Journey To The End Of Night
Adventures in Active Addiction and Recovery — A Philosophical Perspective

May
09

It only just came to my attention that I missed out on our ‘National Day of Prayer’ yesterday. How unfortunate — I would have very much enjoyed engaging in some public acts of blasphemy.

Don’t these idiots ever notice that despite all their stupid ( and UNCONSTITUTIONAL ) prayer holidays, the world situation never seems to improve? Granted, maybe they do FEEL better afterwords, but I feel better after masturbating and I don’t attach any cosmic metaphysical significance to the act.

Prayer and theism are arguments I don’t like to often venture into. I consider prayer both to be utterly beneath contempt, any discussion of their supposed merits a waste of time. I don’t ‘disbelieve’ in God, nor do I reserve judgment. I KNOW there is none. Theism is a total non-starter on the intellectual playing field so far as I am concerned. I should mention that as I’ve nearly completed a Phd in Philosophy, I’ve heard all the standard arguments rehashed ad nauseam.

The most sensible, in my opinion, amount to something like this: Most Holocaust victims were deeply religious Jews, an enormous percentage of them orthodox. I think it’s safe to bet that millions of prayers were uttered in those camps, answered only by, perhaps, the heat of the ovens, the thud of Nazi jack boots approaching, another round of torture….

Conclusions: (1.) All of these prayers were unanswered.
(2.) All of them were answered, only the victims weren’t happy with the reply.

As I said before, I personally consider belief in God to be beneath contempt. Anyone who took this primitive notion seriously, would be appalled by the nature thus demonstrated by the being they thoughtlessly worship.

If I ever were to take up a belief in God, I would also take a serious interest in arming myself against this horrific boogeyman. Nor would I care about the futility of fighting a purportedly omnipotent being — better to lose, die, suffer, whatever, than align oneself with the grotesque religionists hide behind world history.

Thats not to say that that is why I don’t believe — just a comment on the servile subjugation of the faithful to a deity that, by their own lights, has proven worthy only of revolt, and certainly never worship.

Apr
24

complete review forthcoming.

Right now though, I just have to put in a plug for this blog.  I thought the Bush administration had a nasty track record with respect to civil liberties, privacy rights, etc.  My whole take on the issue was turned on its head though when I stumbled upon this site.  It’s new but content is added daily and is a kind of watchdog digest, attending specifically to the powerful push by democrats and the Obama administration to hyper-regulate the internet ( make a kind of fairness doctrine apply to it ), speech, radio, but of course not TV — since 99% of all television media outfits are nothing but government propoganda organs.

In any state of emergency (he gets to decide what qualifies as such) Obama will, under sure to pass legislation, have the power to restrict access to whatever internet domains he likes (or dislikes, rather).  This will be exactly the same sort of web filter the Chinese view the internet through – when they are not milling about mindlessly like worker ants in that insectoid hive society of theirs….

Amazing!!  What did I just say?  You remember, about organs, a paragraph back?   America has ‘propaganda organs’?!?!  Thats almost as disgusting as saying something like ‘Rosie O’Donell has sexual organs!”  Or “Paris Hilton has bloody diarhea”.  ‘I sure for fucks sake hope not!” Seriously, though, I thought that propaganda organs were the sole province of impoverished bannana republics run by marxist revolutionaries and eastern communist nations behind the iron curtain.  I guess not.  The Soviet Union had a newspaper called ‘Pravda’.  It’s mostly transalted as ‘Truth’ but a more accurate translation would be something llike ‘straight facts’ or ‘unbiased, unfiltered news’.  

Sounds eerily familiar, right?  That stupid women on CNN or somewhere – ‘No Bias, No Bull’ (when thats about all you get) and the same crap on the other side, Fox, ‘No Spin Zone’, ‘We report.  You decide.”

Not much of a review – just an indicator of the sort of excellent content I’ve found on MelancholyMagick.com ( http://www.melancholymagick.com )

Apr
24

Wow… It’s damn near one year since I last looked at this blog.  To those who inquired — (if you’re still checking in now and again) — yes, I’m fine, still going strong.  Just been sidetracked by health problems and school, excruciating convergence disorder headache and eyestrain kept me from the computer and mononucleosis laid me flat out for a few months.  Surely, if there be gods, then all of them conspired against me this semester.  Albeit unsuccessfully, as I’ll be completing it with straight A’s and in better physical condition than it began.

