A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Challenge

(Well, one of them, anyway!)

One of the chief challenges I have found in becoming a
stronger person has to do with finding a proper balance
between a 'need' for other people and a need to be true
to self.

It's a daunting proposition to go up against the world, to
follow your own path when it so frequently places you on
the outskirts of the norm.

People tend to like what's secure, familiar, reassuringly 'same.'
Anything or anyone that goes outside those lines is cause
for discomfort, and therefore promptly avoided. Or attacked.

So the decision becomes choosing between self and others.

Well, certainly we can't sustain ourselves by looking out
for others, so basic survival tells us we have to look out for

And yet, unless independently wealthy, the chance of being
able to truly live a separate life is rare.

So there has to be a compromise of sorts struck. Putting up
with others, overlooking nonsense, exchanging pleasantries,
all of the duplicity that comes from modern life is necessary to
some small degree, no matter how independently we live.

Even as I detach from the demands and wishes of all others
as regards my overall life (thoughts, actions, feelings,) I still have
to accommodate the outside world in reference to neighbors, law
enforcement, and other key areas.

There isn't much of an in-between when it comes to the social
world of choosing to live for others or self. Friends, family,
coworkers, lovers will all place demands and manipulate you
to further their own needs rather than support yours. Coming to
terms with that and desensitizing one's self is an ongoing process.

Aloneness is a reality of this planet.

But how much people are able to embrace that reality is up to
conditioning and stamina. Many may need the illusions of
social supports; putting up with family they can't stand rather
than being alone, enduring abusiveness rather than doing without
so-called friends, suppressing self to accommodate a smothering
spouse....we all make deadly decisions for our well being every

It all comes down to trying to find that balance....and determining
what we are willing to tolerate.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Under the shell... a bitter pill.

A.A. members like to say, wistfully,
that there are 'beautiful mysteries'
inherent in their program.

They say that the Big Book and the
program are full of 'paradoxes,'
which is really just another way of
saying 'conundrums' or 'contradictions.'

Since that's more honest, let's go with that;
Contradictions and conundrums.
(It is, after all, supposed to be an honest
program....just run by liars and thieves; I
don't know how that's supposed to work!)

A lie is a lie, no matter how you dress it up.

A.A. peddles inconsistencies, bullshit, and
false hope. That's all.

No matter how they dress it up, a con is still
a con. And the worst of the worst can't even
run their own lives...that's why they're looking
to run yours.

Fore-warned is fore-armed.


Addict-Think is Marshmellow Logic

Even when an out-of-control ego is the primary
underlying problem for an individual's bad behavior
and addictive/compulsive mindset, the logical
conclusion is not to surrender all self will!

This sort of extremist ping-ponging of positions
is typical of the all-or-nothing mindset of an addict.

Why not develop a little moderation?

Self-will is an aspect of the survival mechanism
inherent in all human beings. To dispose of this,
to subvert one's self to touchy-feely submissiveness,
is to sign your own death warrant.

Besides, I hardly think there can be only one
overriding factor in the reasons that people suffer
from addiction and behavioral neurosis. Again; the
attempt to over-simplify is really reaching for easy
fixes and pipe dreams....and setting one's self up for
relapse and failure.

Attempts to deny one's self; desire, need, want,
feelings, drive --in totality--(which is, of course, what
all religions promote, for their own good!) is the worst
possible advice for an addict.

Duplicity and suppression never work out well with us!

Self-control, moderation, balance, tempering, and
refraining from making a 'battle for the fate of a soul in
the lingering conflict between god and the devil' are
probably good places to start to heal a human being.

Extremism is the enemy of all addicts; putting additional
pressures and false notions into play are counter-productive
in recovery.

What sense does it make to go full tilt from maniacal
egotism and self-involvement to complete immersion in
selflessness (or at least the illusion of such?) Ever seen
the aftermath of fad dieting? Or cold turkey detox? Or
fanatical involvement in new thinking? It's a sure way to

Denying self is dangerous, unrealistic, and unhealthy.
It's also a big part of the problem that drove many addicts
to turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate in the first

A healthy life is not achieved via unrealistic expectations.
Holy-rollers and promised-land salvation are just another
junkie high that is doomed to let us down in the long run.


Not that different

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Devil in the Details

There are, of course, different kinds of addicts.
As many different kinds as there are individual persons.
Treating us all with a blanket philosophy or a 'one-size-
fits-all' notion of assistance is doomed to fail.

Among the significant differences; not all addicts are
egotists. There's a vast disconnect between being
oblivious to others and thinking of one's self in positive
terms. The two are not the same.

Yes, many addicts have a superiority complex, are out for
themselves, suffer from grandiosity, are inconsiderate.
But just as many are shameful, demure, hypersensitive,
and self-loathing. Unlike the famous AA catch-phrase,
they don't necessarily coincide in the same host.

For those of us lacking self-confidence, there is need
to embrace and remind ourselves of our positive
traits and our abilities every day.

For those who have too long listened to the negative
voices of others (whether stranger or intimate other,)
there is a need to erase the influence of outside forces.

The moralizing and opining of those who wish you to
contour to their needs, their parameters, cannot serve
an individual. Each and every one of us has to determine
for ourselves what will work.

A broken system of subservience and castigation will
only reinforce the negative aspects of our self-medicating,
and continually make us weak and dependent.

The alternative is to discover one's strength, one's beauty,
one's capability in a way that will free you forever.

Just like every other choice of an addictive personality,
'what kind of recovery you desire' is an important one.


Why AA doesn't work