AA, rehab, and God all were and are the ingredients in saving my life. In AA I have done the 12 step work many times and at many levels. Demonizing rehab or AA as a whole would be drastically inaccurate. I got sober at a $2 a day rehab called Bridgehouse at Meridian in Gainesville, Fl in 2006. My therapists were nothing short of brilliant. Not all the counselors were savvy. The government paid for my stay even before Obama care. http://mbhci.org/treatment-services/residential-inpatient-services/
Recently I have done an extensive study on Alcoholics Anonymous. Also I have been an active member for ten years. I refuse to white-wash AA by pretending its processes and members are either ALL GOOD or ALL BAD. I myself admit an annoyance of Club level sobriety which participates in much dysfunction in the name of AA.
That being said in my study, I have found several websites (listed at the link above) and people of reputation and high education who claim Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous are ALL BAD and literally killing people. In some cases sick sponsors have been responsible for just that. Because of my own open minded and sometimes critical views on some widespread AA misconceptions, and bringing those into light I have been mistaken as an AA hater which I am not. I have been badgered to say the least by some less mature new members. I understand these members are in deep pain and need someone to blame. For some newcomers if their perceptions of AA and all it’s members are not ‘perfect’ and whitewashed they delude that it reflects on them. For their benefit I have curbed my critical articles. In the beginning of sobriety it’s not uncommon for a member to attach their identity to AA. Similar to my own search early-on for the perfect sponsor who in my mind had to be perfect AA to sponsor me. Lol I learned early on the ingredient of perfect-program requires imperfect people. All my sponsor needs to be good at is staying sober.
We should go into our recovery with eyes wide open knowing that in any human arena things can go bad and people prey on weakness and vulnerability. Desperation by family members to save their loved one’s life is being exploited full force. We must be aware of that and not automatically trust these organizations. At the same time we need to give both rehab and AA a chance as if we were shopping for a car from used car lots. Pic and choose our meetings and rehab with prudence. As you can see by my own financial rehab experience ($2 a day) money doesn’t necessarily buy sobriety.
WILLINGNESS, OPEN-MINDEDNESS, AND HONESTY are the keys to sobriety.
A new documentary by a former rehab insider shines a skeptical light on the business of high-priced addiction centers. However demonizing all of rehabs could be fatal. Just as demonizing all of AA could be fatal.
It seems that some Insurance companies, big business, rehab centers will do anything to get the money of suffering addicts families, as shown in the following article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/02/the-million-dollar-rehab-racket-that-drains-family-savings.html
The centers “paint this picture that they’re going to fix everything. These families in crisis are so vulnerable, and they want to believe what they hear.”
But in truth, Horvath says, the biggest motive of rehab facilities, some of which charged upwards of $50,000 a month, was simpler still: profit. One rehab he worked with, he said, had an employee whose job was to guide families through the process of refinancing their home to pay the tens of thousands of dollars charged for treatment.
I believe big money is trying it’s best to sabotage and discredit AA so they can profit from our pain per-say. And that they are behind many of these negative websites and are using disgruntled AAers to their advantage. Granted these disgruntled often have truly been wronged by members. However like addicts do they have gone to an extreme about AA. And if it is big business behind many of these sites since Obama care agreed to pay for rehab, they are not doing a very good job of discrediting AA. God is the author and finisher of AA in my opinion.
Brilliant website artist depicts the consequences of drinking alcohol.
I never play games but this intrigued me. It keeps asking me if I can see the cannon ball. I cannot find a cannon ball to save my life, I just keep trashing the set for fun!! Click on the link below to play the game.
“A venue-trashing, drumset-smashing interactive music video for psych-pop geniuses Celestial Shore.” http://glander.itch.io/animal-ratio
I ran accross two very koooL web-pages. These artists have done work for some of the largest corporations in the country. But this isn’t just web-art this is moving web-art. Graphic design to be precise. Is it CSS or is in memorex?
Why is it that there are more men getting and staying sober in the program of AA than women? Why is it that we women seem to have more emotional issues that need addressing than men? Partly we just talk about our issues more, men repress on a much larger scale. Nevertheless we woman that do stay sober are usually more of the “tomboy” type. The very feminine and highly fragile woman rarely can get through what it takes to stay sober. Experience teaches that us rough types even often bi-sexual type women have a much higher chance statistically of staying sober than do the frail and feminine.
Clearly experience teaches it’s the “alpha” females who stay sober in much greater numbers than the more submissive woman. But we must learn to make ourselves vulnerable emotionally rather than protecting ourselves emotionally. “Sobriety ain’t for sissies!” So bone up ladies! You can do it but it’s gonna hurt! The bad news is…we can feel again, the good news is…we can feel again. Yes and we have a boat load of emotional issues and character flaws to give to our Higher Power and to ebb-away at.
Firstly, in my nine years of recovery which ya, hey it is allot of clean-time and I won’t pretend that it isn’t even if it is by the Grace of God. I have done a hell-of-allot of work on myself, with the help of other women. And what I have seen in AA is there is only one woman in AA that I have met whom was not sexually abused as a child. I have silent theories this is the “why” behind most addictions. The guilt and shame a young child will place on her-self for something she really was not equipped to resist is astounding even life-changing. We addict woman have learned by the age of ten or younger that we can use our sexuality against men (or women) to control them, manipulate them, and force feed them guilt to get whatever we want from them.
