RUNAWAY SLAVE

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, December 27, 2013

If you're following a path prescribed by
thousands of other 'like-minded' individuals
who feel the need to rely on repetition
and wishful thinking to maintain their sobriety....

maybe it's time to question the path you're on.
Not too many people find
the answers to their personal needs
in adhering the broad, well-worn paths
of strangers.

***

Misled

If you're putting 'faith'
in fictional constructs and
spiritual mumbo-jumbo,
rather than facts or reason....
then you have very much
given over responsibility
for your own life
and the consequences
of actions and choices.

***

 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do you treat the surface or the core?


What is addiction?
Trying to fill a void.
Running from the frightening.
Losing ourselves.

So what causes void?
Absence.
Lack of appreciation....compassion...
love....confidence....fulfillment.

And those things can't come from outside
sources, lest we always be dependent.

We need a source of inspiration--
and unless we transform into that
self-sustaining source, learning to provide
for ourselves, we will always be seeking.

Behind the addiction is the reason for the addiction.

The past brought us to where we are...

but our present self can be whatever we determine.

****

Knowing where to look


STRENGTH--

It's within you...

not a room full of strangers,
a book,
or some intangible outside presence..

Tap into it--
Discover it--
Today.

***


Monday, July 22, 2013

Simplicity; Get WITH the Program...not in one.


Sometimes it's just a matter of
GROWING UP!

Stop making excuses....

Stop feeling sorry for yourself....

Start taking responsibility...

Start making better choices...

Take back your power....

Stop looking to others to lead you...

Just Do It.

***

Monday, July 8, 2013

Reminders: Not Heeding the Warning Signs


Watching a young person remain nonplussed
after suffering the very real ramifications of
active addiction this last week,
I figure this is a good one to share.

It's sad when the person embroiled in
chaos--and even those enabling them--
can't see the very clear signs.

Here's hoping for recognition of reality
sooner rather than later.

***


Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Liars Club;" (Secret) Kissing Cousins



A small victory occurred today;

Another flawed and failing agency filled with closeted homosexuals--
and based on repression and lies--admitted to many of its problems,
closed its doors, and offered a public apology for past harms caused
by their deceits and frauds. (Color me astonished!)

Exodus International, a delusional group dedicated to pretending that
homosexuality could be 'cured' (what the fuck ?!?) through belief in
'god' finally came forth and admitted it was all bullshit.

Take a note, alcoholics. Your bullshit fest can't last forever.

And your chickens will come home to roost.

(Although, this same thing happening with AA and NA seems unlikely.
When's the last time you saw an addict--dry or otherwise--take personal
responsibility for meaningful wrongdoing?)

(For a more indepth look at the vocal survivors of this group, and the
many obvious similarities to 12 Step Groups, check this out: "God & Gays" )

****************************************************

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Dangers of Heightened Expectations


We are all of us-- in every way, and every sense--
damaged goods. Not worth any less or without
prospect of living good lives, but let's be frank;
Damaged...as anyone alive on this planet is.

There can be progress, but there is no mystical
transformation or supernatural healing. If reason
and perspective are tossed aside, mind-over-matter
and fanaticism can provide a new high that lasts
as long as an individual is willing to feed it, but that
is not the same as the false and misleading promise
of a reincarnated hooplah.

People born and raised in extreme conditions of
conflict, abuse, and neglect will never truly shed the
after-effects of such a living. We can choose to
have a life, and it can be better than we perhaps
imagined, but the scars stay with you.

To offer people blind, blanket hope for hope's sake
is cruel and defeatist. When people do all the work
prescribed by people in 'support groups' and find
themselves staring into the same despondent mirror,
that's the point where adherence to dogma is supposed
to hold sway over the individual and 'help them' start
'witnessing' the mirage.

"Oh--oh, yeah...I see it, too! It's just like you described!
Yes, I wanted it, and now it's here! "

These primitive social indoctrinations are fairly simple
and easily spotted; insinuation and manipulation employed
on a desperate and vulnerable person. Doting illicits warmth.
Repetition seals the deal.

