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What if there were a Cure for Addiction? And I am not saying there is...June 10, 2020

This book is designed to help men who have already dealt with alcohol, drugs and sex addiction successfully.

There are twenty two excerpts from the Mercy Offices and eleven from the Strength Offices.

It is important to remember, as Carl Rogers would say, that “The Good life is a direction...not a destination”.

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AIANSTI = “And I’m not saying there is”.

What if there were a cure for addiction, AIANSTI ?

How would you know if there was a cure?

A better question is, “How you would know if there was not a cure?”

If any of these addictions are present…a cure is clearly not present:







7.Adult Children of Alcoholics issues



10.A-lanon issues

11.Anon-anonism issues






17.Love Addiction

18.Romance Addiction

19.Relationship Addiction


21.Artistic, Academic or Mystical Preoccupations

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What if there were a cure for addiction, AIANSTI ?

I would:

Inventory daily


Serve others who asked for help



Sing with my wife

Make some money

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What if there were a cure for addiction?…AIANSTI

I would laugh. “And why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered” ...Big Book

No more face to face meetings…only PrayerCall

No more confronting people, only acceptance of others

I would not try to change myself anymore. I would accept myself.

I would “ Easy does it”

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Not directing children what to do, until the age of majority, can be construed as “Reckless abandonment” and even “Criminal neglect”. However, upon the age of majority, telling kids what to do…is just controlling.

Similarly, while getting sober, the very best means to achieve that goal, is unselfish service to others, but if there really were a cure, AIANSTI, would that render service “controlling” thereby placing Step Eleven, prayer and meditation, as the highest prioritized spiritual action?

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What if there were a cure for addiction?…AIANSTI

For me, perfect food abstinence would define  and encapsulate it for me.

How would that look, for me?

Weighed and measured food only

No flour, no sugar

No individual binge foods

Typically, three meals per day, 8 ounces per meal

Nothing in between meals

Fasting 18 hours per day between 6:00pm and noon

Organic fruits and nuts

Wheatgrass daily

Living Foods

Meat only if there is iron or B12 shortfall

No restaurants

Whew!…That’s a lot! But, what is freedom worth to ya?

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Recovery can be experienced three hours at a time:

A half day’s work

A meal

Working out

Reading a book

A social event

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HP, if I were to create a personality “randomly” I would:

Laugh at everything

Be ever prayerful with myself

Be of service


Be lean

Love my wife

Live well and simply



Be frugal

Be well dressed

Sing with my wife

Be content

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What if there were a cure for addiction?…AIANSTI

I would eat sunflower sprouts, drink wheatgrass, swim, take B12 and iron supplements

I would read and work “in moderate demand”.

I would forget about my past (now that I have done my inner work) and I would laugh my Gluteus Maximus off.

I would eat three meals a day to insure a cure…and lock it up.

I would re-order life…to friends in books.

I would accept.

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What if there were a cure for addiction?…AIANSTI

I would spend time with my soul.

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Would you do it, Steve?

Would you give up every last trace of addictive pleasure if you could really the solve addiction problem…for yourself? For others?

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What if I did attain full freedom from all addiction?

In relation to other people? Meekness

In relationship to myself? Joy

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I am completely free.

I miss my recovery friends, but I have to keep moving.

God bless ‘em...

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Total freedom from addiction has been good: work, read, travel, physical intimacy with my wife, singing, listening to music, breath prayer, mat work, being in touch with my soul.

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I feel great peace this morning.

No addiction coursing through my brain.

I feel relaxed and appreciative: my mind quiet, body relaxed and soul at peace.

Freedom is so simple, so difficult, but so worth the effort.

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HP, I have done it...I have cured addiction.

I want to keep quiet about it.

Practice anonymity and humility...

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HP, having stopped all physical compulsion, the mental health needs to change.

Prayer and reading will work very nicely here.

