An Affirmative Declaration To Turn Away From Addiction

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A Decision To Inhale and Embrace Sobriety

I used to think that making a decision was taking the action. I now know that a decision is only an affirmative declaration of commitment to action that is about to follow.

Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God as we understood him.

 All Step Three requires of us is to make a decision. No action is required in this step. The decision we are being asked to make is to turn our thoughts and our actions over to the care of God (as we understood him). There is a second part to this step that I strongly suggest. Once you have made this decision, be sure to keep this decision in check for the rest of your life. Most people make the decision and promptly forget about it, and of course that won’t work. We need to make the decision and then fly with that decision like our lives depend upon it!

In other words we do NOT make the decision just for today or one day at a time, we make the decision for keeps, for good, for the rest of our days on earth. There is a permanent foundation of depth and weight in making a decision for the rest of your life compared to making a decision just for one day. We keep that decision in check one day at a time.

Once again please do not misunderstand this step. Step Three is NOT asking you to suddenly achieve the impossible by turning your will and your life over to the care of God this very moment. This would be almost impossible to achieve even for those who already have some kind of faith in a higher being. Step Three only requires you to make a DECISION to take the action necessary to turn your will and your life over to God as you understand God. And once again the program is designed to enable you to make this happen through the action you are about to take through all the steps.

For the purposes of Step Three a decision means to make an affirmative declaration of your intent to turn your will and your life over to new management. Our lives had become unmanageable and therefore we required new management and had to become willing to place our thoughts and actions under the governance of that new management.

There are however a few requirements before we take step Three:

First of all we needed to be convinced of these 3 crucial facts about ourselves;

A/ That we were indeed alcoholic.

B/ That no human power could relieve our alcoholism.

C/ That God could and would if he were sought.

If you are not convinced of these 3 pertinent ideas then there is no use in you proceeding any further. It’s that simple. By now you either are convinced you are alcoholic or not. You are convinced that all the so called human solutions to your drinking problem that you have tried in the past have failed. Things like only drinking beer, or clear spirits, only drinking in certain places with certain people, only drinking on a full stomach, spending more time in the gym or at work, or playing sport, or sorting out your relationship problems first, or going to church, or seeing a therapist and visiting your doctor more. The list could go on and on!

And having discovered that no human solution has worked for you, are you now convinced that God can relieve you of your alcoholism?

The other crucial idea that you need to be convinced of is that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.

First of all we have to understand what the term “self-will” means:

The New Oxford American Dictionary definition is: Obstinately doing what one wants in spite of the wishes or orders of others.

A 50 Pound Ball of Self-will White Fanged Muscle

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 I love to use the African Honey Badger as an example of a life run entirely on self-will, fearless self-will to a level that’s hard to believe to be true.The Honey Badger is a fearsome and fearless creature of monumental proportions. He takes what he wants, when he wants without question. I have seen video footage of a pride of Lion bumping into two honey badgers face to face on the same pathway, and the Lions deliberately changing their direction and avoiding the fearsome two at a healthy distance.  Self-willed beyond belief These monstrous animals are virtually indestructible and will survive even the venom of a Cobra’s bite, come back and kill the Cobra after they have had a 2 minute pass out period from the venom. They are prepared to be stung by hundreds of bees swarming to protect their honey from this relentless predator. Covered in a blanket of stinging bees the Honey Badger will relentlessly raid the bee hives without a hint of fear.

The Honey Badger will kill or destroy anything that gets in its way in its ravenous quest for survival and dominance. It not only steps on the toes of its fellow creatures, it is a tornado ripping through the lives of others around it leaving a wake of destruction behind. A more profound example of selfishness you will be hard pressed to find.

These creatures are highly intelligent and very manipulative in the animal kingdom. They will leverage anything at their disposal to get what they want. They control their personal kingdom with fear and shear belligerence, and have no respect for who or what they destroy along the way.

 This description of the Honey Badger sums up the nature of the alcoholic perfectly. In fact the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot. In my experience self-will was my desperate need to dominate and control anyone or anything that entered the arena of my life including the outcome of any given situation. I would go to any lengths to get what I wanted. If you are genuinely willing to go to any lengths to recover, then take a deep honest look at how you have run your life up until this moment.

Self- propulsion – What Goes Up Must Come Down!

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Most people live on self propulsion. It’s all about my wants, my needs, my desires, my plans and designs, my pain and fear, my dictating how other people should behave towards me and others, it’s all about me controling the final outcome of all circumstances and situations that revolve around my existence.

Any life run on self-will really boils down to “my life my rules”. My life was my kingdom and no one dare alter or change that! This thing called life has to be run my way and the odds must always be stacked in my favor even at the expense of those in close proximity to me. My life, my kingdom, my rules!

In other words I was God of myself, of my life and those around me. The only master I was willing to serve was alcohol. Everyone and everything else in my life eventually became irrelevant. I lived to drink and drank to live. If anyone attempted to threaten my alcoholic way of life they were either manipulated, controlled or expelled from my life. I took no prisoners along the beaten track of my morale disintegration. What a hopeless way to live!

The resultant behavior of a life run on self-will is driven by extreme self-seeking. We become obsessed about how we are feeling at any given moment in time. I came to realize that I had spent my life running away from the situations and circumstances that didn’t make me feel good. I had never learned how to face and take on the situations that made me feel bad, fearful or disturbed. As a result of this behavior I had no idea who I really was!

Selfishness, self-centerdness that we think is the root of our problems, driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-pity and self-delusion. The nature of this disease called alcoholism has no option but to promote selfish behavior, as the only way it can exist is to feed off the joy and happiness in the lives of the alcoholic and his loved-ones. It has to feast off something to survive.

Above all we must get rid of this selfishness, if we don’t it will kill us. Through our selfish and self-centered actions towards others, we had stepped on the toes of our fellows until they retaliated. This left us hurt and feeling unwanted but didn’t we set ourselves up to be hurt at a later stage even if some of our intentions were good?

