My First AA Meeting… Scared to Death

  The sounds of laughter trickled down the hall and up the stairs, carried on the currents of coffee and lingering stale cigarette smoke. I stood at the top railing, peering down. There was no one was in sight, but I could hear them. I looked back behind me, through the double doors of the […]

Fear Not the Pink Cloud, My Sober Friends

  You can see it up there, can’t you? Right beside the sun, next to the unicorn. It’s hard to miss—a fluffy mass resplendent in its coral color. It has a built-in espresso maker and from its center, rainbows shoot high in the sky and stain the horizon with joy and high-fives.   If you’ve […]

Fear and Fury in Recovery – The Deep Stuff…

  The word “fear” for many conjures up images of clowns, snakes, dogs, public speaking, flying and other common events or things. We speak about situations that bring us dread and terror or objects that evoke distress or fright. Personally, heights and most insects crank up my fear factor—my own hell would be climbing a tall ladder […]

Getting Self-Esteem (I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Think About)

Mirrors   I used to love looking in mirrors. As a child, I’d frown, make funny faces and would see just how far I could cross my eyes. I inspected myself—the gap in my two front chompers, the length of my hair, the way my eyebrows almost met. As I grew up, I found myself […]

Sobriety and Boredom Do Not Mix…

  “I’m bored.”   I hear my kids declare this sometimes, as they stare at the dozens of toys and games surrounding them. “There’s nothing to do!” they moan, stepping over all their LEGO, cars and train tracks. They seem to just see past the plethora of things that other kids would love to have […]

Music: Addiction’s Emotional Lifeline…

“Talking about music is like dancing about architecture” – Martin Mull   Music has always been with me.   As a child, I would scour through my parents’ record collection and lay out the albums on the floor like shingles. Over-sized headphones cut out noise as I delved into the worlds of The Rocky Horror […]

Run, Paul, Run! The Role of Exercise in Recovery.

I never wanted to run.   My father ran for many decades. When I was a kid, he would come home, his face all sweaty, in defiance of his headband, and he would chase my brother and me trying to kiss and hug us while wiping his face on our t-shirts. We squealed in delight […]

Sugar Coating the Truth

  It starts with the anticipation. The lead up to my next hit is almost as good as the score itself. The wanting, the waiting, the luscious dance between want and need. I can barely contain myself as I reach into my bag and lay out the goods, away from prying eyes—Hershey’s Kisses, Smarties, Kit […]