Robin Thicke Admits to Vicodin and Alcohol Abuse

Robin Thicke: Living The High Life

Robin-Thicke-Smile

Singer Robin Thicke hasn’t been having a good couple of years.

Robin became incredibly popular during the summer of 2013, thanks to his blockbuster song “Blurred Lines.” However, it turns out “Blurred Lines” isn’t his song, he was high and drunk all the time, he’s being sued, and his wife divorced him. Tough breaks, Robin.

Isn’t that what happens to active addicts, though? Don’t our lives go to s**t? Okay, yeah, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at just what all this fuss is about.

The Summer of 2013

Depending on how you look at it, summer 2013 was either a great or horrible time for Robin Thicke. “Blurred Lines” toped the pop charts for sixteen weeks. It sold over six million copies. It made Thicke a household name. It was also heavily criticized for promoting rape culture. Oh, and he was high and drunk the entire time.

“I had a drug and alcohol problem for the year [2013] and I didn’t do a sober interview so I don’t recall many things that I said..I didn’t do a single interview last year without being high on both…Every day I woke up, I would take a Vicodin to start the day and then I would fill up a water bottle with Vodka and drink it before and during my interviews,” Thicke admitted during a court deposition.

Damn, Robin! I mean, pills and vodka is always a winning combination, but you seem to have taken it pretty far! Guess what else? Turns out Robin Thicke didn’t even write “Blurred Lines.”

According to Thicke himself, “He [Pharrell, the song’s producer] was very generous by giving me a larger percentage of publishing than I deserved.” Thicke is credited with writing 20% of the hit song. Turns out he wrote very little. His main contribution were the amazing (come on, they were!) vocals.

Thicke’s Court Battle

Okay, a lot happened for Robin Thicke in the summer of 2013. Why’d he come clean about his drug and alcohol use, though? What was he doing giving a legal deposition in the first place?

Well, the family of Marvin Gaye is suing Thicke, Pharrell, and rapper T.I. (all three have publishing credits on “Blurred Lines”). Gaye’s family claims that the three stole major parts of their song from the 1977 hit, “Got To Give It Up.”

Things keep getting worse for Robin Thicke!

So, while giving a deposition, Thicke admitted to heavy drug and alcohol abuse. Is this some sort of legal Hail Mary? Is he trying to evade responsibility by claiming drug abuse rendered him incapable of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s hit? Is he saying he didn’t write much of the song in an attempt to push blame onto Pharrell?

I think the answer is simpler.

What Happens to Addicts When We Use

I started to address this above. When addicts use drugs or alcohol, our lives fall apart. For people like us, drugs and booze bring clouds of suffering. They cause us to make crappy decisions, lie, hurt people, and generally behavior like selfish a*sholes.

Robin’s problem isn’t that he’s a bad person, or that he ripped off a song, or that his wife divorced him (oh, I forgot to mention that. In July, the couple divorced). No, Robin’s problem is that he’s an addict and alcoholic.

He got high for a long time, including during the recording of “Blurred Lines.” Did he steal the song from Marvin Gaye? Who knows. It’s possible, but people engaged in that argument are missing the point. Robin Thicke is a sick and suffering addict. He needs help.

Maybe we can all lay off him for a minute and let Thicke get the help he needs. After all, what do we say at the end of most twelve-step meetings? That’s right – let’s have a moment of silence for the still sick and suffering addict and alcoholic. Let’s all take a moment of silence and hope Robin gets help.

What Makes Sober Women Hot

Written by: Tim Myers

What Make Sober Women Hot?

beautifulwoman

I’m a man in recovery and I’m here to tell you today exactly what I think makes sober women hot.

1. Tattoos
2. Great Tits
3. Expensive, Sexy Clothes
4. Sports Car
5. Lack of Fat

Nope, just kidding. None of those, not a single one those things do I find “Hot”. If you do feel that those are 5 things that make a sober woman hot then I really hope you don’t date women and that you get hit by a train. Guess what people, sober women are the hottest women on the planet and looks have absolutely nothing to do with it. Going after a sober woman based off looks alone is as smart as buying a dog based on how cute it looks. Yeah it may look great but I could also bite your stupid face off!

What Makes A Women Really Hot

The hottest sober woman in the world would have these aspects, attributes and qualities.

She has a sponsor and sponsees:
My first sponsor told me, the reason that you sponsor people is because it teaches you how to have a relationship with another person that puts them first always. Sponsoring someone is 100% unselfish. If the bombshell you want to date is sponsoring people and she has a sponsor there is a very good chance she is going to be able to put your needs over hers. If you have a sponsor and are sponsoring people then you’ll put her needs above your own. That my friend is the making of a great relationship. That is hot, because good relationships are hot. Bad relationships are the things we used to be addicted to.