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If there were a cure for addiction...AIANSTI

I somehow deludedly imagined I would never feel tired or frustrated or disappointed again.

Isn’t that just like an addict?...Imagining someway to feel good all the time.

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If there were a cure for addiction, AIANSTI, I have not been able to imagine what it would be like.

I thought it would be like something big, something grand, something magnificent...like having “superpowers”.

Today, it was simply praying four times, reading books in bed and spending time with my family.

It was nice. It was simple...

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“If there were a cure for addiction...AINSTI

Why all this pendantry?

1.Because there is absolutely no scientific evidence to back this up observation up.

2.It may be appear, as Gandhi was sometimes accused of, as quackery.

3.We might be taking ourselves “Too, damned seriously”

So...Mercy Offices that allude to a cure for addiction will start out with AIANSTI

Just like the book of Psalms has the word “Selah”  peppered throughout all 150 of them...And no one has any idea what that really means today.

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I am completely free today.

I feel pleasant and light, a thing I made fun of all my life as being mamby-pamby, lightweight and not serious enough.

I turn my life over to God today as it usually works out the best when I don’t have my hands on the steering wheel, driving life like Mr. Magoo.

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If I were to slip, my friends would say

“Steve is ill, what can I do to help him get well ?”.

My enemies would say, “That arrogant so-and-so...he had it coming.”

One of the multifarious complaints raised against me over the years has been:

“He is obsessed with recovery.”

“He is addicted to the steps.”

Not true.

People only get as much recovery as they want.

I wanted complete freedom not only from all addictions, but from the mental illness that is the gestalt of all addiction...

Feeling like I am moseying in on it...and normality is lookin’ kind of attractive.

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“Why shouldn’t we laugh…we have recovered”

I have completely recovered from all addictions and childhood abuse and even the generations of bad blood.

I have lost everything, but I not only have recovered…I have recreated myself.

I just laugh now.

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What freedom from all addiction is truly like:

It is 370 million years before whenever you are.

It’s hard to breathe here lying on the beach. I feel like I can’t get enough oxygen.

The air is too sharped edged compared to the water I’m used to breathing.

My heart is pounding.

Mostly I feel fear of being eaten. That’s the reason I crawled out of the water in the first place. I definitely was not the biggest fish in that pond.

The good news is that I’m the first animal on shore, so actually there’s nobody to eat me,

...Although, I don’t know that right now.

I am a Tetrapod, which means I would make a great piano player 370 million years from now because I have 8 fingers each on both hands, but I would make a terrible guitar player because I have no wrists.

Wikipedia will one day say about us (actually it will be me, specifically, they were talking about):

“The change from a body plan for breathing and navigating in water to a body plan enabling the animal to move on land is one of the most profound evolutionary changes known.”

I don’t know right now that I will evolve into a man, build subdivisions, and watch TV five hours a day, I am just glad that big fish got stuck in the sand chasing me up to shore.

I am breathing and I am not getting eaten...and that is good enough for me.

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What does freedom look like?

What if you could get completely sober from whatever addiction you’re facing, and you were guaranteed to never have to suffer from relapse ever again?

There would be no way to do that without completely giving your life to service, of course.

But, let’s say that you had completely given your life to service and, hypothetically, you would never act out again.

Would you stop serving?

For me, the answer is no.

Why? Because that is the best part of life.

“No greater love hath a man for another than to lay down his life for him”.

Service is the purest form of love.

And love is...life at its best.

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What does freedom look like?

I had to beat a food disorder to be free

Grieving losing my daughter

Grieving losing three friends when I got fully recovered

Surrendering active sexuality for 7 weeks

Getting really interested in my business

Now, besides working...it’s just working out, reading and practicing the guitar...like I would encourage any 12 year old boy to do.

I am happy with myself.

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“We have recovered”

Forward to the First Edition of the Big Book

The Big Book uses the word “recovered”  twenty-three times and “recovering,” only twice...and then in the context of the newcomer.

