Has this ever happened to you?
You realize you have messed up your life due to alcohol (or some other drug), so you make a solemn vow to mend your ways. This time you are serious, yet within a few hours, your pledge is forgotten as you hurry along to your favorite bar, wine shop, or drug dealer.
I went through this same scenario over and over again. It was like there were two Pauls – the ‘Good Paul’ who nagged me for being a failure, and ‘Bad Paul’ who only cared about where the next drink was coming from.
‘Good Paul’ usually took over when the shit hit the fan – i.e. the morning after I had done something particularly stupid or felt too hungover to stomach any more booze (which meant I had to spend the morning shaking, vomiting, sometimes hallucinating, and often wishing I was dead).
‘Bad Paul’ was in charge when the shit was able to swerve the fan or as soon as I felt better from my most recent disaster. ‘Bad Paul’ could placate ‘Good Paul’ with promises like ‘we could always try again next week’ or justifications such as ‘you are obviously not ready to quit, so drinking more will help you get ready’.
During the periods when I was able to stop drinking, I discovered that ‘Good Paul’ could be an unreasonable bully who was never satisfied with anything I did. This voice saw life as a perpetual self-improvement project, where I would always be striving to be ‘worthy’ but never actually reaching the goal. ‘Good Paul’ could make life so unbearable that I needed a drink just to get away from him.
From Desperation Comes Insight
This inner battle between the two Pauls made my life miserable. Eventually, I became so desperate that I decided that even just being ‘Bad Paul’ would be preferable to being caught between the two Pauls. Both of these voices made life hard – one of them was constantly reminding me that my life sucked, while the other was destroying that life piece by piece.
It was only the realization that I was neither of these Pauls that allowed me to finally break free of addiction. This same insight also proved to be the answer to the anxiety, depression, and sense of meaninglessness that drove my drinking. It eventually led me to an unshakable peace that turned out to be the things I was looking for when I first feel in love with alcohol.
I am hoping this same realization can help free you too, and it is the purpose of this website to guide you to this realization.
Waking Up from Addiction
Waking up from addiction means no longer being fooled by the voices in our head. It means escaping the voice that nags us so much that we feel uncomfortable in our own skin, or the voice that tells us we need chemical assistance to deal with reality.
These inner voices are just impostors pretending to be us. We are being tricked, but just believing we are being tricked is not going to be enough to stop us from being tricked. We have to see the trick. To do this we need insight, and it is the development of such insight that we are referring to as ‘waking up’.
This ‘waking up’ business can sound incredibly exotic and ambitious, but it all it requires the willingness to honestly look at our experience. I found meditation and self-inquiry to be helpful for developing the insight, and I will be sharing the stuff that worked for me on here.
Where to Next?
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