She goes to meetings a lot:
Nothing is hotter than a woman in an AA meeting. It shows you that she shares the same beliefs that you do. It shows a commitment to making a better life for herself and those around her. Now if she shows up with a bunch of other chicks that’s great too because it shows that she goes out of her way to carry the message to other women. Think how good she’ll be to you if she is that good to strangers.

She has made amends:
OK, think about this, it will blow your mind. What if you dated a woman who admits she is wrong? Boom! That’s hot! Women in my humble and completely judgmental opinion have a hard time admitting they are wrong. It’s been 57 years and my Mom still has not admitted she is wrong about anything. A sober woman who admits she is wrong is a woman who is in touch with her strengths and weaknesses. She knows when she is on top, she knows when she is struggling, she is in control of her actions and emotions. That is wicked hot.

She Laughs:
I got sober to be happy. A sober woman laughing, smiling and enjoying life is super hot. That’s what I want. I want the woman who is already happy. Not the one whose happiness is based on the tattoos I buy her or the purse she flaunts because it cost $5,000. A woman who needs a man to be happy in order to cover up the pain she hasn’t faced is not hot. What is hot is the happy sober woman who is 100% happy with her self and by adding a relationship together we achieve 200% happiness.

She has a great big smile:
The only body part I find hot is a smile. That’s it. I do not care what you like I only care about your smile. Do you have one? If so than you are hot. Period. Ass, Tits, Legs I Do! Not! Care! They tell me nothing about your insides. Your smile well, it tells me everything.

So if you’re a sober woman and your wondering how to be hot, here’s what you need to do…
Get a sponsor, get sponsees, got to a lot of meetings, make amends, laugh and smile.
If you do those things you will be with out a shadow of a doubt the hottest sober woman on the planet, period.

Same Sh*t, Different Meeting: Easy Does It

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Articles are the sole work of the individual author and do not express the opinion of Sobriety for Women.

Same Sh*t, Different Meeting

I wasn’t involved in twelve-step recovery twenty years ago. Hell, if we go back twenty years, I was still in diapers and raising hell! I’ve heard old-timers talk about what meetings were like back in the day, though. It sounds awesome as f**k!

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Imagine a twelve-step meeting where addicts and alcoholic are sharing about the solution! Imagine a twelve-step meeting where there aren’t any treatment centers rolling in fifteen minutes late. Imagine a twelve-step meeting where Jane Doe, still spiritually sick and only a few days sober, is offered hope, instead of dope! Yeah, sounds better than most of today’s meetings.

So, who’s to blame for the watering down of AA and NA? That’s a complicated question with no easy answer. However, it’s my opinion that these stupid f**king sayings play a part.

Easy Does It? Come on! How can I get better, how can I recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body, if I take it easy? I need to get into the work, into the twelve-steps, if I want to recover.

But Easy Does It is in The Big Book

I hear this all the time. Someone doesn’t like me trash talking Easy Does It and points to AA’s Big Book. Well Ms. Big-Book, can you tell me where Easy Does It appears? I didn’t think so.

Easy Does It appears on page 135, at the end of the chapter “The Family Afterward.” It tells the recovering alcoholic’s family to be easy on him (or her!). So, Easy Does It DOESN’T mean take years to work the steps. It DOESN’T mean to only go to meeting. It DOESN’T mean anything other than to treat situations involving family with great consideration and care.

Easy Does It? How Am I Supposed To Get Better?

Up to now, I may have been ranting. Okay, I was ranting! But why? Why do these cheesy slogans get me so worked up? Because they’re killing alcoholics, that’s why.

The idea behind Easy Does It is the same idea behind grateful alcoholics don’t drink, meeting makers make it, don’t drink no matter what, and countless other sayings. The idea is a watered down version of recovery, which doesn’t give alcoholics the proper chance to get better.

To put it another way, if us alcoholics don’t take our medicine (the twelve-steps), we don’t get better. If we don’t get better, we drink and drug ourselves to death.

See, I have a three-part disease. It’s physical, mental, and spiritual. I have a physical allergy, which means once I start drinking, I can’t stop. I have a mental obsession, which means once I start thinking of booze, I can’t stop until I drink. I have a spiritual malady, which means I have a bunch of crap inside which makes me turn to alcohol in the first place.

