I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.
It used to be thought by many doctors, and those in 12-step recovery programs, that addiction was a disease in its own right. Conversely many people believed that alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and other addictions were due to personal weakness. That it was all down to the search for instant self-gratification, and that addicts were just unwilling to stop ~ or perhaps unable to stop drinking, using, gambling…..
However, medical science no longer believes that pleasure-seeking alone drives addicts into their own personal hell. Doctors and scientists now think that most engage in addictive behaviour not so much to attain euphoria as to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and distress.
This is certainly true in my own case. From time to time I drink far too much, not because I like booze or it makes me feel good. I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterised by extreme emotions, and from time to time negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal depression cause me so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that I escape into alcohol. And you know what? Drinking doesn’t really work.
In the USA 15.7 million people seriously abuse alcohol, and 2.6 million of those also suffer from a drug abuse disorder. In all some 7.7 million people in all use illicit drugs in the USA, and / or abuse prescription drugs. About 8% of the total population of the USA have a substance abuse problem. Many of these have multiple addictions ~ gambling, excessive use of pornography, and promiscuity also ruin lives. Doctors also believe that the type of addiction doesn’t matter at all; whether it be alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, whatever….. all addictions are the same, addicts are people who try to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.
Some 47,000 people a year die directly from an overdose of opiod drugs, and alcohol claims the lives of some 90,000 people a year. I know what that feels like, people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder have a 10% likelihood of committing suicide, which is over 1,000 times more than in the general population.
Some days I can barely breathe, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. Some days I blame others for my pain and problems. Some days I am barely hanging on. And, some days life is pretty good.
The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction; including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and in some cases medication. (As it goes medication doesn’t work, and is actually dangerous for anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder.) But, I can protect myself from addiction by having meaningful and mindful interests in my life, together with supportive friendships. My problems and pain are very transient. And life isn’t always supposed to be fun and filled with pleasure, into every life a little rain must fall. Shit Happens
Some say that addiction only affects weak and pathetic people. And that there is no chance of recovery from any addiction. All I know is that I have many more good days than the bad days on which I hit the bottle.
recovery doesn’t work for those who need it
recovery works for those who want it
Reinventing yourself is an essential process if you want to flourish
I came to a point in my life where I knew that I had to change, it was time to make a fresh start. As we mature, as we learn and gain greater wisdom, it is inevitable that our goals, dreams plans, and expectations change. And for some of us, struggling with difficult emotional, mental, and psychological problems, we know that we need to let go of that which doesn’t work any more, never really worked, and was never going to work as far as our personal life and relationships are concerned.
It’s first of all about letting go of expectations, resentments, and hard-wired negative emotions. It’s about exploring and educating ourselves in new ways of living, it’s about finding ways to cope with those hard-wired negative emotions, it’s about discovering new ways of being, doing, thinking, and feeling.
Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself….. and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you. ~ Charles Bukowski
However, I kid you not, unless you are reinventing yourself as an even worse version of the person you are today, (and I have seen many do that), then making a fundamental change to who and what you are, is
fucking very difficult.
You can become a new, different, and better person very easily using your conscious mind ~ but know this, your conscious mind is only in control of your actions for about 5% of the time, the other 95% of the time your subconscious mind is in charge. And you can’t talk to your subconscious and tell it that you’ve changed because there is nobody in there. Your subconscious is made up of a set of programs that just run in response to stimuli and rewriting those programs is next to impossible.
One proven way to do it is called Habituation or Act As If. It’s like learning to drive a car, you practice and you practice until a new set of ‘driving programs’ is stored in your subconscious. So if you want to stop drinking, smoking, taking drugs, gambling, having endless casual sexual relationships, being a jerk, being a thief….. then you need to practice and practice not doing those negative things and instead be a better person until those new and better programs are stored in your subconscious. It will take a year or two.
