An Unsolicited Plug

For several reasons I make it a point not to review books or accept ads, “infographics,“ and guest posts on this blog, except in extremely rare situations.  When I tried it the first one led to more, and to requests that didn’t meet my standards (never easy to refuse for a codependent like me), plus other complications, like conflicts of interest, etc.  I don’t like hassles, and promoting business in whatever fashion is not the purpose of this site.  However, it’s my blog, and I occasionally make exceptions for myself when I think it’s important enough.  This is one of those times.

My long-time readers will probably have noticed the blurb in the sidebar for Joe C’s book, Beyond Belief, Agnostic Musings For 12-Step Life.  No doubt the word “agnostic” turned some of them off.  I’d like to comment on that, and explain why the ad, recommendation, or whatever you want to call it is there.

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Thought for the day 6/10/17

This is a good day for gratitude and what-ifs: what if Bill had been offended by Bob’s issues with other drugs; what if Bill had just taken the drink he so desperately wanted, instead of looking for an alternative? What if they just hadn’t been sympatico – the high-pressure Easterner and the Midwestern physician? Would I still have my sobriety to be grateful for? What about my other 12-step fellowships? 

Happy 82nd Birthday AA!

Am I Really “In Recovery”?

frog-on-a-log-clipart-1At most meetings of anonymous fellowships we have “go arounds”, where attendees identify themselves and assure one another that they are qualified to be present.  We hear “My name is Eddie, and I’m an alcoholic,” or “My name is Freida, and I’m addicted to gambling,” or “I’m Bill, in recovery from sex addiction,” or “I’m Larry, and I’m qualified to be here.”

Only Bill claims to be in recovery, and yet on closer inspection it may turn out that he’s merely attending meetings, while Larry — whose only claim is that he’s qualified to be here — may, indeed, be truly “in” recovery.

What does it mean, to be in recovery?  Continue reading


TANSTAAFLAddicts don’t do waiting well.  It’s not natural for us to wait.  We’re used to looking ahead to the next drink, drug, romantic encounter, twinkie, sale, thrill or what have you, and we want it right now!

The culture we live in doesn’t help.  It encourages us to take the easy route to — whatever.  We are told that the next easy, fun, fulfilling, better experience is just around the corner, if only we spend, read the next quick fix book by the current guru, try the latest designer beer, buy that Rolex.  We come to believe that life would be just great if we had that new car, pair of shoes, tried out that new restaurant, could get a date with that…you get the idea. Continue reading


“Alcohol is probably the worst of all of the drugs in terms of effects on the fetus…”
“Drinking habits of both the mother and father may cause problems for children.”

What Makes A Good Relationship?

At a recent meeting, someone brought up the topic of what makes a good relationship.

Good question.

equalityFirst of all, everyone has to want to be in the relationship. We all know, or can conceive, of situations where that is not the case. There are the obvious ones that send folks to protective shelters (if they’re lucky), and the “loveless marriages” where individuals either weren’t on the same page to begin with or grew apart over time, but stuck with it for the sake of the cats or something. There are people who are forced into business relationships which for various reasons can’t be untangled. These often “work”, but rarely well, and one or all parties are usually dissatisfied or downright unhappy.

We can all think of other situations where things don’t work out, and the root cause is usually a lack of equality. Good examples are a marriage where one party can’t be him/herself for economic or other reasons, or professional relationships where one party uses power without regard for others.

Equality is of paramount importance. Whenever one party is forced to change or pretend to change basic beliefs to maintain the relationship or please another, equality does not exist. This is most often seen in religious or ethnic situations, but can also exist in other areas such as business ethics, politics and so forth. Although these situations can seem to work out, far more often than not one or more of the parties will feel oppressed and the relationship will suffer. When equality is absent, a relationship becomes an issue of power and a struggle or capitulation are the only options. Either is a poor choice.

In the case of partner issues of these kinds, counseling – of BOTH parties, together and separately – may provide each the skills to resolve the differences. Sometimes a dissolution of the bond is the only answer. But one thing seems certain; unless some solution is reached and acted upon, someone (and most likely everyone) is going to suffer.

Equality is everything when it comes to human partnerships, of whatever kind. Trust me; I’ve been in both kinds.  Equal is better.