Through working the twelve-steps, the mental obsession and spiritual malady are removed. God as I understand God removes the mental obsession. It can return, but doesn’t as long as I stay connected to God. God also removes my spiritual malady. Through working the steps, I’m put into contact with God, who then “fills the void” where my spiritual malady was.

I’m always going to be an alcoholic and an addict. The physical allergy never leaves.
My body will always process alcohol and drugs differently than normal peoples’ bodies. If I take a drink after twenty years of being sober, I won’t be able to stop.

What I have done is recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. I’ve recovered from active alcoholism. I’ve recovered from active addiction.

It’s important to note that I’m speaking in the past tense. I’m a recovered alcoholic. The problem of active alcoholism no longer exists for me. That’s straight from the Big Book. Look it up, pages 84 and 85.

What the twelve-step and God as I understand God offer is a way to get better. Upon coming into a twelve-step fellowship, alcoholics and addicts generally don’t have that much time to recover. The mental obsession is tricky, insidious, and powerful. Without God, it comes back fast.

Case in point – how many times have you seen someone pick up a white chip, do no work, and relapse a month later? I see it almost everyday. If us alcoholics and addicts want to get better, we can’t wait around. We can’t take it easy! We simply don’t have that luxury.

So, What Should I Do?

Don’t take it easy! Get a sponsor and call your sponsor. Get into the twelve-steps. You don’t have to do them in a week, but start them right away. Write a fourth-step and share it with your sponsor in a fifth-step. Start making amends (with direction from your sponsor and sober supports!).

If you’re new in recovery and take it easy, chance are you’re going to drink. This is true for women with some sober time, too. We can’t let up on our program of action. If we do, we drink. If we drink, we die a spiritual death. It’s as simple as that.

Faith Facts Friday with Fiona

Written By: Fiona Stockard

The Basic Text Broken Down – Part Four

Narcotics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who help each other recover from drug and alcohol addiction. It was founded in July of 1953, just celebrated its sixty-first anniversary, and boasts over 60,000 meetings worldwide.

NA’s central literature is the Basic Text. With a sponsor, the Basic Text, and a workbook, NA members work the twelve steps. Through working these steps, NA members learn that “Just for today, you never have to use again!” (xxiii)

NA Basic Text

Today, we’re going to examine part of Chapter Four of the Basic Text, “How It Works.” This chapter breaks down the twelve-steps of NA.

How It Works

This chapter is the meat and potatoes of NA’s Basic Text. It’s divided into an explanation of each of the twelve-steps NA members use to overcome addiction. I’ll be going step by step through “How It Works.” Today, let’s look at the intro and Step One.

The intro of “How It Works” ushers in a famous phrase, “…one is too many and a thousand never enough” (18). My experience getting high confirms this! If you’re reading this, chances are your experience was the same! People like me simply CAN’T use drugs successfully. If I have one pill, one line, one blunt, one anything, I set off the physical allergy (explained in detail later) and can’t stop. Simple as that.

Also in the intro to “How It Works,” a very important point is made – alcohol is a drug! NA states, “Before we came to NA many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addition who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover” (18).

I needed to hear that! I was guilty of thinking I could quit drugs, but still drink. After all, I got sober at nineteen. I hadn’t even had a legal drink! Turns out, nope, alcohol is a drug. I can’t drink. Not even a little!

Next, we’re introduced to the idea that the twelve-steps are our solution to addiction and life. NA says, “We learn to work the steps in the order that they are written and to use them on a daily basis. The steps are our solution. They are our survival kit” (19).

Okay, sounds fair to me. I mean, I couldn’t control my addiction. I couldn’t control my emotions. I couldn’t control my relationships. I couldn’t control anything! So, finding out there’s a solution to my many problems was relieving. It gave me a sense of hope, a desire to recover.

“How It Works” then goes into Step One. It says, “We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable” (19). Simple enough, right? A quick look back at my track record made it clear I was powerless.

Maybe it isn’t so easy for others to admit powerlessness. Well, NA has that covered, too. They say, “When some of us have doubts, we ask ourselves this question: ‘Can I control my use of any form of mind or mood-altering chemicals?’” (20).

Ask yourself that question and answer honestly. That’s what I thought, you’re in the right place! Moving on, “How It Works” breaks down the three part disease of addiction.

“The physical aspect of our disease is the compulsive use of drugs: the inability to stop using once we have started. The mental aspect of our disease is the obsession, or overpowering desire to use, even when we are destroying our lives. The spiritual part of our disease is our total self-centeredness” (20).

Okay, when I use, I’m compelled to keep using. That’s the physical allergy. Once I take a drug, my body processes it differently and demands more.

