Category Archives: Health

Recovering From Addictions

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter if it’s alcohol or marijuana

In yesterday’s post 10 things successful people do, I said that successful people stay healthy and overcome their addictions ~ well, it’s impossible to stay healthy in the long-term if you have a drugs habit, drink too much, or smoke.  Alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking will all kill you, especially if you are prey to all three.  Most addicts have multiple addictions.  Add gambling into the mix and you will die a horrible death, after you have lost everything you have.

There are NO exceptions to that rule.

You may think that you drink a little bit, use pot or coke just now and again, take a few too many of your prescription drugs, smoke the odd cigarette when you’re feeling stressed or happy, go to Vegas to gamble every once in a while…..  It could be you have a problem you’re not admitting to yourself, and lying about to everyone else.

Denial is not a river in Egypt.  Denial will kill you.

The very first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit that you have a problem.   The first step in all 12 step recovery groups is to honestly admit that you have a problem.  Your problem with booze, drugs, smoking, gambling, unsafe casual sex, erotica, pornography, dangerous pastimes, sugar, food….. may not be so bad ~ YET.  Let me tell you, your problem will only get worse, unless you do something about it.   And what you have to do is STOP drinking, smoking, using drugs, gambling, or whatever.

There is no such thing as controlled drinking, drug abuse, gambling…..

And, if you cannot stop, and if you still lie about it to yourself and others, then you are a true alcoholic, drug addict, compulsive gambler, long-term chain smoker, and you’re going to lose everything you have, and die horribly.  Things may only be a little bit rocky now, but that’s ok for you, missing work once in a while isn’t so bad.  Let me tell you, it is going to get worse if you do not completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling…..

No matter how bad thing are now, they will get worse.

What to do?  A good start is to go and see your doctor, and tell him / her that you have a problem.  But, the chances are that, unless you have an exceptional doctor, they’re not going to be much help.  Do Not just accept more medication from your doctor ~ drugs in any form are bad for you.  Also, the chances are that if you have a propensity to addiction, then you also have an underlying psychological problem.  What you probably need is ‘talking therapy’ to deal with your underlying Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD……

Admit you have a problem, and talk to people who understand.

From bitter personal experience I can tell you that there are only two things that work when it comes to recovering from the problems of an addiction;

  1. Completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling, binge eating…..
  2. Talk with people who truly understand.  Ask for their help.

If you are an addict, then you will never, ever be cured, all you can do is begin to recover from your addiction.  You will never be able to go back to drinking, or whatever…..

Some say that being an addict means that you are a morally weak degenerate lunatic.  And, that all addicts are hopeless cases who will just die sooner rather than later.  All I know is that it is possible to begin to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder and Alcoholism.

(further reading;  The Big Book of AA, The Road Less Travelled, Under The Influence.)

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

addicts are not lunatics,

but they may well have a psychological problem

 

10 things successful people do

Life can take us down unexpected and difficult paths.

Through painful experience, I have learned that to be very successful in your life, there are some things we must do.  Most of them are difficult, bordering on the impossible, but all of these 10 things listed below are actually achievable.

There are two types of people who will tell that you cannot make a difference in this world; those who are afraid to try, and those who are afraid you will succeed.  ~  Ray Goforth.

I firmly believe that these are the most important of the rules we must follow in order to overcome life’s challenges, and ultimately win out:

  1. Stay Healthy.  It’s almost impossible to be successful if you’re often ill, spending time in bed, or in hospital.
  2. Overcome Addictions.  Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Gambling, Smoking….. to name perhaps the most dangerous of all possible addictions.  If you drink too much you will lose almost everything.  If you drink and gamble you will lose everything.  If you drink, gamble, smoke, and take drugs, you will lose everything, and then you’ll die ~ horribly
  3. Stay Within the Law.  If you get involved with illegal activities, including taking drugs, drink driving, illegal gambling ~ sometime or other you will have a run in with The Police.  A criminal record does your chances of living your dream life no good at all.
  4. Say Goodbye to Toxic People.  Toxic relationships will make you unhappy, corrupt your mind and soul, and prevent you from realising how much better things can be.
  5. Seek Out, and Take, Good Advice.  If you’re physically ill see a doctor, if you’re suffering mentally see a counsellor, and if you’re just struggling seek out your closest and wisest friend.  Whatever advice you’re given, really take it to heart.
  6. Do Not Waste Time or Money.  Too many people throw their money away without thought.  Almost everyone wastes their time on unimportant activities.  A fool and his money are soon parted.  Time is the most precious resource we have.
  7. Stay Romantically and Sexually Faithful.  Affairs, casual sex, multiple partners, using sex-workers, are all going to waste your time and money.  You will get into trouble, and if you’re married, you will be asked for a divorce.
  8. Keep Learning.  Nobody can know everything, but most people don’t even try to improve their mind and knowledge once they finish their formal education.  The internet and a million books are out their, and something you learn may just give you the edge you need to become successful.
  9. Focus On Things You Can Control.  God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  And, don’t let me try to change people, because that never works.
  10. Follow Your Dreams.  Dreams are the fuel for your success.  Without dreams there can never be any meaningful and lasting success in your life.

Some very smart people can ignore some of these rules, some of the time, and still be successful.  But you can’t ignore all of these rules, all of the time, and still have a hope in hell of making a success of your life.  And, never worry about failure, just make certain that you pick yourself up and start again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke is a success,

and he loves Bentleys and Jaguars

 

 

must I always be alone?

the basic nature of a man is constructive, faithful, and trustworthy

If you have been following this blog, you will know that, over the past few years, circumstances, and my own stubborn nature, converged with my incipient depression to create a weird and unsustainable view of life for me.  Not only that, I was also suffering from vicious, undiagnosed, and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and that blessed me with paranoia and a morbid fear of abandonment.

Add those things together and what happened was that I became an agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, psychotic recluse.

My door stayed locked, I seldom left my apartment, I avoided meeting people, the telephone remained unanswered, and I deleted unread any emails I received.  Quite honestly, I may as well have been dead as to live that kind of non-life.

It took years, and I do mean years, for me to begin to break out of my self-made prison.

My escape started because I like to write, I wasn’t writing anything, and so I went to a writers’ group, met a few people, and even spoke to them without my being stabbed, attacked, denigrated…..  And then I started to write this blog ~ and trust me to begin with it was terrible.  Yet, an amazingly articulate woman in California found something that she liked in the way I wrote.  And, as things happen, we became long-distance, online friends.

Those of you who have been in a long-distance relationship will know that it’s fraught with problems, and my friendship with this cool Californian woman is probably no better or worse than most relationships that started on-line.  As you would expect from a guy with Borderline Personality Disorder in their background, I became obsessed with her, had unrealistic expectations, and did stupidly impulsive things.  I was not constructive, reliable, nor trustworthy.  None of that was helpful.

My good fortune is that I spent some time with a therapist, my doctor, and a psychiatrist.  The general consensus of their opinion was that I had been suffering from BPD, but I was mostly recovered ~ at the time that was all news to me, (I even had to look up what the hell Borderline Personality Disorder was).

But, if I was mostly recovered I could start to live my life the way I wanted, and not the way a serious mental illness was telling me to exist.

Ergo, I am on a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-development, and self-improvement.  Now I mostly say and do what I think is right, and those that don’t like it can just feck off and have a nice day, and please don’t keep in touch.  That new and more assertively honest attitude of mine has ruffled a few feathers ~ but I’m never going back to being that agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, obsessive, psychotic recluse.

Maybe I need to find some new friends, and maybe I’ll be alone again for a while.

Some say that a friend in need is a friend indeed.  And that you should choose your friends wisely.  All I know is that I’d rather be alone than have fair-weather friends.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

at least I have a friend in Marmaduke

and he’s always ready for anything

Living Within Lies

We live in a world of illusions and fantasies, lies and deceptions.

