But for the Grace of G-d Go I…

I remember, a few years ago, on a Jewish holiday called Purim, where the goal actually, is to get so drunk that you would not be able to tell the difference between Haman and Mordechai (two of the main characters in the holiday’s story; the baddie (Haman), and Mordechai, the goodie.

I had moved way past my drinking phase by that time so I was able, B”H to experience and appreciate the full impact of what I saw.

At the time, say 4 years ago, my soon to be wife and I were living in a small So Ho-like neighborhood called Nachlaot.

And much like So Ho, there are the creative, cutting edge types, and the down in the dirt addict/alcoholic types there.

So that particular evening, due to the nature of the holiday, it was the alcoholics who were out, but not so about.

My girlfriend (at the time) and I were walking down the road, and as we approached a dumpster on our right, we noticed two or three completely blitzed, and by blitzed, I mean comatose people lying in (what I presumed were their own fluids) face down in the gutter.

Now, I have lived a very unusual life.

Taken all sorts of things, and wound up in many difficult situations.

I have not, however had the distinguished privilege, of laying face down in a gutter, and thank G-d for that!

But of course it is never too late.

IF i were to choose to follow that course, I could easily wind up in that situation, or an even worse one.

You see, I am not an alcoholic, have never been one, and thank G-d for that.

But I could be, if I chose not to keep up my daily sobriety routine.

And, just because they have now discovered that there is a gene for addiction, does not in any way mean that someone without the gene can’t become an alcoholic or drug addict with enough practice.

You see, they are equal opportunity destroyers, drugs and alcohol.

So just think, with enough time, energy, and practice, you too can wind up face down and comatose in a gutter!




The Uncontrollable Urge To Use


When someone is an addict, they will go near and far, high and low, and to pretty much any length to get their drug of choice.

There is nothing but the back seat and a pair of hand cuffs that can stop them.

Actually, I heard a story once, from whom I considered at the time a reliable source, that there was a man on PCP (making it,dealing it, in other words, a VERY bad man), who was wanted by the cops, etc, blah, blah, blah.

So finally the cops locate his whereabouts, surround his house, hand guns, shot guns, and machine guns drawn and at the ready. So after a couple of hours the guy comes out of his house, goes directly to his car (amidst the shouts and then threats of the police) opens the door and starts it.  So, needless to say the guy pulls a gun, and the cops open fire. But the guy is so hopped up on PCP, that he gets out of his car, walks back to his house (still under fire mind you) opens the door, closes it behind him and goes back to his “using table” carrying on where he left off.

You see he was making a beer run, but since PCP makes  you feel no pain, and almost superhuman, he felt almost nothing.

In any case around 30 minutes later the police entered his house, and found him face down in his PCP and blood everywhere.

As they were to find out later, via means of an autopsy, he also had 150 rounds of ammunition in him as well.

Still. He had gone to ANY length to get his drugs, huh?

I think so.

Obviously this is an extreme case.

Still the same chemical reactions that made this man (who just in case you were curious weighed roughly 400 lbs./181.43 Kg.) have to return to his drugs at all costs, are exactly the same that make any any other addict unable to stop, no matter the cost, using their drug.

Will scientists one-day create a pill that blocks all of the receptors in the brain that enable and encourage addiction?

Perhaps, as they are already making great strides in that arena, however, continuing use, with the hope, that very soon, there will be a magic pill, is not only inane, but also potentially deadly.

Listen, if you have never done a drug, DO NOT, trust me, save yourself 20/30/40 years of suffering and just find something else that interests you from the start, no matter WHAT everyone else is doing!

If you have, than it is never too late to get help, until it is too late.

When is too late?

Let’s see; a. your liver shuts down.

You get wet drain from alcoholism.

You are a nearly brain-dead junkie in a gutter somewhere.

Ah yes, and then there is death, which would be just a bit too late.

There are programs EVERYWHERE, costly programs, inexpensive programs, free programs, AA, NA, CA.

The point is that if you want to quit than the help is available!