When I start thinking about drugs, I can’t get the thought out of my head. That’s the mental obsession. Once the idea of using enters my mind, I can’t shake it…until I use.

Oh, and I’m self-centered in the extreme! That’s the spiritual malady. That’s why I gravitated to drugs and booze in the first place.

That’s my disease. It’s three parts and it’s deadly. So, how do I begin to recover from addiction? How do I begin to change from this deadly disease? I admit defeat.

The chapter reads, “The foundation of our program is the admission that we, of ourselves, do not have power over addiction” (21). That’s how I begin the first step. That’s how I begin to change. That’s how I begin to heal.

There’s more though! I need to accept and understand that my life is unmanageable. How can I do this? Once again, the answer is as simple as looking at my past. NA says, “Unemployability, dereliction and destruction are easily seen as characteristics of an unmanageable life. Our families generally are disappointed, baffled and confused by our actions and often desert or disown us” (21-22).

That described my life to a T. It was unmanageable and I was powerless! Remember though, there’s hope. NA’s description of the first step ends with this uplifting message. “When we admit our powerlessness and inability to manage our own lives, we open the door for a Power greater than ourselves to help us. It is not where we were that counts, but where we are going” (23).

There’s hope and lots of it! Find out how a Higher Power offers a new life in the next installment of Faith Facts Friday with Fiona – NA Edition!

Firsthand Addiction: What The Family Really Goes Through

Written By: Fiona Stockard
This article originally appeared on Addiction Blog

How Addiction Really Affects The Family

how addiction affects the family
We all know the scare stories about how addicts hurt their families. We’ve heard about the crying parents, the terrified siblings, and the confused aunts and uncles.

We’ve probably experienced them too! I know I took my family to hell and back during active addiction. Will I ever really know what they went through though? I decided to interview my family and find out.

My Parents

Sobriety for Women: So, how’d you do it? I probably scared you both to death for years.

Mom: You did, but that’s part of being a parent too. I’m not trying to take you off the hook by any means, but having kids is a terrifying experience to begin with. It doesn’t help if your daughter is abusing drugs, but even if you didn’t cause one problem, I’d still find something to worry about.

Dad: I saw things a little differently. Your mom is absolutely right, being a parent is an exercise in terror. Seeing your kid take drugs and become a drug addict though, that was rough. It was hard being powerless. I didn’t think that I was powerless for a long time either. I thought that if I were just harder on you, you’d clean up. It took some time to get rid of that way of thinking.

S4W: What was it like seeing me in active addiction?

Mom: It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with, maybe the hardest. Your father talked about being powerless to change your behavior and he’s right. Seeing you hurt yourself over and over and not being able to do anything? That was horrible. It was also hard to understand that you were sick. I think addiction causes a lot of anger. I was angry with you for a long time. I’d stay up late, asking myself “why can’t she just stop? Doesn’t she see how much she’s hurting us and herself?”

Dad: Anger was huge for me, too. I couldn’t understand why you kept using drugs. It was easier to be angry than to confront the fact that my daughter might die. That’s something that no parent wants to consider. Seeing you in your addiction was hard too, because I blamed myself for a long time. I thought that your shortcomings were because I hadn’t raised you right. There was a lot of “I should have” and “why didn’t I?” happening.

S4W: So, again, how’d you do it? How’d you cope?

Mom: A lot of praying! I’m not sure, truthfully. It was hard. We have good friends and they helped a lot. None of them had children who dealt with drug addiction though. Your father and I went to a support group for a year or so. It was offered through one of the outpatient centers you went to. That was a lifesaver. Being able to vent about everything that was going on with you, as well as the issues your father and I were having, was priceless. Even better, the other families would talk to us after. They would let us know that they’d been where we were and things got better. It gave me a lot of hope.

Dad: Yeah, the support group helped a lot. One of the things parents of addicts don’t hear about a lot, and something I want them to know, is that your marriage may suffer. It happened to us. We were so wrapped up in trying to help you, that we ignored each other and, after awhile, we became angry with each other. I think we blamed each other for your issues. So, having somewhere to go and find out that we weren’t to blame, that was important.

My Siblings

I asked my brother some similar questions. He’s two years younger than I am.

S4W:What was my addiction like for you?

Little Bro: It was hard. I was pretty pissed at you while you were using and for a long time afterwards, too. We had some of the same friends and hung out with similar people, so I didn’t get why they were fine and you were a mess. It was hard too because I thought I always had to stand up for you. Even though you were older, it felt kind of like I was protecting you. So, that was pretty stressful.

S4W: I bet! I know we didn’t talk at all towards the end of my addiction. What was going through your head then?