In my life I have often seen and heard what I wanted to see and hear, not what was really there at all.  I was never willing to separate fact from my own fictions, to see what was actually going on around me.  And yet, for relationships and connections to endure, reality and truth must be embraced whole-heartedly, one cannot go on looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses.

Consequently I oft-times found myself walking down dead-end streets and staying with totally dysfunctional relationships.  I missed the many good opportunities the universe was sending me, any of which could have transformed my life.  Being faithful and steadfast is all very well, but not when I was living within a tissue of lies and falsehoods.  Being generous and kind is all very well, but not when I was pouring time, money, and love into a bottomless well and receiving little or nothing in return.

Ultimately, my behaviour was negative and destructive of my own self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem.  Through not really facing the truth I would become paranoid, suspicious, jealous, frustrated, and angry.

Today I am ready to accept and understand the mistakes of the past, end the chapter, close the book, and allow progress and positive growth to happen.  For that I need complete self-honesty and better self-awareness.  Only then will real change lift me emotionally and spiritually out of the darkness that sometimes surrounds me ~ washing over me like a cold wave in the depths of a grey autumn.

Parts of my dark psyche still linger from my past negative behaviour; anger, bad temper, marginal propensity to alcoholism, pain, jealousy, frustration, resentments, selfishness, impulsiveness…..

This October, when my opposite and partner star-sign of Libra is in the ascendant, I can see clearly the person I used to be, the person I am now, and the man I shall become.  I am more than just the two-dimensional image that stares back at me from the mirror.  Now I am wiser, more open and ready to see change in my life.  The lessons that must be learned are how to understand and accept the truth and not surrender to illusions.

Some say that change is bad, and today should be the same as yesterday, while tomorrow should be pretty much the same as today.  And that they are perfectly happy living mundane and routine lives.  All I know is that I can and will separate truth from fiction.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

though it may twist and turn, the warrior’s path goes onwards and upwards

Back to Square One

You can’t do the job if you haven’t got the proper tools.

Yesterday I was very tempted to book a trip to Agadir in Morocco, even though I’ve just returned to England after my recent vacation on Crete.  (You would like Crete.)

The Moroccan adventure would have been for a week, departing England on October 11th.  The whole deal would have cost me less than it’s costing me to fly the Atlantic for my trip to New Mexico in early November.  And, that upcoming trip is one reason I’ve decided not to take the Road to Morocco just now ~ I would probably have spent my whole time in Morocco thinking about going to New Mexico.

That, and the main reason for travelling right now is me not wanting to be here on my own, me escaping from what’s going on inside my own head, not wanting to face the fact that I’m the world’s biggest screw-up, me running away…..

I don’t think I’ve shared that each day I pray to my Goddess, and that I write these prayers on slips of paper about the size of a personal cheque, (check).  I save these prayers, and each day I take an old prayer from the found vase I keep them in, and contemplate what I was saying in the past.

Today, the old prayer is from December 1st 2015; …..please help me to learn a way to stop finding the bad things in Life.

That is just as appropriate right now as it was then.  I am still right back at square one.

In my life there has been heartache and pain.  For most of my life I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder ~ a seriously dangerous mental illness.  For the past few years I have been striving diligently to be a ‘better man’.  And, it would seem that I haven’t had that much success.

Here’s the thing, no matter how hard you try to achieve something, no matter what you do, you cannot succeed if you don’t have the right tools for the job.

Today I have come to realise that I don’t have the right tools to achieve enough significant personality changes to become the better man, the superior man.

And then Serendipity kicks in. This New Mexico retreat I am attending in November has the strapline From Chaos to Coherence ~ The Power To Thrive In Life Extremes.  If you know anything at all about BPD, you will know that I go to extremes, but perhaps this retreat will put some more and better tools in my psychological toolbox.