In this state the wrong doing of others imagined or real had the power to kill us. When hurt or offended did we not reach for the bottle and engage in yet another drunken spree?. And to drink is to die. All along it was our own behaviour driven by self-will that upset others around us to a point they had no option but to take the required action to stop our selfish onslaught on them.

So we think our problems are of our own making, they arise out of ourselves.

Remember the requirement here is to be convinced that our lives run on self-will can hardly be a success. How do we become convinced? The answer to that question comes in Step Four as we take a fearless look at the truth of our reality and where this all went wrong for us. Step Four paints a vivid picture of how selfishness, self-centerdness and many other defects of character came to manifest inside and threatened to destroy us.

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

Discover, Uncover and Discard – Freedom From Addiction

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Searching Fearlessly To Discover The Blockages That Addiction Manifests

I used to insist that the past should stay in the past. My past has now become my greatest asset and is a conduit of God’s power within me.

 Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless morale inventory of our selves.

This step has changed my life beyond belief. This is where a dramatic change of perception takes place in the life of an alcoholic. This is where I discovered that alcoholism above all is just a disease of perception. This is where I started to look at life and people differently.

oliver-sjostrom-626042-unsplashI discovered at an early stage that all though I was attempting to hand over my screwed up life to God, I was still holding on to my will. In other words I was still holding on tooth and nail to my judgments and opinions of other people. It was like saying to God “here is my life and here is a list of demands of how it ought to go”. From this action I had remained in a state consumed and worried about myself and stressed about how God may not deliver in my life exactly what I expected.

I needed to dismantle the judgement machine which was my ego, the greatest blockage from God known to mankind. I still had this opinion of how my life should go, and this is what was killing me. This opinion is what had separated me from God and other people just about all my life. Untreated alcoholism is a very lonely business. Through my ego and self-will I had to always be right about everything. I liked being right. People who like being right a lot are very lonely people. I had become self-righteous and had developed an exaggerated sense of self-importance. In essence I had ended up being an awful person to be around without knowing it. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why all the good people in my life had abandoned me. This desperate need to be right about everything is what eventually chased everyone who ever cared about me out of my life and I found myself alone in the wilderness of resentment and anger towards those who had betrayed and deserted me. On top of this the alcohol I was consuming (by now in copious amounts) to remove the pain of rejection was no longer working. It was no longer delivering the effect of ease and comfort that I yearned for. In fact all alcohol was delivering to me was fear and bewilderment. That is when I came to experience the loneliness that only an alcoholic can know. And I had no idea of why or how this could of all happened. At this stage thoughts of taking my own life became as regular as changing my underpants.

So I needed to get down to the causes and conditions of where this all went wrong which is taking personal inventory. This is Step Four.

Taking inventory is taking stock of all the components that make up an entity, whether that entity is a business, a service or a person.

An entity that does not take regular stock usually goes bust including people. To be successful regular inventory is needed. Most humans have never taken personal inventory in their lives let alone regular stock take.

For a business it is taking stock of all valuable, redundant and damaged goods. In an alcoholic it is taking stock of our personal liabilities and assets. During this personal stock take, the alcoholic will discover what has been blocking him from God and the truth of his reality. Through personal inventory he will discover and uncover where his perspective on God, life and other people has been warped by his disease. To put it into simple terms our personal inventory is going to point out to us the obvious facts about ourselves that we could never see whilst existing in a state of untreated alcoholism.

Our inventory will point out to us where we have suffered from the delusion of processing our thoughts through the filter of lies and fantasy. It will expose where our thoughts are completely out of sync to our reality.

Why could we never see the truth of our reality before? Why does it require drastic action like a personal moral inventory to point out how wrong we have been about almost everything?

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The Great Delusion of Addiction

Alcoholics do not suffer from denial. Denial is far too weak of a word. Alcoholics suffer from something a lot more insidious than denial. We suffer from a delusion. In the case of the alcoholic, the delusion can be any kind of lie about our reality that we build up in our minds to be the truth. The classic lie that an alcoholics mind tells him every day is that he can control his drinking. Although its plain to see to those around him that he cannot control his drinking, the mind of the alcoholic demands of him to believe he can. When eventually the alcoholic comes to know that he has a problem with his lack of control over alcohol, the next delusion he suffers from is that he can bring his drinking under control by his own means.

The delusions that the alcoholic suffers from are endless. The only way to smash these delusions is for the alcoholic to take a fearless and thorough inventory of where his thinking has become delusional versus the truth of his reality. Only his truth can set him free.

 The resentment inventory

Resentment is public enemy number one! It destroys more alcoholics than alcohol itself. From resentment stems all forms of spiritual disease, above all we must get rid of resentment, if we don’t it will kill us. Even 17 years of sobriety does not guarantee immunity from me catching one or many resentments. If I stay in resentment too long I will eventually drink vodka. For some inexplicable reason, my alcoholic mind does not possess the skill or ability to process resentment in a healthy manner. I cling onto resentment like iron filings to a magnet, and as a result anger, fear, jealousy, self-pity, self-delusion and a host of other defects become a seething cauldron of toxic mass in the very annals of my soul. In this state irrational thoughts can quickly convert into a hundred angry conversations going on in my head with people who as far as I am concerned owe me apology or some kind of restitution. Before I take inventory for the first time in my life, my perspective is victim mode without me even realising it. My anger is justified no matter what. My side of the story is that I have been hurt tremendously by many others and that’s as far as I have got in life.

At this stage it is plain to see that some kind of powerful action is required to shift this painful and potentially fatal mindset to a place of serenity and peace. The Step Four resentment inventory is the first part of a divine mechanism which will provide sanctuary and restitution from our self-inflicted crisis.

Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

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Why Is It So Hard To Reach The Addict?

