Jack Grisham, lead singer of punk band TSOL, sober 26 years, has written a book about recovery called A Principle of Recovery: An Unconventional Journey Through The 12 Steps. And it is, no joke, mind-blowing. I’m never one to be all, “Ooh yeah, please let me read more books about recovery and the Big Book!” But this book is funny, personal and so refreshing that you have no choice except to love it, pull out your highlighter and periodically shout, “Oh my God. Right!!!” I rolled down to Huntington Beach to sit down with Grisham in his haunted former schoolhouse of a home. Here are the highlights of our talk.
On this particular day, my recovered life looks like this. I’m sitting on my living room couch working (writing this), still wearing my pj’s and flip flops at 11am. I drove my daughter to school like this after getting her ready for Halloween dress up day. I have an abandoned kitten by my side that […]
Source: I Love Recovery Cafe
I did another meeting which gives me 4 this week and danged if they aren’t working as they have done for 28 years. I do not know quite how that works but it does work. The things I have noticed are
- clearer thinking
- less despair
- less neediness
- less urgency
- less worry
That enables me to enjoy things a little. Just for one day. Its one of my favourite kinds of evenings. Heated day. Short rain shower. Fresh evening with birds of all kinds calling. And quiet now. Tow of my granddaughters are ill but I am not with them and they are in the efficient care of their parents.
I still get angry. I get angry about the Coma and all that happened. I get angry at the lack of help and support from within the System. I don’t know why I get angry when I have always rejected the SYSTEM and known it failed us.I just didn’t know it was quite so badly failing people. I get angry when I remember trying to walk and talk and lift my arm. Its time to be done with the anger. So Bugger ’em. “THEY” haven’t done much to help me but its been a wild ride. Its time for ACCEPTANCE and then I can explore the Wonder of the last year and a half.
Let’s drag out the good stuff.
I made it. I lived through losing Iz and I lived through the fecking Coma.
I can THINK. I have been left with the ability to reason and think. I can still use computers and work things out. There was a damned good chance of that not happening. I can walk. I couldn’t walk when I came out of the Coma. I can walk. Not so far as I would like but walking I am. And talking. And driving.
I am cooking now. At first it was Meals on Wheels and then the Microwave because I knew I was too muddled to be safe with a stove but now I can cook. I have Moussaka tonight. I didn’t cook it. I bought it from Pomegranate downtown and it simply needs heating.
I lay there last October in a hospital bed and looked at the grip thing above the bed and I thought to myself – even if THEY don’t come and get me moving, I can do it. I can lift my arms a little more and reach that thing. I can reach it and then I can lift myself.
I have moved house and bought a car. Sweet Lord – this is one crazy life.
And in the middle of it all, the one thing I depend on as baseline security, “failed me”. That’s Meetings and Recovery Groups. I could not feel them or reach them much at all. Nonetheless, it worked as usual. I contacted the States. Leaned bigtime on God, didn’t pick up and just kept on going. I am still in trouble. The fluid is giving me hell and I weary very easily – but its been amazing. Next month I go to Sydney for almost a week. I have already flown to Eden. In the bowels of my life , I have done so mighty adventurous things – for me. I have kayaked.
I have also talked a lot to other people with long term recovery and with a batch of new people. I haven’t liked many of them and I haven’t seen many of the new ones get clean or sober – but as Lois said to Bill – LYNNE YOU ARE CLEAN AND SOBER.
I have only one more question tonight – How the Hell do I sell an Alfa Romeo ?
The Dream Recovery question for me who arrived at detox in 1987 with what she was wearing and a plastic bag, 37 years old and with a 20 year drug and alcohol addiction. Wondering How the Hell do I survive this day ? And what the fuck is a Detox?
Now I ask
HOW DO I SELL MY ALFA ?
The very idea cracks me up.
ODDS AND ENDS OF THE LAST YEAR OR SO