We are in recovery now it is time to do our sexual inventory not absent of crimes done to us. We write how that made us feel but rite now we are addressing our side of the street and cleaning it. On page…ok ya page 69 in the Big Book Itgives us a long list of questions to ask ourselves. These question help us with this inventory of our sex based wrongs. It is imperative for our emotional sobriety that we go over this list honestly and thoroughly and own up to all those that we have manipulated with our sexuality. Usually the men on our Fourth Step resentment list will also be a big part of our sexual inventory. In spite of how these men have wronged and abused us it is vital that we see “our part” so we can learn to Love and keep Love close to us and in us. Yes I am saying Love is of greater importance than anything however we are usually incapable of showing Love and acting out of Love when we are deep in our addiction so that sets sobriety up as a priority before anything else in our lives even Love.
Most of us when abused, didn’t run to an adult and snitch the assailant out, we wanted someone to Love us. We confused affection with Love and we thought to get Love we had to drop our moral boundaries. We thought we had to be hurt to get what we needed. Perhaps that’s what our parents ingrained in us. And so we turned things around because we are survivors and we used our sexual power accompanied with lies and deception to get what we thought we needed at the time…usually money, drugs, & the basic things like food and shelter.
Some of us even sold our bodies outright for money to get drugs. We were exposed to many disgusting and painful situations. Some that we barely made it out of alive. It’s no wonder we learned to hate men. It’s no wonder we learned to hate women! They were our competition they betrayed our confidence! Screw woman! We could not manipulate them as easily.
But now we must put our “woman’s issues” on our fourth step. We will need other women if we are to heal and stay sober. So we pray for God to put the right woman in our lives so we can experience the “sisterhood of The Spirit”. Men absolutely are incapable of relating to many aspects of our personalities therefore they are of limited use to us in recovery when working through these core woman’s issues. If we have a chance to get into a woman’s meeting we DO IT! These meetings are much more intimate and women will share things that absolutely will not hear in a regular meeting, shares that are vital for our healing
We begin to let our abuses out of our bag of secrets. We expose some shameful actions of our past in our fifth step with a sponsor and we expose other secrets in the rooms with the woman. We will find that doing so will put in place the connection that we need to other woman. When we listen in our women’s meeting we train ourselves to LOOK FOR THE SIMILARITIES RATHER THAN THE DIFFERENCES!
Finding someone to criticize is an old survival skill that deflects self-guilt. Criticism feeds the ego that which it needs to go-on however, criticism is not what we need now…we need empathy, we need healing and that will never come whilst seeking differences so we can criticize others. We write ourselves a note “seek the similarities don’t criticize!” and we put that in front of us in every meeting we go to until we have trained our brains and have built a bridge over the sick neuron-pathways called addiction. Our brain-bridge is called “survival for the sober”. Building a sober brain-bridge takes work and a supernatural kick so we start by ninety meetings in ninety days and we pray for willingness, clarity, guidance, healing, and for HP to make a way where there seems no way.
We have deep and imbedded trust issues that simply must be ignored to an extent so we can get what we need. We may not be able to trust but we will nevertheless choose a sponsor and work the Fifth Step leaving no debauchery uncovered. That which we want to keep secret the most should be at the top of our fourth step. The Truth will set us free.
We put the “blame-game” in the garbage. We are responsible for processing every feeling that comes into our hearts. If we have sex with a person they owe us nothing! It is our choice weather we have sex and unless we tell the person up-front a price for that sex…they owe us nothing. Not a phone call, not to fix things for us, not to make our choices for us, nor a place to stay they owe us nothing. If we expect something from a person we are in bed with then we should be up-front about it. We can propose that if they are screwing other people we will have to leave the relationship. They are adult they can do as they please. They can make promises that they won’t keep. If they don’t respect us then we leave the relationship it is our choice if we stay therefore blame is off the table. Granted we can command respect but it is us who must draw the line in the sand and walk away when it is crossed. We cannot make other adults do anything we can only request and suggest.
If we feel we have been wronged we should call a woman and talk it out. If a law has been broken we may call the cops. We may find if we talk things out with another woman that it is our unresolved issues that are haunting us rather than the person we are in bed with in the present. We addicts tend to carry an ink-blotter stamping “guilty” on anyone we are intimate with once the fairy-tale phase of the relationship is over. Not anymore! Now we journal, we write “fuck you” letters (do not send) to vent our angers. We scream in our cars if we have to. We beat the pillow, we talk it out with woman but we do not blame anyone anymore for our feelings ever.
Even if we are wronged…can the person process our emotions? No! If others had the responsibility of processing and dealing with our feelings then we would be slaves to other people which we are not. We are learning how to take responsibility for our lives and our emotions. It is not easy, not for sissies but you can do it my dear because you are stronger and capable of a deeper Love than most women can even imagine. Why? Because of the deep pain you have suffered.
