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Old 02-07-2014, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Problems of Money Property & Prestige

How have the problems of money, property & prestige
influenced your alcoholism or visa-versa ?
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe I developed into an addict based on how I was raised and the exposure or influences I had in my life.

Sex was my first addiction with alcohol and drugs second and third in terms of activation. During my late teens and early twenties I had some moments of clarity. Looking back, I believe these were merely shifts shifts in my addiction from substance to behavioral. For example, when I was skiing professionally, I gave up booze altogether because it got in my way of my new obsession, skiing. When I achieved 80% of what I set out for (a theme) my growth slowed I shifted addictions and booze and drugs came back. Its really is a merry go round. The next twenty years would trade off between substance and behavioral addictions booze, Ritalin, Coke a little bit of ecstasy and then sex, working out and my career.

I can now see that when I would get bored and feel like I had plateaued my substance abuse would increase.

I can also say that as my career took off, my behavioral addictions did too. My house was not enough, I had to knock it down to build a 7K square foot house. Skiing was not good enough, I had to go hell skiing. Racing a car was not good enough as a hobby, I had to buy a formula race team. The list goes on and on but you get the point. This bleeds into all aspects - is my wife good enough or do I need to trade her in for a 25year old...you can see the progression, as this too is an addiction - enough is never enough because its an addiction - a mirage.

As I became more successful in terms of titles and wealth, I had more people supporting me. I had Assistants and their job was to make things easier. Money was no longer an object and my cries for help went unanswered. Towards the end I was thoroughly out of control daring anyone and everyone around me to catch me - dead inside. Part of me believes the support prolonged the inevitability and I am lucky by the Grace of God that I did not die during the darkest period.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Materialism is not completely irrelevant, but at best, tangential to a spiritual program. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it that matters.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was spending so much on business the price of all the beer was about 10%. Notice the denialism. I wont put a figure on it but you can guess.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I lived in poverty at one point during my drinking career. Now I am happy to have a roof over my head and money to pay the bills. A holiday would be nice though xxxx
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Materialism is not completely irrelevant, but at best, tangential to a spiritual program. It's not what you have, it's what you do with it that matters.
I would argue there is a balance and this balance is what is lacking in the addict. Materialism offsets spirituality in my opinion. If fact, I see the two paradoxically opposed at ends of a continuum. So I humbly disagree with you awuh1. In fact, too spiritual can have its own issues too.
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would argue there is a balance and this balance is what is lacking in the addict. Materialism offsets spirituality in my opinion. If fact, I see the two paradoxically opposed at ends of a continuum. So I humbly disagree with you awuh1. In fact, too spiritual can have its own issues too.
Lack of balance as well as lack of power has always been my dilemma.
Living on the edge was my "Vision Quest" The more jaded, the better.
One of my first difficulties when entering AA was what my alcoholic
mind perceived as boredom and ennui - really wasn't. After a considerable
period of time, I realized that what I labeled as boredom, was really serenity.

Serenity felt very strange to me, at first, then it slowly got better and better.
Soon it became something I started to crave. It's like getting high on
nothing and the only way an alcoholic can get high on nothing, is to take a
lot of it for a long time. When I suggest this activity to newcomers they usually
tell me -"Thanks for nothing."
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In my view materialism does not offset spirituality, it augments spirituality. Money property and prestige are, fundamentally, tools. In order to exert their will, individuals use the tools they have at their disposal and as they do so they expresses the current state of their spirituality. They cannot help but do so.

I often see the idea of 'balance', within this context, as a cover for behaviors used to acquire more tools, and without examination of the motives for doing so.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have seen a couple of old timers drink on the fear of economic security, I mean guys that were considered pillars of AA. In both cases they had more than enough money/property but was not enough for their egos. It can be quite an insidious one. Like you have mentioned balance is the key.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awuh1 -Would the acquiring of the tools of the 12 Steps fall within your "context ?"
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Kind of prophetic -

Phillip Seymore Hoffman...
Hoffman has previously been in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. In his early twenties, Hoffman said he started abusing drugs not long after graduating from his degree at NYU.

"I went [to rehab], I got sober when I was 22 years old," Hoffman revealed during a 2006 interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes." "You get panicked ... and I got panicked for my life."

He also said he was lucky he got sober before becoming famous and had the money to feed his addition.