Addiction – A collapsed Perspective on Life

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In this blog I have decided to share with you part of the forward to my book Spirit On Fire The Journey Back From Addiction that I am currently writing. I have done this to hopefully inspire you into taking the first mighty step towards understanding addiction and recovery from addiction. Below is a quick video I shot to explain why families and loved one’s struggle to reach and make sense of the chaos in an addicts mind.

Below is the excerpt from my soon to be published book Spirit On Fire The Journey Back From Addiction. I hope you enjoy!

This book is dedicated to the ones who suffer from the incomprehensible loneliness that only an alcoholic or addict can know. The ones who wish for the end like I once did.

 Forward

“There is science and there is medicine…….and then there is something called heart! There are some things in life that science and medicine just don’t have the answers to, but the heart given the power and right direction can make the impossible possible” – Paul Nobes

I wrote this book to help separate you the reader from your suffering. Every chapter I write is designed as a mechanism of healing, a deep and rich experience of reverse engineering your perspective from dark and grey to a light and warm place in the sunlight.

I love stories. I love listening, reading, watching and telling stories. Stories bring the written and spoken word alive. Recovery from addiction is a live event. Recovery is an experience with a live event called healing. Stories are not an academic exercise. Recovery is not an academic exercise. I write my stories to entertain you and pull you through a profound experience called recovery from your addiction whatever that addiction may be. We all suffer from some kind of addiction. Each and every human being has developed some form of dependency whether it be dependency on a chemical, a person, or a type of behavior, no one is immune to this fact.

The global ignorance of what addiction really is fascinates me and distresses me at the same time. In the case of addiction, ignorance does kill. But what really blows my mind beyond belief, is the ignorance towards recovery from addiction. Just like cancer and diabetes, addiction is a primary disorder. There is no cure to addiction that I am aware of. I am not even going to consider going down the rabbit hole of argument and debate about who is wrong or right, what works and what does not work as far as addiction and recovery goes. What I will do is share with you a very powerful solution that has worked for me for 17 years, and has worked for millions of others around the world. I will leave it up to you the reader to take or leave what I have to offer. I am an extremely practical person, who detests time wasting. I would not have wasted my time writing this book if I thought I was wasting your time. That is the fact of my simplistic attitude towards recovery and life itself.

I have a story to tell the world about my addiction and my recovery from addiction. But first I need to share with you what kind of person I used to be. I do this so as not to waste your time. Once you know what kind of person I was and what kind of person I am now, Then only you can decide whether to read this book or not.

Through my addiction I have done the following:

I have broken the hearts of nearly every person that ever cared about me. Stolen from my employers, loved ones, my children, my parents, my creditors, my friends, whether it was money, time, emotional security or their trust, the list is endless.

I have lied to just about every person who has come in close contact with me.  I lied because I was afraid. Afraid of being found out, afraid of consequences and above all afraid of anyone finding out the real me, the ‘me’ that I detested with a passion.

I have driven drunk or high or both, many times in a state of functional black-out more than I dare to mention.

I have put alcohol and drugs before my family, my work and all the decent people who came in and out of my life.

I have manipulated sympathy and charity out of innocent people who had no idea of the morally corrupt individual they were dealing with and cared so much about.

I have on many occasions abandoned my children, family, and partners in far too many ways to mention just to get my next high, drunk or instant ease and comfort from a chemical.

For many years I behaved in such a selfish and self-centred manner, that people close to me had no option but to distance themselves entirely, and all I could do was blame them for my problems. I used to retreat into resentment and anger whilst plotting and carrying out revenge in subtle and manipulative ways. As far as I was concerned my problems were usually of other peoples making, and if it was not them, it was always circumstance, anything but me was the root of my problems.

I was a brooding perfectionist with psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies, and would take no prisoners in order to hold loved ones as emotional hostages I desperately needed to validate my existence as a human being. I would seek approval and acceptance from just about anyone who entered the arena of my life, and devour in some form or manner those who did not give me what I wanted.

I am an alcoholic and addict of the chronic type. A real alcoholic who was once a hopeless case.

What kind of person am I now? I am still an alcoholic and addict of the chronic type. However I have been sober and clean for 17 years as I write this book. I am an alcoholic who has recovered from the seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

So what does this mean. It means that by nature I am no longer selfish and self-centred to the extreme. As a result I live my life based on principles directly opposed to my behaviour whilst I was drinking and using drugs. The man I have described previously no longer exists as long as I continue to put into action certain principles of integrity and honesty in my life.

I have had a complete change of perspective on life and my view of the world.

I would like to share with you how I have achieved this. I have written this book to serve you and the many who still suffer from intolerable pain.

For those of you who have been following my blogs, you would have been introduced to the solution to the primary disorder called addiction. I will continue to write and share more about addiction and the solution to addiction – my passion!

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

 

Came To Believe

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The Solution To Lack Of Power

Why do we require a power greater than ourselves as a solution to our addiction? We have discovered that alcohol/drugs is merely a symptom, our real dilemma is that we lack power over alcohol/drugs. Lack of power is the alcoholic’s/addicts problem.

Why did we lack power in the first place? At a certain stage of our drinking, alcohol had become our master and we had developed a manner of living that revolved entirely around serving our master king alcohol. Everything else became secondary.

In my case I believe that at certain stages of my drinking, alcohol had become a powerful tool in my search for God, my search for a solution to the emptiness inside of me. Once I started drinking and the euphoric effect of ease and comfort was experienced, I had no need for God. Why would I need God if alcohol delivered my solution? It is at this point where I believe that, subconsciously I separated from God and lack of power became my problem without me even knowing it.

So we need a new power and obviously it has to be a power greater than ourselves.

All Step Two requires of us is the willingness to consciously turn our attention towards a higher power, regardless of what that power may be. Remember you have an obsession of the mind that is desperately seeking ease and comfort which used to come from alcohol. It is now time to seek that ease and comfort in something that will save your life and not destroy it.

