Monday, May 19, 2014


I had an opportunity to meet with one of my mentors. As always, it was a great experience and I left with a lot more information in my head than I came in with.  I was given some really important feedback for some of the issues I needed advice on. I also was given a nugget that I have really thought on since Friday. It was something that I needed to hear, and that will actually allow me to free up some time from an extremely busy schedule.

I don’t have to change the entire world.

I do want to create change in the entire world, but I don’t have to change everything that I dislike or disagree with in order to do that. I have learned a magic word this year, delegate. It has allowed me to get out and work on getting bigger and better things accomplished. I will touch on it more later. For now, just know that delegation is great but not if you still try to overwhelm yourself.  

I have written blogs about everything from the secularization of the church to the pro-life/pro-choice debate to why Michael Jordan is better than both Kobe and LeBron (read it, because I am absolutely right and the statistics back me up). I have tried to take on too many current issues, and because of that what I have been called to do is not being done effectively. That is what I was reminded of. I am here to build bridges, not destroy them.

I know what my purpose is. I was created from the ground up to do it. I am driven to deal hope and decimate stigma that exists towards and within those who struggle with addictions and mental health issues. Others have different callings. Although they may have very strong opinions about addiction, recovery, depression, anxiety, etc they would not be nearly as effective at is as I am. The same goes for other aspects that I feel strongly about. I am not nearly as effective and eloquent as they would be. Why should I be? It is not my gig.

I need to stick to what I am best at, which is addiction and recovery. I need to dedicate my time to working on what God put me here to do, and I have not been focusing on that like I should be. I have been 100 pages into my book for over 2 years and have not gotten any further. Just this year I have really gotten traction with events. The reason it has taken this long is because I have strayed from my focus.

I am in recovery thanks to Christ!


End of discussion!

Why would I waste time talking about anything else, when there are so many who are struggling with addiction currently? When there are so many who are taking their own lives because they are hopeless and can’t find a way out of their current ruts, why would I tackle something I am not an expert on? I am an expert on recovery. I am an expert on what the power of the Holy Spirit can do in the life of someone who has reached the end of their rope.

I am an expert!

God and I wrote this story together, not to be squirreled away where no one can hear about it, but to be shouted from the rooftops. When I put my passion somewhere else part of my message is lost. If I burn a bridge, it will not take too long before I am completely encapsulated. I will be blocked from reaching the people I need to because I have used my expertise in arenas that I don’t have the needed education and the drive to change and it comes off as unprofessional and unnecessary. This is what I was reminded of when I met with my mentor.

I have a calling!

I am necessary!

I am needed to make a difference in the world of recovery. I am still alive after dying more times than I can count on one hand because God needed me to do His work. He has given me a message of hope to share. I am grateful to still be here, and the grace that has saved me and the Holy Spirit that has changed me is there for the asking. If my voice is not loud and constant, how will people know to ask?  

So if you or someone you love needs help, ask! I am here to help. I am here to share recovery! If you have an outlet I can do this at: conferences, churches, Celebrate Recovery groups, colleges, schools, communities, rehabs, etc. let me know. I love to share about the power of recovery!

People have even told me I am good at it.

No really, I have references!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why We Relapse/How We Recover

I was an addict for a long time. I was an addict for a quarter of a century. People would ask me why I would continue to use, after all that I had been through. I have overdosed several times, gotten my stomach pumped due to alcohol poisoning, died after running my car off of a cliff while intoxicated, gone to jail countless times as well as prison.

People who had never struggled with an addiction did not understand why I continued to use. Why I would swear to stop and then be using a couple of days later. Why I attempted to commit suicide, slashing my wrists and being found unconscious in a pool of blood, because I saw no end to my addiction. Why I could go through residential and outpatient treatment and immediately relapse.

The main reason because as much as I started using to feel awesome, in the end my life was anything but. People who don’t know addiction believe a fallacy. They think that addicts use because it makes them feel good, awesome, amazing!! The truth was I never felt amazing anymore. By the time you are an addict or alcoholic, you always feel bad. Using just helped me feel less bad. I did not want to feel miserable and stay in bed all day. I wanted to get out of bed and do things: make money, sleep around, get into fights, feel powerful, etc. Now I know why.

My addiction had depleted the levels of several neurotransmitters that are responsible for feelings of happiness and joy. The only way I could get those levels up was to use. They would skyrocket, then they would drop back down to subnormal levels and the only way to not feel chronic depression was to use again.  I could sometimes get the neurotransmitters released by engaging in other activities as well, such as having sex, fighting, hustling so I would do those things also.