The snag is that your family, ‘friends’, coworkers, partners in crime, et al., will sabotage you at every turn. If you’re trying to stop drinking / smoking / taking drugs and you go out with your old circle of friends they will encourage you to drink / smoke / use ~ and the chances are you will give in. They will continue to label you as alcoholic, addict, slut, jerk, thief, chain-smoker….. in casual conversation and when describing you ~ and that is how they will always think of you. And none of that is helpful.
The lesson is, if you are reinventing yourself you have to leave behind your old life ~ including all those unsupportive family members, false friends, and toxic relationships because they will do their utmost to drag you down into the past.
your false friends would like to see you stay there in the gutter with a bottle
Our very souls may be consumed by shadows.
We each have a complex relationship with ourselves. If we have ever really suffered through something like; alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to gambling, sex addiction, too many of the wrong prescription drugs, parental abuse, an abusive relationship, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, serious problems with our diet, mental health problems, failed relationships, job loss, loss of our home… (or more likely a mixture of all of these problems and more), then we also have a complex relationship with the whole world and everyone in it.
At times we can find ourselves in a very bad place where every voice is critical, malevolent, and negative ~ even our own inner voice. Our inner voice creates inner demons; anger, depression, fear of rejection, rejection of others, jealousy, judgementalism, self-doubt, self-hatred, worthlessness…
All the dark, malevolent Passions of the Soul are roused and exerted; its mild and amiable affections are suppressed; and with them virtuous Principles are laid prostrate. ~ Charles Inglis
Unless you have been there you can have no idea how bad the pain and anguish these inner demons can create. One will do almost anything to escape the crippling pain; including going back to our addictions, making big geographical moves, shutting down and numbing ourselves, isolating ourselves, psychotherapy, strong prescription drugs, attending 12 step groups, spirituality, retreating further into mental illness, suicide…
It is not just our inner demons. If we are in that bad place then we are also surrounded by demons. Everyone we know, everyone we meet, adds to these outer demons with their misplaced concerned advice, criticisms, and rejection. Many people do not want us to get well, they measure themselves against our struggle and feel superior, they add their negative demons to our own. When I was at my last rock-bottom I became aware that almost everyone I knew, everyone I met, was feeding off my pain. Few understand, few want to understand, and fewer still truly want to help.
Some especially gifted, intelligent, and sensitive people believe that there is a third layer of demons, in addition to our inner demons, and the tormenting demons gifted to us by almost everyone we know. Most spiritual and religious people also believe that there are more demons than the physiological and psychological. These special people believe in genuine demons, in the spiritual realm, and that some of us may be victims of these demons. In my mind’s eye I am very aware that in the shadows surrounding my soul lurk the powers of darkness seeking to torment and torture me.
Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways. For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no reason. That’s not just an emotion. That’s a demon. ~ Stephen Baldwin.
None of the details really matter. What I do know is that if you have truly suffered, and if you are suffering now, then you are the victim of demons who will feed off your pain, and want nothing more than to destroy you and everything and everyone you care for.
It is our demons that make us believe that our partner is sleeping with other men, that giving into our addiction will solve our problems, and that suicide is painless.
Many of us have tried over the years to face down our inner demons. Some succeed, many fail. Many fail because they don’t realise that the main causes of their misery are inner demons which seem to have an intelligence and will of their own. Many more fail because they never realise that they are also surrounded by malevolent evil demons emanating from the subconscious psyche of everyone they know. And, some fail because they are the victims of true demonic possession.
Demons are not your superiors, demons are not even your equals. All demons have is the ability to make you cause yourself pain and suffering. Demons can only torment and torture you if you let them, but most of us allow demons to torture us because we are not even aware that they are there.
Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. ~ David D. Burns.
Recovery begins with admitting that you have a problem.
I cannot yet face down my demons, but I know they are there, trying to make me torture myself so that they can feed off my pain. (Even your inner demons feed off the pain you cause yourself.)
