He looked at me in surprise when I reached across the desk and shook his hand.
"Congratulations," I told him. "Now maybe you'll be able to get sober."
And the last time I saw him he had a year clean.
It may seem cynical to congratulate someone on losing it all. Yet there's nothing more convincing than when our addiction trashes our life.
And I speak from experience. I went from vice-president of a nationwide company to living on the streets. And it took less than a year. At the end - with the one or two brain cells I had left - I realized I must change. Or die.
So when clients show up with nothing it's great. I know they might have the humility to realize they're powerless.