What do I do when I am recovered?

The first thing that I really discovered was that I wanted to continue to serve as a way of life because it makes me happy, not because I necessarily do it as a way to attain or maintain sobriety.

Secondly, there was some real freedom.

To put it in the English author George Elliot’s words:

“...for the first time to know what it was to get up in the morning without any imperative reason for doing one thing more than another.”

Wow! Really? What a life!

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HP, help me stay abstinent no matter what.

If I come around a corner too fast and start to careen out of control...right me.

Even if things get really challenging.

Help restore me to sanity if I lose my perspective.

I do not want to go back to where I was about anything self-destructive that I used to do.

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For Hank T.

If there were a cure for addiction (and I’m not saying there is) how would you know if there really was a cure present?”

A better question is, “How you would know if there was not a cure?”

What we are sure of is this. If any of these addictions are present…a cure is not present:

















17.Love Addiction

18.Romance Addiction

19.Relationship Addiction


21.Artistic, Academic or Mystical Preoccupations

Let’s get clear about something. Even if it is not possible to cure addiction, what is objectively true is that the simple striving for that impossible sounding goal has helped over 1750 people to recover from nearly two dozen addictions.

And that seems like a pretty good thing.

So, what If there were a cure for addiction (and I’m not saying there is) what would it look like?

What would be common, clearly, would be the absence of all these 21 addictions.

But what would be unique would be the life that each of us would build free of addiction.

Being a “Big fish story” kind off guy, as my wife describes me, I thought it would be like something grand and magnificent...like leaping over tall buildings in a single bound or stopping a runaway train with a single stiff-arm.

But, for me, it has simply been, after stopping all these addictions:

To work “in moderate demand”.

Letting go of my past, having done my inner work.

Re-ordering life to enjoy “friends” in books.

Inventory and meditation daily.

Serving others who asked for help.

Daily working out.

Singing with my wife.

Having “recovered “ which the Big Book mentions 23 times (and “recovering” only twice) there is no more confronting people, only acceptance of others…which I am sure is a great relief to innocent passersby.

I don’t change myself anymore, I accept myself.

I spend time with my soul.

I “Easy does it”.

Mostly…I laugh.

As the Big Book says “And why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered”.

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Second Office for Hank T.

Why all this pedantry around the word “cure”?

Seems to me if somebody was workin’ on a cure for everybody we would encourage him, especially if his group was working for free...Haven’t any of you read Tom Sawyer and the Whitewash story? My mama used to say “Praise the fools...and watch ‘em work”.

But, let’s get clear...

First, AA’s definition of a "cure" would mean an alcoholic could go back and drink again.

No one is saying that..ever, ever, ever!

Secondly, if there were a cure...and we are not saying there is, no one is saying that you could quit living a spiritual life. That’s ridiculous and slovenly.

AA says that we drink because we don’t live ”Life on life’s terms”.

What does that “Life on life’s terms”, mean, exactly?

1. Do a daily inventory

2. Pray and meditate for knowledge of God’s will everyday

3. Unselfishly serve others everyday

Not doing those three simple things is how we got here in the first place.

What these guys are sayin’ is simple. If there is a cure, other addictions can’t be present...and even an imbecile gets that.

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Third Office for Hank T.

“What would a “cure” for addiction look like?”

Simple...It would be the absence of all addiction.

In the late 1980’s insurance companies were paying $40,000/month for people to go into treatment for codependency, food addiction, sex addiction as well as alcoholism and drug addiction.

To protect herself AA created the “Singleness of Purpose” policy requesting that all sharing “be confined to one’s experience with alcohol”.

This was wise and prudent because people in Narcotics Anonymous meetings, who were also compulsive overeaters, were saying things like “I had an ice cream cone last night...and I wanted to kill myself”.

The heroin addicts in the room, many of them convicted felons, thought these guys were completely crazy...and so the good boundaries of Singleness of Purpose, buttressed by AA’s Third and Fifth Traditions, came to pass...

