Can Chores Keep You Sober?

Alcoholism runs strong on my mother’s side of the family. Though she has never imbibed—she being the white sheep from a rather colorful herd—I’d blame her for carrying the drink-till-I-puke-blood gene if I was prone to playing the victim card. Regrettably, in an era in which fully grown little boys and girls wear their victimhood […]

Knowing Through Doing

Are you unhappy? Lonely? When Alcoholics Anonymous first formalized the Twelve Steps of recovery now used by so many groups, the success rate was in the neighborhood of 50 to 75 percent. At that time, AA was closely affiliated with The Oxford Group, a non-denominational movement modeled after first century Christianity–a group which stressed total […]

A Shadow of a Life

I barely exist I get up, reluctantly Work another day   Aimless, directionless, floundering   Going through motions Will the clock ever strike five? Shuffle out the door   Aimless, directionless, floundering   A drink, then another Then I lose count completely Involuntary nap   Aimless, directionless, floundering   Clanging alarm sounds The next verse […]

The Cracked Pot

Centuries ago in India there was a water bearer tasked with bringing two large pots of water to his master’s house each day from a nearby stream. Visiting a local market he carefully picked out two pots and hung them from either side of a pole that he carried on his back. He spoke to […]

Seeking Outside Help

Agggggggghhhhhh! According to the Journal of the American Medical Association about 37 percent of individuals with alcoholism and 53 percent of individuals with drug addiction have at least one serious mental illness. Flipping it around, 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness have an issue with substance abuse. We are some crazy mutha […]

Lottery-Induced Insanity

Lottery fever has broken. Last night players in North Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico each won a share of the $564.1 million U.S. Powerball lottery jackpot. Now, hopefully, those in the cubicles surrounding me can find something else to talk about. I’d like to say I came through this latest round of lottery frenzy unscathed. […]

The Orangest of Counties

Before years of alcoholism and insanity there was just an innocent, though prone to frequent urination, baby boy. I was born the summer of 1963 in what was to become the OC. That’s the real OC. The one in California. Not the wannabe OC over in that phallus-shaped state. Shortly after I was born, John […]

Brotherly Love

At a street fair in Austin, TX my wife and I decided to have a cartoon portrait done by a local caricaturist. It was late. The sun was nearly set, there were no lights and the artist was rushing things. Whether by intent or in the rush of the moment, the woman who I was […]

Sobriety Loopholes

Loopholes … if there is anything an alcoholic or addict likes it’s loopholes. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to get out from underneath laws, rules, guidelines and even the suggested steps of Twelve Step recovery. “That doesn’t apply to me. I know best.” That, sadly, is all too often my mantra. In my active drinking […]

Overcoming Victim Hood

We are all wounded. The more I work with alcoholics and addicts the more I realize that we all carry wounds from our past. Unfortunately in America it has been acceptable for far too long to remain “wound identified.” That is, we use our victim hood as our identity. We use it to elicit sympathy […]