Do not be discouraged: an essay

“Many of us exclaimed, ‘What an order, I can’t go through with it.’ Do not be discouraged.” Alcoholics Anonymous page 60.

Here I sit at 11:20 pm, and reflect on those words. Having re-read through the homework lists, the step lists, and all the work involved in finding and maintaining recovery, I look back to my disease as it was when I was actively drinking.

My day would begin with crawling from the bed, strewn with my own vomit, urine, and feces and I would crawl to the bathroom. I would either vomit until there was nothing left, or dry heave over a bucket while I sat on the stool. My apartment was filled with filth. I’d go to my desk and swallow the first of 23 psychiatric pills of the day, and wash it down with either beer or a shot of whiskey. I’d crawl back to bed and go back to sleep for the next few hours until I had to get up and do it again. I slept the clock around, usually 20 hours a day, and spent more time wasted than sober.

During the first few days and months of AA meetings, I would go to a meeting, and leave anytime anyone mentioned God. I hated God. God had done this to me, I thought, and life was pure hell. I had constant flashbacks of the beatings I’d received, the time I had been raped, and of being molested as a child. Nothing helped.

I talked baby talk, or stuttered most of the time. I lost the ability to read and write.

I hated life, and I longed to die.

Eventually, I found a sponsor willing to work with a sick bastard like me. I was not worthy, and I was worthless. 

Eventually, after going to meetings, and working the steps a bit, I stopped cutting my own flesh. After 13 months of hell, I stopped drinking, and got off of all the psychiatric medications.

The first time I did steps 6 and 7, I was in a full-fledged panic attack. 

I survived the first time I worked the twelve steps, and went on to work them again. 

“Do not be discouraged.” 

For me, it is much easier to work the program of action outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous than it ever was to keep drinking and taking pills. 

This, for me, no matter how much homework it is, no matter how many hours a day the work takes me, is infinitely better than slowly dying but not dying.

Today, God gives me the strength to stay clean and sober. Today, God helps me get through the pain, one minute at a time.

I am grateful, for everything the Lord has handed me.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


Time limits on step work: I.E. deadlines, an essay

I assign time limits for step style homework to those I sponsor. 

Why on earth would I do that?

The reason is simple: Procrastination breeds procrastination. The mess is still going to be there whether you put it off one day or ten months. Procrastination also breeds doubt in myself. The longer I put off doing some vital recovery work, the larger the homework becomes in my head. Read pages 417 through 420 in the Big Book if you want a reference for this.

I, like the author of Acceptance was the answer, have a magic magnifying mind. I can make mountains out of molehills in seconds. The longer I put things off, the worse the problem becomes. So, the sooner I get off my dead arse and get busy, the healthier I will become.

So, I give deadlines to myself, as well as to the people I sponsor. Extending those deadlines, I have learned, only prolongs the ripping off of the bandaids, and is not a kindness. I am not an advocate of working one step per year. I am an advocate of starting step 2 the day step 1 is finished etc..

That’s all for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Medications and Sobriety an essay

I am not a professional. I am just an alcoholic in recovery. That said, here is what I do when forced to take medications for medical problems and conditions.

I have talked at length with my physician over the years. He understands the depths of my alcoholism and drug addiction.  He also understands that the phenomenon of craving comes quicker and harder in me for substances than the average patient. We have weeded out over the years, many substances that are now on my allergy list due to the phenomenon of craving. 

My doctor has had training in dealing with alcoholics and drug addicts. He knows beyond a reasonable doubt, what drug seeking behavior is. He also knows me. There are times I have gone to the emergency room not for drugs, but to make sure that there is no permanent damage done to my body.

That said, what do I tell my sponsees?

I say, “I am not a medical professional. Your recovery is your business, and what pills you take are between you and your professional medical and/or psychiatric staff.” I also say, “If you are on medications, keep track in your planner or on a tracking sheet when you take your medications so that you do not have problems with it, or overdose.”

That is it. 

I think that the main point here is that I understand completely the nature of my alcoholism and other problems. I have a Doctor who I trust completely. I also have a medical team who is working to help me figure out what is the best for me. I have worked the twelve steps many times and applied them to the problems in my life.

That’s all I have for now.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at