AA’s founder, Bill Wilson, died of emphysema from smoking cigarettes, as did Ebby Thatcher who “carried the message” to Bill in November of 1934.

So, there was still clearly addiction present in both those men’s lives.

That’s not my problem....I am not here to save the world.

But, my mama died from emphysema and my only brother is currently dying from that disease...so, I do try to be observant.

There was a 33 year old Jewish man, long ago, who once warned  “Don’t give what is holy to dogs...or they will turn on you and tear you to pieces”, so you gotta be careful sayin’ stuff like this around the AA boys.  “Brer fox...he lay low”.

So, here is the deal. No one is saying there is a cure.

What we are saying is that if any of these addictions are present...a cure is not present.

















17.Love Addiction

18.Romance Addiction

19.Relationship Addiction


21.Artistic, Academic or Mystical Preoccupations

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Fourth Office for Hank T.

Why would we care about curing addiction?

Because when addiction is present there is selfishness and dishonesty present, according to AA’s Big Book.

And is that how we want to treat our wives, husbands, children, customers, employers and friends?

It is not possible to have an ongoing addiction and treat these many peoples with love, honesty, openness, presence, fairness, gentleness and humor.

That alone is reason enough.

There are many more reasons. Here’s one that’ll eat at your gut.

When we die all we leave is the way we have treated people...nothing else lasts.

Do I really want to leave dishonesty and selfishness when I am gone?

In truth, it doesn’t matter if we really cure addiction.

What matters is that we move in that direction with all our might.

That is all that God asks...

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Fifth Office for Hank T.

There’s another good reason for searching for a cure for addiction.

According to Patrick Carnes PhD, two out of three people in America are either addicts or “friends or family members” of addicts.

That is 220 million people.

Leaving out the consequences of substance abuse or the repetition compulsion of a self-destructive behavior, there is simply the obsession, extremism, fear, resentment, selfishness, and dishonesty that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the AA 12 x 12 so eloquently refer to that could be addressed directly if addiction did not bar the way.

That would relieve a lot of suffering for a lot of people.

That don’t seem like such a bad thing.

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Sixth Office for Hank B.

Let’s say, just for conversation’s sake that there was a cure for addiction, and no one is saying that there is...

What would we do?

Well, I started going to AA meetings 40 years ago, next month.

Took 18 months of thinking about it before I actually joined AA on December 22, 1981.

Then it would take another 6 1/2 years of pretty much doing it my way. (You can imagine how that went).

Finally, on April 4, 1988 I joined the recovery army and went to war against disease for 32 years now.

But, what if the war is won?...I mean just for conversation’ sake?

My father was part of the Allied Occupation Army in Strasberg Germany in the early 50’s after World War II.

He was also part of the Occupation Army in Korea in the early 60’s.

When a war is won, you still have to occupy a territory...

What would that look like? Occupying the won territory?

I think AA is right. The reason we drink is because we can’t live life on life’s terms and they spell out, pretty clearly, what it means to them to live healthily:

Daily inventory

Daily prayer and meditation

Daily rigorous service to others

Also, for me, I have to be honest. The first really spiritual thing that I ever did in my life was start running when was 9 years old....So I need regular cardio to feel in even the slightest way spiritual.

Also, the two most gifted 12 steppers I have ever known lost every trace of giftedness they ever had by “diving into the food”.

So, for me, on top of AA’s maintenance steps there has to be a firm commitment to diet and exercise....or the disease comes screaming back at me.

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We believe that 98% of addictive disorders is mental obsession and only 2% physical compulsion, based upon the number of minutes you masturbate divided by the number of hours of the week.

If it is true that we can stop all compulsion, the question we must ask is... “Is all addiction truly stopped if 98% of the disorder is mental obsession?

How does the mental obsession of addiction manifest in addicts?