In my case before I agreed to sign up for any kind of program, I first needed assurance that I would gain ease and comfort from this higher power and this effect would be available whenever I desired it. As an alcoholic and addict there is no other way I could imagine life without knowing as fact that my ravenous mind’s insatiable appetite would be satisfied constantly by whatever was on offer to feed it. The extraordinary power that I have accessed through my connection to God has not only satisfied my obsession, it has delivered  a manner of living beyond my own capabilities and wildest dreams.

My higher power who I choose to call God without apology, is the reason I still walk this earth sober and clean and the world is a better place because of that.

I was agnostic in the beginning and I am now a believer beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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At this point it is crucial to understand that Step Two does NOT require you to develop a belief in a higher power immediately. For most of us this would be impossible and improbable. Step Two is asking us to become willing to believe that a force bigger than ourselves can pull us past the pain and suffering taking place in our minds right now. Our belief in a higher power will manifest and grow in us as we work through the rest of the steps and the good news is, this belief just comes automatically if we stick to the task ahead.

So please do not put yourself under any kind of pressure to develop a faith or belief. Let the program do that for you, it’s what the program is designed to do. The reason I mention this, is because all too often I have witnessed alcoholics in recovery completely misunderstand this step, put pressure on themselves to engage a belief (an almost impossible task on your own) and end up frustrated and hopeless and as a result they give up on the program and drink again. To drink is to die.

In the beginning we begged of you to cast aside your prejudice and approach this program with an open, honest and willing mind. It is now time to deploy that mental blank canvas and understand that by doing so you have just stepped assertively towards your fears, your hopelessness and that feeling of uselessness. This is a We program of action. You are no longer alone and there is now the gift of hope as you start to engage the power you have lacked all along. Who in their right mind would not want power? the power essential to overcome such traumatic adversity like alcoholism? In the beginning I didn’t care who or what that higher power was, all I wanted was peace from the war raging in my mind, body and soul. If this higher power could save me from this horrendous way of life, then sign me up! Let’s get going!

I didn’t ask to become an alcoholic, but it was at this stage for the first time ever I came to realize that it was now my responsibility to accept the help on offer and to do something about my addiction. Only I could make this happen with help from above and others around me. Gradually my self-pity and fear began to fade and acceptance started to very subtly work its way into my heart. My rebirth had begun.

I have come to love the simplicity of the 12 Steps. All Step Two is asking of us is to make a commitment to be willing to now turn our attention away from the self-directed life we have been living and to now focus on a God-directed life instead.

Walking The Steps Towards Faith

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This is not about magically gaining faith and belief out of nowhere. Remember just for today hope is our form of belief here. Hope is our driver. Step Two uses the description “came to believe”, this describes a process of action that will take place as we progress through the 12 Steps.

Ask me to suddenly develop a belief in God and I will tell you that just isn’t going to happen. But what does happen here is as we work through the steps we start having a profound experience with the steps. The steps are designed to help us enlist the help of a power greater than ourselves. Therefore if we end up having an experience with the steps, we will start having an experience with God. Once we start having an experience with God, we start accessing his power. If we work the steps this just happens automatically. We don’t have to do anything else but the work required.  God’s power just comes! How cool is that.

Remember this is a God, a higher power of your own understanding. A lot of people get confused here. Please understand that the 12 Step program is no one’s religion. It is entirely up to you who or what your higher power becomes. Let no man or woman try and convince you otherwise.

The great fact is this and nothing less, deep down in every man, woman and child the idea of God exists. You can walk out onto the street right now and ask complete strangers of different ages and from various walks of life if they have heard of God. I don’t think any will say no. All people have an idea of God. Whether they believe in God or not is not the issue here. What is crucial is that we become willing to turn our consciousness towards a God of our own understanding.

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If you have no idea or maybe you have a negative and fearful conception of God, then why not do what I did in the beginning. I first asked myself how would I like my God to be?  I immediately put pen to paper and wrote the following:

I would like the God of my understanding to be the following;

  • Kind
  • Forgiving
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Loving
  • Wise
  • Powerful
  • Must love alcoholics like me

This was to become my conception of God in my life and still is to this day. Nothing less and so much more that is good and powerful.

Anyone is capable of developing and coming to believe in their own conception of God. For folks like us alcoholics this is our only chance at life. Do not fool yourself here. Your life from this moment on is entirely reliant on connecting with the God of your understanding and accessing his power. Nothing short of achieving this will overcome your problem, nothing!

As a result of our alcoholic way of life we now find ourselves staring down the barrel of our  Self – imposed crisis that we can longer out run. Our backs are against the wall and there is no escape.

It is at this point of no return that we have no choice but to accept that either God is everything now or he is nothing. Either he is or he isn’t. What was our choice to be?

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

 

Escape The Prison Of An Unmanageable Life

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Step One – Admit You’re Life Is Upside Down or Perish

 I used to think that winning any battle was to defeat one’s enemy. I now know that one has to surrender to one’s own weakness in order to achieve victory.

 I believe that the greatest enemy to mankind is his ego. The ego separates the alcoholic from the truth of his own reality and therefore makes it almost impossible for him to identify and admit he is lost, defeated and doomed to die an alcoholic death. However if you have the capacity to be honest with yourself and have understood exactly what it means to be a real alcoholic, then you may be ready to admit that you are lost and may be suffering from a primary disorder called alcoholism.

Cannot See The Woods For The Trees?

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I cannot emphasize enough how crucial it is to understand precisely what it means to be alcoholic. Then only you can decide if you are suffering from a disease that can only be treated with a spiritual solution. By the way save yourself the agony of “sitting on the fence” about this. It’s like being pregnant, you either are or you are not! You have to decide which one you are. If you have decided that you are alcoholic then I welcome you with open arms to the miracle of a second crack at life called a spiritual solution. If you are still not sure then I suggest you step into the nearest bar and try some controlled drinking. Try this method for a few weeks if needed. Only you need to be convinced and alcohol will be the decider one way or the other. If you find that you cannot control your drinking but are still not convinced you are alcoholic, then you are indeed suffering from the illusion that every alcoholic suffers from.

