Tag: Alcohol Recovery

Of All The People In The World To Teach Me A Valuable Recovery Lesson…

I think there are many components to successful addiction recovery, and that’s why so many people fail. One that many people gloss over, despite the fact it’s preached in 12-step groups, is being available and of service to others. I believe both the kindness of fellow addicts, coupled with my efforts to educate about porn addiction have helped me immensely.

Addicts are selfish. We lie and we take, take, take. To become a selfless person who gives is a massive paradigm shift. This is one of the reasons I tell people that inpatient rehab is important and valuable. While it does keep you away from your drug or bad behavior, it also creates an environment where inner change can happen, and be practiced before returning to the real world.

Early in my recovery, shortly after I returned to freelance journalism, I had an encounter with a recovering alcoholic and drug addict that really stuck with me.

I wrote an article for a recovery website about the history of substance abuse in professional wrestling, tracing the arc of the hard-partying, painkiller-abusing 1970s and ’80s to the radically different modern day with frequent drug testing and much cleaner lifestyles.

One of the reasons I love being a writer is because it allows me access to people I otherwise would never get to talk with, and this was one such time. As a kid, I loved wrestling, but I wasn’t into the guys like Hulk Hogan or Randy Savage who yelled into the microphone. I preferred guys who could talk great smack without raising their voices like Rowdy Roddy Piper, Nick Bockwinkel and especially Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

Roberts has been a poster boy for recovery in wrestling. Among the hardest partiers, it’s amazing he’s still alive. Having essentially spent all of his money on drugs, he was living in squalor in Georgia until seven or eight years ago when fellow wrestler “Diamond” Dallas Page rescued him and put him on a lifestyle regimen that changed things. This journey can be traced in the film “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake” which is a fantastic documentary.

Roberts seemed like a perfect interview subject and while it took a little bit of effort, I was able to connect with him. I admitted to being a huge fan as a kid, as I always do when I interview anybody I admire. It just seems phony for me to pretend I didn’t know his vast body of work.

We talked his recovery for about 20 minutes, and I mentioned that I was very new to recovery. At the time, I was only about three months out of my first rehab and it would be another six before I went to the sex/porn rehab in Texas. I was just really focusing on alcohol at the time.

“You’re taking notes so you got yourself a pen and paper there, right?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said.

“Write down this number,” he told me, giving me a telephone number with a Georgia area code. “That’s my personal cell number. If you ever find yourself struggling. If you’re at the grocery store and you think you’re going to buy beer or if you’re at a bar and you’re having a bad day. Whenever you need to, just call me and we’ll work through it. I don’t care if it’s the middle of the night.”

“Wow,” I said. “That’s a really nice thing to do. Thank you.”

“We gotta stick together if we’re gonna beat this disease,” he said.

A few minutes later, we said our goodbyes.

I never called him. The few times I felt skittish, I was able to get through the moment on my own. Despite still feeling the occasional craving to this day, I’ve never come what I’d say is close to relapsing.

In truth, I would have felt incredibly weird calling him. I know a former wrestler means nothing to 99% of the population, but he had a big impact on me as a kid. His character was the loner who did what he needed to do to survive to the next day. And as it turned out, the real guy was a lot like me, too. Calling on him to help would have been like a football fan calling Joe Montana or a basketball fan calling Michael Jordan. How do you seek help from people you’ve put on pedestals for decades?

Roberts’ kindness and reaching out really touched me. It sticks with me to this day. Somebody who I view as a superstar, but knew the same challenges of recovery as I did, wanted me to know he was there for me if I stumbled. The “bad guy” who once threw a snake at Andre the Giant wanted to help me if I needed it.

Thankfully, I didn’t need the help, but he did teach me a valuable lesson that day.

Back to School, err, Back to Blogging

Well, I’ve just renewed my domain name, so I guess you’re stuck with me for another year. I’m back from my blogging sabbatical. I probably made it sound like I just wanted to sit around the pool, and I did plenty of that early on, but I was a busy man this summer.

A long, relatively not strange trip

Two days ago, I returned from a massive road trip that was basically the entire month of August. I left Maine and drove west, then south with my daughter. We met my son and wife in San Francisco (they flew in) then traveled to Los Angeles where we met my brother’s family (they live there) and my parents (they flew in). We all went to Las Vegas, then just my father and I drove back to Maine. I was extremely lucky to spend so much time with people who helped me through my legal ordeal and recovery over the last six years.

In a way, I looked at the trip almost as a victory lap, or end of the legal part of the journey (I’m no longer on probation…read about it HERE) and sort of a way to hit the reset button before beginning the next chapter of my life. I drove, without help, 8,800 miles in 27 days, with 6 days not involving any driving.

I am also proud to say that I didn’t succumb to my porn or alcohol addictions. You want difficult? Try not to drink in Las Vegas. This is why I believe we face our triggers, not run from them.

I didn’t mention the trip on here because I didn’t want 101 suggestions of where to go since the 13 months planning the trip was a kind of solitary therapy. I tried to build the best trip for my family, depending on who was with me at the time. In the next week or two, I have to write my reviews for Trip Advisor, and I’ll include them here. I also didn’t talk about the trip because advertising your house is going to be empty is stupid.

Here are a few photos of my travels the last month through Grand Canyon, White Sands National Monument and the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

Read All About It

My other big news is that the manuscript of my second book, titled “He’s a Porn Addict…What Now? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions” is going through the late stages of editing, the cover is being created, marketing plans devised, etc. at the publisher.

I’ve written the book with the brilliant Tony Overbay, and if you don’t follow his site or listen to his podcast, I urge you to subscribe. Get all his info HERE.

You’re going to get sick of me talking about this book in the next year, so I’ll save the long-windedness for another day. I don’t have an official release date yet, but I imagine it will be late 2019 or early 2020.

One quick mention I should make is to all of the ladies on WordPress who have had to deal with their partners’ issues with sex and pornography. You were both the inspiration to write the book and many of you were helpful when I needed something explained.

Thank you for sticking with me through my absence. I added a few new followers and was surprised that I managed more hits than David Bowie’s later years over the summer. I promise that I’ll be contributing much more in upcoming weeks and months and look forward to hearing your stories as well.

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