If you don’t, then there is really no point in having this conversation.


Because NO ONE can make an addict quit until they are ready to do so.

Good Luck to you!


Why I Try to Write a New Post On a Daily Basis?

It's Amazing What Can Save Your Life!

My life has been extraordinary!  There is essentially nothing that I haven’t done, or tried, or partaken of.

Now I am a nearly 40-year-old man, I am married, I love my wife very, very much, and we have been extremely blessed with one son.

But the state of my life today, is not the point, at least for now.

The current topic of discussion is my past.  My life was rough, once I began to make my own decisions.  I made many, wrong decisions, and landed myself in a world of places where I would like to say I didn’t belong, but unfortunately, back then the truth is that I did!

Could I go to AA or NA meetings, yes, I could.

Could I get a sponsor who has 25 years clean, but is still an asshole?  Yes, I could also do that.

And while these meetings work for many, many people, they do not work for me, and yet I have been clean, sober, and happy for quite some time without them.

It is my philosophy that there are only three “principles” necessary, for an individual to adopt , in order to stay sober and happy long-term. 1. Maintain a SOLID spiritual program. 2. Practice RIGOROUS honesty, at all times, and 3. Write, on a daily basis, either an accounting of your day, or some other writing that reminds you, daily from where it is that you have come.  I practice these three principles in my life on a daily basis, and that is why I am clean, sober, and happy, today.

So, Why do I write a new post on a daily basis?

Now you know.

This is the tool, that I use, so that I NEVER forget, what I was, what happened, and what my life is like today.

Without this tool, I run the GREAT danger of forgetting, and that, my friends, is something that I simply CANNOT afford to do.

I have sworn, yes, to my G-d, to myself, to, my wife, child, family, and friends, that THIS TIME, this time I am well and truly done.

And the only thing that would, or could make me break that oath would be my forgetting myself, the things that I have done to hurt others, to hurt myself.

If however, I write, and practice the other two principles, on as daily of a basis as I possibly can, I reduce my chances of relapse, Be”H to almost nothing.

And  so I write…


Schlepping to Tel Aviv, Again…

Just Say No!!!

You know, I am so tired of this bullshit, that I can’t even express my frustration without using profanity any longer, and THAT my friends, is pretty bad!

Seriously, if the withdrawal were not that bad, and my mood swings (mostly bad) wouldn’t 100% (we’ve discussed it 🙂 ruin my marriage, I would shut myself up in the back room and suffer it out.  THAT is how sick and tired I am of this shit!

So I spoke with the bitch last night, she suggests that I come in, “we talk” and that she will give me my weekly prescription of Subutex.

You see, she has me by the balls, and she absolutely knows this fact.

I now NEED this medication, because it is very difficult to get (witch 🙂 she knows) and if I don’t take it I go into massive withdrawal, which she also knows that I really DO NOT want to do.

So, a rock and a hard place? Yes.

But not even my choice!

I did not choose to become addicted to opiates! I fell out of a friggin’ window and was put on opiates because they were the only think that helped the pain.

If I knew then, what I know now? I would have suffered through the leg pain, and dealt with it bitching and moaning the entire time, the best I could.

Alas, cest le guerre (such is war).  And this situation most certainly is what it is!

Am I angry? No.

Am I frustrated? Thoroughly!

This is the day that I am “looking forward” to: 1. Get on a multi-person taxi to Tel Aviv (travel time, approximately, 1 hour 15 minutes). When I get to Tel Aviv, I must then get on another multi-person taxi to the clinic. I must “have a talk” with the doctor, get my prescription, and then walk out to the main street and catch a cab to travel the 5 minutes it takes to get to the pharmacy, which because they are in cahoots with the clinic, charges three times what the medication would normally cost.

Then after I obtain the crap, I need to take the crosswalk on the same side of the road, and stand at the bus stop waiting for the 26 or 70 bus. This bus will take me back to where I arrived in Tel Aviv, at which point I will board another multi-person taxi, wait for anywhere form 1 minute to 30 until it fills up (10 seats) and then travel (now) 1 hour and 40 minutes due to rush hour.