The illusion that the alcoholic suffers from is that one day or presently he might be able to control his drinking and this is the great self- betrayal that every alcoholic has uploaded permanently in his mind. Most alcoholics chase this delusion all the way to their painful death. If the alcoholic is to have any chance of recovery this delusion must be smashed! It has been proved beyond doubt the no real alcoholic ever gains control over his drinking. This is the first step to freedom from the bondage of alcohol. Your delusion needs to be destroyed or you will perish. This is the first Step of recovery.

Trying to control my drinking was like attempting to do battle with a formidable and invisible Goliath sized foe. I would get beat-up every day in the ring dominated by the king of addiction called the delusion of controlled drinking.

Step one asks me to admit that I have been defeated for the last time and calls out to me to stay out of the ring from this moment on. What is the use of fighting anymore if you cannot win?

Remember our problem is not alcohol our problem is we lack power over alcohol. We take a drink and lose all power of choice and control over alcohol. This is the first part of step one.

The second part of step one is being convinced by overwhelming evidence of your drinking track record that your life had become a train wreck. Simple as that. Even if you are a drunk like I was, who was a functional drinker, still working, still in a relationship and of good earning capacity, what is it like living in your head and walking in your shoes at the moment? Is it all good? If you take a hard and honest look at your experience of living your life desperately trying to control your drinking and managing the consequences, what does that look like to you right now? If your answer is “it’s awful” then I got bad news for you, soon it will get worse if you continue to drink. This is yet another fact, believe me when I say that it will get worse than it already is.

Are You Drowning In Your Own Head?

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  • Are you at peace with the world and others around you?
  • How’s your financial situation?
  • What is your family life like?
  • How is your job or career going?
  • What happens when you take a drink?
  • What happens after your drinking sprees?
  • Have you tried different methods to control your drinking and all have eventually failed?
  • Do you find yourself living from one lie to the next when it comes to covering up your drinking habits?
  • Are you faithful to your partner?
  • What does the future look like for you right now?

The list of questions one could ask here is endless. If you take a good look at these questions, can you honestly say that you have it all under control and are managing your life well?

Or has your life spiralled out of control and you have become incapable of managing it back to any kind of sanity? What is it really like living in your head right now? Is it chaotic up there? Unbearable up there? Unmanageable up there?

Have your thoughts and your actions (your life in other words) become unmanageable? If you can answer this question with a resounding yes! Then you are well on your way through step one.

Time For Change – Let Go Of The Pain

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Once we have admitted defeat to the beating alcohol dished out to us, our lives will begin to change dramatically for the better. To admit defeat is to immediately engage the power that is on offer through this program. There cannot be any shadow of a doubt in your mind that you are alcoholic, none whatsoever! This has to come from within you. It is called the step one experience, it is an internal shift of perspective so dramatic that it opens up the mind of the alcoholic to the truth of his reality that he has been running from all his life. The step one experience calls on the alcoholic to stop in his tracks, turn around, and face his ultimate truth. An alcoholic will only do this if he is given powerful evidence and explanation of why his life has become so shattered. He will only be able to face his reality if his experience matches the experience of what it means to be an alcoholic.

The power of the step one experience comes in the gift of hope. By admitting defeat he can now receive the solution, the power, higher power. Life has begun to take on a new meaning, a higher purpose of recovery and healing. The war is over!

Having understood your dilemma now and engaging the Step One experience, it is now time to take a bold step into the solution without delay!

Congratulations life is about to become juicy!

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

 

 

 

The Mental Darkness Of Addiction

The problem of the addict centers in his mind.

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Feeding The Dark Wolf

I have this internal condition that condemns me to seek approval from others every day of my life. It is a never ending internal dialogue of desperate need to be accepted, liked and loved for who I am. Yet I have no idea who I am. My addiction to others approval of me is blatant and yet my thoughts deny this fact. Despite this I am terrified the world will find out who I really am and if the world knew the truth about me, I would be rejected and cast out by the very ones I seek approval from. This is my big secret to keep from the world. I come to realize that my thoughts and actions towards others are bizarre. Although I desperately seek to be accepted for who I am, I keep the truth of who I am hidden from the world. In other words I want you to love me for the person I am but I will make sure you never know the real me. You are to accurately read me as the lovable and likeable person that I  think I am without discovering the truth about me. This internal condition I suffer from is strangely insane and yet my confused state of mind assures me that my behaviour is perfectly valid. This alcoholic way of thinking becomes the only normal way of life for me as after a while of living in this frightened state of existence, I cannot see the truth from the false.

As long as I can remember I have always felt that I am not enough and therefore not liked and loved. A feeling of incompleteness and separation from other people dominate my thoughts and behavior. This is my approach towards anyone who enters the arena of my life. Although I always feel less than others, I will mentally dissect those around me through my judgement and opinion of them just to feel like I am on the same playing field. Yet when I am alone I retreat back into my state of desolation and separation from world. As a result of this I always feel awful about myself.

The truth of my reality is that I have an obsession of the mind that I have no control over. This obsession demands of me that I seek refuge from the mental onslaught of never feeling enough. It condemns me to seek ease and comfort from my feelings of incompleteness and always being aware that I am less than everyone and everything. It is like an internal itch that always needs to be scratched, and the more I scratch the quicker it spreads.

