One Hundred Forms of Fear

When you're a child, all sorts of things may scare you: the dark, spiders, witches, whatever monster is lurking under the bed. As you grow though, and most of those acute fears lessen or vanish, a different brand appears, and it usually more subtle, an underlying sense of dread or insecurity. When I was trudging…

Waking Up

Real recovery is often likened to waking up, choosing to face reality without compulsively smoothing edges and running from what is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and frightening. Whether one is getting sober, confronting sex addiction, or quitting chewing gum at all hours of the day, stopping addictive behaviors, both highly destructive ones and the relatively benign, forces…

The Problem Isn’t Alcohol

The rooms of AA are filled with love addicts (including myself). They are also filled with sex addicts, food addicts, compulsive gamblers, hyper chain-smokers, spenders and debters, and exercise freaks. (Also including myself, at various times, minus the gambling). I was in a meeting last night that falls into the category of Friday night meeting…

Grow Up

I've had a new moment of clarity, folks. That real recovery might be about growing up into a mature, balanced, healthy adult. I don't mean looking like an adult, with a suit and briefcase and big fancy job, or a brood of kids and busy appointment book. But one who is able to live moderately,…

Suffer On

My friend is suffering. His head and heart are boiling with that sticky dread of self-hatred and hopelessness. He feels he is broken beyond repair. He thinks there is something deeply wrong with him. He's trying everything, as a sober alcoholic, to not feel. He doesn't believe me when I say I have been there,…

The Deepest Sobriety

There are these moments that come every so often where I fall on my knees in a sort of tender, tearful reverence to the fact that I am sober and free from the hell of alcoholism. Sometimes it comes from reading a novel that recaptures haunting tales of destructive boozing and the interminable suffering that…