Friday, March 29, 2024


Alcohol finally killed him in his late 40s.  For ten years this friend of my family had drank alcoholically.  And hundreds of times friends and family warned him that his addiction would take his life if he didn't cease the habit.  And he had good evidence that addiction kills; his sister had died of her addiction a few years ago.

This man's story isn't unique.  All of us who are sober today were warned more than once about our self-destructive lifestyles.  But, until things got really bad many of us hesitated to take the leap into recovery.

I was arrested and jailed many times for drug-related crimes but, didn't seek recovery during almost 40 years of addiction and pain.  One day I listened to other people and decided to change my life.  I knew that nothing would be different unless I walked the path of recovery.

A sad thing about this man's untimely death is that he leaves behind a circle of family and friends who loved him - including two young children.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Perfect World

How do we deal with life in an imperfect world?  When our clients don't pay their bills on time?  When the staff  gets stressed because they know we're in a dire situation?  I'm not sure of the correct answer but I do know that I've sat in a lot of 12-step meetings and counseling sessions that taught me to live life one day at a time.

Do I like the idea that we need to live one day at a time?  Not really.  And that's because I'm a self-centered addict who wants everything how and when he wants it.  But in 33 years of sobriety I've learned that things don't always go the way I want them to go.  But I've also learned that I'm powerless over most things outside myself - so I trust the universe to provide a solution to whatever dilemma I find myself in.  And you know if I just have patience and faith in the process life works out for the best.

And that's what I'm doing today.  Trusting in my higher power and living one day at a time is my solution.

Click here to email John

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Still the Same

I seem to have the ability to get into relations with volatile women who have issues with anger and control.  In fact, that seems to be the case nearly every time I find myself in a relationship that ends suddenly over something seemingly minor.  And it happened to me again this past week.

The woman I was with has always feared and hated two of my daughters.  And hated them to the point that she once ended up in jail and on probation for threatening one of them with a butcher knife.  Her excuse to me was that my daughter had always been threatening her - practically since our first date.  And while I may not be the brightest bulb in the box - plus I wear trifocals - I never witnessed one threat over a ten year period.

But the reality - in my opinion - is that people who attribute emotions to to others where they don't exist have serious emotional issues that they themselves can't control.  And I think that's the situation in this case.

The sad part about this situation is that this woman has several college degrees, is extremely attractive and has everything it takes to succeed in life.  The question is will she ever be able to fix herself?

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


Gratitude is one of the pillars of an enjoyable life.  Being ungrateful breeds unhappiness.  And having worked with recovering addicts and alcoholics for 33 years I believe that being ungrateful for what we have now opens the door to addiction to substances.

Many clients think that life would be perfect if they just had enough money, cars, girlfriends, vacations, or houses.  In other words - more stuff.  So, enough stuff would make me feel good.  But when they get enough stuff they learn than "enough" is a relative term.  As soon as we get a dose of what we want we find that it also is another empty fantasy.

If you say that you have nothing to be grateful for then you don't watch the news or follow the stories on the internet about what's going on in the world.  Wars in multiple countries.  Cannibalism in Haiti.  Thousands of homeless living on the streets of our largest cities.  My point is that we simply have to look around us and find many reasons for gratitude.

Look around and see that you have much more than most others:  that's gratitude.

Click here to email John

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Back at AA

I finally did something I haven't done since I joined the program 33 years ago;  I went for weeks        without attending a meeting.  And why would I give up the lifeline that rescued me from the very misery that nearly destroyed my life?  

Simple.  I'd had an accident while working out and fractured my right foot  - causing the doctor to fit me with at boot that confined my to my home since the first week of December.  While that doesn't seem like very long, maybe you should give it a try sometime.  At first I didn't think it would be a big deal.  Plenty of time to catch up on my reading.  Lots of time to binge watch movies.  Plenty of time to hang out on the web.

But let me tell you something; when you're a physically active person just hanging around the house gets boring real fast. While I  got a lot of support from AA friends and my sponsor  there's nothing like spending time at meetings fellow - shipping with those I got sober with.

Click here to email John

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Enjoying Work

I finally spent a full day at work after having been under medical care for nearly four months. The broken foot I suffered December third had prevented me from getting to my upstairs office. My doctor made me wear a boot that prevented me from going to the second floor of the non-profit where I work - one that that doesn't have funds for elevators,

We finally got around the problem by moving my office downstairs until my foot completely heals.  And what a joy it was too get back!  Not that we got any work done, but did some catching up on business.

During my time away I found myself falling into bouts of depression.  While we were able to work remotely, there's nothing like working alongside my companions in recovery.

That's why I don't look at the work I do as a job.  Instead, I look at it as an avocation that helps me and others help people on the path of recovery.  Totally immerse yourself in your work, in your mission, and you'll never work a day in  your life.

Click here to email John

Monday, March 11, 2024

Patience a Virtue?

When I broke my right foot during the first six days of my vacation to Mexico last December 3, I decided I'd try to look at the positive side of the situation.  After all, I'd have plenty of time to catch up on several audio books I'd been meaning to finish.  Movies I'd been wanting to catch up on  Puzzles I'd been wanting to been wanting to unravel,  However, it didn't work out that way.

Why didn't things go as I'd envisioned?  One of the the things I didn't factor in was doctors'  appointments.  Nor did I consider that I might get sick from something else.  Which I did; three weeks after I broke my foot, I spent six days in the hospital with a urinary tract infection.  And after being released from the hospital I came down with a 10 day case of the flu.  And a week after that I had a pacemaker implanted into my heart.  It seemed to go on and on.  I was starting to lose patience with everything and everyone - even though people were going out of their way to be helpful and pleasant to make my life easy as possible.  It seemed the more patience I tried to practice the more I needed,

Was this a test from the Universe?  Am I that important?  I don't think so.  I think - as I often say here is that life just happens.  And we must accept it as it comes,  And  now that's what I'm trying to do.