The truth was I was miserable even when I was using. I often felt all alone and I would use that as an excuse to use. I might be at a party with 50 people, but I felt completely and utterly alone. Maybe it was due to my past abuse coupled with the low self-esteem and self-confidence that I could only raise through chemical enhancement. Nothing I tried ever got me over that.

Yet I am over it, you are thinking if you either know me or follow my writings. I am over that because I discovered 5 Pillars of Recover and a secret ingredient that makes recovery all the better.

1.       Higher Power – I found Jesus. Not that He was lost, but I actually became receptive to giving God a chance after being an atheist for over 25 years. Funny thing, He worked where everything else failed. Bottom line, find something greater than you that can grant you forgiveness and hope.

2.       Sponsor or Mentor – Find someone living their life the way you would like live yours, someone whose life you would want to have in 5 years. Ask them if they will help guide you to attaining what they have, then shut up and listen!

3.       12 Steps or the Bible – Find a game plan that will help you live our life the way you want it to be and then do it. The steps and the Bible only work if you apply them to your life. I work the 12 Steps like everyone else I know in programs, but my Big Book is a little different. Combining the Bible and the 12 Steps has helped me get to where I am today. And my life keeps getting better!

4.       Accountability Partners – Find people who will help you stay on track. That means positive people who will encourage you to do better, praise you when you do well and call you out quick when you are slipping.

5.       Meetings – I don’t care if you go to AA (Alcoholic’s Anonymous), NA (Narcotic’s Anonymous), Al-Anon or CR (Celebrate Recovery) as long as you go consistently. These are groups where you will be surrounded by people who desire the same thing you do. There will be positive and negative people at these meetings. I encourage you to choose the positive ones. Volunteer to do things at these meetings. Making yourself necessary to them will insure that you continue attending them.

Bonus - Community Service – You might be able to be sober and in recovery without this, but I doubt it. Community service connects you back to the community which in turn helps you accomplish multiple things. It helps you regain the sense of belonging you may have lost to those around you while reducing the stigma you and others may view your recovery with.

I hope that this helped those of you who may be struggling to understand relapses and why they happen. For those of you either in addiction or recovery, I hope that the 5 Pillars will allow you to build a solid foundation for you to build a better life upon.

Monday, May 5, 2014

BLiR - Community Service

This was a great weekend for Better Life in Recovery (BLiR). BliR is an organization whose purpose is to deal hope and decimate stigma surrounding addictions and mental health issues that men, women and children face everyday through community service, community education and public awareness events that celebrate people in long-term recovery. In short, our mission statement is, “Dealing Hope Decimating Stigma.”

To start changing public perception and reducing stigma we are partnering with people and organizations in our community. For the first community service event we partnered up with Springfield Public Schools. We had a group of about 25 people show up from various organizations to paint Cowden Elementary Schools playground. We also picked up trash from around the school and took rocks out of the soccer field. 

McDonalds supplied us with three 5 gallon coolers of Hi-C and Papa Johns gave us an amazing deal on pizzas. We had volunteers from Higher Ground, Carol Jones Recovery Center, Alternative Opportunities Treatment Services, Hands Extended Outreach, Church at the Center and the Celebrate Recovery group from Glendale Christian Church. 

We had an amazing group that worked hard the entire day, but still made time to laugh and have some fun. We worked so hard that we actually got done 2 hours sooner than expected and we did the job right. We did not just paint over the old loose paint. We scraped, sanded, primed and then painted the play ground as well as picked up trash and rocks from the fields. Our first project was such a success that they have asked us to do another school, which we will be doing. Our next school is the Sunshine Elementary School on June the 14th beginning at 8 AM.

We had several media outlets provide coverage.  We were on the KTTS and KSMU page and had on air interviews. We were also on the 10 PM news on KY3 Saturday but they did not put it on their site and we will have coverage tonight on KOLR10 6 and 10 PMnews tonight.

KOLR 10 



Don’t forget, IN RECOVERY YOU ARE THE RESOURCE!!  WE have upcoming events including Recovery Day at Hammond’s Field and the 5K/10K Recovery Run coming up. If this is something you would like to get involved in or donate money to please contact me either through here or through the website at www.betterlifeinrecovery.comTogether we will make a difference!