What happens when we all forget there’s a person there

This story in the Idaho Statesman on the public shaming and subsequent suicide of Klara Bowman hit me hard this morning. I was tearing up over my coffee reading about this young woman who faced a set of circumstances that were in many ways similar to my own struggle, but rather than given the opportunity […]

Read More

Looking back on my first mental health crisis

I don’t usually post trigger warnings on specific posts since I think it’s a fair expectation that a blog about mental health might contain information that might trigger a sensitivity to that topic, but since this post deals specifically with suicide, self-harm and a crisis, consider yourself specifically warned. I’ve wanted to write a longer-form […]

Read More

500 days of… sobriety? Abstention? Let’s talk terms

Over the weekend I remarked on five hundred days without a drink on my personal Facebook page. It’s an accomplishment I feel pretty proud of, and it wouldn’t have happened without the support of a lot of people. At the same time, there was some disagreement on my use of the word “sober” to describe the […]

Read More

Recovery is about more than beating an addiction or managing a condition

Yesterday I went for a bike ride, the first one since last summer. I worked out some muscle groups that have been dormant for too long through the long cold winter we’ve just gone through (yes, here in Upstate New York it only recently ended). It was a good start, a six and a half […]

Read More

The Work Before Us

Did you all have a chance to see this: Tonight, the United States Senate voted to confirm my nomination as Director of National Drug Control Policy. This is an honor I never dreamed of 26 years ago, when my substance use disorder had become so acute that I was handcuffed to a hospital bed. I […]

Read More

Do I seem irritable? I’m trying to quit smoking and GAAAAAHHHHH!!!

I’m doing something good for myself and it sucks. I’m trying to stop smoking, because, lets face it, it was a habit I picked up after I quit drinking. Replacement vice and all that. And it was good for awhile- I wrote about the good things about it, and I’ve shared my worries about the […]

Read More

Robin Williams

I’m a little bit surprised at how hard this is hitting me. Maybe I shouldn’t be. There are numerous emotions swirling. Nostalgia for an icon of my childhood (The Genie, Peter Pan, Mrs. Doubtfire), sadness for the brilliant mania that was his early stand-up, which I discovered later. Regret for losing someone who was not […]

Read More