i hate it when the good die young

but i hate it even more when they die unnecessarily.

Guinevere at guineveregetssober.com revisits the death of rocker Tom Petty, whose mid-tour death last fall left the music industry stunned and fans broken-hearted. To say the least, I was amazed and just a little angered when I finished reading her post and pondering things.

The Los Angeles medical examiner today announced autopsy results for Tom Petty, who was found dead last fall: it was found that he died of a heart attack caused by an accidental drug overdose. His body had traces of three different kinds of fentanyl—which seems to be ubiquitous in ODs involving opioids, particularly heroin, these days, and which was prescribed to Petty for pain—and also oxycodone (the drug in OxyContin) as well as two different benzodiazepines (Xanax and Restoril).

As they used to say when I was a kid: Enough drugs to kill a horse. 

And a doctor (or doctors) prescribed them all.

Nobody is innocent here but read the whole thing.

Daily Reflection 06/09

9
June
LIVING IN THE NOW
First, we try living in the now just in order to stay sober — and it works. Once the idea has become a part of our thinking, we find that living life in 24-hour segments is an effective and satisfying way to handle many other matters as well.
— LIVING SOBER, p. 7
“One Day At A Time.” To a newcomer this and other one-liners of A.A. may seem ridiculous. The passwords of the A.A. Fellowship can become lifelinesin moments of stress. Each day can be like a rose unfurling according to the plan of a Power greater than myself. My program should be planted in the right location, just as it will need to be groomed, nourished, and protected from disease. My planting will require patience, and my realizing that some flowers will be more perfect than others. Each stage of the petals’ unfolding can bring wonder and delight if I do not interfere or let my expectations override my acceptance — and this brings serenity.
It is absolutely true that the “one day at a time” moniker can seem like a gimmick to those early in recovery. What does that even mean, one day at a time?
I think that if everyone lived by that lifestyle we would all be better off. It means, for today, I am going to be the best me I can be. For a recovering addict that means, for today, I am not going to drink or drug. Then, I will worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.
My first “big-boy” job interview came in 2012 with a sales company I was applying for. At the time, I had been clean for just over 2 years and had seen great successes in my life. I had started serving at a downtown restaurant and was helping plan events for a nationwide company that flew me across the country. I had also gotten an apartment, gotten engaged, and had just recently had an accepted offer for me and my then fiance(now wife) to buy our first home together.
when I went to the interview one question I was asked was “what motivates you?” Now, during my drinking or drugging days I would have come back with some cliche answer, some bs spewing that I knew would be a passing answer. However, one thing I began doing early in recovery was being “overly-transparent”. I was honest. With myself and with others. In addiction honesty is  not something that addicts do. They are hiding bottles, hiding drugs, hiding their lives from those closest to them. In recovery you have to get honest.
So when I answered the interviewers question about “what motivates me” I knocked her back out-of-her chair. I remember it verbatim.
“Well, I’m a recovering addict. I was addicted to drugs for nearly 10 years and I have been clean for just over two. What that means is every single day, by the Grace of God, you get a better version of me than you got the day before. That’s because I live one day at a time and strive to always be better. Since I stopped using drugs and got clean I have lost over 100 lbs, I have managed a downtown restaurant at times, I have planned and coordinated national events, I have gotten an accepted offer on a house with my fiance and, if you hire me, I will be the hardest or most driven sales associate on your team.”
Think about this for one moment. I had never met this lady. She was the Assistant Vice President for the sales division of the company. I did not have a college education. I was essentially someone coming in for an interview with nothing more than only 2 years of truly consistent employment, two arrests on my record, and under-educated for the position comparatively speaking. She was blown away.
We then begin discussing her days at college and how she felt, perhaps, at one time she may have been drifting into addiction and without intervention from those closest to her she could easily be in the same circumstances I had previously found myself in. Needless to say, I got the job. I since have been promoted and hired away from another company in which I can manage sales. I did not disappoint my promise to be better each day. I “lived in the now”.
I tell you this story because it may be uncomfortable to “live in the now” or to tell someone you are a “recovering addict” who “lives one day at a time”. However, I assure you that it is that transparency that will help you thrive within your recovery. An addict needs to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Live one day at a time. Win today and then start stacking up days! God Bless
If you need us, we are here. All you have to do is call or come.
Address: 441 S Ritter Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46219

Daily Reflection 06/04-Letting Go of Our Old Selves

4
June
LETTING GO OF OUR OLD SELVES

Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. . . .Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable?

— ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 75, 76
If you follow one the Daily Reflections from the A.A. website you will see a pattern, which is beautiful. Patterns in and of themselves can be pretty neat. For example, if you create a good pattern of behavior from the onset your brain becomes familiarized with that pattern and your body reciprocates that natural good feeling(releasing of healthy endorphin’s), and your body begins to crave those good behaviors and patterns. However, when you create a bad pattern your body will naturally crave the bad behaviors that are associated with those patterns; no matter how harmful. This is why there is withdrawals from drug and alcohol abuse. This is why there is a program with a network for you.
“Letting go of our old selves” is another way of saying “break the pattern your in”. You have to come to terms with the fact that, for however long you had been drinking or drugging, it was destructive. You must let go of falsehoods such as thinking “maybe I can go drink acceptably after some treatment”. It’s more than that, as well.
I go to an after-care facility where I once received intensive outpatient help on the southside and speak to groups going through early recovery sometimes. I remember a story from about 3-4 years ago where a young lady with no more than 15-20 days of sober time under her belt(praise God) thought that going to the casino until 2 AM was an okay decision to make.
Now, I’m not saying that a recovering addict can never go to a casino, or a horse-race, or something like that. However, early on in recovery you must come to terms with the fact that you have to let go of your old selves. The rationale given from the lady in the group was: “well, alcohol is everywhere and you will have to face it and live your life around it, so why avoid that?”. You can see where the stinking thinking was coming in. I remember mentioning to her how early on it’s probably a good idea to go to places that will not be triggers, will “ring the bell”.
I said: “when you’re still early on, it may be a good idea to  avoid places that result in two different addictions groups”(citing gamblers anonymous and A.A.). The group then spoke about some clean places she could go such as A.A. events, McCallisters, etc. She ended up relapsing a few weeks later. However, she now still comes to the after-care unit and has been clean for over 2.5 years. It appears she just hadn’t met her bottom yet.
Earlier in the week I cited “people, places, and things”. That is a big deal in recovery and I believe that is what A.A. daily reflection is speaking to here. Recovery is a behavioral change. A behavioral recovery. You must have the willingness and acceptance to move into your new life as a clean and sober being.
I quickly realized the positive changes in my life early on in recovery. At the time of my addiction I was significantly overweight and I began exercising 30-45 minutes a day. This led to natural endorphin release and I began to feel healthier and wanted to find out more about this “healthy me”. Slowly, I began to get a life back. I got a career-job, moved out of a parents basement and into an apartment, got engaged, bought a house, got married, had a child, etc. However, what I remember MOST about early on in recovery is how it felt like i was meeting myself for the first time. Little light-bulbs were going off in my brain that had been dormant for nearly a decade.
Where I once sped down a street at lightning speeds, I was now driving the speed limit and embracing the nature around me. Where I once avoided interaction with family due to wanting to hide my shame from being an addict, I now looked forward to moments with my loved ones. My music taste changed. No longer was I simply listening to music for noise, but instead for inspiration.
See, this is what the program means when it discusses “letting go of our old selves”. You have to be willing to admit that how your life was being lived was not working and be open to the positive change within the program. Open to the ability to grow spiritually, physically, and mentally.
If you are struggling to “let go of your old self” or want to make a change in your life. Come see us. We are here for you. God Bless.
Address: 441 S Ritter Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46219