What is Spiritual Maintenance?

As is often stated in the rooms of recovery, we are granted a daily reprieve [from our addiction] based on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. But what does that mean? As I learned in years spent developing software for oil refineries, maintenance can take one of two forms: preventive and “oh-crap- it’s-broken.” Refineries are […]

Surrender to Win

I’ve only held the prongs on an electrical cord once while plugging it in. The attic room I called home as a child had an in-wall air conditioning unit that had come unplugged. It was dark. I was trying to align the plug with the socket. The resultant shock was sufficiently jarring to alter my […]

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 […]

Finding Spiritual (not religious) Power

Those familiar with Twelve Step recovery know that the First Step begins “Admitted we were powerless over [alcohol], [crack], [meth], [food], [Amazon’s next day delivery option]”. I could expand the list ad infinitum. But what do we really mean by proclaiming ourselves powerless? I’d argue that it doesn’t mean that I am incompetent, feeble or […]

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 […]

Overcoming Resentments

Drunks who want to upgrade to recovered alcoholics tend to take a hard look at their resentments. This is a process that can benefit not only addicts, but anyone with a desire to free themselves of resentments as well. A written moral inventory is the fourth step in Twelve-Step recovery and is the first step […]

Fake It ‘Till You Make It???

Hang around the rooms of Twelve Step recovery long enough and you’ll hear someone drop the little gem: “Fake it ’till you make it.” For years I have been indifferent towards this little rhyme, but having given it a little thought I believe the next time I hear it I will smack the person who […]

A Classroom Called Hope

While still an active alcoholic, while still whoring it up on a regular basis, my hypocrisy knew no bounds. Six and a half days a week I was a degenerate, but for an hour on the Sabbath I rested from my degrading ways and taught a Sunday school class for sixteen year olds. Most of […]

Service: The Key to Spiritual Fullfillment

It starts with a Divine spark within. For me it was the smallest of embers after years of drinking alcoholically and living a selfish, self-centered life devoid of helping others. Note that I did not say a life devoid of loving thoughts. I had loving thoughts; I just failed to put them into action. Thoughts […]