A 4th Step at 25 Years Sober


Anyone can make bad choices and mistakes.

Some of us AA’s think that because we are sober, we are on some sort of highway of perfection.

The truth is if we were perfect we wouldn’t need a Higher Power, because we would be our own Higher Power.

No one is perfect.

We stumble around sober, being human living life imperfectly, stepping on toes, running away, being cruel or angry, hiding instead of keeping our promises, telling lies instead of living in the will of God.

We are imperfect creations of our own choices.

At some point the pain of lying to ourselves becomes too much to live with. This is the point we must come to a decision to live or die. Dying can take an awful long time if we chose to drink our guilt away. We strive for emotional sobriety as well as physical sobriety.

Choosing life sometimes is going to be shameful and embarrassing.  Telling the truth to ourselves and owning our part is the only way out of pain.

Sometimes we have to admit we are wrong.

However,

it will be worth it.

The gift will be freedom, redemption, healing and love.

Pg.64-71 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

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Be Thankful


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Gratitude is the connection between acceptance and faith.


Walk On The Wild Side


R.I.P. Loui Reed

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A Brush With Death


Losing friends and family members to the disease of addiction has taught me that this disease is serious. Escaping life and getting fucked up can be really fun and some times humorous, but those of us that have suffered the reality of loss know the final destination is not funny.

We can sit in meetings and laugh at all the stupid things we have done, but when we actually lose a loved one to this disease and they die, it gets really real. Most of us either are or know a person who is an addict. If that person never has the desire to change, then the possibility of death, insanity or imprisonment are supremely real.

When we “get it, the desire to change burns in our hearts like a tattoo made with a branding iron.

It is the only passion that can save us. Without it we stay in our sick situations: Drinking, snorting, shooting up. eating, smoking, cheating or turning a blind eye to all of the latter keeps us from attaining our true path.

To be a better more effective person is not always a desire in a person’s life. Sometimes mediocre getting by and accepting an unfinished life is all we will ever aspire to.

Our Higher Power can create miracles, but can our Higher Power give us desire?

Do we stay in the wake of a short trip to death or in a long slow eroded life and never have the desire to change?

I was given grace. I was given a burning desire to change my life and I have accepted all the circumstances of the change. I was 35 years old and maybe I had more drunks in me, but I was given the choice and I was ready that day. I took the hand of life and I made a choice to live.

I am forever grateful for that gift of desperation.

I have walked through some pretty stupid situations sober. It is not always easy to stumble around sober completely aware of being like a child learning to walk. This can be awkward when you’re a grown person.

But in the effort to grow there have been times I see how being sober can help others. We have talked a fellow addict off a ledge, poured the liquor down the sink, dragged their asses to a meeting, sat up into the wee hours with them, spent hours on the phone, using our gifts to create another and another reprieve from a brush with death.

Drama you say? Funny? This fucking disease kills.

But,

I choose sobriety today one day at a time…

and I am forever grateful.


Paul Weller: ‘I Think I’m an Alcoholic’


We Love the Jam!! and we hope Paul Weller sticks around a long, long time!

Paul Weller has discussed his battle with drink, stating: “I think I’m an alcoholic”.

In an interview with the The Times, the singer revealed he had given up drinking over a year ago because he feared that his hedonistic lifestyle was going to kill him.

Weller, who releases his new album ‘Sonik Kicks’ on March 26, said: “I feel fitter now. I go to the gym. Stopped drinking about 16 months ago… Time for a lifestyle change. I couldn’t keep doing it. It was killing me… I miss the silliness… I’m not one of those people who can just have a couple of drinks. If it’s two, it might as well be 20. If it’s 20, it might as well be 40…”

He went on to add:

I think I’m an alcoholic, definitely. Yeah. I would have thought so. It’s hard to know where a pisshead becomes an alkie. Fine line. But yeah, I think so.

Last month, Weller revealed that he would like to collaborate with Miles Kane in the future. Speaking to NME in a video which you can see by scrolling up to the top of the page and clicking, Weller responded to a question about how he would most like to work with by saying: “I’d like to do something with young Miles Kane. I think he’s a talented lad and we could do something good together.”

‘Sonik Kicks’ comes out on March 26 and contains a total of 14 tracks. It also includes guest appearances from Noel Gallagher and Blur‘s Graham Coxon. You can hear a track from the album, which is titled ‘Around The Lake’, by visiting the singer’s official website Paulweller.com.

Weller will play five new London shows to promote the album’s release. He will headline the UK capital’s Roundhouse venue on March 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. Weller will perform ‘Sonik Kicks’ in full at the shows.

