A Letter To My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Unhappy schoolboy walking alone in school corridorI break my initial and on-going recovery from drugs, alcohol and eating disorders into two basic parts. Dealing with where I am and dealing with how I got there.

The dealing with the present was of course initially getting sober and now focuses on staying sober. That began with twelve-step. There was also psychiatric treatment and numerous types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). I continue to see a psychiatrist to this day. There also was (and still is) medication to deal with clinical depression and body dysmorphic disorder.

The hardest part of my recovery however was facing the past, specifically my childhood.

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A Letter To My 13-Year-Old Self


The Death Of A Lawyer And The Power Of Relapse

Brian Loncar

Brian Loncar

While I am saddened on a daily basis by deaths resulting from drug overdoses as we deal with an unprecedented heroin and prescription opiate addiction crisis, it is rare that my faith in my own long-term recovery plan gets shaken. That does not mean I don’t try to stay present in my recovery and adjust when necessary, but there are basic, core recovery maintenance principals that work for me on a daily basis.

Two weeks ago however, one of those “shaking” moment occurred. A headline in the Dallas Morning News:

“Attorney Brian ‘Strong Arm’ Loncar Death Ruled Accidental Cocaine Overdose

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The Death Of A Lawyer And The Power Of Relapse


Why Are Lawyers So Afraid To Ask For Help?

Shocked and terrified.Not long ago I gave a lunchtime presentation about addiction recovery. As I always do, I spoke about the function and value of the Legal Assistance Program (LAP) in helping lawyers deal with addiction and other mental health issues and get back on track even in the face of immediate consequences for behavior that may run afoul of state bar disciplinary rules.

Read the rest on my column at Above The Law.

Why Are Lawyers So Afraid?


Embracing Middle Age Sober

mystery-womanI don’t know if it originated with my father, but growing up in Pittsburgh, he used to regularly say to my older brother, Mark, my younger brother, Jeff, and me, “Today is the youngest you will ever be, live like it.”

I thought about what he said the other day as I talked to a woman who I will call Sarah. Sarah is early in sobriety. She is also going through a tough divorce. She was lamenting the fact that she was in her late 40s and just now getting sober. Starting over.

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Embracing Middle Age Sober


The Insanity Of Addiction

Wooden signpost with two opposite arrows over clear blue sky, Addiction and Life signs, Choice conceptual imageJust about anyone in long-term recovery has a story that we look back on, roll our eyes, chuckle, and use as a gauge of how chaotic things were in addiction.  It may not have seemed funny at the time, but finding humor in my recovery is important to me.

Despite my hangover, June 7, 2006, was a good day. An all-night cocaine-and-Jack Daniels rager was not going to dampen my excitement for my older brother. Mark had purchased an NBA team six years earlier — the Dallas Mavericks. Now, for the first time, the Mavs were going for the championship, playing against the Miami Heat the next day, June 8.

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The Insanity Of Addiction


The Bulimic Lawyer(And Law Student)


From Federal Prison Inmate To The Bar Exam

 Christopher Poulos

Christopher Poulos

I decided it would be informative and empowering to every now and then profile a lawyer or law student who has overcome addiction to achieve their dreams or lay a path to achieving them.

I can’t think of a better person to start with than Christopher Poulos. He is a 2016 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.  Chris took a non-traditional path through extreme circumstances into long-term recovery and the passing of the Maine bar exam.  He has a sobriety date of January 1, 2009, so he is coming up on eight years of long-term recovery! His journey is made even more unique in that, with everything he went though, he received security clearance to work at the White House.

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Profile In Recovery: From Prison To The Bar Exam


Bar Exams, Booze And Getting Busted

“I don’t drink these days. I’m allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs.”

 Not long into the start of my Dallas party days and after my first of two failures of the Texas bar exam, I broke out in handcuffs.

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Bar Exams, Booze, And Getting Busted


A Sober Navigation Of The Law Firm Holiday Party Circuit


When Addiction Threatens Your Relationship

Brian and Amanda Cuban

Brian and Amanda Cuban

October 20, 2016.  Florence, Italy. Waiting for her to walk through the door.  My mind drifts back to a time almost a decade earlier. A time of shame and fear. A time when I thought I would never see her again. I reflect on the past struggles and joys that brought me to this moment. I think about April 8, 2007. The worst and best day of my life.

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When Addiction Threatens Your Relationship