Seven Years Clean & Counting!

Gary Seven Years Clean Tomorrow Thurs Oct 30 2014 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!

About gman18

I came into the world on October 18, 1961. John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. The film West Side Story was released, and would go on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Major League Baseball was celebrating Roger Maris of the New York Yankees, who hit a then-record 61 home runs that season. I was an excellent student, although a bit of a class clown too. I spent a majority of my time playing sports, but fell in love with newspapers, which was how I was initially introduced into writing and storytelling. While attending Kingsborough Community College from 1979-1981, I served as editor-in-chief of the school's paper, and then joined the staff at Long Island University's Seawanhaka for my junior and senior years. At L.I.U. where I earned my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism in 1983, I was also a selected member of Sigma Delta Chi, as well as Who's Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. My last year in college included an unpaid internship at WCBS-TV, Channel 2 in New York City, where I learned so much about the television business. Upon graduation, I landed a job at the network, starting as a news clerk for The CBS Morning News with Diane Sawyer, and also weekend shifts for The NFL Today with Brent Musburger. After quickly rising in the ranks to producer, my life suddenly went on a downward spiral due to addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, which ultimately led to nearly six years behind bars for robbery. My time incarcerated gave birth to my first published book, Jew in Jail, which tells my true story of how I finally decided to deal with my addictions and turn my life around, all the while under the toughest conditions imaginable of being a minority in the prison system, forced to fend for myself. Writing Jew in Jail - as I was doing my time - allowed me to become very introspective, and realize that I could help others in similar situations of being an addict and/or living with low self-esteem. Today, I still reside in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where I am working on my next book project, continuing to promote Jew in Jail, and always helping other addicts through my motivational and inspirational speeches, and one-on-one consultations.
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