When I exit, the taxi, I must wait anywhere between 1 and 45 minute for my bus home, and once I board, I am on my way back to my sanctuary.  Thank G-d.

Ah yes, and for this glorious, fun filled trip, Bob, I leave Jerusalem at 3:00 pm and don’t return home until roughly 8:30 pm.

Sound like fun, right?

In addition, I do the same EXACT thing EVERY Thursday!!!

Please people, listen to me VERY carefully.  Do not do stupid things, and get yourselves into situations like these. There is an old phrase which happens to apply very well here.

“Measure twice, cut once”. 

Please think before you act. 

No one deserves to be treated this way, or to have to go through this kind of ridiculousness treatment.


Becoming Aware that the Things That You Do and Say Affect Others

When we are in active addiction, we do and say things ALL the time that offend, frighten, and even horrify other people.  These others may be friends, family, co-workers, or anyone really.

But the fact that we are so out of control, completely unable to monitor our own words and behaviors, is nonetheless, of GREAT impact to others. When we are high, we are not concerned with our words, not concerned with others.

The only thing that we are concerned about if locating, obtaining, and using more, drugs, alcohol, or whatever it is.  Most addicts, at least the many that I have know, are very creative, loving, and endearing people.

They are, or often become the centerpiece of the family, and the most trusted of friends, when they are sober, that is.  This is why the addict can get away with the things that they can,  if, and when they do relapse (G-d forbid). People trust them.

Generally, the addict does not wake up one morning and say, “you know, today I am going to start fooling everyone who loves me, for say, the next 6 months, then I’ll relapse, and be able to take advantage of everybody, because, I’ll have earned their trust!, hahahahaha”.

An addict wants to genuinely love and be loved.  The addict wants to be a good person, and the addict generally, and especially in the later years, wants to stop using desperately.

The problem with the addict is that they FORGET!

This is why I try to write a daily blog about addiction.

What it was like, what happened, and what I am like now.

It is my belief as well as that of many others, that if remind myself on a daily basis, that it will be very difficult for me to forget, in fact, quite nearly, impossible.

To say that I am grateful for this ability would be a tremendous understatement.

I have hurt a great many people in my life, emotionally.  I am not a physical person, and was blessed with literally having no temper, so I have never, and G-d willing will never raised a hand to anyone in anger.

I have, to what was my great regret devastated many lives on the levels of trust and emotion.

I am not proud, but also no longer have any regrets about who I was, or the pain that I caused others.

I work exceptionally hard today to be rigorously honest, and to practice a solid spiritual program.

Do I always succeed?

Certainly not!

I do however, try the best that I can.

The way I see my choices are these; I can wallow in my past, feeling sorry for myself, and wanting to destroy the “monster” that I was, or I can move on, make a new life for myself, and continue to be happy, joyous, and free, a loving husband, and a good and loving father.

I choose the later.

Primarily because I see no reason to be miserable for the rest of my future, by holding on to my past.


The Pros and Cons of Addiction

There really are not any pros of addiction.  If, one can call feeling spectacular during the first couple of uses, and then chasing that “amazing” high for the rest of their lives a pro, then my mistake, there you have it.

The cons of addiction? Well, that is a completely different story, and one that I could spend many months, if not years writing.

Addiction destroys you.

It takes away every thing you have.

It takes away everyone and everything that you have ever loved, or has ever loved you.  Addiction takes away your sense of humor, your good looks, your friends, family, and ultimately, if you get there before it kills you, your freedom.

Roughly 10 years ago, my nieces and nephew, and I had a very deep conversation.  I told them that drugs were “from hell”, and that they (who were 10,8, and 6 at the time) should NEVER, ever even think about trying a drug.


Well for several reasons really:

  • You never know what will happen with that first hit that you take.
  • You could die from your first hit.
  • You could immediately become an addict.
  • You could be caught, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and be hauled off to jail; guilty until proven innocent for having done nothing at all. And wind up spending an awfully long time there.

