Category Archives: ADDICTION


July 5, 2011 – 4 years ago today was my first day without a drink “in a while.” Boy, THATs a l.o.n.g story cut short! 4 years ago tomorrow was my first ever AA mtg.

Stayed dry 90+ days. Went to 80+ meetings. Then, my wife’n I went on a 3 day anniversary trip. The resort left us a bottle of wine. Yep, I did! ’cause, ya’see, I came to AA to learn how to stop drinking… SO MUCH! So – it was easy to say – “I think I’ve learned how…”

4 months later, when I came back to AA, I KNEW I was/am powerless over alcohol. In my relapse, I learned my lesson. That was 1,227 days ago – 40.32 months for those of us who might be numbers challenged!

I now know – I’m not totally powerless…  I have the power to make the choice to NOT.TAKE.THAT.FIRST.ONE!!

After the first one, I PROBABLY won’t have a choice. At least, that’s been my pattern. THAT makes me powerless. I must know and stay within the limits of my power

I’ve already made the decision – SO I DON’T!! Take that first one! ’cause the next one (no matter how much later) is the second, and the next is the third. And then, I’ll lose count… Again. And then, I’ll lose… things, people, respect, Love… That price is too high! The real price of alcohol (for me) is MUCH more than the price on the shelf.

That’s what I learned in relapse. Am I a Real alcoholic? I don’t know! I always thought a “Real Alcoholic” lived in the gutter. That certainly was never me. (yet) BUT I do know I am powerless over my addiction. And that’s all I need to know.

And for that, I am GRATEFUL!


My BOYZ’n I had a rough night last evening.

I spent the evening by myself. Well, an hour or two. My son-in-law’s in the hospital waiting for surgery tomorrow. My wife and daughter had gone to dinner with “the girls” and then to a painting class.

   Nelda - Daisys

 That left me with my twin grandsons for dinner, to an open house at their school, showers and to bed. But the evening was not quite that easy.
I got into a bad mood which put the boys in a bad mood. Or was it the other way around? But… I AM the adult! S’pose to be, anyway! Suffice it to say, by the time they were settled for the night,
I was ready for a drink!
    …Yeah, that was my thought. Kinda surprised me.
But – I’ve been having that thought – A few times lately.
It’s because I’ve been remembering the GOOD things a drink would bring. I’ve been remembering the pleasures. Like a margarita w/Mexican dinner. Or sharing a bottle o’wine on Friday nites with my WW.
I remember thinking:  “You know, a glass of wine, or a vodka on the rocks, or a vodka and cranberry would just help take the edge off. A drink or two would actually help me settle down so I’ll treat my BOYZ better.”
So yeah – I was remembering the beneficial effects that alcohol could bring into my life and my relationships.
But there were two excuses I used when I was drinking. One was: “I’ve had a rough day, a couple drinks would just make it all go away and help me settle down.”
The second excuse was: “Wow, what a wonderful day I’ve had. It’s time to celebrate. What better way to enjoy myself than to have two or three drinks.” Did you catch the change?
You know, a glass of wine would really help me relax…”
You know, a drink or two would take the edge off…”
You know, two or three drinks just to celebrate…”
But 4 years ago, I got to the point that one to even three drinks did not take me to a stopping point. My stopping point was when my daughter said: “Dad you can’t have my sons in your truck with you again.” The stopping point was at dinner on July 4th 4 years ago when it took me three days to remember everything that went on and all I said that crazy afternoon. A reason to stay stopped was when my WW told me: “…and U hurt me more than U think U did!”
So last night – because I have learned that I don’t stop until it’s too late, I did not start. I did not have that first one.
I’ve changed my thinking.
But I’ve been sober long enough to begin to forget the pain. I’ve been sober long enough to begin to overlook the damage my drinking brought to the lives of others. I realize this morning –
This is a dangerous place to be
It would be easy for me to think:
My family’s over the damage I caused.”
I can enjoy it now, without the danger of having ‘too much.'”
I can handle it. It’s been more than 3 years, and I’ve learned a lot!”
But… Not only has my thinking  changed, my actions have followed.
So I went to bed sober last nite. I was lying in bed watching a John Wayne movie on my iPhone when she came home. This morning I awoke to my 1,162nd day somber. In a row.
The TWINZ’n I are friends again. I can still take them with me without having to ask their mother for permission. My WW is still my BFF.
I don’t have to worry about not being able to stop after two or three. I just don’t take the first one. If I take the first one, the next one is the second. Then the next is third. It won’t matter how far apart they are; minutes, hours, or days. The 2nd and 3rd WILL follow the first. Before I know it, sooner or later, I WILL lose count – and control, again.
I’ve discovered I CAN control my drinking! I don’t take that FIRST one.
I’ve also discovered that alcohol has NOTHING to offer me that I don’t already have – IN ABUNDANCE!
I don’t have to remember the bad times, I don’t have to risk hurting my family and friends because I’ve had too much. Again.
I just have to remember this –
It really ISjust that simple. 
It ain’t always easy,
But it’s simple!