Little Bro: I mean, like I said, I was just really pissed at you. I felt like you’d worn down mom and dad. You made them angry and scared all the time. That seemed really unfair to me. Plus, you kept messing up and they were always there to bail you out. It seemed like no matter how much you f**ked up, they’d take care of you and ignore me. Not ignore, but you know what I mean. Like, it seemed that they took for granted that I was always going to be okay, and you never were.

S4W:So, how’d you get over it? How’d you forgive me?

Little Bro:You just earned it. I didn’t forgive you the day you went to rehab, or for like a year afterwards, but down the line I did. You showed you were different. You showed you were a new person and a new sister. I think you reaching out to me helped a lot, too. You wouldn’t let me stay pissed at you!

One Addict’s Story

Laura’s Story

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In 2010, my husband of over six years filed for divorce. He took my name off of our bank accounts, so I couldn’t get money to hire a lawyer.

In court, the judge gave me a continuance to seek council. On the courthouse steps, my ex-husband’s lawyer gave me papers to sign. They were to give my ex-husband temporary custody of our house and children. I didn’t know I could object to these terms.

It was the beginning of the end. I found my children and myself homeless. I began to drink and take Xanax to cope with the stress.

Things Went From Bad to Worse

The following year, in 2011, I lost custody of my children. They were one, two, three, five, and twelve. I’d been a stay at home mother during my marriage. However, the judge ruled my ex-husband was more mentally and financially stable and gave him full custody of our children. I’d been diagnosed Bipolar after the birth of our second child.

I couldn’t accept that I only had visitation rights to my children. The judge gave my ex-husband full custody! I had no rights, only visitation. I was devastated.

A year after my ex and I divorced, he married a much younger woman. They married and moved to Georgia a month later. They moved with my children! My ex-husband gave me three days notice before they left. I scrambled to set up an emergency hearing, but they were gone before anything could be done. My children were enrolled in a Georgia school and no judge was going to take them out of school.

That’s when things really got bad. I couldn’t function any longer. I started drinking from the minute I woke up to the second I passed out. I started smoking pot, taking pills, partying every night, and sleeping with all kinds of men. I started doing whatever I could to not feel. My children were my whole world and without them I had no reason to live.

I couldn’t just pick up and move to Georgia with my children. I’m disabled and receive only $800 a month of support. I was literally out of my mind with grief. I was able to arrange for my children to visit me at Christmas. Watching them leave was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Not long after, I received a public intoxication and DUI change. This didn’t help me one bit in court. My lawyer gave up on me. I ended up receiving supervised visitation rights and was ordered to pay my ex-husband $500 a month in child support. For five children, you’re not supposed to pay more than 26% of your income. I was ordered to pay 500 out of 800 dollars!

A Light at Last

I checked myself into treatment in July of 2013. It wasn’t an easy journey. I relapsed the day I got out. I found out that it’s easy to stay sober when you’re in a safe environment. It isn’t so easy when you’re in the real world.

On August 24th, 2013, I went back to residential treatment. This time, I followed residential with an outpatient program. I’ve been sober a year and am fighting to get my children back

I haven’t seen my kids in over a year. As of May 2014, my ex-husband has stopped answering my calls. He won’t let me speak to my children anymore because I can’t pay the full $500 child support payment.

Being sober isn’t easy because it means I have to FEEL the grief and anguish from missing my babies. I know that being sober is the only way I’ll get my children back. This gives me the strength to keep on, one day at a time.

If you’d like more information about Laura and her story, visit her website.

Faith Facts Friday With Fiona

Written By: Fiona Stockard

The Big Book Broken Down – Part Four

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who help each other to recover from alcohol and drug addiction. It was founded in June of 1935, just celebrated its seventy-ninth anniversary, and boasts over two million members.

AA’s central text is the Big Book. With a sponsor and a Big Book, AA members work the twelve steps, and “recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body” (title page).

Big Book

Today, I’ll be breaking down chapter four, We Agnostics.

We Agnostics

This chapter is all about how to build a relationship with God – with a God of our own understanding! Before we even consider God though, we need to be convinced we need God.

We Agnostics lays out some problems we experience as a result of active alcoholism. It states, “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people…” (52).

S**t! That described me perfectly. In other words, I was a mess who couldn’t live life! My friends (my REAL friends) and family weren’t shy about telling me the help a Higher Power could offer.

Guess what? This chapter addresses that, too! “…how frequently did we all say, ‘I wish I had what that man has. I’m sure it would work if I could only believe as he believes. But I cannot accept as surely true the many articles of faith which are so plain to him’” (47).