My very first alcoholic beverage instantly converted my feelings of incompleteness into a euphoric sense of ease and comfort. After consuming a few beers nothing mattered, I did not care anymore about my perceived own inadequacies or what people thought of me. The alcohol quietened down the constant self loathing chatter in my mind. It granted me freedom from my feelings of separation and isolation from others. It silenced the fear that had owned me all my life. The effect produced by alcohol was like divine intervention of blissful calm over the troubled waters of my ever busy mind. It made me feel like I was finally enough. Good enough for anyone or any situation I would have to face in life. The effect was magical. Who in their right mind would not want to feel like this? It was a feeling of ultimate power within me and control of all of those around me. This was my kingdom now where I could rule my universe and nothing else mattered.

This is the exact point where the alcoholic or addict falls prey to the tragedy of his/her own obsession of the mind. The obsession has finally been silenced with the effect of ease and comfort delivered by alcohol and for a while it appears to vanish under the temporary shadow of mild or severe intoxication. This is usually the point of no return for the alcoholic. This was my point of no return 38 years ago and I had no idea of what was happening to me let alone the darkness of addiction that was yet to come.

After my first encounter with alcohol I find myself thinking extremely fond thoughts of getting drunk again soon, of consuming that powerful effect so potent, nothing can harm me when I am full of this magical power delivered by alcohol. I feel a sense of profound excitement every time I think of drinking again. It is like my whole existence has taken on a new meaning, it felt like I had finally arrived at a place within myself I could call completeness and peace, a place that I could call my home. I finally felt like I belonged (although I had no idea what I belonged to), and the only fear I had was that my next drunk may be a bit too far away for me to cope with.

Every time I thought of my next drunk, a sense of ease and comfort overcame me, and for a short period of time I felt at peace with the world and others around me. I had never felt like this before. I was the guy who always felt like the fly in the ointment or the disharmony in the choir. I preferred to lurk in the shadows of life where others seemed to love their exposure to their groups. I always felt like the outcast of my tribe, and yet when I drank I felt like their king. For many years in the exile of my drinking did I consider this way of thinking and behaving abnormal in any kind of way. By default this behavior became the only ordinary way of life for me, a life of self torment commuting from the dark shadows of self loathing to the bright lights of my egocentric alcoholic Disney World. Fantasy and lies ruled my mind for many years.

Delusion – A lie that one believes to be the truth

At this point it is not hard to see that I was in fact suffering from a delusion so insipid, it could make a Hyena blush and cower from its kill. This delusion convinced me every day of my life for 21 years that I had full control of my drinking throttles and that drinking was indeed very good for me despite the overwhelming evidence that drinking was really a very bad idea.

The delusion that I suffered from was so powerful, had it not been for the intervention on me and my drinking, I would have faithfully followed my delusion to the alcoholic graveyard.

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To sum it up in simple terms, an alcoholic drinks essentially for the effect delivered by alcohol. This effect is an almost euphoric sense of ease and comfort, a deep feeling that all is good. Therefore alcohol was just a symptom and the effect of ease and comfort becomes the alcoholic’s solution to a life he fears to face all alone. Alcohol is the alcoholic’s medication that treats his internal problem of incompleteness and separation from others. Alcohol appears to put a broken and shattered life back together again. This is the great betrayal that alcohol sells the alcoholic. Unfortunately for every alcoholic or addict the fact is that one day without warning the effect of ease and comfort disappears and the more chemical that is consumed the more loneliness and fear becomes the effect that is delivered. Slowly but surely the addict endures this loneliness to a point where he starts to wish for the end. Long gone are the glory days of infectious and exciting intoxication, only to be replaced with the black abyss of terror and bewilderment. A constant feeling of impending doom is the awakening thought and all hopes and dreams of a peaceful and productive life are shattered by the agony of knowing there is something dreadfully wrong. It is like an unnamed emotion that feels like death itself.

The real terror is born out of the hideous realization that there is no way out of the dark deep hole of incomprehensible despair. This is a place of ultimate suffering and humiliation that only an addict can know – the place of “No way out”.

It is the day that arrives for every addict where he realizes that drinking or drugging is no longer working for him and not drinking or drugging is not working for him, and there is absolutely no friendly direction at hand. All he can think of doing is checking out of his misery.

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

 

The Alcoholics Physical Reaction To Alcohol

Why The Alcohol Lacks The Power Of Choice and Control Over Alcohol

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Ever wondered why once you have one drink, ten or twenty are not enough? Why is it that normal drinkers can have one or two drinks, walk away satisfied and yet the alcoholic is just getting warmed up after two and cannot stop once he starts?

Let me describe what would happen to me, the alcoholic, once I took a drink;

I have already described the reason why I was so desperately attracted to alcohol in the first place, I became obsessed with the effect of ease and comfort alcohol gave me. After all who in their right mind would not want such a powerful force inside of them, a force that could take on anything that life had to throw your way?

This is the mental short circuit that takes place in the mind of an alcoholic. On top of this mental condition, there is also a physical reaction that takes place.

When I take a drink, I break out in an irresistible yearning for another drink. The only thing that will satisfy this yearning is another drink. This physical reaction occurs with every drink I take and can only be satisfied with another. When I drink the drink takes me. This is where I lose the power of choice and control over alcohol and I could never accurately predict how many drinks I would have in one sitting. This physical action of alcohol on the alcoholic was described by Dr Silkworth as a phenomenon of craving. It is a physical allergy in the alcoholic, which means an abnormal reaction. This allergic reaction to alcohol only occurs in the alcoholic and never in the average temperate drinker. It has been proved beyond doubt that these allergic types of drinkers can NEVER use alcohol safely. The insanity of it all is that the alcoholic has no idea that this abnormal reaction is happening to him every time he drinks. No idea what so ever.

