Does One Don Cologne Before Heading Off To Jail?

As with any bipolar worth the salt known as lithium, I am not unfamiliar with that local fine dining establishment known as county jail. Not any jail mind you. My home is just southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, so Maricopa County’s infamous Lower Buckeye Jail (LBJ), erected by that pink-underwear-loving humanitarian Sherriff Joe Arpaio, was my […]

What is Alcoholic Insanity?

It was late at night. My wife insists on having the TV on while she sleeps. My one request? Tune the TV to real-life crime shows. The monotone narration makes it easier to sleep. Half awake, half asleep I listened to a show about a man who died after eating dinner with his estranged wife. […]

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 Final Manic, Part 2

Does your wife approve of your last blog post? That question has come up more than once. In writing about the situation wife my wife’s deteriorating health at the beginning of my last bout of mania I touched on the sensitive subject of her own bout of the crazies while on mass doses of the […]

The Final Manic, Part 1

My wife was dying. It was November l5th–our first wedding anniversary. It was at the ICU at Mercy Gilbert Hospital. Earlier that day she had tried to have me barred from the room. During the past six months her COPD (emphysema) had worsened. That past June she had been forced to give up the career […]

God and the Tandem Bike

As a child I was introduced to the angry, judgmental God of the Old Testament. He sent floods, rained down fire and brimstone and sent armies to destroy people whose only fault, it seemed, was living in a land predestined for “chosen” people. In trying to get sober I was a little concerned when advised […]

First Manic

The old man–a hitchhiker I had picked up on I-10–marinated the warm burgundy interior of my Nissan Maxima with a stench that lingered for weeks. I labeled him a hitchhiker although he hadn’t proffered the universal thumbs-up ride seekers are known for. He was just wandering a few hundred yards away from a broken down […]

Pray to Die

The slugfest began with my first 12-step meeting.  I was 28. I was 42 when I put the bottle down and called it quits. After first acknowledging a problem, I spent more than a decade in the ring fighting a disease that knocked me down more often than not. A professional boxing match lasts 12 […]

The Journey Past Suicidal Thinking

Hollow. So spiritually empty inside that I was hollow. I couldn‘t drink enough, sex enough, gamble enough, or degrade myself enough to fill the void. So hollow it ached. Over the two decades that I drank it progressed from a vague unrest to an inner void so pronounced that I was an existential vacuum sucking […]

Breaking the Cycle of Relapse

It was a Wednesday. It followed a weekend binge that didn‘t stop Sunday night, Monday morning or Tuesday afternoon. I kept calling in sick to work. I couldn’t stop. It would prove to be my last spree. It was a long time in the making. I went to my first Twelve Step meeting when I […]