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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Laid Bare

What makes one person use while another doesn't?

That's one of those extremely personal, significant
questions that hardly ever seems to get adequate coverage.

Perhaps we could ask "What 'creates' the make-up of
an addict? What circumstances and life paths lead to a
culmination of addictive personality?"

There are certainly similar characteristics that most
addicts seem to share; sensitivity, vulnerability, overly
insightful to life's machinations--yet unable to perform
what others might call 'normal tasks.' There's difficulty
maintaining relationships, inability to connect in real and
meaningful ways, being closed off emotionally, and so on.

None of these would seem to owe anything to a biological
or genetic component, surely.

At the root of all the most common addictive personality
traits could be said to be one commonality that ties it all
together; An inability to express emotions in a healthy manner.

Obviously not every addictive person is a cookie-cutter
or has the same history or experience, but this component
seems suited to most who grapple with the demons.

However, a commonality in dilemma does not necessitate a
common solution. These are complex matters. Let's start a
dialogue about where we all originate from; these aspects of
us never seem to be completely obliterated. All of our diversity
and different experiences makes it hard, but understanding
that recovery is not a "One Size Fits All" process is a good
place to start.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Cult Watch: The Bondage of Alcoholics Anonymous

A.A. teaches Dependence, not autonomy or independence.
They teach that you 'Require' their help.
That you 'Require' meeting attendance.
That only another 'like-minded' person within program can help you.
(Sponsors should be called handlers, or wranglers, since their real job is
to extol the virtues of the program, espouse dependence on a fictional
'HP,' and to lay aside all questions/doubts about program. In addition, of
course, to promoting their own individual agenda.)

Whether it's repetition of the same tired euphemisms, contempt for
different information, scare tactics, or a glimpse of the shame-based
dismissal that will occur if you turn your back on the program and its
teachings, the 'sponsor' is the AA apologist and glue that keeps the faulty
thinking in place when meetings are not being held. They tell the doubting
Thomases what they need to hear to help them fall back in line and 'get
with the program.'
Adding the edge of egotism that all this dogma is deity-originated and
backed gives followers the dramatic push to sway scared newcomers.
They'll tell you they're selfless and humble, but they get high on being in
the self-appointed 'soul-saving' business....and 'God' save you if you don't
believe the hype.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Danger, Willful Donalsonvillians"

If you're in the Donalsonville, Georgia area
(or Southeast Alabama area,
or Bainbridge, Georgia,
or the Tri-State area in general)
be sure to take heed of this warning.

The single public phone number
for this area (Area 16, District 1, Zone A,)
the Seminole Group, is for the
King of all Toxic and Psychopathic

Do Not Come In Contact,
for your own safety.

As mentioned before, the level of one's
involvement (immersion) in A.A. is pretty well
proportionate to that person's absolute
detachment from reality.

Avoidance of personal responsibility,
absorption in negative and harmful
personal agendas, sick and controlling
actions, abuse of others, and dry drunk
specials on the lose in Cray-Cray Town.

You name it. That's what's on the menu at the
Donalsonville A.A. meetings...and anywhere
else the Sicko chooses to travel with
his mess of lies, seduction, and

But mostly he likes the phone.
Being the sole contact for hurting, scared, needy,
vulnerable, weak, young boys as they seek refuge.
No witnesses, no authority, no review.

People call for help, and depending
on what you look like and your age,
you get a hell of a lot more
than you bargained for.

Forewarned is forearmed.
If it/they seem too good to be true,
you know it can't be good.

A man of two minds is dangerous
to all he comes in contact with.


Friday, August 10, 2012

"They won't miss a little piece, right?"

You can't remove one without affecting the others.
The goal of recovery is self-acceptance, wholeness, and healthy relations.
So the whole concept of being forced to pick-and-choose what parts
of self one divulges  in a 'support group' environment (so that you can
still have a group's 'acceptance' and 'tolerance') is bewildering to me.
Having pieces of you edited out because of being considered an 'outside
issue' is damaging and not at all super for esteem. A fragmented, constantly
monitored person is not a healthy person.
Sounds more like another case of "what's best for the institution, not
the individual," or more accurately, "what's best for the ego-maniacs
running the asylum, not the other patients."
There is nothing but selfish ego involved in thinking your way is the
only way, wanting to eliminate matters that are difficult for you personally
to digest, thinking you have the only answer available, knowing the
'correct' way for other people to behave, and the pomposity of running a
group for others that is attached to your own personal intolerance
towards differences.
The control-seekers and condemners might as well be drinking.