The truth is, I personally will never again be able to let
someone else get close to me.

I'm only drawn to manipulative, dark-hearted bastards
who can't be trusted; nice guys don't register.

Those things are hard-wired into me no matter how many
hours of therapy or meditation I indulge in. Now, I've learned
how to identify and overcome immersion into these sick
habits, but the basis of what I feel will never change. So
I adjust my expectations for life.

But to suggest to folks that positive thinking and
repetitive thoughts will do any more than create a short-term
distraction is disingenuous. And to create the idea that a
bright, shining salvation is-a-coming is a straight-up lie.

But that's the typically selfish and self-serving alkie for ya....

It's not about giving up--it's about averting denial of the
fact that life is rough and will take some serious dedication.
Warts and all, you have to know thy self....and only then
can you be set free.

A dog and pony show won't change what's under the waters.

Game-playing doesn't make anybody a winner.

*************************************************

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I Look and I See; No Avoidance for Me


I see no shame in  being
able to say, forthrightly,
"Life kind of sucks,
a lot of the time, actually...
but I can still give it my best
and savor the good parts
and make peace with the inbetween
and fight my way through
the darkness."

Being a realist doesn't mean
that I'm apathetic or
resigned to failure;
it simply means that my best
is good enough
and I acknowledge hardship
for what it is; a natural part
of life.

No ribbons or flowery fantasy
required.

We are all of us
able to see the darkness
without being consumed by it.

***

Friday, May 24, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Never-Ending To-Do List



I start my day with a hefty amount of work allotted on my "To Do"
list, and invariably, I'm lucky if one-third of it actually gets done--
on a good day!

But I don't sweat it. I do as much as I can, as best I can, and if
it gets done, great. If it doesn't, so be it. There's always tomorrow
to start off on a new list, with the old list's tasks carried over.

And along the way, new stuff gets added, old stuff has to be
done again, problems crop up, people clamor for your attention,
exhaustion sets in...and, well, you all know exactly how things
go with 'well-laid' plans. (Personally, I don't know 'well-laid' from
shit, but I'm just saying.)

And here's a little hint, in case you hadn't already figured it out
yourself; Shit NEVER gets finished!

There's always something popping up or lingering or resurfacing
or coming out of left field. It never ends.

So the key, perhaps, has to be maintaining cool while in the midst
of a never-ending to-do list, taking it as it comes, having a sense of
humor about it, blowing off what can't be gotten to, and learning to
not ride yourself for not getting it all done.

Recognize your limits. Be kind to yourself. Allow for your needs.

We aren't super-human, and pushing ourselves in an effort to prove
otherwise generally doesn't work out well!

Worry, at the end of the day, becomes a choice; do we stew over what
we have not accomplished, or bask in the pride of a job well done?

Nobody can do it all; don't believe the press or hype to the contrary.
Respect your abilities and your efforts.

****************************************************

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What sort of 'Friends' demand blind obedience?

Typically in groups of any sort, there is a prevailing
politic of 'acceptable behavior' and a specific mindset
that all are expected to maintain in order to be viewed
as  a 'part of' the group.
The maintenance of this common framework, or common
thinking, is crucial to the maintenance of the group's
integrity. One thing that is absolutely forbidden in such
a system is the asking of questions. Asking questions and
thinking independently are anathema to group think.

When questions start to arise in 12 step program, will
you follow group members' lead and silence or ignore
them? Or will you do due diligence and investigate
thoroughly for the sake of your well-being?
Questions like how much support would there be for you
if you left the program?
Or why is it that former members are spoken of with
such disdain?
What sort of 'helpers' tell you that you WILL drink, you
will get sick, and you will die if you leave their care?

Or deliver a message of lacking --proclaiming that you
cannot accomplish being well on your own?
 
(The easy answer is that it's people who care more for
their message and ideas than they do the actual people
receiving it.)

Real friends are glad for one of their own to graduate
to a better place, to move on in life to bigger and better
things...a normal, healthy part of life.