Did they hear what I said to them, and have repeated a few times since? Do they remember that I missed their childhoods, and how badly it rips my heart apart every time it even crosses my mind?

Do they know how bad I feel when I realize that, for all intents and purposes; I don’t even have 2 nieces and a nephew, because I virtually know nothing about them?

I hope to G-d not!

You know, come to think of it, there are pros to addiction, and there are many. Please allow me to tell you about a few of them.

  • As an addict, you learn how not to be so selfish.
  • As an addict you learn to love, and not only yourself.
  • As an addict, you learn how to say that you are sorry; to your mother, your father, your friends, and the Lord knows how many other people you have hurt in you life.
  • You learn remorse.
  • You learn to feel.
  • You learn to take the cotton out of your ears, and place it in your mouth.
  • You learn to cry and mean it.
  • You learn to be a successful husband, father, and son.
  • And if you’re lucky, you will get a chance to make up for the problems that you have caused.

So, are there both pros and cons to being addicted, apparently there are.

There are several methods that one can utilize to make it into the light.  If you are honest, if you find a G-d, even one of your very own understanding, and learn to put NOTHING else in front of your recovery, then you just might have a chance of success.

However, should you find getting and staying sober, just too much work for you to handle?

Then G-d willing you will find the strength one day, and until then;

We’ll be waiting 🙂

Accept Yourself – Good, Bad, and Ugly

One of the hardest things for anyone to do in their life is to accept themselves.

We all have flaws.

We all have strengths, and we all have skeletons in our closets, which even if they are not major ones, we would just as well not have them laid out in the open for the general world to know about.

Now take the good things and, the bad things multiplied by about 50, the skeletons by 500, and there you have your typical addict.

You see, there just are not that many good things about being an addict.  And aside from the beginning days, where it actually has it’s fun moments, it is mostly bad, and filled with shame, guilt, and if one is really lucky, at least a touch of remorse.

Accepting oneself is the key to everything in life.  But we were all ruined from a very young age.  Walt Disney introduced the concept of prince charming.  Obviously no such person exists, and is only a stereotype.

However, when faced with a choice between reality and the handsome strapping archetype prince, which would you choose?

Men have been duped in pretty much the same way, young starlets, super-models, Abercrombie and Fitch girls, etc.

This, my friends, is not reality.

This is masochism.

I have a philosophy that we live many lives in one lifetime.

We are presented many chances, to make many different decisions in our lives.  We live, we learn, we laugh, we lose, we gain, and we reap the glory of many moments!

Learning to accept ourselves for who we are: good, bad, and ugly, is the key to living a happy and fulfilled life.

Sure we make mistakes, but we are supposed to.

Here is an example. If someone were to set a jet engine in front of you and ask you to fix it, your gut response would probably be something to the effect of letting out a hearty laugh, gathering you things together, and getting on your way. But how come? The only reason that this task seems impossible is because nobody has ever taught you to fix a jet engine.

If you knew how, it would be easy. Or easier, depending on how many times you had performed the exercise before.

By Nature, we are not perfect. We are flawed, and we are meant to be.

We make attempts; we make mistakes, we learn from them, hopefully, carry on, and try not to make the same mistakes again.

Our noses are too big, our belly’s too fat, our I.Q.s too low, our wife’s too bitchy, our husbands too late, too lazy, and not capable of making nearly enough money to keep us living the lives that we have become accustomed to living.

So when do we get a chance at being happy. When do we get a chance to be content, and begin moving in the right direction? When we learn to accept ourselves for who we are, good, bad, and ugly.

We have skills, skills that no one else has, and, we lack as well.  We have fat butts, double chins, 6 fingers on our fight hands, bad breath, good breath, no senses of humor, great senses or humor, and myriad other positives and negatives.

Once we learn to accept ourselves, good, bad, and ugly, then we have learned to fix that jet engine once and for all 🙂

And the best part is, that we NEVER have to learn the skill again.

We are human.