Some say that all prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is ‘no’.  And, that if the only tool you have is a hammer then you see every problem as a nail.  All I know is that if you’re fighting with the alligators, it’s difficult to remember that you’re supposed to be draining the swamp.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Right now the alligators are winning,

so fuck the swamp.

Monochrome Monday~ Drinking

So set ’em up Joe, there’s no one in the place, ‘cept you and me.

~

~

~

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Project: Jack Collier

I you try you risk failure, if you don’t you ensure it.

In order to truly become a better man I’ve had to fall back on some of my past strengths and abilities.  Back in the day, I was paid stupid amounts of money to invent, develop, organise, and run major projects ~ ergo I’ve decided that I should treat my becoming the better man as a project.  Think about it, it sort of makes good sense.

It is less about becoming a better person, and more of being better, as a person.  ~  J.R. Rim

This self-improvement, and self-development project would seem to have the following elements;

  • Embrace change to avoid slipping back into my old, negative patterns of behaviour.
  • Have more confidence and self-reliance in my own innate abilities.
  • I should always speak up for myself, and always speak the truth, strive to communicate well with others, especially with those I care for.
  • Keep my close relationships in focus, neither neglect the people I care about, nor have unrealistic expectations of them.
  • Conversely, have increasingly ambitious expectations of myself, and what I will be able to achieve.
  • Get some balance and stability into my life ~ and I may need a lot of help with this.
  • Remain grounded, balanced, and in control of my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Be in touch with the Universe and accepting of the realities in every area of my life
  • Develop the endurance to plan and successfully achieve long term wants, needs, goals, desires, dreams, and ambitions.
  • Get fitter and healthier so that I have the controlled energy to make the fullest success of Project: Jack Collier.

Written down like that it seems I have a lot to work to do, and I’m certain that if I thought harder I could add more bullet points to that list.  But, 10 difficult things to work on is more than enough for now.

My Life is changing day to day, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in quite scary ways.  I need to find my path forward, and be the captain, master, and director of my own life.

It’s not about taking control of my life in the sense that I am trying to control everything and everyone around me, it’s about me deciding what it is that I really want, and then striving with everything I have to get it.  I I really want something, I should let nothing stand in my way.  My life is a reflection of my choices, and how I use my strengths and abilities to achieve success.

The goal of life purpose is not what you will create, but what it will make you into for creating it.  ~  Shannon L. Alder.

Some say that success is getting what you want.  And that happiness is wanting what you get.  All I know is that my strength will not come from winning, my strength will be the result of trying very hard.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

parasailing was so far outside of my comfort zone that I didn’t try it

I should have

 

Confessions and Mistakes

How many bad decisions seemed like a good idea at the time?

Over the years I’ve made some really bad decisions.  From time to time I got angry and subsequently did some reprehensible things I now regret.   I have reacted with nasty spite when I should have stayed calm, and I’ve felt resentful for no good reason, which usually turned me into a dangerous Mr. Hyde or a rabid black dog.

And when he was good he was very, very good,  but when he was bad he was horrid.  ~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not every time things went badly pear-shaped was my fault.  Not every person I’ve hurt was an innocent bystander.  Some of the people I’ve had uncharitable thoughts about actually deserved my condemnation.  And there have been some people I wouldn’t cross the road to spit on.  But, and here’s the thing, all the time I was an angry, judgemental, resentful, dangerous bastard person, I was still suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and / or, Bipolar Disorder.  I was always afraid, and I was always running away.

Add the whole lot together, all the anger, resentments, mental illness, and it’s not surprising that I used to be hypercritical, lacking in understanding, and totally unwilling to accept anyone who didn’t measure up to my warped standards.  It’s not surprising that from time to time I could hurt the ones I love.  Sometimes the only things I was good at was causing pain and heartache.