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Now you know why once you start you cannot stop! Surely then all you have to do is stay away from the first drink? But you can’t stay away can you? Like me you have gone through dry periods where you have promised yourself and maybe others that you are done! Cutting down! Laying off the booze! But you can never stay stopped can you? As an alcoholic I could never ever achieve permanent abstinence from booze. I would at some stage find myself picking up the first drink, the one and only drink I should never take! Once that happened the rest was history. I would emerge remorseful full of promises of “never again!” and yet at some stage after the next spree would occur and the hideous cycle would happen again and again. Why? Why can I never put it down and leave it down? Well remember alcoholics have this mental obsession for the effect. An obsession so powerful that even wild horses cannot keep him from drinking. Driven by the overwhelming desire for the effect produced by alcohol, the alcoholic takes his first drink, the physical allergy kicks in and all bets are off!

This insidious cycle of self-destruction becomes the only normal way of life for the alcoholic and although he tries desperately to control and overcome his drinking under his own power, the fact is he lacks power over alcohol and does not even know it. It is not hard to observe by now that the alcoholics dilemma is pretty hopeless. Alcoholism is in actual fact a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. It is a level of insanity that is beyond human understanding and yet as real as night and day.

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Paul Nobes – Author and addictions specialist.

 

Alcoholism – The No 1 Reason For Relapse Is Not Understanding The Problem

Understanding The Primary Disorder Called Alcoholism

 We suffer not from the events in our lives. But from our judgement about them! – Epictetus

 20170411_071324Lost In the Wilderness of Addiction

“The alcoholic suffers from an obsession of the mind that condemns him to drink against his will” – Dr William Silkworth

Alcoholism Part One – The Mental Obsession

I have this internal condition that condemns me to seek approval from others every day of my life. It is a never ending internal dialogue of desperate need to be accepted, liked and loved for who I am. Yet I have no idea who I am. My addiction to others approval of me is blatant and yet my thoughts deny this fact. Despite this I am terrified the world will find out who I really am and if the world knew the truth about me, I would be rejected and cast out by the very ones I seek approval from. This is my big secret to keep from the world. I come to realize that my thoughts and actions towards others are bizarre. Although I desperately seek to be accepted for who I am, I keep the truth of who I am hidden from the world. In other words I want you to love me for the person I am but I will make sure you never know the real me. You are to accurately read me as the lovable and like able person that I am think I am without discovering the truth about me. This internal condition I suffer from is strangely insane and yet my confused state of mind assures me that my behaviour is perfectly valid. This alcoholic way of thinking becomes the only normal way of life for me as after a while of living in this frightened state of existence, I cannot see the truth from the false.

The problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind.

As long as I can remember I have always felt that I am not enough and therefore not liked and loved. A feeling of incompleteness and separation from other people dominate my thoughts and behaviour. This is my approach towards anyone who enters the arena of my life. Although I always feel less than others, I will mentally dissect those around me through my judgement and opinion of them just to feel like I am on the same playing field. Yet when I am alone I retreat back into my state of desolation and separation from world. As a result of this I always feel awful about myself.

The truth of my reality is that I have an obsession of the mind that I have no control over. This obsession demands of me that I seek refuge from the mental onslaught of never feeling enough. It condemns me to seek ease and comfort from my feelings of incompleteness and always being aware that I am less than everyone and everything. It is like an internal itch that always needs to be scratched, and the more I scratch the quicker it spreads.

My very first alcoholic beverage instantly converted my feelings of incompleteness into a euphoric sense of ease and comfort. After consuming a few beers nothing mattered, I did not care anymore about my perceived own inadequacies or what people thought of me. The alcohol quietened down the constant self loathing chatter in my mind. It granted me freedom from my feelings of separation and isolation from others. It silenced the fear that had owned me all my life. The effect produced by alcohol was like divine intervention of blissful calm over the troubled waters of my ever busy mind. It made me feel like I was finally enough. Good enough for anyone or any situation I would have to face in life. The effect was magical. Who in their right mind would not want to feel like this? It was a feeling of ultimate power within me and control of all of those around me. This was my kingdom now where I could rule my universe and nothing else mattered.

This is the exact point where the alcoholic or addict falls prey to the tragedy of his/her own obsession of the mind. The obsession has finally been silenced with the effect of ease and comfort delivered by alcohol and for a while it appears to vanish under the temporary shadow of mild or severe intoxication. This is usually the point of no return for the alcoholic. This was my point of no return 38 years ago and I had no idea of what was happening to me let alone the darkness of addiction that was yet to come.

After my first encounter with alcohol I find myself thinking extremely fond thoughts of getting drunk again soon, of consuming that powerful effect so potent, nothing can harm me when I am full of this magical power delivered by alcohol. I feel a sense of profound excitement every time I think of drinking again. It is like my whole existence has taken on a new meaning, it felt like I had finally arrived at a place within myself I could call completeness and peace, a place that I could call my home. I finally felt like I belonged (although I had no idea what I belonged to), and the only fear I had was that my next drunk may be a bit too far away for me to cope with.

Every time I thought of my next drunk, a sense of ease and comfort overcame me, and for a short period of time I felt at peace with the world and others around me. I had never felt like this before. I was the guy who always felt like the fly in the ointment or the disharmony in the choir. I preferred to lurk in the shadows of life where others seemed to love their exposure to their groups. I always felt like the outcast of my tribe, and yet when I drank I felt like their king. For many years in the exile of my drinking did I consider this way of thinking and behaving abnormal in any kind of way. By default this behaviour became the only ordinary way of life for me, a life of self torment commuting from the dark shadows of self loathing to the bright lights of my egocentric alcoholic Disney World. Fantasy and lies ruled my mind for many years.

At this point it is not hard to see that I was in fact suffering from a delusion so insipid, it could make a Hyena blush and cower from its kill. This delusion convinced me every day of my life for 21 years that I had full control of my drinking throttles and that drinking was indeed very good for me despite the overwhelming evidence that drinking was really a very bad idea. Phew! Glad I got that off my chest!

The delusion that I suffered from was so powerful, had it not been for the intervention on me and my drinking, I would have faithfully followed my delusion to the alcoholic graveyard.

