Justifiable Anger??? The anecdote for these troubled times.

Yes, I know better. But sometimes I make the mistake of watching the news. Though I swore off drinking 11+ years ago, each time I take a broadcast I get served a toxic cocktail—one-part Anger, one-part Hatred, two-parts Outrage and a splash of Victimhood. In no time, I am on an emotional bender. Anger and […]

God, Turn My Failures into Lessons

My last bipolar manic episode was what my 94-year-old mother would call a “doozey.” (Sure, my Facebook analytics tell me my followers skew Millennial. Perhaps I should express myself in emojis and f-bombs. But I am guessing there isn’t a little icon or string of profanity that could properly describe an episode that still has […]

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… […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]