During addiction the obsession manifests, at first, with predominance of thinking of acting out, how much fun it is and when it can be done again.

Later, as problems develop, it manifests as an obsession to stop the behavior.

Then, in early recovery, the mental aspect of the disease is mostly manifest through resentment and fear.

Later, in long term recovery, the diseased part of the mental state manifests in anxiety and depression.

Finally, with persistent inventory, prayer and service the mental obsession is lifted, the soul becomes available and peace is possible.

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On a lighter note:

When our first gooey ancestor, the Tetrapod, crawled up on the beaches 400,000 millennia ago, long before Netflix and Amazon, he was alone...the only Pod  in the world on the shore at that time.

I am sure Pod thought to himself “I am feeling lonely, I need a community...I’ll start a 12 step meeting.”

So, onto shore came all the other Pods.

These guys were, truly, as the Big Book says “Spearhead’s of God’s ever advancing creation”.

But like Gandhi says “A votary of Truth is often obliged to grope in the dark”

These guys had no clue what they were doing...

So anytime you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that is required to get full recovery...remember our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather...Pod

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“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination”.
Carl Rogers

We fight 21 addictions at PrayerCall.

If you can’t stop them all, that’s okay.

The good life is a direction...not a destination.

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In five days, on December 27, 2020 it will be one year since I “discovered a cure” for addiction.

I wasn’t intending to. I wasn’t interested in it. It never crossed my mind.

The cure for addictions is ridiculously obvious, when you think about it...just stop doing all of the addictions.

But, the truth though is that addiction can return.

I relapsed twice this year with coffee which, after a while, began to affect my food.

Abraham Maslow says that only 2% of people become enlightened, but, if you are that rare 1 in 50, if you do go back, you become not unenlightened...but actually evil.

The reason is that you now have the power to do things you couldn’t do before because you are “self-actualized”, but now you are intentionally choosing wrong.

I did not experience that, but I did sense that my mind was getting disconnected from my body and I began to feel negative and defenseless.

The lesson is: all addictions can be gone...but I can relapse on any given day.

As they say in AA: “No matter have far down the road you are...you are only three feet from the ditch”.

One day at a time, three hours at a time, I am enjoying freedom.

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When I came into recovery in 1980 4% of Americans were obese.

Today over 40% American’s are obese.

That’s a move from 1 out of 25 people, to 2 out of 5 people in four decades...and worse, now, 7 out of 10 are overweight.

I was taught to:

“Keep my side of the street clean”

“Mind my own business”

“Keep my eye on my own plate”

“Keep the focus on myself”

But every 20 years or so, like Rip Van Winkle, I come out and take a look around.

The last time I did that, 20 years ago, I noticed I was living in the second most polluted city in America, Atlanta Ga...so I moved to San Francisco where the air is clean.

Now, as I look around it’s as though I am on another planet, or more accurately, that I am on the same planet, but it is populated by a very different group of people...overweight people.

My college dorm advisor was the first African-American Virginia Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history.

He once said to me, “ You know what the best thing is that you can do for poor people?...Don’t become one.”

“Brer Fox...he lay low”

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In February of 1988, before iPhones were invented, I carried around my neck, on a red braided cloth necklace a red stop watch.

All day long when I would practice the guitar I would click it: 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there.

I averaged 1 hour and 15 minutes per day, seven days a week.

I would take off two days per week, but I would make up for that 2 1/2 hours over the next five days.

I had done that for many months and was at one of the peaks of my technique.

On April 4, 1988 I got clean and sober and it was “suggested” that I put my sobriety first.

I put the watch away...that was 32 and 1/2 years ago.

Now having “recovered” I am practicing 1 1/2 hours a day again, but the music is very different.

It isn’t to make money or to eventually get famous...it’s for me.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I happen to love really weird, wild, crazy music.

It is so delightful to be able to play music like this.

Thank you God for freeing from my addictions.