Healthy people recognize there are many different paths
to success, not a single, suffocating, stilted one.
Only sick people cling and condemn, become surly
when someone acts against their wishes. Only sick
people want to maintain control, and, barring that,
dismiss and maliciously gossip about someone they
'cared so deeply for' not too long ago.
Why would someone who cares for you Curse your
endeavors without them, rather than wish you all the
best and value your time with them?
(Remember; we often overlook obvious answers because
they're not easy or comfortable ones. Trust your gut.)

"Would such a person take your call if you needed a
shoulder? Or would you get their cold one?"
The only time that questions are found ill-fitting in
therapeutic settings (legitimate ones, mind you) is
when there is no answer to be given, or when the
answers don't fit the agenda of the 'care' providers.
Transparency is a must with all wellness efforts and recovery.
"Just shut up and do it" or "Stop thinking" are irresponsible,
unhealthy means to an end ...but not a beginning.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Control & Fear: The Real Sobering Reveal of 12 Steps

Nothing but snakes...and they're always more
dangerous when they pull together.
There's a reason they didn't trust each other
enough to stay together!

"JOIN OR DIE!"
Behind the pleasantries and posturing,
that's really what 12 steppers are all about.

The true and oh-so subtle and harmonious
cry of the eager-beavers and over-zealous
rabid watchdogs in the 12 Step movement.

Fear tactics, untruths, and a sideshow.

This slogan seems more befitting a Ugandan
army recruiter or a sci-fi resistance fighter than
an invitation to a safe, healing space.

Maybe the 12 steppers finally got their accuracy on!

Monday, March 25, 2013

How it Works


As long as there are
people desirous of letting
other people do their thinking
for them, not having to make
decisions for themselves, and
having someone (or something)
else be in charge,
12 Step Programs
will continue
to flourish.

Perpetuation
is not the same
as being proven.

***

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Truth in Advertising



Like all Religion,
the Cult of 12 Step
promotes
that there is
only One Way,
One Truth,
One Light...
and all others
who cannot
'see their wisdom'
are lost.

Doesn't sound
like hope
(or any new message)
to me!
***

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One of these things is not like the other



I've seen all sorts of change in the form of
new laws, new resolutions, new cities, and
new leases on life. Everything old eventually
comes back around to present itself anew.

And I know from personal experience and
witnessing the hard work of others that change
from active addiction to sobriety that such a
monumental change is possible. Even many times
over, if need be.

But while patterns can be broken, some things
in this world never change.

The basic nature of humanity isn't reformed, not
even by supernatural or magical means.

Liars, con-artists, and fundamentally fictitious
creations do not alter how they see and interact
with the world. Using and manipulating people
and twisting facts is not a sickness most can give
up once it has become their life.

The pretense of changing, certainly. Actual
personality change? Not so much. Turns out that's
harder than the pills and hooch to beat.

Fabrication cannot stand in for transformation.

********************************

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Where There's Smoke; The Danger of Words and Concepts


It isn't that the promotion of a concept like being
'brilliant, beautiful, divine creatures' is a bad notion.

It's that such ideas need not be dependent on a
specific set of rituals and subservience. The results
of loving one's self and being content come from
internally, not externally.

There is no one's permission--earthly or otherwise--
required for people to begin caring for self. No one's
forgiveness required. No one's approval nor control
needed for folks to start loving themselves.

The idea that the key to freedom is through protocol
or one exclusive school of thought or following precisely
in others' footsteps is erroneous as well as dangerous.

Take care of yourself...
Believe in yourself...
No gimmicks required.
No allegiances prescribed.
No more declaring yourself worthless or mentally deficient or
insane or lousy or whatever cluster fuck of low self-esteem
helped bring you low in the first place.

You're just human.
Roll with it.

***************************************************

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Misdirection & Distraction Don't Heal


There is no other
who can provide
insights on you
better than you can.

There is no other
who can be trusted
to care for you
as well as you can learn
to care for yourself.

There is no one looking out
for your well-being
the way you must do so
for yourself.

