Jan 1st 2020: Three Years Sober Today

Butler Raines with Maggie

Three years ago armed with nothing but hope and a hypothesis I went on a quest to change my brain and my life

I’ve spent the last two years diving into eastern and western philosophy, neuroscience and psychology. I’ve spent countless hours trying to distill my thoughts into words.

If you had known me as a kid, you’d be surprised to learn I became a drug addict.

A combination of random events and circumstances, the place I was born, the prevailing culture, the genes I inherited, the people I encountered — who are but products of yet other random events — all left subtle and gross impressions on me, carving pathways that would affect how I perceive and deal with the world.

Spinoza, revered philosopher of Einstein and Heisenberg, reasoned,

“There is in the mind no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined in willing this or that by a cause which is determined by in its turn by another cause, and this by another, and so on to infinity.”

I made bad choices that took me down a path I never intended.

I can see how addiction plagues the country. Once there was a time where it was common to enjoy sitting on a porch in silence with friends but now we all scramble for novelty and acceptance.

So many of us sit in shame because we are told we sinful, are broken or lack self-discipline. It is more accepted to talk about how fucked up we got the night before than admit we are sober.

We spend time pursuing academics and career growth while our minds get weaker and are hijacked for profit.

Who is investing in teaching us how to better navigate choices, how to guard and control our own minds?

The chemistry may be complex yet the explanation is simple.

We do not have as much control over our choices as we think we do.

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. ” Roman 15-16

I think we can all identify with Paul’s statement. No one understands it better than the addict conscious of their addiction.

We must change how we think about addiction. People are suffering and many of us don’t think we can ask for help.

I have been your son,
and coworker.
I am an addict.
I am human.

Happy New Year!