Did the Big Book read my mind? Aside from using male pronouns, that passage sums up all the issues I had with God. Another frequent issue people have with spirituality is that they confuse it with religion. “To others, the word ‘God’ brought up a particular idea of Him with which someone had tried to impress them during childhood” (45).

I certainly relate to that. Everyone has memories of religion being pushed on them as a child. The chapter goes on to say, “Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you” (47).

Okay, so I need to let go of my judgment and intolerance. That’s much easier said than done. Once again, AA seemed to read my mind. This chapter reads, “To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face” (44).

Addicts and alcoholics are the only people I know who weigh that choice! Who else says to themselves, “now, what exactly do you mean by alcoholic death? How bad is it, really?” I’ve been guilty of asking that question once or twice!

So, how do I let go of intolerance and grow? The only way I know is through experiencing enough pain! I’m a bit hardheaded like that! We Agnostics has an answer for people like me, “Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness” (48).

Hmmm. Sounds true to me! I had to get beaten up pretty badly before I was willing to consider God as an answer. Luckily, when I was ready to consider God, AA made things very simple. I was told “We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. ‘Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?’” (47).

That seemed fair to me. I was willing to believe that maybe, just maybe, spirituality could help me. I wasn’t willing to believe in some all-mighty white guy in the clouds though! Once again, We Agnostics has me covered. “Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another’s conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact…” (46).

Wait a minute, you mean not only can I believe in a God of my own understanding, but it doesn’t matter how crummy that understanding is? Sign me up! Now, it was made clear very early on that I couldn’t make a doorknob or a light bulb my Higher Power. That wasn’t going to work. After all, a doorknob isn’t going to keep me sober! I didn’t have to believe in anyone else’s idea of God though. I was free to meet God on my own terms.

I started working my butt off and doing the twelve-steps. Guess what I found? Well, I found a ton of stuff, but most mind-blowing was the idea that I’d actually had faith all along. Seems hard to believe, I know.

This chapter states, “Without knowing it, had we not been brought to where we stood by a certain kind of faith?” (53). My faith in AA, and my sponsor, brought me to the point where I had faith in a Higher Power. Mind = blown!

We Agnostics goes on to state, “Had we not variously worshipped people, sentiment, things, money, and ourselves?” and “In one form or another we had been living by faith and little else” (54).

You mean all along I’d had faith? I believed drugs and alcohol would solve my problems (and they did, until they stopped working!). I believed people would solve my problems (and they did, until they stopped bailing me out!). I believed AA would solve my problems. It did and it hasn’t stopped working.

Huh, I guess I really did have faith all along!

A Guide to Twelve-Step Meetings For Those New in Recovery

Recovery Can Be Overwhelming

Getting sober is scary! We’re thrown into a new location, told to change people, places and things (this means change everything!), and begin to reach out to other sober people. We begin to experience feelings again.

Basically, we experience everything we avoided through our addiction! Fear not Ms. Freshly Sober, Sobriety For Women is here to help. We’ve whipped up a handy guide to the common types of twelve-step fellowships and twelve-step meetings. We’ve even sprinkled in some basic meeting etiquette.

Sounds like one less thing to freak out over. Now, get back to doing step work!

12stepmeetingguide

Alcoholics Anonymous

AA is the original twelve-step fellowship and has been around since 1935. Hmm, they’ve been around for over seventy-five years? They must be doing something right!

A common misconception about AA is that it’s only for people with a drinking problem. This isn’t the case at all. I’m a certified junkie and I go to mainly AA meetings. I work AA steps and sponsor the AA way. Just because you’re an addict, doesn’t mean you can’t go to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Here’s where that meeting etiquette I talked about earlier comes in. I don’t talk about drugs during AA meetings. When I share, I say things like “my drinking was out of control,” or “alcohol worked for me, until it didn’t!”

I swap the word drugs for alcohol and it works fine. When I’m doing step-work with a girl, well, then I’m very open about my addiction. During meetings though? I respect the house I’m in.

Plus, alcohol is only mentioned once during the twelve-steps. The rest is all about us and how we relate to other people.

Narcotics Anonymous

NA was founded in 1953 and is over sixty years old. Again, those recovering addicts must be doing something right!

NA is, generally speaking, a bit looser than AA. Obviously, you can talk freely about drugs. Don’t start telling war stories though, or you’ll get chewed out by old-timers pretty quick!

I’ve noticed, through my personal experience with NA, they generally don’t dive into the steps. They have a saying, which goes a little something like “we didn’t get sick overnight and we’re not going to get better overnight, either.”

