, and it will fuck you up - no doubt about it.
In my 14 years since I left Alcohol, Gambling(A sneaky fucker) and Drug Addiction behind, I have had a consistent and bloody battle with the disease of addiction and all its far-reaching tentacle's. Massive emotional, mental and spiritual battles have been fought on the battlefield of life ever since. I have watched time and time again how good people with seriously pure intentions, end up dead or dying in some horrible way. I have carried far more coffins than I can recall and I expect to carry many more as long as this battle continues.
Many people stop using or drinking for a day. Many stop for a week. Some rare cases manage to stay stopped for months and even years. I wanted to STAY STOPPED and BE HAPPY and to a large extinct I have so far reached that goal. It is not easy, I mean, what the hell is - certainly not addiction?