Point of View

I don’t know horses, but I know people in recovery

If I had to place money on either a horse race or on picking winners from early recovery, I’d be a better bettor at Pimlico or Churchill Downs than at a church basement or outdoor All-Recovery meeting. At the track, at least I’d have luck on my side—along with a little bit of information about the horses’ previous record. In early recovery, where most folks look like they’re way below down on their luck, appearances can be are deceiving. READ MORE

Point of View

Perspective: What recovery looks like

I’ve been down many times in my life, looking up at people in the power structure, whether case managers, or food pantry workers or just someone to bum enough money for smokes off of. That stinks. They didn’t seem fully human to me when I gazed up the nostrils of privilege or stared hopefully at the chin of pride and arrogance. At least, that’s how people above me always appeared, no matter what they did to try to establish “rapport,” which all too often just made me more suspicious of them.  READ MORE

Point of View

Spirituality and Recovery

I am one of the last people you should listen to on issues of spirituality. After all, when I first got into recovery, my higher power (Higher Power for those of you for whom higher power is a substitute word for God) was an imaginary number—i is the symbol for the square root of -1, a value that does not exist for square roots must be positive. Although imaginary, i is indispensable in solving some quadratic equations. If math problems can be solved with a nonexistent value, then it was good enough to help me solve the problem of my life. If nothing else, it placed something outside my will, ego and appetite at the center of the universe. READ MORE

The Thinker
Point of View

Over time, little by slowly, recovery becomes who we are

Theories offer only a half-constructed bridge to reality. Put another way, I’d rather learn about combat from real soldiers who have fought in real wars than from military theorists. Give me Norman Mailer, James Jones or Tobias Wolff over von Clausewitz, B.H. Liddell Hart or even Lao Tzu. The man who has been to war knows combat in his bones and heart; the theorist only in his mind. READ MORE

Point of View

Any man who finds early recovery easy probably didn’t need recovery at all

Recovery is about way more than not drinking. It’s about redux—a return to health after a period of sickness. Sometimes, though, we get so used to being diseased that health feels unhealthy, particularly when that disease has provided our best friend, our constant companion, our soulmate—meth, dope, coke, booze. Like a starving man with a meal of diseased meat, we know we must consume even as that consumption slowly kills us. READ MORE

Around Town

My fellow recovery sojournors: Where there’s Hope there’s help

There is one proven solution for quitting drug and alcohol use. It is 100 percent effective, with no relapse or reoccurrence worries at all. This solution guarantees the drinker or drugger will never, ever use again. Not only that, it is easily available to all who use, and for many is the ultimate goal of addiction—even if the drug or alcohol user isn’t ever consciously aiming toward it. This solution has no side effects for the user and requires nothing—no change in attitude nor behavior—it is completely effective… READ MORE

Point of View

Finding Recovery

For most of us at Hope, abstinence and time were never enough. Like sponges left to dry under a sink for days, weeks, months, even years, something inside us always yearned to get just another taste, whether of dope or booze or meth or whatever. In fact, for people like me, abstinence without a program of recovery was worse than any drug or alcohol issues—or at least life was less livable. Between the ages of, let us say, 12 and 47, I had two periods where I was denied access to drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time. At the end of each of those times, I was actively suicidal. Really.  READ MORE