Personally, I don’t agree with this. I think we need to start to get better right away. Still, NA works for hundreds of thousands of people. If you’re looking for a slow and steady approach, NA may be right for you!

Cocaine Anonymous

An AA old-timer founded CA in 1982. While CA is a separate fellowship from AA, they work steps from AA’s Big Book and practice AA sponsorship.

Truthfully, I haven’t been to a ton of CA meetings. The one’s I have attended are lively and solution oriented. That means members share about how to get better, rather than reminisce about drugs or booze.

CA seems to mirror AA in that members don’t need to have only a cocaine addiction. In fact, most people I’ve met at CA were opiate addicts.

Other Anonymous Fellowships

While AA, NA, and CA are the most prevalent twelve-step fellowships, there are about five thousand others. These include: Al-Anon (for those affected by someone else’s drinking), Gambler’s Anonymous (GA), Sex and Love Anonymous (SLA), Codependents Anonymous (CODA), and Overeater’s Anonymous (OA).

Types of Meetings

Within the above fellowships, there are many different types of meetings. Let’s look at some.

Open Meeting

This simply means that anyone, addict or alcoholic or otherwise, can attend. Want to bring your significant other to a meeting? Take them to an open meeting.

Closed Meeting

This means that you have to me a member to attend.

The third tradition of most twelve-step fellowships reads, “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking [or using].”

So, to attend closed meetings, you have to have a desire to stop destructive behavior. You don’t, and this is important so pay attention, you don’t have to identify as an addict or alcoholic.

All meetings are either open or closed. So, open and closed are sort of the macro-categories of twelve-step meetings.

Speaker Meeting

Speaker meetings are where someone speaks. Simple enough, right? In these meetings, the speaker can share their story, or speak on a particular topic.

Literature Meeting

This is a meeting where the topic is based around specific literature.

This literature can be fellowship approved (AA’s Big Book) or unapproved (AA’s “Little Red Book”).

Literature meetings can have a speaker, be a discussion meeting, or be any other type of meeting.

Discussion Meeting

These are meetings where a topic is discussed. The topic can be about anything. Common topics include gratitude, resentment, relapse, spirituality, etc.

Step Meeting

Step meetings are when the topic is one of the twelve-steps. These meetings can take the form of speaker meetings, discussion meetings, or literature meetings.

Anniversary Meeting

This is a meeting where addicts and alcoholics celebrate their sober anniversaries. Typically, the last meeting each month is an anniversary meeting. Medallions are given to anyone with a year or more. There’s cake and sweets.

Anniversary generally don’t take up the entire meeting. The rest of the meeting is whatever type of meeting it normally is.

Now that you know all about the different types of fellowships and meetings, get out there and start getting better!

Wes Welker Suspended Due to Substance Abuse

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Wes Welker Suspended

wes welker drugs
Wes Welker, a wide receiver on the Denver Broncos, was just suspended from the first four games of the NFL season.

Okay, first off, who cares about football? Second, who cares if a player is suspended? Oh, right, everyone cares about football! I’m a girl and I care about football!

More importantly, Welker was suspended because he tested positive for amphetamines. He’s denying everything. That’s a smart move, Wes. I played the “I don’t know” card more times than I can count!

“I’m as shocked as everyone at today’s news,” Welker stated. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I would NEVER knowingly take a substance to gain a competitive advantage in any way.”

Why Did He Test Positive?

There’s a rumor going around that Welker took Molly while partying at the Kentucky Derby. He strongly denies this. “That’s a joke. I don’t do marijuana, I don’t do drugs. I don’t do any drugs,” he stated.

Yeah, Wes, I didn’t do any drugs either. When the police found heroin and syringes on me? That must have been some kind of mistake!

Regardless of how Welker ended up testing positive, the fact that he did pop positive remains. So, what now?

Well, he’s suspended for four games and eligible to return to the NFL on October 6th. Until then, the Broncos will have to wait and pray.

A Disturbing Trend

Wes Welker is the second Denver Bronco suspended this preseason for violating the NFL’s substance policy. Bronco kicker Matt Prater is also going to miss the first four games for repeated alcohol violations. Hmmm. I guess Denver really is the mile high city!

That’s not the end of this story though. There’s a disturbing trend going on in the NFL right now. Wes Welker is the thirty-third player to be suspended this preseason and the thirtieth to be suspended for violating the league’s substance policy.

Let’s slow down a minute and think about this. Welker is the 30th player to be suspended during the preseason for substance abuse. 30. Suspensions. During. The. Preseason. Holy s**t.

