Flash to Bang – By Christine Beck

“No! Are you fucking crazy?  Put that down, right now! You’ll blow us both to kingdom come!” I couldn’t believe what I saw: my husband reaching up to the chandelier above our dining table, oil can in hand, getting ready to pour oil on lighted candles.  I imagined the coming firestorm. How could he be so stupid? He froze, turned to me and in that instant, I could see that he was not about to be challenged.  The hatred in his eyes was fierce, as if I was the enemy back in Vietnam. I fled.  Ran down the front hallway and started up the stairs, glass of wine in hand, miraculously not spilled.  He caught up with me in an instant, grabbed my arm. “Don’t you walk away from me!” Normally, I’d try to placate him, calm him down, minimize the issue.  How important was it after all? Nobody got… Continue reading

Podcast with Jodee Prouse, Author of The Sun Is Gone

Jodee Prouse is a speaker, blogger and author of the powerful memoir The Sun is Gone: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free. She is an outspoken advocate to eliminate the shame and stigma surrounding Addiction and Mental illness as well as empowering women to survive life’s challenge’s and family crisis. Jodee has two adult sons and has been married to her husband Jim for 27 years. They share their time between Sylvan Lake, Alberta and their cottage in Oroville, Washington. I talked to Jodee Prouse recently about her deeply intimate book, The Sun Is Gone. Everyone in the world should read this book. It’s a story of family and the consequences of addiction for all it’s members. It is raw and honest and brave, but full of compassion and empathy. Jodee and I spoke the day after she had to put her beloved dog to sleep, so… Continue reading

Retiring The Monkey

With a pending DWI and a nudge from the judge, I rushed into my 1st 12 step meeting – late. I had intended to get there on time, but my mind had other plans, as usual. Being responsible, considerate of others or punctual wasn’t my forte. Over the years, since my introduction to the program, I tried every way under the sun to stay sober – my way – only to meet with total failure by returning to drinking, isolation and, in the end, shaking my head and asking myself, “What happened?” Today, I’ve not only arrived at a place where I’m sober from alcohol, for 1 year now but I’m sober mentally and emotionally, as well, because I continue to grow along spiritual lines. Putting the plug in the jug, going to meetings, working the steps with a sponsor, reading recovery related material and thanking God throughout the day… Continue reading

Why Shouldn’t We Laugh?!

“…why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others…”  p. 132 Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Many people think that giving up drugs and alcohol are a sure pathway to becoming some old boring fuddy duddy with no friends, no fun and no laughter in their lives. The truth however, is actually quite the contrary. I never laughed as hard as I have – nearly hyperventilating mind you – anywhere else than at an AA meeting. Things just come out raw and unedited when people share from their hearts. Fact is stranger than fiction, that’s for sure. You just simply can’t make the stuff up. I had the pleasure of listening to an old-timer, we’ll call him “Jack.” The ol’ farm boy told the room that he literally walked to school uphill everyday both ways, in the snow, with no shoes when he was young.… Continue reading

My Army Life & Alcoholism (Part IV) – By Rick W.

Read part I of Ricks Story here Read part II of Ricks Story here Read part III of Ricks Story here       Each time that I left Portland, thinking that was the last time being with Joseph alive, something would happen were he would be just fine and go out to Burger King or to a rock concert or something spectacular. I was given the opportunity to be with my sons on Joseph’s 23rd birthday. He was bedridden and semi comatose, but we had a birthday party for him anyway. “I drank no matter what.” He passed away February 26, 2001. After my son’s funeral, I lost total control of everything. I had no feelings other than extreme anger. I really didn’t care for or about anything except myself and the pity that I felt. I drank no matter what. I hated even the mention of God. He… Continue reading