This is the dresser next to my bed. All of these books have been recommended to me in the last year and a half by therapists, teachers, and friends in recovery. Most of them I haven’t read yet, but I’m happily working my way through the stacks. And I say happily because reading has been one of the most gratifying, inspiring and important parts of my recovery–right up there with getting treatment, continuing in therapy and going to AA meetings. Click the “Read More” link below for a list of top picks, descriptions, and links.
First, I’m excited that my attention span has recovered to the point where I can sit down and read a book, if only for 15 minutes! That had become impossible for my drug-addled brain during the last round of my drinking and using. Second, the new insights and knowledge I am gaining here keep me in a place of wonder. That kind of spiritual headspace where you’re starting to suspect there’s more going on here than meets the eye, and it’s really really good stuff… And third, I’m arming myself with tools on how to stay sober, how to live a happy and meaningful life, and how to help others. All of which makes me feel better and quiets the voices of the negative, critical committee in my head. I’m glad I’m having a spiritual awakening of the educational variety, like it talks about in the Big Book of AA, because it continues to unfold and get better and better.
And if you’re not a big reader, I know almost all of these books are available for download in audio book form (I recommend the Audible app which ties into Amazon, and delivers audiobooks to your phone at a discount). I’ve listened to a good number of books Read more
“We must dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” — May Sarton
Welcome to my website. First and foremost, it’s a vainglorious shrine to my own personal recovery. Ha! But really, it’s been a wild ride for me the last couple years, and I wanted to document this period of intense growth – especially where it might help someone else in their own recovery, real or potential. Second, I’d like to provide some resources and information regarding how to go about cleaning up your act, even if you’re already sober, which I would have liked to have handy. And third, I want it to be a community effort. I know I would have loved it if anyone had asked me to share my story online. And it’s a lot more helpful to have more than one person’s perspective, especially on this topic. Someone else’s story is likely to help you a lot more than mine will. If there’s anything I have learned, it’s that there are a million roads to recovery. I will be gratified if I’m able to help anyone take a step down their own road, whatever strange and ridiculous territory that might cover…
Normal people often create “to-do” lists for typical daily tasks like shopping, picking up the laundry, gifts to purchase for Christmas, etc. As an addict, I had my own “to-do” list. The first three items on one list I remember were: 1) rob Walmart, 2) purchase stripper shoes, and then 3) get that stripper job! Not the list for a normal person, but this represented my daily thought process. I checked off the items on this list and those stripper shoes led me straight to a job at a local strip club frequented by bikers, of which my future boyfriend was one. After a hard night of working, doing drugs, and drinking, an argument ensued between him and me, and my attitude was, “I’ll show you!” I woke up in Vegas the next day married to a fellow stripper named Star. Mind you, I am a heterosexual female, but Star was really hot and, according to our wedding videos, we had one hell of a night! We got the marriage annulled the next day, and that was the only time I’ve ever walked down the aisle.
That’s not the only time I’ve woken up in a strange place. Once I woke up on a very old bus in the hills of Mexico wearing a poncho and large straw hat that were not mine. Sadly, I was drooling on the elderly Mexican man next to me, surrounded by pigs, chickens, and goats, wondering how the hell did I get here and how the hell am I gonna get out of here! I ended up living a street life in Tijuana, wandering dirt roads and listening to caged chickens and peacocks, as locals laughed at me because I continually nodded off while eating my once-a-week hamburger. I had dreads in my hair that were not intentional, and which provided housing for little friends called lice. Personal hygiene consisted of a bird bath in a white paint bucket once a week. And I believed this was normal. I had adapted. This was my life and I knew it would always be this way, since Read more
This morning I was a guest on the RadioMD show “Rewired Radio,” talking about Addiction Treatment and finding the right fit! The show is hosted by Erica Spiegelman, author of the insightful book “Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction & Recovery” published this year. Click the link at bottom to hear the interview. And let me know what you think!
I am not one of those people who think no one should drink. If you enjoy your drinkies, by all means, I want you to have what you want and be happy. But because I’ve been sober for a long time, I often get asked, “Do YOU think I have a problem?” First thing you should know is that one can tell you whether you’re an alcoholic or an addict – this is a question you can only answer for yourself, and you probably already know if you’re really honest with yourself. But my stock answer involves two questions:
1) When you drink (or use), do you typically not stop until you pass out or the liquor store closes? Or have you never TRIED to stop at like three drinks, like me? My rule of thumb was, If you can’t have four drinks, don’t start – you’ll just get a headache. But I was fairly clear on being an alcoholic from the beginning.
2) Is your drinking or using creating problems in your life? It’s not a problem if it’s not a problem. But if your friends and family avoid you when you’re drinking, if you have more than two hangovers a week, or if you stop laying down the memory track the minute you pick up a drink (and sometimes wake up in unfamiliar locations), you may want to look into the situation. Acknowledging you may have a problem does not mean you have to stop this minute, or get sober forever (though I did). But if you try to stop for a while and you can’t, that generally indicates there’s an issue. There’s a lot you can do and I’m here to tell you it’s worth it.
When I first got sober I thought I was just a guy who really, Read more