According to SporTrac.com, this number is up 60% from 2013. That’s a dramatic increase. Why? Why are all these players being suspended for substance abuse? Are more players getting high? Is the NFL just starting to do something now? What’s going on here?

What’s The Solution?

Welker emailed the Denver Post on September 2nd. In this email he stated, “I have never been concerned with the leagues performance enhancing or drug abuse policies because under no scenario would they ever apply to me, but I now know, that [drug-policy procedures] are clearly flawed, and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are corrected, so other individuals and teams aren’t negatively affected so rashly like this.”

With players calling for drug-policy modification, maybe the NFL’s substance policy will change. Who knows? Maybe their substance policy doesn’t need to be changed. Maybe players need to stop getting high. Who knows? I certainly don’t have the answers.

What I do have are the questions I just asked. Those are the questions we need to be asking. That’s the conversation we need to be starting. If change happens, it’s going to be from ordinary people sitting down and talking. It’s going to be from us!

Act Like a RECOVERING Addict, Not Like an Active Addict

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Let Me Paint You a Picture

The scene opens on beautiful Delray Beach, Florida. It’s a cool summer evening. The breeze blows just right.

tattooed woman

Three women stand in a Publix parking lot. Woman one is me, your spunky narrator, Fiona Stockard. Woman two is elderly, maybe seventy-five. She has white hair and wrinkles. She could be your grandmother. Woman three is maybe twenty-one. She’s covered from head to toe in tattoos and wearing nothing but a tank top, booty shorts, and a backwards hat. A cigarette dangles from her lips.

The tattooed woman grabs a motorized shopping cart and starts driving around in circles. She’s bored and restless, you can tell from her expression.

The elderly woman starts hollering at the tattooed woman. “Hey, hey…hey,” she yells. The tattooed woman keeps driving in circles.

“F**king drug addicts, this town is full of ‘em,” the elderly woman mutters. She walks off into the night.

St. Paul, Minnesota

Two women, both in their early twenties, wait for the bus. It’s a brisk morning, both are sipping coffee. Steam rises from their cups. Both have recently checked into a halfway house. Both are out looking for jobs.

homeless-woman

Woman one, let’s call her Jenny. Jenny has on ironed black pants and a light charcoal blazer. She’s wearing heels, not too high, and carrying a briefcase. Her hair is styled perfectly.

Woman two, let’s call her Tabitha. Tabitha has on a band tee shirt, ripped jeans, and ratty shoes. She hasn’t showered in days. Her hair looks more like a bird’s nest than anything else.

That night, in process-group, both go over their day. I sit among the rest of the women, bemused, pretty sure I know what’s going to happen next. Tabitha’s furious. “I got on the bus and someone tried to sell me crack! This town sucks. I can’t stay sober here! Every day it’s the same thing! ‘Want to get high?’ or ‘I got what you need, let’s party.’ This town is full of drug addicts!”

The therapist turns to Jenny. He asks how many times Jenny was offered crack. None, she responds. The therapist turns back to Tabitha. “You’re offered crack because you look like you smoke crack, Tabitha!”

The Moral Of The Story

Although I write a pretty killer dramatic monologue, both of these events actually occurred. I was there and witnessed firsthand why the stigma around addiction exists.

See, the rest of the world thinks addicts and alcoholics are bad people because of people like tattooed woman and Tabitha. We need to “practice these principals in all our affairs.” All of our affairs! Tattooed woman had about nine months sober, yet she acted like she was actively getting high. This hurts our entire recovery community!

The local Delray Beach Government is trying to pass anti-recovery legislation because of people like tattooed woman! Her dumb s**t only adds fuel to the fire. If you don’t act (or for that matter look) like a woman in recovery, you might as well keep getting high.

My parents told me they knew I’d changed when my words met my actions. Tattooed woman and Tabitha both sounded great at meetings. They seemed to have a grasp on sobriety. They could talk the talk. Still, they looked like s**t. They acted like s**t. They didn’t walk the walk.

Had tattooed woman or Tabitha told any innocent bystander they were in recovery, we all would’ve been f**ked. If someone had no contact with other recovering addicts, they’d associated tattooed woman and Tabitha’s behavior with the entire program. This hurts us now and will hurt us in the future.

Let me paint you one final picture. Remember that elderly woman? The one who could be your grandma? Well, she has a daughter. Her daughter works as a hiring manager at Publix. One day, Jane Doe walks into Publix and asks for a job. She tells the hiring manager that she’s in recovery. You bet your sweet a** the hiring manager is going to remember the story her mother told her about tattooed woman.

Act like a recovering addict, not like an active drug addict. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the rest of us.