We are strong.

We are weak.

We are lost and found, sane and not, redeemed, and flawed beyond words.

And we are wonderful in every way.

Except the ways in which we are not.

Accept yourself.  Accept your friends, your parents.  Learn that you are just fine, exactly as you are, and you have no reason to change at all.

Unless, of course, you want to 🙂

10 Ways to Know You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

Rock Bottom - You'll Know When You Get There

  1. You have no money.
  2. No one will lend you any money.
  3. You owe a lot of money.
  4. You have no place to live.
  5. You own parents won’t even look at you let alone talk to you.
  6. You have no friends.
  7. You have no job.
  8. You have no clothing, but those on your back.
  9. You have not showered in a month.

10. You are an outcast, everywhere.

This is a VERY, very “over-the-top” scenario, and there are, of course, many varying scenarios ranging from very-low to very-high in between.

You have had an example of an extremely “bottom-of-barrel” low, and now I will give you an example of a much less noticeable one.

  1. The bank is beginning to breathe down your neck.
  2. The only people that will still lend you money are your parents.
  3. The bills are starting to pile up.
  4. You have not paid your rent in months.
  5. Warnings are starting to come from loved ones, that, if things don’t straighten out soon, your life is about to change dramatically.
  6. Your friends are thinning out.
  7. Your boss says, one more time, one, and that’s it.
  8. Your clothes are running low.
  9. You are starting to care less and les about your appearance.

10. You re beginning to be less and less welcome wherever you go.

Whether you are attending a holistic program, or a 12 Step Based program, “your” goal, actually, is to hit a bottom.  It is – bottom line – the ONLY thing that gives you a real chance at staying sober for any real length of time.

When I first got into trouble with the law, I had still not yet hit rock bottom. I was one of the types that had to learn HARD to learn at all.

It took a huge amount of pain and suffering cause by me, to both others, and myself to finally realize that enough was enough.

I still pray daily, that I never feel the need to return to that place, and those places in my life.

I would have to say that realistically, I had to hit roughly 10 different bottoms, or what I thought at the time were bottoms, before it all made sense in my head, or at least I pray to G-d that it has.

Today I feel good, I feel centered, I feel grounded. I pray everyday, maintain a solid spiritual program, and am as rigorously honest as humanly possible.

And yet, sobriety is an extremely tentative thing.  Or at least it has been in the past for me, and many others I know.

I know that I have hit rock bottom, literally.

I know that my Higher Power has saved my life directly, and left me with, Him willing, all of both the physical and mental scars to prove it.

When one has such an accident as I did, and lives to tell the tale, with all the pain to back it up, they should be incredibly grateful. I could easily have died.

I did not.

I could easily have been partially or fully paralyzed, but was not.

And I most certainly have been maimed beyond recognition.

I was not.

You see, G-d has always known, or at least it appears He has, that if I am to be taught a lesson, that it must be in a big, loud, screamed out way.

I must never be allowed to forget, ever.

I must literally hit rock bottom!

Sobriety is an Everyday Choice

Temptation is EVERYWHERE!

The wine isle at the grocery, street signs, and magazine ads, tempt us everyday!

Staying sober is tough!

There is only one addiction that is harder to beat than alcohol or drug addiction, and that is food addiction.

An alcoholic can avoid the wine section. A drug addict can avoid movies that they have heard have a lot of drug use in them. Still an addict has to make a decision on a daily basis to not pick up.

I do not wake up every morning and say, “I am absolutely not going to use today.  However, there are dozens of decisions each day that need to be made. There are feelings that need to be kept in check.

Should I take an extra Valium because I feel a bit anxious?  Sure I have a cough, but does that mean that I need to take an extra 20 mg. of Diazapam twice a day, instead of just 10?

I will tell you one thing, there is definitely not a guardian angel on my right shoulder, smacking my hand, or flicking me in the middle of my forehead every time I think of reaching for something, or thinking a thought that I should not.