Whatever doesn’t kill me truly does make me stronger ( Getting bored with the literature?  too dry?  Pick up Nietzsche or Schopenhauer.  Nietzsche is dificult.  Schopenhauer is often complex.  However, there is a reason stupid people are always being told to ‘keep it simple”. I garuntee you a careful reading of these guys will definitely change your life.

’round the end of last summer, I realized NA/AA had served its purpose for me ( I don’t buy the ‘addiction is a lifelong process’ bullshit.  To that I say, “Twelve step groups are a stepping stone”.  To what?  Back to a life with a fulfilling direction.) and shifted my focus back to school.  In the mid 90’s I earned a degree in Philosophy and Psychology then went (briefly) on to Graduate school in philosophy and even served as a teaching assistant for a couple semesters.  Even back then it was a toss up between academia and computer programming.  Even as I was growing disillusioned with the way philosophy is taught in American Universities these days, the chronic pain condition that led to my addiction was worsening and I left grad work after finishing just one year.  Pain and addiction got in the way of any progress on the programming front until last April.  Off the drugs, I felt (and feel) as if I’ve gained about 150 IQ points.  My mind is really that much clearer, sharper, crisper, cleaner, focused, concentrated.  What I have now is what I always sought in dextroamphetamine and ritalin and adderall tablets.  Anways, back to the point — so I picked up a couple books on Flash Actionscript 3.0 programming and excitedly realized that learning this stuff — an absolute intellectual impossibility on the drugs and with the pain — was not so tough after all.  Three months later I was creating small game demos in that language.  In the interim I’ve picked up Python on my own and just completed classes in Java programming and html/css.  I’ll be tackling C++ at school over the summer and with some effort ought to be able to pick up a Java certification within a few months, then finally — provided tyrant in Chief Obama doesn’t complete dismantle the economy and the internet by then — an internship or job in the field I wished I’d entered twenty, even twenty five, years ago.  

So thats in short what I’ve been up to.

Aug
29

Considering checking into a detox or drug rehabilitation program?  If you’re experience is shaping up to be anything like mine was you’ve made a number of phone calls at this point.  You know nothing about what goes on inside these places so you ask the nurse or counselor.  The question is inevitably brushed off with a few poilite comments about seeing a doctor, some counseling, education sessions.  Each call leaves you more or less equally uninformed.  The message is always the same, “Don’t have time to go into it… you’ll just have to come in and see…”

A typical 20-27 day inpatient stay at one of these facilities will run you or your insurance company 35-80,000 bucks or more.  So it’s no wonder we want our questions answered before committing to such astronomical expense.  And these are purportedly understanding persons that staff these centers.

So why this all around reluctance to describe what goes on in treatment?  Where does this shroud of secrecy emanate from?

Aug
29

Well, it’s been over two months since I last attended any sort of twelve step function, let alone a meeting.  Contrary to all I’d been told, I haven’t gone to hell in a handbasket, haven’t relapsed — as a matter of fact, life has in many respects improved.  I’m 100% physically sound and just a few days ago terminated an unhealthy relationship.  The prevailing wisdom about the rooms is that once meeting attendence is curtailed  coping skills deteriorate and one’s addiction rears it ugly head in other aspects of life.  Nothing of the sort going on here.  In fact, I can in all honesty say that smoking is the sole addictive behavior I havn’t been able to shrug off.

I’ll always owe a debt of gratitude to AA and especially to Narcotics Anonymous for extending the supportive hand of friendship to me in my time of need.  However, my opinions have matured in the past couple of months and you’ll see me take a harder line against the twelve step philosophy in future posts.

My considered opinion is that the twelve step philosophy and the twelve step process are superfluous structures serving solely to obscure the essential nature of recovery.

Recovery is about relationships, healthy relationships, self-reliance, and mutual inter-dependency without loss of independence and self.

It’s about living without drugs the same way we lived with drugs – ‘with a little help from our friends’.

Aug
29

“We admitted we were powerless over our addiction — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Step one is said to involve surrender.  Initially, this surrender is supposed to be simply to one’s addiction.  “Stop fighting it.”  The notion reappears, however, in step 3 where one is asked turn one’s will and one’s life over to God.  I guess somebody somewhere believed the phrase “turn over one’s will” would be found somehow more palatable by the masses than a more frank statement: “surrender to God’s will, surrender your will to god, etc.”

