Posted on 10 April 2012
I was going to head to my local 12-Step group the other day to celebrate hitting five years sobriety and pick up a chip. It totally slipped my mind. I guess it was not that important to me to go through that ritual. Not sure what that means. Getting lazy in my sobriety? My priorities of what’s important to me in my sobriety have certainly changed since day one. I’ve gone from chaos to basically whittling my life down to very fundamental aspects that do not vary much one way or another day to day. This helps eliminate drama potential unless it occurs within those parameters. I’ve seen too many recovering addicts living in a constant state of drama because they never got control over their surroundings. My family, my girlfriend ,my pets and a few very close friends that I have had for many years are part of that equation. Is that sustainable with a productive and overall happy life in the long term?
I often wonder how I will react when things really spike outside the norm. Will the thoughts of Jim Beam and cocaine cross my mind to even out the drama? Is my program as off the 12-step beam as it is providing me with the balance for the bad times? I got a little taste of that recently when my dog Peanut was diagnosed with Cushings disease. Before I found out it was treatable, I thought I was going to lose her. I was immobilized with grief. Drinking or drugs never crossed my mind. What I thought about was seeking out the people in the fundamental circle I had created. That’s my program. Won’t say that it’s always sunny skies and margaritas(pardon the joke). It’s a constantly evolving cycle of the peaks and valleys of life. Just like anyone else. It works for me. That is what matters.
Posted on 12 June 2011
My trip to Miami and South Beach for the NBA Finals has been unique for me on a couple levels. The obvious is that this Dallas Mavericks playoff run has been an incredible experience. It has brought the city and fans together like no sporting event I have ever seen including the 2006 run. It has infused the city of Dallas with vigor and buzz.
The second is that the 2011 Finals mark a huge sobriety milestone for me in coming to Miami. I did not come to the 2006 Finals in Miami. I did not come, because I did not think I could handle it from a sobriety standpoint. As I write this, I have been sober for over 4 years. I was not sober in 2006 but I wanted to be.
In the years running up to the 2006 Finals, I was a regular visitor to South Beach. I was also regularly drunk and hungover every night and morning I was here. Sometimes wandering the streets in the early a.m because I was too drunk to remember where I was staying. Once I got sober, I thought it best not to return to the scene of the crime and much stupidity for a while. Too many temptations. Too much fire to burn me. I stayed away for 5 years. I took the same tact with Vegas where I also did a lot of damage to my body and wallet. I finally did return to Vegas for a convention 3 years into my sobriety It was a completely different experience sober. I considered it a milestone in my recovery. I want to live life without being afraid of myself and situations. Now comes South Beach. Not a problem at all. Spent Saturday night in my hotel room watching the tube. Not because I was afraid of putting myself in the insanity pot but because I had no desire to. Another milestone. Hoping the Mavs achieve their milestone while I am here, bringing back the Larry O’Brien Trophy. I will have a Diet Coke to celebrate.
Posted on 08 April 2011
Another year down. Four years sober. Lot’s of good and bad days in those years. Not because its a struggle to stay sober, it’ just life. Is that #WINNING? No Adonis DNA or TigerBlood here but I’m not sure you need that to beat alcohol/drug addiction nor am I sure those will beat addiction.
Can you do it with your mind like Charlie Sheen says he does? The answer is yes. For a month. For a year, whatever, It’s doable depending on the person. I think most people can achieve pretty much anything through force of will for the short burst. Teams go on winning streaks. For the full season of life? Without some structure and insight into your problem. How can you achieve control when your out of control and no context for what that means? I don’t think I could. That’s does not mean I want or need all the 12-Step ritulization and group think that many hold on to. That is not to say it’s a bad thing. It’s ok to hold on to group-think if that keeps you sober and happy. Many need that. Everyone is different. A concept that many in 12-Step refuse to accept when they push their way of staying sober on you. Not everyone but some. The problem is that when your scared, weak and hyper- susceptible to suggestion as many are when they start, “some” is a lot. I suspect that is where Charlie Sheen broke from it. I certainly did not like it but once I quit being angry over the pushing of a higher power disguised as religion by “some”, I was able to accept that addiction recovery is a unique process for everyone that is not necessarily dependent on a book or chart on the wall. Those things however, are a great start when you don’t know where to start. It certainly helped me. I will go to a meeting today and reflect on a great start. The season of life left to go. My season starts today and ends tonight. One day at a time.