Me, I'm gonna be me, and still stay sober.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

"All Things Thus Intertwined"

Sometimes in the course of putting yourself in a different situation--being
subjected to a new dynamic--you can come across ideas that until now may
have been only on the periphery.

Last night, I participated in a national interviewing campaign for drug and
alcohol awareness. In the course of answering this litany of very monotonous,
similar questions, we reached a patch where I was asked to delineate the
timeline that drugs were used, alcohol was used, and when emotional and
psychological problems started developing.

Now, I have always known  that there is (more often than not) a direct link
between mental and emotional difficulties, childhood traumas, outsider status,
issues with sexual identity, etc., and alcohol/drug use.

But what came next flipped some switches for me in a way that they hadn't
quite connected before.

After determining the existence of 'low periods,' depression, and feelings of
low worth, I was asked point blank to explain to a stranger what that felt
like, from the inside. Incident after incident, I was asked to explain my inner
feelings in living through those difficulties.

I struggled a bit, because even though I have identified a lot of the triggers
and after-effects, it's been a while since I tried to explain to another person
just what depression, hopelessness, frustration, etc. feel like in someone
dealing with mental illness.

So as I sat there and dug deep, I came up with this;

There exists this void--this negated, empty, hollowed out place within me.
Some place that is dark and desperate and angry and alone and shattered.

And the things that used to make sense--the things that do make sense for
most people--no longer matter. Not work, not purpose, not relationships,
not hobbies, not anything.

So, there is a prolific, real, aching hunger going on in the pit of me, and I
am filled with dark, despairing, constant thoughts of how much I hate this
world, my body, my feelings, etc. when depressed.

And then....I discover something that medicates it; makes it all seem less
severe, less real, less potent...even for a little bit. That feeling of distraction,
that respite from the feels provides a high.
I want it again. I want to feel good, finally and at last.

I want to be made to feel something again. Something that normal everyday life
tends not to provide.

And that's where the connection between all external factors that trigger
interior sensation comes in; drugging, drinking, random or dangerous or
secret sex, binging or purging or starving, gambling, theft, and all the rest...
they are self-destructive, but the abandonment of concern for repercussions
is secondary. The main push is a desire to feel something 'more than.'

To feel alive, different...pulled away from the abyss even if by artificial means.

Those peptides and chemical releases that engage us so mightily are not
specific to alcohol, even though there may be chemical components of
alcohol and certain drugs that do imprint more heavily on the brain's pleasure
centers. (Hell, findings show that sugar produces the same responses

in the body as cocaine. Some things are relative.)

The majority of people with addiction issues that I have met fall into one
of five major categories;

1. Survivor of childhood abuse, be it sexual, physical, psychological, verbal.)
2. Either undiagnosed or mismanaged/untreated mental/emotional illness.
3. Avoiding dealing with sexual identity; closeted, self-hating, repressed.
4. Come from a broken home where the sense of abandonment of a parental
     figure dominated.
5. Come from an active-addiction home where identifying factors of addiction
     were constant; uncertainty, fear, lies, and intimidation ruled.
(And of course there is an "all-of-the-above" category as well!)

There is our basis for addiction. The emotional, the physical, the mental,
the psychological.

The outsiders who never fit in.
The depressed who don't understand the workings of the world.
The lonely and unsure and hopeless.

This is (generally) our common bond. And the drinking (whether intentionally
or not, whether consciously or not) and other medicating ends up being
used repetitively because it seems to give a lift to our normal circumstances.
What feels good, we do.

We eat because we hunger.
We sleep because we tire.
It stands to reason there is a force that drives us to medicate ourselves.

The first step to addressing that issue and finding healthier substitutions
is connecting to the problems that plague us.