Like alcohol and poverty, a heartbreak has the power to make a man do something he wouldn’t normally do and to make a woman do someone she wouldn’t normally do.
The only way to truly help most drug addicts and most alcoholics is to—instead of them—change reality.
Alcohol is one of the quickest vehicles with which we escape shyness, our problems, and self-consciousness, for a few hours.
Millions of deaths would not have happened if it weren’t for the consumption of alcohol. The same can be said about millions of births.
You are not an alcoholic or an addict. You are not incurably diseased. You have merely become dependent on substances or addictive behavior to cope with underlying conditions that you are now going to heal, at which time your dependency will cease completely and forever.
But what if I don't believe in God? It's like they've sat me in front of a mannequin and said, Fall in love with him. You can't will feeling. What Jack says issues from some still, true place that could not be extinguished by all the schizophrenia his genetic code could muster. It sounds something like this. Get on your knees and find some quiet space inside yourself, a little sunshine right about here. Jack holds his hands in a ball shape about midchest, saying, Let go. Surrender, Dorothy, the witch wrote in the sky. Surrender, Mary. I want to surrender but have no idea what that means. He goes on with a level gaze and a steady tone: Yield up what scares you. Yield up what makes you want to scream and cry. Enter into that quiet. It's a cathedral. It's an empty football stadium with all the lights on. And pray to be an instrument of peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is conflict, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair hope... What if I get no answer there? If God hasn't spoken, do nothing. Fulfill the contract you entered into at the box factory, amen. Make the containers you promised to tape and staple. Go quietly and shine. Wait. Those not impelled to act must remain in the cathedral. Don't be lonely. I get so lonely sometimes, I could put a box on my head and mail myself to a stranger ...
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation some fact of my life unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Times change and discoveries are made that render earlier techniques and approaches less effective. Change is inevitable. To remain rigid when the whole world is changing and advancing is to invite misfortune. The AA program in particular is challenged with an opportunity of unprecedented magnitude.
Like most people who decide to get sober, I was brought to Alcoholics Anonymous. While AA certainly works for others, its core propositions felt irreconcilable with my own experiences. I couldn't, for example, rectify the assertion that alcoholism is a disease with the facts of my own life.The idea that by simply attending an AA meeting, without any consultation, one is expected to take on a blanket diagnosis of diseased addict was to me, at best, patronizing. At worst, irresponsible. Irresponsible because it doesn't encourage people to turn toward and heal the actual underlying causes of their abuse of substances.I drank for thirteen years for REALLY good reasons. Among them were unprocessed grief, parental abandonment, isolation, violent trauma, anxiety and panic, social oppression, a general lack of safety, deep existential discord, and a tremendous diet and lifestyle imbalance. None of which constitute a disease, and all of which manifest as profound internal, mental, emotional and physical discomfort, which I sought to escape by taking external substances.It is only through one's own efforts to turn toward life on its own terms and to develop a wiser relationship to what's there through mindfulness and compassion that make freedom from addictive patterns possible. My sobriety has been sustained by facing life, processing grief, healing family relationships, accepting radically the fact of social oppression, working with my abandonment conditioning, coming into community, renegotiating trauma, making drastic diet and lifestyle changes, forgiving, and practicing mindfulness, to name just a few. Through these things, I began to relieve the very real pressure that compulsive behaviors are an attempt to resolve.
Every person in the AA program who's successful is living proof that he or she does have power over addictive drugs and alcohol- the power to stop.
The life of the Addict is always the same. There is no excitement, no glamour, no fun. There are no good times, there is no joy, there is no happiness. There is no future and no escape. There is only an obsession. An all-encompassing, fully enveloping, completely overwhelming obsession. To make light of it, brag about it, or revel in the mock glory of it is not in any way, shape or form related to its truth, and that is all that matters, the truth.
Gately can't even imagine what it would be like to be a sober and drug-free biker. It's like what would be the point. He imagines these people polishing the hell out of their leather and like playing a lot of really precise pool.
...there is a saying used in twelve-step programs and in most treatment centers that Relapse is part of recovery. It's another dangerous slogan that is based on a myth, and it only gives people permission to relapse because that think that when they do, they are on the road to recovery.