'Salvation' generates exclusively
 from within, and it doesn't
have stipulations nor caveats.

***

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Long After the Thrill of Livin' is Gone"

The newness of things and situations (and, yes--relationships)
wears off. Always.
Intensity and thereby interest cannot be maintained extensively.
Look at a child and the way they get accustomed to the presence
of an older pet, or a favorite toy. The personality has become
commonplace, the regularity taken for granted. The child gets
bored, complacent.
Then a new and exciting unknown new pet or toy is introduced,
and the child rejuvenated, revitalized with expectation, curiosity,
infatuation, anticipation. The simple allure of new and unexplored
territory has snagged their soul.
In AA, the surge of emotions from constant new blood is enough
to keep coming back long after the initial thrill of attendance is
gone. They remain addicted to the opiates in a heady froth of
New Member smell, similar to that sense of ownership that
overtakes us in a new car.
There's only so much endless reiteration and hearing the
repetitious old timers' stories that the average person can
withstand, and even the constant revelries wear thin after
exposure and losing their mystery.

A never-ending stream and supply of emotional surges and
anticipation to keep addicts distracted from their bottom line;
what more could you ask for? (Besides a vulnerable target
that can be fooled into thinking the fiction that the addict
presents is real, and engendering them to you, even if only
momentarily.)

It really does take a special kind of person to make it through the
'recovery' process inherent in a 12 step meeting.
********************************************

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fundie-Mental Truths





NO
Religion
or
Movement
EVER  advanced
by accepting others
or refraining from
promoting an agenda.

Religion persists
because it assimilates
all that stands
in its way.

***

Monday, March 4, 2013

We're Always Promoting!

Presenting A Liar's Club production!

(There's always plenty of vulnerable, unsuspecting meat to feast on at 'The Clubhouse!')

The Stage is Set--
The Lines are Learned--
The Players in Place--
The Master Afixed on his Throne!

Let the Games begin!
Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here!
What Fools These Mortals Be!

We Welcome You, Weary Travelers;
The Donalsonville Players
long to bring you into the fold!*

Seminole Group AA;
Where evil gets a free pass,
and mindful questioning gets reviled!
Woo-hoo!


*(Predators eat free all the time!)

Friday, March 1, 2013

False Bravado:Faking It to 'Recovery'



People often say that they
want the Truth,
(or speak the Truth,)
but invariably
what they seek and desire,
what they really want, is
a comfortable lie
they can live with.

(Shockingly, one that also is
 in keeping with their
current thinking and beliefs.)

***

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chains Within


We battle not with specific drugs, but with compulsivity and mental
and emotional pursuits. Long after a drug has left our system, there
is a trigger switch still present in the mind, the thing that drives all
addictive personalities.

What we truly pursue is the chase; we run after a followup of that
last high, that something special, that anything to help us forget
our pain, life's complexity, our memories, our desires. We seek 'other.'

But it's the idea of the feeling that we cling to, not the reality.


Perception and remembrance distort everything. We want to recapture
obliteration, but memory is imperfect and stilted, as we edit both the
good and the bad in hindsight. The mind can build experiences into
this perfectionistic concept that didn't--and don't--exist, so that we
are eternally 'chasing the dragon.'

Of course, the dragon can be the high of gambling, and knowing this
time will be The Time, or sexual release, since we want to attain that
ultimate combining, or a chemical high, because we 'remember' what
that last high was like, imprinted on the brain's map as it was. All these
things conjure up very specific body memory, but the source is still the
mind,  which feeds, powers, and chooses whether or not to respond
to these feelings.

We tend to be dissatisfaction personified, endlessly looking for that
'something' that will fix or satisfy us, whether it be relationship, money,
geography, job, or booze. We attempt the recreation of various systems
and schematics in order to reestablish the place or event  that (only in our
mind) is the key to happiness.

We want this thing to free us. To save us. Fix us. Numb us.
Complete us. Sate us.


We are in love with the conceptual, the magical...the unattainable.
And that is the wiring that has to be changed, or ignored.