Now, when I feel myself going down a negative path to my own personal hell, I can tell myself that it’s just my personal demons trying to destroy me, and that I should ignore their oppressive persecution. That helps me. A psychological bully can only bully you if you let them. Your demons have no physical power over you. Ignore them and your demons will go away. Eventually I shall be able to face down my demons and tell them to fuck off ~ and that will be a good day.
Demons are to be pitied. They have nothing but your pain and suffering. If you do not allow your demons to make you cause yourself pain and suffering, then those demons will eventually die and vanish into nothing.
You can and will get well if you do not allow your demons to torment and torture you.
click on the book
No matter how much you love someone, you cannot make them love you.
If you don’t receive love from the ones who are meant to love you, you will never stop looking for it. ~ Robert Goolrick
It’s worse than that. No matter how much you like someone you cannot make them like you, and no matter how much you desire someone, you cannot make them desire you. No matter what you do, no matter the money, time, effort, hope, prayer, and love you expend, no matter how many sleepless nights you suffer, you cannot change the way someone feels about you.
Often unrequited love is the desperate feeling of being hopelessly, completely, head over heels in love with and infatuated with someone, all the while knowing that your feelings will never reach their heart and will never be returned. Unrequited love can exist when the object of your love is hardly even aware of your existence. You may love someone and yet know you will never make love with them or wake up next to them in the morning. You may even know that you will never get to spend time with the object of your love. And yet, you will go on loving them forever, no matter the pain and heartache it causes. You will go on loving even when you know they love another.
A person doesn’t know true hurt and suffering until they’ve felt the pain of falling in love with someone whose affections lie elsewhere. ~ Rose Gordon
Unrequited love also exists within relationships, when one person may love the other deeply and tenderly, but the object of your affections just thinks you’re someone to hang out with when there is nothing better happening. Unrequited love even exists inside marriage, when one partner truly, madly, deeply and unconditionally loves the other, who merely regards them as a convenience.
Sadly, unrequited love can sometimes turn into obsessive love, which is an extreme form of infatuation and does not allow for failure, imperfection, or rejection. Obsessive love is a dangerous mental disorder which can lead to extreme behaviour, up to and including boiling the pet rabbit. If you have ever flirted with a real bunny-boiler, then you will know exactly how bad obsessive love can become.
The difference between a dysfunction love and real, true love is reciprocity. Does the object of your desire return your affections? Or, are you doing all the work and throwing your love away, just like throwing a rock into a bottomless pit? Ask yourself if the one you love is anything more than an empty vessel, are they someone who can and will return your love with their own, or are you just feeding money into a crooked slot machine in the vain hope of a jackpot?
Unrequited and obsessive love can be a masochistic addiction. It hurts and it costs, but if you have it, you will wait around for the big payoff, no matter what.
The really bad news for someone who is going through the misery of unrequited love is that there will never be a big payoff. You will never hit the jackpot, they will never return your love, and they will forget you in a New York second. Whatever you have right now is as good as it’s ever going to get, and the chances are it will get worse ~ addictions always get worse over time, no matter what. Some people are incapable of real love, that’s called Emotional Deprivation Disorder, and if you are unlucky enough to love someone suffering from that, you may as well pack your bags and go home.
It’s no good putting the object of your desire on a pedestal, and it’s no good thinking that you can change him or her. No matter how much time, effort, money, love, and heartache you have invested, you will most likely have just thrown it all away. It’s like feeding a slot machine in Las Vegas, where you will probably never see a penny of that money ever again, and deep down you know you have wasted everything.
Often those who suffer the agony of unrequited love and / or obsessive love have other mental problems ~ Drug addiction, Alcoholism, Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or just plain Emotional Hunger.
Just like drug addiction or alcoholism, the only way out of the misery of unrequited love, or the sick dangers of an obsessive love, is to quit.
There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it. ~ Shannon L. Alder
It’s much easier to write it than it is to do it, but if what you have is a relationship where you are giving a lot and getting little in return, then you have to walk away. Walk away, don’t look back, and don’t try to keep in touch. It’s going to hurt, but it’s like a bad tooth. It will hurt a lot for a short while when you’re having it extracted, but that’s much better than living with months or years of dull misery.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
Happiness a feeling of pleasure, contentment, or joy.
