The art work above was done in recovery at Cal State Bakersfield, Bakersfield,

It is a picture of my life and its formless complexity.  It is what I am powerless

Often, I am into the self punishing insanity of try to fix it, rather than remember the
three C's, I did not create it (I did not make myself, your, or our world, whatever it
is), I cannot cure your problems or control them (I cannot even cure or control my

Recovery from this madness? It is all about wanting what you have rather than
having what you want, an attitude of gratitude, and GROWTH, for addicts and
alcoholics and codependents this means: G = go to meetings, R = read big books,
basic texts of recovery literature (Big Book of AA, Basic Text of NA, SLAA, etc),
O = one day at a time don't do your bottom line (drink, drug, use, act out, etc.), W
= work the 12 steps, T = talk to your sponsor and support group, H = help others
and do service, you can't keep it unless you give it away.

Above all, keep it simple, first things first, let go an let God (your Good Orderly
Direction), easy does it, live and let live, it is an inside job.  The screw that is
screwing you is your own screw and its is not held by the other guy but is buried
deep in you.  Until you find it and unscrew the resentment, pain, fear, hate, anger
and deep sadness that is blocking your inner door, nothing really good can come
to you.  Because all the good things come from inside.  No deep joy, love, peace,
hope can enter through that door that is blocked by your anger and fear and pain.

So stop punishing your self by trying to do something to be proud of and brag
about, stop punishing your self with lust and pride and greed and drink and drugs
(or codependence on drunks and addicts in your life).  You are just making a mess
that justifies the way that you turn against yourself.  You can never meet your own
impossible standards for yourself anyway.  Accept who you are as your are in
your human foolishness and find the screw that is really loose inside.  The screw
of hate and anger and self-pity and paranoia and anxiety and lack of faith you have
used to screw shut the door to inner joy and peace. Unscrew that screwy screw
you are using to screw yourself up.  Let go of the screwdriver of anger and fear
and hate that drives that screwy screw.  Surrender, give up your screwdriver (and
the screw---it is your insanity you know) and surrender to gratitude and inner joy
(to sanity).

This is a multilevel process.  It requires 12 step work to break loose from the
addiction and codependence that has bound us to insane behavior.  It requires
psychotherapy at various levels to free us from bondage to bad mental health.  It
requires meditation and prayer to develop good spiritual health.  Good spiritual
health is rooted in good spiritual communication in the form of prayer (talking to
higher power, God, Buddhamind, Ecology of the Cosmos, etc) and meditation
(listening to higher power).  Prayer and meditation can be nothing more than
watching and breathing from the deep heart.

Self love is the basis for loving others and requires care at all levels: good physical
and emotional and mental and social and spiritual health.  Spiritual is a higher level
of integration, of wholeness that generates an ecology of mind like that described
in  Gregory Bateson's "Steps to an Ecology of Mind." (See references elsewhere
on this site).

Each portion adds 10 percent (or more) to recovery.  Healthy exercise, eating,
socialization, family, work, education, spirituality, meeting attendance, service to
others, psychological health, etc.  The person who stays sober and lives well is
likely to have generated  good health in at least two of three of the above and the
person who relapses, or is unhappy in recovery, has often found good health in
only a third or less.  Recovery is necessarily a multidimensional thing, of which the
art work shown at the top of this page, is one of many dimensions, dimensions of
my own mental health and recovery.

Drugs and alcohol are only beneficial within a limited window.  The drug must be
selected by a professional and must fit the neurological and/or physical need like a
screw driver fits the screw.  Badly selected drugs, abused drugs render
permanent damage.  It is the same with alcohol.

Some brain systems are more easily disturbed by drugs and alcohol than others.  
It there is a tendency for too much dopamine to be present in the brain system at
the wrong time and place along with too little seratonin and gaba, the brain system
can be like a run away cart without brakes.  A genetic tendency in this direction
can be a set up for environmental stress and drug and alcohol abuse that further
damages behavioral and social systems.

It is not a question of quantity of substance use, but how you used it and what it
did to you.  If there is any indication of psychological and social damage, alcohol
and drug use should be stopped and further use avoided.