Read Part 1 HERE.


I’ve written about this before, but one of the major reasons for the amount of GRATITUDE I have in my life happened in an AA meeting.

I had been becoming more and more aware of the inconsistency of my gratitude. On this particular Saturday morning, I was attending a 7:00 men’s meeting, along with about 80 others.

The “Chairperson” introduced himself by saying: “Hi, I’m Joe-Pete-Sam. I am addicted to ‘MORE‘”

I immediately knew exactly what he meant. And it gave me an answer to my Q. I was always waiting, intending to be grateful “tomorrow”, when I got “more”. Trouble is, THAT tomorrow seldom came. So I was seldom grateful.

An amazing thing happens when I sit in recovery meetings, either in AA or Celebrate Recovery and listen to others share their stories. I sometimes hear mine. In the ensuing days and weeks, I found myself not waiting until tomorrow to be grateful for what I had.

As I learned to be grateful for what I had – TODAY!! – It became more than I thought.



TidBit o’Wisdom from my Daughter #37


The other day my Daughter described my codependency as:

An addiction to being needed

She said I “keep finding people whom I use to fix that need in me



Thx, I needed that!

Do U have someone in Ur life that can tell U the things U need to hear?
Do U listen?

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy
(‭Proverbs‬ ‭27‬:‭6‬ NLT)

Today’s New Word

Which comes first? Comparing or Complaining?

Lately, I’ve realized (again) just how deadly comparisons can be.
I had an epiphany a while back. (I always wanted one of those! lol)
I realized the majority (all?) of the complaining I do comes because I compare.
I compare how other people in my life treat me with how I think I deserve to be treated.
I compare my life with what I expected it to be by now – Or with what I still want it to be… someday, tomorrow. Or with what I think I remember how it USED to be. I compare
my intentions with the results I see in the lives of others. I compare what I KNOW
is inside me with what others allow me to see in their lives. I  compare… with
sometimes – usually – deadly results. So often, the end result of my
comparing drives me into a pit. Then, I open my mouth…

I coined a new word the other day

verb – The act of complaining because we have compared and fallen short.
noun – The art of verbalizing an inner turmoil

Not all comparisons turn out like this…

my life

How many of us can say: “My life did not go as I planned“?
How do we get to the point of saying “But That’s OK!”

As I’ve said in previous posts, COMPARISON is a thief of joy.

About 2 years ago, I realized how fleeting gratitude was for me
I had seasons of appreciating what and who was in my life, but
then the storm would come and it would all blow away like smoke
One day I listened as a guy shared: “Hi, I’m ‘Joe’, I’m addicted to MORE!

