Live and Let Live!

Is it “Live and Let Live” or should it be “Love Unconditionally and Let Live?” Anyone who has been to enough 12-step meetings has seen the slogans on the wall: “Easy Does It,” “But for the Grace of God,” “Think, Think, Think,” “First Things First,” and of course “Live and Let Live.” Over the next […]

The Power of Silence

Once again I was wrong. Once again it was due to my over-inflated belief that my way is the only way. Once again the error of my way was spoken to my heart in a moment of silence. You can call it God, Universal Power, The Inner Guide, Your Higher Self or whatever you please. […]

Self-Help vs. Selfless-Help: The Key to Sobriety

I did it again. Slick ad on Facebook. A play to my reoccurring feeling of brokenness. A catchy title. Click… PayPal… Click. Three days later it was in my mailbox. Another self-help tome hoping to find a home in my already overcrowded bookshelf. Before it was shelved I read the first four chapters… not bad… […]

Hope is Found Here???

At a 12-step home group I regularly attend there is a prominently displayed sign at the front of the room: “Hope is Found Here.” Really? I was in-and-out of rooms of recovery for over 14 years. Relapse after relapse left me despairing, discouraged and hopeless. Though I appreciate the sentiment, my experience leads me to […]

Heaven is NOW!

As critical as I can be, I actually have very few beefs with organized religion. Sure there are adherents who commit ridiculous, even horrific acts in the name of brand they follow. But I attribute that that to mankind’s unfortunate propensity to twist the good into the out-and-out bad. Putting the most egregious example of this—terrorism—to […]

The Importance of Steps 6 & 7

He was three years “sober.” After running a hose from the tailpipe of his truck into the trailer where he lived he started the engine, laid in bed and closed his eyes. An hour later he was roused from a carbon monoxide-induced slumber by his cat scratching at his face. The thought to live flickered. […]

The Spirituality of Imperfection

The one question I wish people would ask me is whether I’d prefer my grandchildren to grow up to be baseball players or gymnasts. Unfortunately I am more likely to be asked: “Do you know who peed in the potted plant on my desk last night?” (True story from my drinking days. I will have […]

What Do You Need to be Happy?

Alcoholics and addicts love to talk about being happy, joyous and free. I just sat through a well attended 12-step meeting where this was the topic. The people most inclined to speak on this topic were primarily younger attendees within their first 60 days… “what do they know?” I silently judged before reflecting on how […]

The Gift of Desperation

Holding a large butcher knife, I staggered to the master bedroom, slammed the door and dramatically announced I was ending it all. At least that is what I was told. I was in a blackout much of my last drinking spree. I had been trying to stop drinking for fourteen years. When I actually did […]

The Spot-Check Inventory

Imagine you win tickets to a performance by the local symphony who will be playing scores from your favorite movies of all time. The night arrives and you settle into your seat. As the first strains of a beautiful melody issue forth you have a thought: Did I lock my car? You mentally flash to […]