Who knows what it like is to be really happy? Recently? Really?
Everything that follows is based upon my own direct, personal, painful experiences.
I am not at all happy just now, but there’s a reason for my lack of pleasure, contentment and joy. A couple of weeks ago I suffered some skull trauma, and I’ve had a dull headache and nausea ever since. It is difficult to be truly happy if one is feeling unwell. Ask any guy who has influenza if he’s happy? Any woman will tell you the kind of answer he will give ~ it’s likely to include the word miserable.
Rule #1 for being happy. First be physically fit and well. If you are feeling miserable and depressed, get yourself out for a walk, have something healthy to eat, go to the gym, or if you are really unwell make an appointment with your doctor. Do not indulge in self-diagnosis. Take whatever medication you are prescribed.
Have you ever seen a truly happy alcoholic? Or a joyful heroin addict? Or come to that, a contented compulsive gambler? Addicts may be happy for a while, but sooner rather than later they will hit rock bottom and be caught in a slough of misery and depression. That’s if they’re lucky. If an alcoholic or drug addict is unlucky they’ll just be dead.
Rule #2 for being happy. Quit whatever you’re addicted to. Again, you may want to visit your doctor. Withdrawal from substance abuse, (including alcohol), can be terrible, it can kill you, you may need medical support. Think about attending an appropriate 12-step group, or getting some professional counselling. In any event, you can’t follow rule #1 if you’re continually as drunk as a skunk.
Some people, in my experience men especially, become obsessed with their partner and / or the object of their romantic or sexual fantasy. This is a short route to total misery. Perhaps she will not love you, or return your affections, or when you get to know her she may disappoint you, she may turn out to be a carnal slut, or she may be a real ‘bunny boiler’.
Rule #3 for being happy. Never put your happiness in the hands of another. Other people will not always do as you wish. They may not be nice to you. They may not want to spend time with you, or have sex with you. They may ignore you, or get a restraining order. You may spend your life wishing for things which are never going to happen because the object of your desires does not want what you want.
Some people are plagued by guilt. This may be a rational thing. You may have done something utterly terrible, bad enough to carry the scars on your soul. It may be irrational guilt. Some feel guilty for no good reason whatsoever. At most they should be embarrassed for a while. Yet some people are addicted to guilt, don’t want to be free of it at all. Guilt is a black and corrosive thing.
Rule #4 for being happy. Learn to forgive yourself. Whatever you did is in the past, it’s done and gone. So you weren’t always there for your drug addict child, and they died of an overdose. That was bad but the best you can do is learn from the tragic experience. Nobody is completely in control of events, not even you. Accept yourself, unconditionally. Forgive whatever mistakes you believe you made and move on.
Then there are the angry, aggressive and hostile people. There is a savage pleasure in giving free rein to insane anger for a while ~ trust me I know all about that one. Yet there are some people who are constantly angry, always aggressive, usually immoral, often sinister and vicious. These people should either receive anger management counselling or be taken out and shot. If you are often angry you will also have diabolical depression under the anger. You are not truly happy, sooner or later you will be physically and psychologically ill.
Rule #5 for being happy. Learn how to control and diminish your anger. You make yourself angry. Nobody else can really make you feel anything. If you are angry it’s all down to you. You do not make rules for everyone else to follow. If you are an alcoholic or addict then you are probably often angry, so first quit your addiction. Learn to accept life for what it is and stop trying to make everyone else jump when you bark.
These rules cannot be applied by everyone in every situation. Some of us are genuinely, deeply, obscenely unhappy. Some of us may be suffering from clinical depression. This is not an easy trap to get out of. May I suggest that the first thing to do is to gain some spirituality and genuine acceptance of your situation. There is a well-known prayer;
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.
Don’t worry, don’t doubt, be happy.