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In 1975, at 21 years old, I was playing in a 5 star hotel, with drinks and food at half price, with my own shared room, playing bass in a jazz trio, six nights a week, four hours a night, making more consistent money than I would ever make again in my professional performing life.

I hated the band leader. I hated the music. I hated the management.

But...I liked the money and the self-esteem I felt being a successful road musician.

But, what I really treasured was how good I was getting being a bass player.

I always promised myself that I would give myself that gift again.

Now, being recovered, one day at a time, three hours at a time, as long as I stay away from all addictions, I am giving myself that gift, but this time it’s on a stand-up bass...I am so in love.

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“I pray for peace of mind, contentment, satisfaction, happiness and serenity.”

I feel happiness when I serve other addicts.

I feel contentment around putting my recovery first and then “absolutely insisting upon enjoying life” as the Big Book says.

I feel serenity around the surrendering of my daughter and I’s relationship...and I reward myself with writing and playing all the weird music that I like.

I feel peace of mind when I surrender all my thoughts to God, one at a time, and stay in my body, in the moment, by counting my breaths (did that 300 times when I woke up this morning).

I feel satisfaction when I surrender my desire to eat...and read all the books I want instead (as long as I can find a good book).

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Psalm 100

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD  with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Food Psalm

  1. Call and listen to your fellows and be positive, gentle and accepting.
  2. Weigh and measure your food gratefully and sing every day.
  3. Remember that recovery is your path to God and to stay in the middle of the herd.
  4. Go to meetings daily and be grateful
  5. Because abstinence gives life, health and beauty...one day at a time, three hours at a time.

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If I cure addiction in me, by stopping all addictions, as PrayerCall and AAA espouse, it will be the greatest thing that God, with His power, and me, with my willingness, have ever done together, in my life.

A life’s work of self-love, followed by a lifetime of high self-esteem.

Just stay on the food plan...and it’s a done deal.

As Augustine said “Love the Lord...and do as you please”.

If I finish this cure, I promise myself: I can do whatever I want to do.

Avant-garde music and fashion if I like...

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“The music of the strings makes you glad”
Psalm 45:8

What makes me glad?

Acoustic guitar and double bass played live as duo.

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I want a completely different life.

The first thing is to live with more prayer.

I embrace anonymity as a form of grateful humility.

If I lose my abstinence, I lose the cure...and the self-esteem and contentment that come with it.

I just want to get completely cured...at any cost.

I am content. I got away from my old life...even “old school” recovery.

Guitar can now be an outer circle for me...

When I am in the food and caffeine...I can’t play the guitar.

I am running an hour a day with no meds and I feel and look so much better.

I like the clean lungs and mind of no tobacco.

I like the not being crazed for food from caffeine.

I like the not being fat from meat or dairy.

I like the anti-inflammatory of live greens.

I like the no OTC meds.

I like the feeling of health from cardio.

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It’s not that God doesn’t want me to succeed...He just wants me not to be workaholic.

“Unstructured events...without goals”

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Mrs. Balgavy

I was reading Milton this morning and remembered a harm I had done:

51 years ago you were unbelievable kind to me by allowing me, in 9th grade, not to come to class and read four books and report on them instead.

49 years ago I was in class with you when Paradise Lost was assigned.

I was a young budding alcoholic at the time and did not know it.

You spoke about it’s breadth and richness of allusion and asked how I liked it and in my self-hatred I snarled and sneered at you about it, shaming you publicly.

I feel deep shame about that and ask you to forgive me.

PS: Your creative writing class turned out to be a fecund training ground, as now, half a century later, I write prayers daily that are read round the world. (This one will be read at 5:00pm PST today.)


Steve D.

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If it is true that only 2% of the illness of addiction is acting out and that 98% of the illness is the structure in my head, then help me not be driven about, madly, today in my workaholism, which is nothing more than a series of mental obsessions, derived from unexpressed feelings, coming from unmet needs that I act on...very busily.

Help me laugh at myself...