Click here for NME article and video.

http://www.nme.com/news/paul-weller/62425


My Life With Drugs Rock n Roll and Addiction


http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/23/opinion/stromberg-addiction-struggle/index.html

From CNN Article: CNN OPINION

By Gary Stromberg, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Gary Stromberg, who runs the PR firm The Blackbird Group, co-founded Gibson and Stromberg, a music public relations firm that operated in the 1960s and 1970s and represented The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Muhammad Ali, Barbra Streisand, Boyz II Men, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, The Doors, Earth, Wind & Fire, Elton John, Three Dog Night and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He’s co-written several books that deal with addiction, including “The Harder They Fall.” His fourth book, “She’s Come Undone,” is due out this spring. He is active in service work to help people recover from addiction.

(CNN) — The Whitney Houston headlines last week sent a familiar shiver through me.

In the 1970s, I ran one of the leading entertainment business public relations firms. Celebrity clients were wildly indulging themselves, accountable to no one. It was money, power and prestige, with no one to say, “That’s enough.”

Drugs and alcohol were endemic. Today, the conversation revolves around prescription drugs, but back then we were into more basic mind-altering substances: pot, psychedelics, cocaine and heroin.

To be truthful, I had an amazing run before it all turned to garbage.

Gary Stromberg

Gary Stromberg

My office, on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, was set up like a huge living room with couches, overstuffed pillows on the floor, rock star posters lining the walls and a coffee table, the centerpiece of which was a large crystal bowl, filled at all times with a generous supply of cocaine.

The house rules were “help yourself if you’re here on business — but no take-outs!” We were regularly visited by our clients, including The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Doors and Steppenwolf. As you could imagine, my office was a very popular place.

But 29 years ago, I stood at the precipice with a decision to make. With a career of impressive accomplishments in the rear-view mirror, I had what looked like only despair and death ahead of me. Alcoholism and drug addiction had rendered me into what the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous refers to as “pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.” The choice seemed simple. Choose life or death.

Do I acknowledge I have a problem, or do I continue to live in denial?

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Do I listen to my friends and family, or do I seek my own counsel?

Do I continue to deteriorate mentally and physically, or do I say, “I’ve had enough?”

Do I choose to live, or do I want to die?

If I once had a dream, I thought, it was long ago shattered. If I once had a dream, it’s floating face down in a bottle of Jack Daniels. If I once had a dream … ahh, screw it, I ain’t no Martin Luther King Jr.

Throwing in the towel and surrendering to admitting I had a serious problem should have been the obvious thing to do, given the state I was in. But at the time, change seemed impossible, unimaginable, incomprehensible and downright insane. Insane was the right word, all right, but it described my state of mind.

Alcohol and drugs are subtle foes; cunning, baffling and powerful. I seemed to be the last one to know I was in big trouble. When my high-profile career started to fall apart, it was other people’s fault. When my substantial income dried up, my business manager was to blame. When the beautiful house I so dearly loved was finally foreclosed, it was the bank that was screwing me. When she finally couldn’t take it anymore and left, I knew she was the type to do this to me. When my friends began to disappear, they were scum and didn’t deserve me. And when, at last, my only friends, my drugs and alcohol turned on me, I knew it was over.

And so a journey of unimaginable proportions began.

Not to any outward destination. No rehab, no trip to a far-off spa. I didn’t move to another city, as if a geographic change would fix it. No, I didn’t have to travel anywhere, except into the mirror, and by peeling the onion of my soul. The journey was within, to at long last discover where the real problem resided.

It was, of course, in me.

What a surprise — with the loving help and support of a 12-step program, I found the real culprit. We in recovery refer to alcoholism as a spiritual sickness. And if you look that up in the dictionary, you’ll find a photo of me. “Mr. Spiritual Sickness of 1982.”

If you ask me nicely, I might show you a picture of that lost soul that I still carry around in my wallet. Yes, I had long hair and a beard, the smug look of false confidence on my face and even the obligatory turquoise jewelry of that era. But look more closely, and you’ll see in my eyes shallow pools of emptiness, pupils like pinholes from the daily consumption of narcotics. As a friend remarked when he saw the photo, “The lights are on, but nobody’s home.”

After you shake your head in disbelief,and look up at me again wondering how this was possible and how I became such a different person, I will offer you an explanation.

I’m a recovering drug addict and alcoholic who was spared from a life of misery, incarceration and death. I’ve been spared from the life of self-centeredness that led me to care very little about others and only about myself. I’ve been spared from the countless fears of inadequacy, failure, success, intimacy and anything else that threatened my well-guarded defenses. I’ve been spared a life of darkness and shown a path into the light.

We don’t yet know why Whitney died, but we know she struggled with addiction. It’s a pity that now, Whitney will not have the option I had.


The Fire of Addiction


The Fire of Addiction

For me, things only have the power that we give them. That includes alcohol and drugs. In other words; I am powerless over fire. I accept that and I have a healthy respect for fire as a result. But fire only has the power over me that I give it, so I don’t strike that match nor stick my hand in the flame. Fire can be appreciated, for what it is, from afar. For addicts, alcohol and drugs should be kept far from our thoughts.

 

Razzle D Bathbone