To sum it up in simple terms, an alcoholic drinks essentially for the effect delivered by alcohol. This effect is an almost euphoric sense of ease and comfort, a deep feeling that all is good. Therefore alcohol was just a symptom and the effect of ease and comfort becomes the alcoholic’s solution to a life he fears to face all alone. Alcohol is the alcoholic’s medication that treats his internal problem of incompleteness and separation from others. Alcohol appears to put a broken and shattered life back together again. This is the great betrayal that alcohol sells the alcoholic. Unfortunately for every alcoholic or addict the fact is that one day without warning the effect of ease and comfort disappears and the more chemical that is consumed the more loneliness and fear becomes the effect that is delivered. Slowly but surely the addict endures this loneliness to a point where he starts to wish for the end. Long gone are the glory days of infectious and exciting intoxication, only to be replaced with the black abyss of terror and bewilderment. A constant feeling of impending doom is the awakening thought and all hopes and dreams of a peaceful and productive life are shattered by the agony of knowing there is something dreadfully wrong. It is like an unnamed emotion that feels like death itself.

The real terror is born out of the hideous realization that there is no way out of the dark deep hole of incomprehensible despair. This is a place of ultimate suffering and humiliation that only an addict can know – the place of “No way out”.

It is the day that arrives for every addict where he realizes that drinking or drugging is no longer working for him and not drinking or drugging is not working for him, and there is absolutely no friendly direction at hand. All he can think of doing is checking out of his misery.

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Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist

Paul is the founder/owner of GHOL (Get High On Life) Recovery From Addictions Services

 

 

Step Zero: Willing To Go To Any Lengths

“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.”

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We are told before we start working the program of recovery that we need to be “willing to go to any lengths” to overcome our addiction. Why do we need to take such extreme action? Why can we not just trundle through the 12 Steps and live happy ever after?

The alcoholic finally gets to a point where he has ONLY two options and one choice that he can make. These options are; Die the alcoholic death or work a spiritual program of action. To me some of this was extreme action. If you are alcoholic then deluding yourself into believing that there may be easier, softer options available could be fatal. In my case as an alcoholic I either need a lot of vodka or a lot of God. My disease will not settle for anything less.  It is not possible to have both, my disease will take one or the other and that is entirely up to me which option I take.

What does being willing to go to any lengths mean? It begins with the alcoholic accepting the truth of his situation, the truth of his reality.

Acceptance of one’s reality as an alcoholic is defying the law of addiction. It is the act of surrendering a deluded mind warped by our drinking into accepting that we are in actual fact not in control of our drinking and we are indeed lost in the wilderness of addiction.

Acceptance of one’s own dilemma can be explained in many ways.

I like to explain the act of surrender with a heart warming story about an Elephant that completely defined her own life purpose against all the laws of nature and logic. My understanding of surrender to my reality came through powerfully as I witnessed the event I am about to describe.

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During a weekend vacation at a wildlife sanctuary near Harare we came across an astonishing example of perspective re engineered.

A few miles into one of our game drives in the park, we observed the massive shape of a female elephant emerging from the afternoon shade of the Msasa trees. The elephant was closely followed by a substantial herd of buffalo following her in an organised single file. The elephant came to a halt 50 metres from where we were parked and the buffalo immediately surrounded her and set about their task of peacefully grazing. The elephant stood guard over the grazing buffalo with a watchful eye.

We all realized at once that we were witnessing a complete freak of nature right before our eyes.

It was almost impossible to accept the scene taking place in front of us, and yet there existed a sense of natural acceptance within this total mismatch of nature. It was not hard to see that the Elephant had accepted the buffalo as her tribe, and was the fearless matriarch of the herd. The buffalo were at peace whilst feeding under the protection of their larger than life leader.

How had this happened?

The elephant was a rescued orphan and had been the first elephant to arrive on site a few years ago. There were established herds of buffalo roaming the plains of the game park and the elephant had chosen to set about her task of acceptance into what she perceived to be her tribe. Her natural instinct for survival had obviously driven her to adopt and dominate the herd of buffalo. She had gone to the extreme lengths of putting her life on the line to achieve her place in the herd by defending her leadership against potentially dominant male buffalo who had made the mistake of challenging her authority and she had fought many of them to the death. She obviously didn’t give a hoot about her physical differences and was at peace with her tribe and her role to play as leader of pack.

This elephant had achieved what we may consider impossible. Our game guide had mentioned in the beginning that the elephant was mentally and physically confused. I had to disagree, to me she had ended up in a situation which left her no option but to accept reality of being the only elephant on site. She obviously had identified that becoming part of the buffalo herd was her only chance of survival and she had become willing to go to any lengths to achieve that regardless of her differences to the others.

To me it was a wild animal accepting her reality, and setting about the task of adapting to her potentially fatal situation to suit the new environment she found herself in. In other words instead of trying to change the world around her to suit herself, she changed her attitude to suit the world around her. As a result one could see she had found freedom within her adopted herd and elephant and buffalo lived together in harmony. An almost impossibility had become a small miracle of nature.

Before taking Step 1 we are asked if we are willing to go to any lengths to achieve sobriety. Being willing to do this is a requirement, it’s what qualifies us to work the program of recovery.

In other words we are being asked this question: “Are you now willing for the first time to adopt a new attitude towards life? Are you ready to disengage from your drinking, cease fighting anything and everything and become willing to change your attitude from insisting that the world fits into your life to suit you, to you fitting into the world around you?. Are you willing to join a new tribe, a new herd and adapt your attitude to suit the herd and not your own selfish means that have nearly destroyed you?

I call this requirement of willingness to go to any lengths Step Zero. It is a futile exercise taking Step One if you have not taken Step Zero. If you have not accepted the truth of your reality then Step One is a futile exercise. If you have not accepted your lack of power over choice and control of alcohol, then taking Step Zero is impossible.