Vodka Made My Clothes Fall Off

Oh that my more horrific drunken escapades could have sufficiently chastened me that I would dare not pick up a drink again. Oh that I didn’t have to work steps, make meetings, get into service and otherwise maintain my spiritual condition so that I might get my daily reprieve. But such is not my lot. […]

When Petitioned Do I Judge?

My wife and I are people watchers. It might be are favorite pastime. What I’ve noticed over time is that as crowds pass by on the street, people tend to act like the person a head of them. People are sheep. I too, am often a mindless sheep. “But Rick!” you say, “You have always […]

Be Still: Step Eleven

Before refrigerators for home use began to proliferate in the 1930s, people used ice boxes to preserve their food. The ice for these ice boxes was store in icehouses that had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitting door. In the winter, when lakes froze over, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to […]

The Reason It’s Called “The Present”

It was the end of the workweek. I was exhausted. The long commutes. Too much in my inbox. Not enough sleep. Not enough Twelve Step meetings. There I was, sitting in on a leather recliner in my darkened room, staring blankly at the wall-mounted flat screen TV. As I sat my mind was flooded with […]

The First Principle: Acceptance

Nothing clarifies my thinking, brings peace of mind or put me in a position to effect positive change like acceptance–acceptance of everything as it is right now; no vain attempts to rewrite the past or worrying about a future that may not materialize. But there is a catch. While acceptance implies that I am fully […]

Big Book Thumpers vs. Living Examples

Go to enough Twelve Step meetings and you’ll encounter them. They know the literature inside and out, quote it frequently and give the page number they are quoting from to underscore their authority. They are the Big Book Thumpers. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. For the fourteen years I was […]

A Life Classroom Called Humility

When I was a child, I intuitively knew when something was too big for me to handle. If I wanted to go to the beach-some thirty miles from my home-I didn’t try to walk there, I didn’t try to drive there, I asked my mom or dad for a ride. Why, in working on my […]

Thoughts on Spirituality

People who make their living-either in dollars or in purpose-selling their brand of organized religion may take exception to this post, and, for that matter, this whole blog. For spirituality is not about passing the collection plate or winning converts. Spirituality, to me, isn’t about the number of times I attend church or twelve step […]

The Role of Grace in Sobriety

My wife turned to me the other day and asked that I write a blog post on grace. That threw me for a a loop. I typically associate “grace” with evangelical Christians. Though spiritual, my wife is not overly religious. What’s more, she’s more of action-oriented, “works” kind of a person. As she works with […]

I am responsible…

At a meeting last night I ran into an old acquaintance who is trying to sober up for the umpteenth time. He reminds me a lot of me. I went to my first Twelve Step meeting when I was twenty-eight. I finally sobered up when I was forty-two. I can’t even begin to count the […]