I went to my first AA meeting today

Last week I made a promise to try out AA (Alcoholics Anonymous… for anyone who didn’t know the meaning behind the notorious acronym), and today I followed through. It was a lunchtime meeting near my office, not in a church basement, but a place callled Fellowship Hall, which is owned by Syracuse Intergroup which is […]

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This is why I don’t do AA

Check out this story from The Fix about alleged discrimination/blacklisting of secular groups within AA. According to the third tradition of 12-step group Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” Theoretically, this would mean the group’s atheist and agnostic members, of which there are a growing number, are […]

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Playing with fire

As most drinkers know, bourbon has a distinctive taste. It’s not like scotch or Canadian or Irish whiskey.  Even though I was never much of a bourbon drinker (I preferred the smokiness of scotch) I still remember how it tastes. Jim Beam was one of the only dark liquors my parents kept in the cabinet regularly […]

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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 […]

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Looking back on it all day after day

How many of you check your Facebook “On This Day” feature on a regular or even daily basis? I know I do. Sometimes there’s a fun memory. Mostly it’s mildly interesting to see what I was up to in years past. But occasionally I’m faced with a dive back into the bad old days. The bad […]

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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 […]

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Coming out as someone with a mental health issue

Here’s a letter I sent to my local paper for Mental Health Month: May is Mental Health Month and an opportunity to increase awareness about a concern that, unfortunately, is still something many people still don’t understand. Mental health is a core component of overall health, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, […]

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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 […]

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I Have #NoStigmas

The No Stigmas Project has a campaign going right now to try and help make access to mental health care and treatment a right for all people. While there have been some incredibly positive steps in this area, from the mental health reforms in the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity […]

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One year later

The past two days have both been milestones for me- Friday was one year since my last drink and yesterday is one year since the suicide attempt. As I’ve written before, I have some mixed emotions about both. One the one hand it’s been a tremendous year in terms of getting better, both mentally and […]

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