My First AA Meeting… Scared to Death

  The sounds of laughter trickled down the hall and up the stairs, carried on the currents of coffee and lingering stale cigarette smoke. I stood at the top railing, peering down. There was no one was in sight, but I could hear them. I looked back behind me, through the double doors of the […]

Fear Not the Pink Cloud, My Sober Friends

  You can see it up there, can’t you? Right beside the sun, next to the unicorn. It’s hard to miss—a fluffy mass resplendent in its coral color. It has a built-in espresso maker and from its center, rainbows shoot high in the sky and stain the horizon with joy and high-fives.   If you’ve […]

Getting Self-Esteem (I’m Not Much, But I’m All I Think About)

Mirrors   I used to love looking in mirrors. As a child, I’d frown, make funny faces and would see just how far I could cross my eyes. I inspected myself—the gap in my two front chompers, the length of my hair, the way my eyebrows almost met. As I grew up, I found myself […]

Run, Paul, Run! The Role of Exercise in Recovery.

I never wanted to run.   My father ran for many decades. When I was a kid, he would come home, his face all sweaty, in defiance of his headband, and he would chase my brother and me trying to kiss and hug us while wiping his face on our t-shirts. We squealed in delight […]