Your emotional pain has carved out a deep dark hole in your heart. You will process that hurt and replace it with Love. That is why we women in recovery are more capable of a deeper Love than anyone who has not been through the trauma that we have. Seek God and The Sunlight of The Spirit and you shall be a vessel of joy, Love, and happiness amidst the tears that have gone un-cried for too long.
This is a “must see”! Check out how we can so easily be manipulated by cropping. Our thoughts and be decieved and mislead dramatically!. http://zumfeed.com/news/1418-here-are-28-times-when-cropping-a-photo-changed-everything-wait-until-you-see-9.html
Do Not Do this to Your Tongue
CLICK HERE TO SEE PIERCING ABUSE HORRORS
TOTALLY RAD MAN…OH DO PEOPLE STILL SAY THAT? A MUST SEE.
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Eventually I landed in the hospital with a “fever of unknown origin” (FUO, the doctors called it), which lingered over 105 degrees for a week and kept me shivering under an electric cold blanket, hallucinating all the while. The following week I was right back at it, having anonymous sex as soon as I was discharged — until, sure enough, I returned to the hospital with another FUO. This time I was worried, and alone: my boss from the theater where I had started working straight out of college didn’t come to visit, as she had the first time. I was trying people’s patience; things could only get worse.
And then what movie aired on TV as I lay in my hospital bed but Philadelphia, in which Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who’s fired for being gay and ultimately dies of AIDS.
“Okay, God,” I said. “I’ll stop.”
But of course I didn’t. I am an addict.
I acted out for ever more potent highs with, paradoxically, ever more debasing behavior, so that demoralization imbued whatever self-worth I had left, until I saw myself as deserving nothing more. I began to believe what I believed other people believed about me.
Years and years into the cycle, reprieve would come at last in the form of recovery meetings. I needed to show up in the rooms to stay abstinent, not from sex altogether, but rather from the addictive behaviors that made my life unmanageable: phone sex, cybersex and pornography, in addition to the anonymous sex — all forms of sexual activity which were, for me, attempts to rub out the unease of being in the wrong body through forms of self-effacement.
The root of the problem was that I did not want to be in a male body; I never had. Anonymous sex provided an avenue for assuming the role in which I was comfortable, while covering up the longings I felt inside, if only for as long as I acted out. Since the sex was over before it began, and I never knew my partners, the underbelly of my gender dissipated upon expression. Thus I sought to suppress myself under the illusion of control.
But denial only exacerbated the discrepancy between my reality and my potential. The mirror of life followed me everywhere, and the shame in which addiction coated me obscured the reflections I saw.
Impulsion distorted any sense of self-worth, which worsened the disgrace of being unable to control my addiction. After engaging in behavior that I’d promised last time I would never do again, here I was doing the same thing once more — again, and again, and again and again — and again.
I ventured further into the abyss each time I acted out. Yesterday’s rush fell short of what I needed today — riskier danger, steeper precipices and more, always more. There was never enough of anything because my addiction craved annihilation above all else. Every letdown fanned the flames of the hell that life became when I acted out.
And yet I sought even more.
I wanted to stop. I promised myself I would stop.
I could not stop. read more…
to see video of Robert Downey Jr. at home by the pool talking about addiction and recovery.
At the age of 67, James Taylor has made his 16th album, his first in 13 years. After spending his early career addicted to heroin, he’s surprised he made it this far In the center of Florence, a short walk from the Ponte Vecchio, a rangy, bespectacled figure in a baseball cap clutches a cup of coffee and slips back into his hotel unrecognized. He is perhaps the definitive singer-songwriter of his generation, he has come to represent everything noble and dignified about American artistry, and he is preparing to tell me how he is amazed to be alive.
At 67, James Taylor has an air of low-key statesmanship that most senior politicians can only aspire to. A lifelong Democrat (‘I inherit my politics from my father, and my aesthetic, probably, from my mum’), he has sung for presidents, calls Bill and Barack by their first names, and is vehemently backing Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. See Video at this link.
So many times, I have heard people in meetings say that “the normies need to work the steps!” or something like “my mom needs to work the steps even though she isn’t an addict”. This concept is absolutely true and anyone can benefit from working the steps.
WHY? Simple; spirituality is for everyone. Finding and nurturing a relationship with a Higher Power is the natural thing for any human to do because we all are facing sure-death. We will all die, one way or another. Addiction is not the only thing that threatens the existence of humanity. Aging and disease happen all the time and the only one who can get us out of death is a Higher Power. I will not prattle on…check out this awesome episode of Opera yourself.
Legendary songwriter Paul Williams, who is a recovering addict, and screenwriter Tracey Jackson, who has not battled drug or alcohol addiction, say in their new book, Gratitude and Trust, that everyone can benefit from the steps found in recovery programs. “We’re all addicted to something,” Tracey says. “We’re all stuck somewhere in patterns.”
Tracey says the principles in recovery programs are lessons we can all learn. “Everyone should just take one round of recovery to learn rigorous honesty, to learn how to say I’m sorry, to learn how to own their faults. And I think that we all have things.”