Category Archives: Addiction Recovery

Facing Death In Sobriety

accacb19e8617fcb577a52ddd18377ccIt’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve posted here on Ask Recovery Rob. I’m not going to apologize, as we all go through changes and challenges in life. The last few years have been the most challenging in my 25 years (August 23) of sobriety. In fact, this past year has been the most.

A few years ago, I left the blogging world and working for a detox and rehab. I snatched up a marketing position with a start-up company that offered me good money, good exposure, and quite frankly this new position seemed to pull nearly every job experience I’ve had in to one position. I had to pinch myself, as it just seemed to good to be true. I won’t go into the specifics, but let’s just say that I should have taken more time, listened less to the promises, and paid more to the actions. As they say, the world is filled with good intentions. Or, we judge ourselves by our intentions while others judge us by actions.

I nearly went broke. They didn’t pay me the money they owed me, but that’s also on me. I stayed on way longer than I should have, but I finally had enough and found another paying job in October of 2016. It’s a crazy busy job that challenges/frustrates/rewards me nearly daily. Is it the end all? No, but it pays well, and I can start clearing up the wreckage.

As some may know, I have an ex. We split way back in 1995. We were both active alcoholics/addicts and got sober at the same time…before the split. We were lucky and maintained a friendship through the many trials and tribulations. In May of 2009, my ex picked up. I was living in San Diego at the time, which is many miles away from Boston. I tried over the many years to stay in touch, but when he disconnected his phone, his email, his work, and even all his friends, I knew there was one of four ways it would turn out:

  1. He’d call me asking for help.
  2. He’d call me saying he was sober.
  3. He’d land in jail
  4. He’d be dead.

Through the years, I made many calls, and I honestly can’t say a month went by that I didn’t go looking for him in some way. In Feb 2017, I received the call. It was the one I didn’t want. He’d died a couple weeks prior.

I was devastated. I could barely move.

I went to an AA Meeting. I cried. I was the most vulnerable I’d ever been.

I didn’t drink. I didn’t use. I didn’t break, although it felt like I was breaking each day.

I questioned my sobriety somewhat though. I question why I was there. I questioned the reasons I stayed sober. I questioned out loud.

My AA family was there for me. They nodded, offered condolences, hugs, and support. Some even understood when I said, “A part of me got sober for him. A part of me stayed sober to be that role model for him. A part of me got sober so that he would have a person to come back to. And now, those can no longer be motivators or me.”

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m an alcoholic. That was never in question. It’s just that a part of me was doing this with him, for him. I do hope I am explaining that clearly.

It still remains tough. I have good days and bad days, and I still can’t speak about him without emotion and fighting back the tears. I know it will get better.

And that’s what keeps me going back to meetings….at least today.

 

People in Recovery Get People in Recovery

Truth“My serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.”

This is such a powerful statement, which is found in the Big Book, Acceptance is the Answer. It depends on which edition of the Big Book you have to find the page, so give a look at the chapter and you tell ME what page is it on, okay?

My sober life is amazing. Well, at least I feel that way today. Tomorrow might be a tough day, but today will be a good one because I want it to be. I have the opportunity to share my story, share my crazy thoughts, share my struggles, and most importantly share my solutions. Continue reading

Book Review | Dig Deep In One Place

Last week I received a wonderful email regarding the book “Dig Deep in One Place: A Couple’s Journey to a Spiritual Life.” It’s a book written by Bill and Sandy Fifield who have both overcome addiction and are now passionate writers, speakers and artists. Bill and Sandy write wonderful, honest and encouraging articles on the struggles of overcoming addiction and healing the mind and body and would love to share their latest article with my readers. 

So, here goes!  Continue reading

Drug Addiction Advice | Holding On To Hope After Drug Detox

RecoveryRob3Holding on to hope during an opioid drug detox recovery can be a struggle. Most of us have tried to stop cold-turkey but the withdrawal pains were so difficult we reverted back to the opioids just to find some physical relief. It’s understandable, but the good news, if you’d like some drug addiction advice, is that the physical aspects of opioid dependency improve after a supervised medical detox. The ‘struggle’ then becomes more about PAWS, post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which psychological addiction, cravings, and temptations that can last for years, and in some cases PAWS can last a lifetime. Continue reading

Complacency and Slips

as_bill_sees_itMy favorite meeting of the week is Tuesday – Tuesdays mornings to be exact. The meeting surrounds the gem of a book, “As Bill Sees It.” What I like best about this book and the meeting is that it’s a bit of a forced topic. I often like that. I tend to ramble, so direction is still necessary. Anyhow, the meeting was about page 99 in “As Bill Sees It” and the page is entitled

“The “Slipper” Needs Understanding.” Continue reading

Addiction Advice – Not Every Road To Recovery is the Same

Addiction Advice“There are no coincidences in life.” I think I might have learned this in my first few years in Alcoholics Anonymous before I took some time away from it. I also think it is one facet of spiritual recovery they told me about. Most of you know, if you’ve been following me here on Ask Recovery Rob or over at Pat Moore Foundation, that I offer addiction advice…not a true and tried method of anything. Although I’ve been sober since 1992 I didn’t always hang out at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and I don’t toot that specific horn on everything. But, what I do love is their sense of community, their sense of structure, their sense of life. Continue reading

Relapse: LAPSE Movie Review

relapseI honestly believe there are no coincidences in life. I’ve been recently going through a number of problems; most of these new to me even after 20 years of sobriety. Addiction is an insidious disease, it works, worms, and manifests in the strangest and most destructive ways. To be honest, and I guess sobriety pulls this out of me, is that I was most likely heading in the direction of a relapse. Thankfully, by some divine intervention, the director of LAPSE somehow found me. Mr. Salerno, the writer/director asked if I’d review his film. Honored to be asked, I did so, and here’s my short film review. Continue reading