The notion of surrender necessarily implies the existence of something outside of ones will to which one surrenders.  Unless we are willing to so intellectually debase ourselves as to accept the prevailing nonsense that floats around, the crap about surrendering to anything, the notion that even a lamp post can be your higher power, a doorknob, or even – as in one sweet & sappy tale of woeful sentiment, a rusty beer can — it’s painfully obvious that it’s God addicts are being told to surrender to.

As a philosopher, atheist, & classical scholar this comes as anathema to me — as it should to any intelligent contemporary thinker.

This notion of surrender before god, of turning one’s will over to god (forget for now the obvious metaphysical impossibility of the task – I’ll discuss that in a later post) is the very cornerstone of each and every twelve step group I’ve researched.

So despite the Anonymous Fellowships supposed welcoming attitude toward non-theists and non-xtians their message is quite clear:  “You’re quite welcome to hang out with us.  In fact, we might be a damn good religious influence on you.  So come to meetings but be warned — you’ll never recover till you get right with God (or that comic book tragedian, Christ).”

And that, in a nutshell, is the code word “RECOVERY” defined.

“Get right with God.”

Jun
11

Something happened with WordPress last night.  I was unable to get to my dashboard and after support patched it up all the comments on this blog had been wiped out.

Typically, I try to respond to all.  So thanks to those who left input — you’re not being ignored! In fact, I’ll address some of them in an upcoming post.  I’ve been down with a bad chest infection the past day and a half but hopefully will resume daily blogging asap.

Thanx again!

 

Jun
10

The day I was released from substance abuse treatment, I thought I’d have difficulty finding meetings — not so much locating them, but finding my way to the meeting once I got there.

A friend told me, “Just look for the motley crew smoking cigarettes in the parking lot or outside some doorway. Odds are 10 to 1 that’s your meeting.”

Of course he was right. The vast majority of anonymous fellowship members smoke or chew tobacco. I’m not just talking newcomers. Clean time is no determining factor here. Guys with six months, one year, five years, ten years, twenty or more are all equally likely to be found beneath that smoky haze hanging over the doorway. This puzzles me because the members with the most clean time, those who have supposedly worked the steps multiple times, still find themselves in the grip of an active addiction, the side effects of which are just as bad (often worse) as those resulting from alcoholism, heroin addiction, chronic crack smoking, etc. Just walk into the pulmonary unit of your local hospital and ask an ex-smoker — one the guys fighting lung cancer and losing. Smokings health impact appears manifests over a lengthy period of years – sole difference.

Every so often I’ll hear addicts, speaking of their nicotine addiction, say: ‘I tried stepping on it a few times but it didn’t work.’

to be continued….

Jun
08

I began using audio-visual entrainment systems and neuro-feedback to boost my meditation, relieve stress, accelerate the neurological healing process, relieve stress, and more – with SPECTACULAR results – shortly before I got clean.

I’ll be reviewing several software packages over the couple of days, including:

Transparent Corporations NeuroProgrammer2, Mind Stereo, and Brain Sound Studio

and

The I-Doser Digital Drug simulation software, a package that uses half hour binaural beat sessions to replicate the brainwave patterns produced by a wide variety of recreational and prescription drugs, everything from DMT to Demerol to Yaba to Viagra and more. Here’s a list of doses available to date. Keep in mind they’re releasing new one’s all the time.

Rave, 5-HTP, A-Bomb, Absinthe, Acid, Adrenaline, Adrenochrome, Afterglow, Aftermath, Alcohol, Alpha, anaesthesia, anti-migraine, Anti-Sad, Astral Projection, Astral Travel, Beta, Black Sunshine, Brain+, Bufo Toad (Bufotenine), Calm, Chakra, Cliff Hanger, Cocaine, Condition, Confidence, Content, Crack, Crystal Meth, Delta, Demerol, Dexies (dexedrine/dextroamphetamine), Diet+, Divinorum (Salvia Divinorum), DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), Downer, DXM (Dexamethasone), Ecstacy, ECT, Energizer, Excite, Epsilon, Extend, First Love, French Roast, Gamma, Gate of Hades, Genesis, Gray-b-Gone, Hand of God, Hangover Cure, Hash, heroin, Inhalant, Insomniac, Inspire, JuiceIt, Kava, Ketamine, LSD, Lucid Dream, Marijuana, Masochist, Morning Glory, Multipleo, Mystery, Nicotine, Nitrous, Opium, Orgasm, Out of Body, Oxy (Oxycontin), Peyote, Prozium (Prozac), Quit, Reset, Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Serene, Sex, Sleeping Angel, Speed, Theta, Tranquil, Trip, Viagra, Vico (Vicodin), Victory, Wet Dream, White Crosses, and the jack of all trades dose, You Choose.