****************************************************

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"How'd ya do it?"


So last Saturday, I was picking up a celebratory cake for
another matter and all of a sudden, standing there looking at
the 'Congratulations' and the cake and having the date
dawn on me, I realized that I have been clean and sober
just over two years!

(No, I didn't forget that I was sober! But with everything
going on of late, and the speed with which each day
processes and plays out, I have not been keeping track of
'important dates' like I used to. Which can be kind of a
good thing, since I used to be morbidly obsessed with all
of the anniversary dates of deaths and losses and so forth.
Now I seem able to keep such things in perspective.)

Of course, my sobriety is long in question with some,
but that's neither here nor there.

My Auntie is still a 'hoot' about it all; she continues as she
has done all along to PUSH alcohol on me every time I go in
her home. (Actually, she's become such a crazy bitch that I
don't spend time with her any longer, but I do still show up to
see the kids...those poor, trapped, victimized kids.)

She'll swagger over with her perma-thermos clutched tight
and say "How about a little drink, Robbie....one won't hurt
you!" and I have taken to saying "No thanks; As you well know,
I don't drink any longer, period." Some times I even say "Fuck
off" since I know it's not her 'crazy' but rather her passive-aggressive
downer negativity that seeks to run me down so we can be
miserable together.

No thanks, Auntie. You and Moms can reminisce about the
old days and have those higher standards....you can drink your
cares away every day and twice on Sunday.....and you can talk
whatever smack you want about me with condescending tones
and dismissive intonations.

I'm gonna do my thing and run my run, and handle my business
when it's all said and done. Staying away from unsupportive and
disinterested people has been a boon for me. Cutting the ties
as much as possible to Nay-Sayers and non-believers and instead
tuning into the voice in my own head that says "Why, of course you
can do it, Robert...you were capable all along!" is a vast improvement.

It's all a matter of what you're willing to believe, and sometimes the
herd of people trumpeting your doom can drown out that lone
voice of hope and reason that says "I can do anything!"

I finally chose to bet on the underdog. You can, too.

****************************************************

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Constant 'Want' that Never Fills

There's no escaping the pull of the consumer-based society we
live in, and consumerism is geared towards to things; cultivating
a sense of immediacy, and a sense of need.

In order for us to want things--to feel as if our want is desperate
enough to be need--the marketing campaigns for everything are
geared towards our emotions. Tempting us to 'live for the moment'
(although not in the good or healthy sense of 'grab all that life has to
offer and say what needs to be said, but rather a self-destructive
brand of doing what feels good with no thought towards tomorrow
or repercussions or side-effects.)

Most products being sold are not things we need, and most are not
even things we would want without an artificial desire or demand
being crafted. Certainly, most are unhealthy for our bodies, minds,
and emotions.
"Ooh, shiny! Want!"
These products are concerned with a bottom line, a profit for their
company, not the health or happiness of their purchasing public.

Colas and beer and sugar-laced treats and fat-filled fast food are all
promoted and marketed as a means of living life to the fullest, of being
'truly alive' in the here and now, of finding happiness, of being connected
to the public as a whole and similar friends in particular, and so much more.

The irony, of course, is that these live-fast promotions are sold with a
happy upswing attached, when in fact the ingesting of such products
is likely to lessen life expectancy as well as the quality of life being lived.

All the false promises (implied of otherwise) will not only not bring
about the desired coolness, happiness, sexiness, fitting in, or improved
outings that are associated with the companies' beer, cigarettes, food,
vacation, candidate, etc ad nauseum--but the sense of lacking that comes
from trying and failing to receive that high from consumption can be
devastating.

There is intrinsically a sense of the notion that there must be something
wrong with the buyer (or the subscriber, or the participant) because there
is a definite sense of others having received the promise...of being happier
with their sex life, of being loved harder by people they desire, of
being made content, or having been satisfied by a meal/trip/purchase.

