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 Paradox of Intention

In recovery, there are those who have achieved the promise of “happy, joyous and free”; there are those who remain stuck and miserable; and there are those who vacillate between the two extremes. For years, I found myself in that last category. There were the good days… many of them. But too often I fell […]

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 […]

Overcoming Self-Centeredness

My name is Rick. I am self-centered and fearful. In the past that has fueled my alcoholism and complicated my mental illness. For alcohol, according to our literature, is but a symptom. The underlying spiritual malady is self-centered fear. Knowing this, I embarked on a little experiment. Nine days ago I reviewed Steps 6 and […]

The Shade Tree

Drunk almost daily since my sophomore year of college, it took some time to graduate… twenty-two years to be precise. Though there were multiple starts and stops (sometimes the bottle was a little more important than attendance) and though I changed my major more frequently than my fashion-conscious wife changes her nail polish, one thing […]

Blogging Again!

So here is the deal, I have been buried in work. Not surprisingly, when you stay sober for and extended period of time and maintain a modicum of sanity there are those who are will to throw variety of tasks and a paycheck your way. Go figure. Then my wife took ill. We were blessed […]

The Reason for Suffering and Struggles

Imagine I take my one-and-a-half-year-old grandson Oliver to the doctor. A vaccination is on the docket and a sharp shiny needle pierces his tender arm. Oliver belts a horrifying shriek and whimpers. He doesn’t understand that the shot is intended to protect him from a life-threatening illness. He only knows he’s in pain and grandpa […]