Xanax barI am pleased to present another short excerpt from my new book, “Finding Your True Self In The Midst Of Chaos which will be published the last quarter of 2015. I hope you enjoy it. This excerpt has not been through the rigorous proofing and editing process the book will go through.

“Loose Change”

Fifteen years of accumulated change in box. Susan B. Anthony Dollars. Fifty-Cent pieces. My first day, one and five-year sobriety chips. Worn, corroded pennies, nickels and dimes. A box of memories. Memories of bouncing a basketball while I stole quarters from my father’s change jar as a teen so he would not hear me. Memories of pouring water into the whiskey bottle so he wouldn’t know. Memories of hiding my cocaine and black-market Xanax in this very box covered in change until I was ready to snort it. Fragmented memories and dreams.

Not sure how much money is in there. I also see foreign coins. Drunken trips to Mexico. Signs on every bathroom stall that cocaine illegal and you will go to jail. Never saw one of those signs on the countless United States bathroom stalls I utilized to do my blow. Would it have mattered? Nope.

Slot machine coins from various casinos in Vegas. My favorite place to do cocaine. The Flamingo Hilton. Used to go there with my family. I fought with my mom when we went. We fought over multiple failed marriages (mine). We fought over unresolved guilt past and present. Both of ours. We fought over what was in my mind, a lost childhood. Lost teen and adult years I subconsciously blamed her for. Eating disorders, alcohol, drugs. There is always someone to blame. Now we know they are not about blame. They are biologically based. Biology and environment can collide in evil ways. Like a super-nova engulfing everything around it.

Something white hidden deep in the change. I dig down. It’s a 3mg Xanax bar. Where the hell did that come from? Has to be at least 10 years old. I feel my heart rate quicken. I talk about triggers all the time and how to deal with them and here it is. It’s me. It’s now. A decision. I could pop it and no one would ever know. Is it about that? A new cycle of guilt. A new cycle of sobriety. Staring at that tiny white oblong object that had the ability to stir up so many intense memories and emotions within seconds. Frantic calls to my dealer for baggies of Xanax to bring me down from the cocaine binge the night before. When I could not get it, the next call for my black market Ambien. Sleep all day. Call in sick. I worked for family so I know I will be enabled. The every-shifting grey area between love, enablement and recovery that every family with an addict deals with. Ignoring friends, pets and all things that define part of our feelings of self worth. That little white pill knew all about me. It asked me what I intended to do. I walked into the bathroom. A bathroom where I had embraced bulimia. Where I had done cocaine on the granite counter top. Where I had secretly worshipped that white pill on my knees sick from the night before.

I thought about my girlfriend who trusted me. I thought about my family who had always been there for me. I thought about my future and the moment I was in. Eight years into recovery and I am not immune to such thoughts. I dropped to one knee. I dropped the pill. I flushed. Recovery is every day and every moment often not knowing what is around the corner. Sometimes pure chance has a way of reminding us. In recovery, life is full of loose change.

Brian Cuban is a an author whose best-selling book “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder” chronicles his first-hand experiences living with, and recovering from clinical depression, twenty-seven years of eating disorders and Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD),drug and alcohol addiction. Brian speaks regularly about his recovery and empowering students and adults to turn their worst moments into their greatest achievement.