Today I celebrate seven years clean and sober! However, to be perfectly honest, I really do not feel like it should be a celebration of any sort.
Rather, I have always contended that I should always be free from alcohol and drugs, and, therefore, this day, like any other, is the norm!
After all, I had a fine upbringing from my parents, enjoyed a happy childhood, earned a college degree in journalism, and became successful in the business world.
Ending up addicted to alcohol and drugs, namely pain pills, was a result of some obviously unintended medical circumstances and poor lapses in judgment.
But, to this day, I take full responsibility for the consequences that followed, which included nearly six years behind bars, in addition to trips to psychiatric hospitals, emergency rooms, and a time living on the street as a homeless person.
I am sure anyone reading this now would argue that my being clean seven years is a big deal, but, again, I have always been my own worse enemy and harshest critic.
If there is one thing I can admit to being proud of, it’s the fact that I have been very resourceful in life, and have fought hard to overcome any obstacles that have come my way – most, if not all of which were through my own doing.
In addition, what I have learned over these past seven years of going to many Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous Meetings, as well as delivering motivational & inspirational speeches, is that the significance of my time being clean & sober is that it can, and hopefully will help other addicts in recovery to see they can get better too.
I know that, no matter what one has done in his or her past, recovery and a positive, productive life are possible.
To that extent, if there is ever anything I can do to help another recovering addict, or anyone not living up to their full potential in life, I will continue to be there at a moment’s notice.
In the meantime, if you haven’t read my book, “Jew in Jail” yet, I strongly urge you to do so.
It tells the story of how I was finally able to decide to turn my life around from my past addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, under the worst conditions imaginable of being a minority behind bars.
In addition, I also invite all of you to check out this speech I delivered in October of 2012 to a group of inmates who graduated from a drug program at a jail in Richmond, Virginia, to demonstrate again that, regardless of one’s past, it is possible to overcome any difficulty and go on to lead a productive, positive and successful life.
Until next time, everyone, take good care of yourselves and each other, and look for my next post very soon!