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 […]

Salvation in a Styrofoam Cup

Can salvation be found in a Styrofoam cup? I am beginning to think so. Let me explain. Yesterday was day three of a three-day weekend. I went into the weekend with three goals. One: Go through the stacks of old mail and resolve any open issues. Two: Rake up and bag all the leaves in […]

Blocking Our Inner Guide

I long fantasized about winning the lottery. When I was an active drunk, I was certain it would get me sober. When I was spiritually empty, I was certain it would fulfill me. Now, years later, I am grateful thatthe universe did not fulfill my wish. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “No change of circumstances […]

Relieve me of the bondage of self…

“Selfishness — self-centeredness!  That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”   Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book) pg. 62 Heavy sigh… So last night I had the thought to write a blog on self-centeredness. Just this past week I had taken a sponsee through the Third Step. All my grand pronouncements and vast wisdom on […]