So often, we try again. And again. And always it's the idea...the false
promise of the 'next time' delivering what we thought would be included
this time around, that drives us in our quest.
An end to our disappointment. A sating of our lusts.
A quelling of our desire/needs, first intangible, now embedded.

Songs sell us on sweet and silly codependent love, glamorizing and
schmaltzing up something that is toxic and embarrassing. They also sell
us on the idea of easy sex being appealing, avoiding the emotional mine
field of that endeavor as well as the lifelong traumas of STDs, unwanted
pregnancies, and so on.

We live in a world that has 24 hour a day promotion of Big Portion/ High
Calorie/Greasy Mess/Low Nutrition/Easy Food with no qualms about
the other side of greedy profiteering; the epidemic of obesity, diabetes,
cancers, isolation, sedentary living,

We chase away our fear, our pain, our worry, our past, our selves with
any and every concoction that can alter the way we feel, rather than making
peace with what is. We are a nation of avoiders and runners and addicts
and consumers who are not at ease with our own thoughts and feelings.

And somewhere along the line, there has got to be a conscious decision
to stop joking about 'retail therapy' and 'eating our sorrow' and instead
a movement begin where we can sit and be loving and supportive to the
person we are and the life we live.

And question how long we want to keep engaging in the same actions with
no variation.

But hey...if you get too upset about all this, you can always go 'treat'
yourself to an ice cream; I hear they chase away the blues like nobody's
business.

A false promise of satisfaction that never results in such--the false hopes
we pursue are but momentary distraction, with long term consequences.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, or Same Old Shit?



All the researchers and social scientists have talked
to death the important focuses for changing a life
for the better, what with the imposed importance of
a New Year being bandied about.

The results, as you might expect, are pretty much
consistent; five factors lead the list.

1) Your Physical health
2) Your Emotional health
3) Your Spiritual health
4) Your Social health
5) Your Mental health

What order their importance lies in is as individual as
what areas people decide to work on in their lives, if any.

1. The physical is obvious; eat better, move more, don't
allow stress and resentments a home, etc.

2. Emotional has to do not only with your insides, but who
and what you surround yourself with outside. Do you like
or trust or care for the kinds of people you're surrounded
by on a daily basis? And are their attitudes and interests
that which promote a healthy lifestyle?

3. Spiritual is not religion or anything pertaining to, although
for most it is limited to that. It's any belief system, values,
purpose, cause, or the like that gives meaning. A way of
being connected to something larger, outside yourself. Nature,
meditation, reading, hobbies, or whatever makes you happy.

4. Social can be tricky, since it is dependent on what is made
available to you either geographically, financially, etc.
You can meet and greet strangers, find like folks online,
visit nursing homes, or whatever brings you in touch with people.
The days of having a confidante or best bud to talk with at any
time about any subject seem to have fallen by the wayside...
so we manufacture replacements as best we can.

5. Keeping our minds sharp with puzzles, word games, new classes,
reading... testing ourselves with games (TV game shows, cross
word puzzles, Soduku, etc--not video games!) are all means
of keeping the tool sharpened. Dedicating yourself to learning--
and retaining even one small new thing each day--is a useful task.

But the significant factor is that it's all of these things in unison
that brings fulfillment and balance. Balance is an ever-sought,
imperfect goal, but it's worthwhile to seek it in some form.

We are the result of what we see, hear, think, do, and feel.
So what are you filling your mind with?
Who are you surrounding yourself with?

What is your time measured by?

Are you accomplishing what you want to, or catering to others?

Are your friends those who support you no matter what, or are
there strings attached?
Do you get unadulterated belief in your abilities, or are the people
in your life tearing you down and expecting little of you?

There's more than one kind of poison you can be filling your
body with; think long and hard about what you have in your
life this new year.

***********************************************

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ownership


I Know...
that Strength of Will
is the single-most
important,
powerful,
useful,
and reliable
energy and asset
that we have.

It's ever-present,
waiting for us to discover it,
believe in it,
and fully embrace it.

Within each of us
exists the capability
to do what is needed...
if only we will See it,
Accept it,
and Choose it.

Make yourself proud, today!