Ah Ha!” said I, “That’s me!” Whatever I have in my life, I want – “MORE!
When I compare today with yesterday and have MOREI’m grateful for it
But if I compare and find less, Woe is me and all those around me…

I have perfected the art of COMPLAIRING.
i sometimes think I have a master’s degree in it.
But I’m learning – HE is teaching me,- to CHOOSE to be GRATEFUL

Philipians 4:6-8

For Today, Just for Today…

For Today, Just for Today…

The other day, I was talking with a good (my best) friend and said: “If God is not pleased with you and your walk with him, there is absolutely NO hope for me. I might as well give up now.” This turned out to be a very important statement for both of us. I had been going through a time that I realized that I was(am) addicted to more. Whatever I have in my life, I want more.

This has played out in every aspect of my being. Food.(especially ice cream) Money. TV. Relationships. Alcohol. God.   …GOD? Addicted to more of God? Are you kidding me? A person can never have too much of God, Right? Well, let’s look at it in a different way….

Addiction can NEVER be satisfied. Addiction can show up in an area of your life that in most other people would be considered normal. AA calls those people “normies”. Normies can take it or leave it. Addicts are never satisfied. Never satisfied. A normy can take a drink (or two) and leave half of the second glass at the table and walk away. An alcoholic looks at that half-filled glass on the table and wants to drain it as he gets up. For him, one is too many, a thousand won’t satisfy.

You’re probably saying… “Jim, what in the world does addiction to alcohol (or ______ younameit) have to do with my relationship with God”? Never satisfied. Let me ask the question another way: Is it possible to be satisfied in my relationship with God? For the majority of my life, I would have answered – “NO!!” “Oh sure, there are times that He fills me and satisfies my desire for Him, but it never lasts.”

As I have come to recognize my addiction to more, and began to be healed in the many ways it affected me, it finally came down to my desire to have more of God. I recognize that so many of the expressions of needing more is because I have a hole in my soul that the wind blows through and nothing in my life can fill that hole. Not even more. I began to recognize that the deepest longing of my soul can ONLY be filled by an ongoing, dynamic, daily relationship with God. AA calls it a “higher power”. I call Him JESUS.

But – back to the question – Can I be satisfied in my relationship with God? As my friend and I were discussing this and he was expressing his dissatisfaction in his relationship with God, it dawned on me that For Today, Just For Today, I need to be satisfied with(in) my relationship with God. See, if I compare my relationship with God with my friend’s walk with him, I fail. He’s a trained minister. He’s had biblical training. He preaches the Word. He sings and leads worship. He studies and writes much more proficiently than I do. He….   “If God is not pleased with you and your walk with him, there is absolutely NO hope for me. I might as well give up now.”

Part of this post has to do with “comparing yourselves among yourselves”, but I’m not going down that path. Instead, I’m going to ask this: Is it possible that For Today, Just for Today, I need to be satisfied with the work that God has done and is doing in me? You see, I believe in PROCESS! I believe that the growth and changes that happen in my life because I have a relationship with Jesus are progressive. I am not at the same place in my life, in my walk with Him that I was 5 years ago. 2 years ago. 6 months ago. 6 weeks ago. Yesterday. And I will be different tomorrow. Next year. 5 years from now. But For Today, Just for Today, I need to understand my privilege of finding a place of rest. In Him.

Since the day my friend and I had that discussion, I am comparing myself less and less with his walk with Jesus. He has his walk, I have mine. OK, I’ll preach that sermon just a little bit… Comparison IS the thief of JOY! But it’s not only the comparison of me with my friend; it’s the comparison of ME, today, with where God is going to have me tomorrow, next week, next year. Or where I was yesterday. Last week.

Today, Just for Today, I need to be able to lie down in green pastures and rest in Him. As I find rest in His Presence, I can honestly pray; “Search me, Lord. Show me anything in my life that is not pleasing you.” As I pray that prayer, He is faithful to complete that work He began in me. Relentlessly Faithful!

The Process of becoming all that I can be for God has a lot more to
do with HIS work in me than it does MY work on me or for Him