"I have so much empathy for these young actors that are 19 and all of a sudden they're beautiful and famous and rich," he said in the interview. "I'm like, 'Oh my God, I'd be dead."'
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I never had to worry about how I was gonna buy anything, including beer or wine or drugs.
In fact I was a bit of a brand snob, except for the fact that I drank pabst like atheletes drink water.

Having money means you arent gonna hit bottom from being broke, from stealing, from losing your job, from losing your home.

Its probably as common or more common for addicts with money to die outright if you have a lot of money, because you can get as much as you want. Hell, I had a full size refrigerator/freezer, FULL of booze in my garage. I bought grocery carts full of booze and got quantity discounts for buying cases of wine. I had a local store that placed custom orders for me, and would tell me how many cases I needed to buy to get a break.

And when I had a company credit card, I used that for "entertaining" pretty liberally too.

Its pretty strange to me when people say, oh, hes rich, why would he be an addict.

When you ARE an addict, and you LOVE drinking and "partying" AND you can afford it, theres almost nothing more dangerous.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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One other thing. If you are in the entertainment industry, people know you.

When you show up in their town, its a special event for them. They want to party with you on their big night out.

Never mind youve been doing this every night for a month, this is THEIR big night, they want to buy you shots, get high, go do a few lines.

The next day, they are nursing their hangover, and you are back to the next people on their big night. Its not too long before that IS your life.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There is no requirement to live without wealth or otherwise suffer spiritually because of wealth. As well, no requirements to live in poverty to ensure a wholesome spirituality. Like I mentioned in the other thread, (and thanks for creating this new thread UncleMeat, )-- "My faith carried me through my poor times and continues to do so through my rich times no differently. My faith is not based on my wealth or lack thereof."

Spiritual corruption is as likely from poverty as it is from a place of wealth, imo. Having said that, poverty is generally more acceptable a base and common justification for the so-called 'have-nots' in our civilized society for such corruption, whereas wealth speaks more to the person himself as being of selfish and flawed character, a fallen person if they are spiritually corrupt or unfulfilled. People of wealth are expected to not behave as if they are not wealthy, and people of poverty are not expected to behave as if they are wealthy. Wealth offers a measure of status not offered to those in poverty - and from this obvious injustice begins a slippery slope for persons to play one side against the other, imo. Speaking from experience again, it is amazing how differently I'm often enough treated and respected now in various everyday situations compared to how I was treated when in abject poverty. And yet spiritually I am (essentially) the same person, so obviously wealth and poverty are different spectrums of experience in our society, as we all know in our own various life experiences.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My opinion is addiction proper makes no distinction between the rich and the poor. Society itself makes a distinction of class between wealth and poverty, and this existing class distinction is applied as a stereotype that wealthy people have a 'different kind' of addiction challenge than do those in poverty. For me, this kind of reasoning is more about society and less about addiction.

An addict / alcoholic is an addict / alcoholic rich or poor an addict / alcoholic all the same.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I don't understand your question unclemeat
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I don't understand your question unclemeat
How do you equate the tools of money, property & prestige
to the tools of the 12 Steps as they relate to your context ?
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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In my view materialism does not offset spirituality, it augments spirituality. Money property and prestige are, fundamentally, tools. In order to exert their will, individuals use the tools they have at their disposal and as they do so they expresses the current state of their spirituality. They cannot help but do so.

I often see the idea of 'balance', within this context, as a cover for behaviors used to acquire more tools, and without examination of the motives for doing so.
I see your point and I agree.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My opinion is addiction proper makes no distinction between the rich and the poor. Society itself makes a distinction of class between wealth and poverty, and this existing class distinction is applied as a stereotype that wealthy people have a 'different kind' of addiction challenge than do those in poverty. For me, this kind of reasoning is more about society and less about addiction.

An addict / alcoholic is an addict / alcoholic rich or poor an addict / alcoholic all the same.
Now I see and agree with the points made in your posts.
Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer.

The stereotypes are societal and irrelevant as a matter of fact.
Where I relate to them is within the 4th Step and how they
affect my pocketbook, ambitions, personal relationships and
self-esteem. All of these are skewed by the manifestations of my
fears and resentments towards people, institutions and principles
of the society that I interact and live with every day.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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"Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer."


PERFECT!
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“When a culture’s music is lifeless, dull, pathetic crap, that culture is bound for more trouble than just having nothing decent to listen to..."
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