Of course, the effects of the doses rarely mirror the chemicals themselves although in my experience a handful have come pretty damn close! The Nitrous dose left me feeling as if I’d just sucked a lungful out of a whip cream dispenser. Inhalant – well, let’s just call it unpleasantly powerful. Divinorum, DMT, and Peyote were fun and funky. Alcohol and Absinthe offered me the most bang for my buck. Vico gave me that numb sensation around the lips and beneath the nose, the same one I used to get 15 minutes after popping a couple Vicodin.

I have experienced absolutely zero negative side effects.

Check back for more on these powerful packages….

Jun
08

I wish I’d begun this blog six months ago. It would be nice to be able to look back and trace my development. I’ve come to a crossroads in my journey. For several months I chaired meetings, did H&I service work, attended meetings nearly everyday. Nevertheless, as I said before, my awakening departs from the norm in that it has confirmed my atheistic viewpoint and lead to my departure from most points of program doctrine. The program has been good to me, more than good. I can honestly say I’ve yet to meet an asshole. The people are wonderful. It’s just that I disagree with so many of it’s fundamental tenets that I’m starting to feel like an imposter.

The question of the day for me is: Should I stay or should I go?

For a few months, I worked a slightly unorthodox (let’s say ‘ultra-conservative’ — imagine a Hassidic Jew who wears the black and everything but, say, doesn’t keep kosher all the time. That’s the best analogy I can think for my former program) but for the most part, standard, ‘Basic Text’ program. I forced all my reservations into the back of my mind, ignored the more unsavory aspects of the literature, and forged on full speed ahead. The results have been nothing short of spectacular but I’ve grown increasingly certain that this beautiful transformation I’ve experienced is not attributable to anything apart from ( 1. ) my own efforts, which included seeking help, ( 2. ) Suboxone, ( 3. ) abstinence from all other opioids, amphetamines, and psychiatric drugs, ( 4. ) the psycho-physiological healing properties innate to all human beings, ( 5. ) a good therapist, ( 6. ) supportive family, and, most importantly, ( 7. ) a little help from my friends.

I do not attribute my success to divine intervention, step work, or abandonment of ‘self-will’. I was not ‘beyond all human aid’. My very well being today attests to the fact that I am not, nor have I ever been, ‘powerless’ over my addiction.  Nor was I ‘unable to manage my own life’ before coming to the rooms. I was not ‘incapable of consistently making good decisions’.  I find such melodramatic depictions of addiction degrading, especially when applied to all in such a blanket manner.  Now I’d never deny the fact that some of this may be true for some.  The literature, however, uses the all inclusive term ‘we’.  Some might argue that this is ‘just’ a matter of semantics.  I’d reply that semantics are important.  Words mean things. If you cannot say what you mean then you will never mean what you do say!

I’ve begun to notice — with disturbing frequency — that some of the most chronically relapsing, unhappy, guilt ridden, past-focused persons in the program indulge in the most step work and often have worked the steps multiple times — apparently to no avail! Is this a form of insanity, a cycle wherein one repeats the same mistakes over and over, each time expecting different results?

A universal theme at meetings is the notion that the twelve step path is the sole practical and efficient means for recovering from addictive disorders and remaining drug-free. Nearly all American treatment modalities are based on the notion that ‘complete and total abstinence from all mind and mood altering substances’ is the only way — that moderation is impossible, beneath consideration.

So I intend to take a deep look at whats available, probe into some of the more obscure ‘alternatives’ ( alternatives are only ‘alternative’ from the mainstream side of the street), maintaining the premise that self-recovery is not only possible, but is the norm, that this fact is not to be confused with critical necessity of support. One of the first options I’ve come across is Rational Recovery and AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Training).

Many will find this blog unpalatable and I’ve actually been hesitant with it. I don’t want to lose any friends over this — for now I’ve shared with just a few. Nor do I want to turn anyone off to what may be working beautifully for them. As I said before, the focus here is on myself, my ideas, my explorations, my journey, my search for the truth. I’ve lost the desire to use. My only goal now is to get as close to the fact of these matters as possible. I’m inquiring of my experiences: What really caused this? What was really moving inside when that happened? What was essential? What superfluous? Hopefully, this may be of benefit to other addicts and their families whose thought has been running along similar lines.