It only takes one word to hurt a woman, a matter of seconds, one stupid, impatient sting of the whip.  But winning back her trust takes years.  And sometimes there isn’t the time.  ~  Nina George

I have actually made a list of all the people I believe I have hurt over the years, (that’s the difficult step 8 in 12 step programmes), and thought about the what, why, when, how, where, and if of making amends to those people.  Of my original list I’ve crossed off some names, because I’m not a saint, so I’m not making amends to everyone I’ve wronged.  And, I’ve underlined some other names, of women I really do need to make immediate, meaningful, and lasting amends to.  (my Goddess Aphrodite and The Girl Riding Shotgun spring to mind.)  But as the quote from Nina George says, sometimes rebuilding trusting relationships takes years.

I have spoken in haste too often, spoken from negative and dark emotions too often, and been thoughtless too often.  But, the recent paradigm shift that I experienced from being way outside of my comfort zone for a week should mean that I don’t make those enraged mistakes again.

Some say there is no such thing as a mistake or a bad decision.  And that the consequences of a really bad decision are a learning opportunity.  All I know is that if I go off the rails there is going to be a painful disaster, and someone will get hurt ~usually including me.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Nobody likes to be with a dangerous jerk.

Be that guy, and be alone in the dark.

Empowerment

Don’t be satisfied with how things once were, unfold a new story.

In the last few days a great deal has changed for me.  Circumstances of my own choosing forced me well outside of my comfort zone, and made me escape a prison of my own making.  And coming down the pike like a runaway a great deal of transition is heading right for me.

It is time for me to embrace a life path that is more true to who I am, and the grounded, enlightened, successful man I want to be.  Now is the hour for me to grow in courage and mental strength ~ no longer allowing my doubts and fears to undermine my dreams, desires, hopes, and plans for the future.  Now is the time for me to be who I truly am deep inside.

You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can  stand in your way.  ~  Richard Bach

That means ridding myself of the emotional burdens of the past.  It means ceasing to be reckless with the feelings of others.  Ceasing to be negligent when it comes to accepting, cherishing, nurturing, understanding, and supporting those I care for.  And it means embracing harmony, strength, and fortitude.  All the mistakes I made in the past are now just learning tools for the future.  Each time I fell off the rails and turned into Mr. Hyde are salutary lessons and cautionary tales ~ reminding me that those dark places and negative feelings are to be avoided and not encouraged.

Hard work bears fruit, and the near future will be bright for me and those I care for as a result of my hard work in the past paying off.  I have tried so hard to be the best version of me that I could possibly become, that I have earned the right to enjoy life now that I can finally see the results of my efforts.  My ‘new’ personality, attitudes, demeanour, heart , and soul means that I can express myself with greater clarity, confidence, and strength today and into the future.

My core values, the things that really matter to me, are what I will live by today, tomorrow, and in each and every day to come.  I need to spend some time in walking meditation to reflect more seriously on my ethics and ethos, to truly identify what I am willing to tolerate, and what I will just not accept.  It is so ingrained in the habits of most people, (myself included), to put everyone else’s needs first, and then forget to take care of themselves.  Yet if we don’t take care of our own needs, our physical, mental, and spiritual health, we cannot grow nor prosper nor be truly happy.  Today and into the future I will take care of myself first, and then nurture and support those I care for to the very best of my abilities.

Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace.  ~  Aberjhani.

Some say I am worthy of a life full of friends, loving connections, enlightenment, and spiritual empowerment.  And that there will be a new love in my life, either platonic or romantic.  All I know is that I am not just going to sit back and wait for things to happen ~ the cosmos does not roll out a red carpet for anyone.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

A new day has come.

Swimming Lessons

Some things are much more fun than you would think.

I had my 3rd swimming lesson this afternoon.

Seems that I am doing ok because my instructor has stopped teaching me to swim…..  She is now giving me instructions on how to swim properly.

Lots and lots to remember.

At least I am much more confident in the water now.

Shame the weather here in Llandudno is so dull.

You can’t ever have it all.

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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