I have to take it upon myself, sometimes every moment of every day to make the correct choices .  It is up to me to make a decision every moment of everyday as to whether I want to live my life, or eventually wind up as some brain dead junkie in a gutter somewhere.

It is my choice whether or not I decide to hold my head up high today.

It is my choice to decide whom I call on the phone, whether I enjoy spending time with my wife. My son.  Or whether I allow myself to become distracted and not pay attention to the things that really count.

Sometimes, I get a break, things are going well, my head is clear, and I hardly have to even think about sobriety.

I am one of the lucky ones, however, I have a blog, where I get to write everyday and remind myself of who I was, what happened, and who I am now.  And that?

That is a really big deal!

And I truly feel sorry for those who haven’t got a choice.

Who have to go to 12 Step Meetings, who either white knuckle it, or get it, or those who get the chance to go to a holistic program, and perhaps, REALLY make it!

To say that sobriety is a choice and not a guarantee is like saying that you are about to cross a four-lane highway, with your eyes closed at a very slow pace.

Nothing in life is a guarantee, but some choices are far more stupid than others.

Stop, think, consider (hard) the pros and the cons, and then, and only then make a decision.

If I have a bad day, which fortunately I have far fewer of today, then I talk about it with either my wife, or a good friend that is intimately familiar with my history.

If I am having a good day, I do the same.

Allowing Others Into Your Life

Abuse and Rape are two of the most common reasons that people begin to use drugs.

They can no longer handle the pain, and eventually look for a way to numb it. Trust.

Depending upon what kind of life they have had can be one of the hardest things to ever do again.

Sure they have intimacy issues but who could blame them? Right?

I have friends that were raped the first time they ever had sex, or abused by family members all their lives.

They had no idea what was going on, or what they were supposed to do. All they knew was that it was uncomfortable, and just felt wrong somehow.

Some people have tremendous courage, and immediately go to the police or to a counselor to report the person, for exactly what he or she has done to them.

Unfortunately, there are far more people who are scared into silence, and wind up carrying guilt, for something that they consider to be their fault, for years, and sometimes for a lifetime!

Years go by, and these individuals simply CANNOT take the shame and guilt any longer.  They need some kind of way to vent the pain, confusion, and frustration and they wind up turning to drugs.

One of the favorite drugs for rape or abuse victims is alcohol, because it totally removes their inhibitions, allowing them to speak feely with a friend about what really happened.

It numbs them, allowing them to feel nothing, and third, if they keep it up long enough they pass-out, and they do not remember a thing, and this, is blissful oblivion for them, by which for a few hours they can totally leave all reality behind.

Research has shown, that many rape victims become lesbians, never wanting to touch, smell, or even know that a man exists ever again.

And personally, I for one cannot blame them in the slightest. Most abuse victims wind up becoming abusers themselves. Most women who have been raped usually have one very good girlfriend, usually from childhood whom they can still trust.

They KNOW that this person would NEVER do anything to hurt them. Letting in new people, however, is an entirely different thing all together.

This is where either a 12 Step, or holistic program of some kind can be extremely helpful. They can get to know others slowly, in a very controlled, very slow-paced environment.

They can get a sponsor, preferably another woman who has been nearly through or even exactly through what they themselves have been through.  Unfortunately, there are WAY too many women who know exactly how it feels.

Now, of course, this does not deal with only rape or molestation situations. Abusive parents, sexually, verbally, to either their male or female children.  Traumas; houses burning down, family murder situations, and even simply the betrayal of a close friend with trusted information, or even being with an unfaithful partner, can lead to adult trust issues.

It is extremely difficult to allow someone to enter your inner circle after that area has been violated or betrayed.  Learning to trust again can be an extremely difficult thing.  Learning to allow people back into the “inner sanctum” of your life, can be nearly impossible.

Time heals, true, how long it takes to heal, well, that is another question all together. Still, we all need others to rely upon.  We need friends; we need people to talk to, to confide in, and to trust.

But first, we need to seek help to learn to forgive ourselves.  Once we learn to forgive, then, and only then, can we learn to forget.

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