Daniel D. Maurer, 45, of Saint Paul, Minnesota might have been serving as an ordained progressive Lutheran pastor in western North Dakota, but his career in “drinking and taking pills,” he says, was more important to him than that job, his own health, and his family. As a self-described secret user and drinker, what began as a way to cope with everyday stress and depression became a chemical obsession that his first inpatient program couldn’t seem to remedy. One third and final try and six years later, he’s since published a series of graphic novels through an imprint of the recovery center that finally helped him heal.
April 12th is National Grilled Cheese Day! A day that Americans mark one of their most favorite comfort foods. It's no wonder that this easy to make recipe is so popular: bread, cheese and butter are highly palatable foods—combined, and you’ve got a meal that sets off your brain’s feel good chemicals off the charts, in the same way as drugs and alcohol. Can you eat foods like grilled cheese and stay ‘healthy’ in your recovery? I’d argue that you can.
As much as I love New York City, I love getting away from it, too. Last week, I traded 30 degrees on the East Coast for 80 degrees in Mexico. I even set a sassy auto-reply for my email account: “Soaking up the sun and binge drinking virgin cocktails in Mexico." And binge drink virgin cocktails, I did. I drank my weight in Mexican Coke and limonadas - no hangovers, no blackouts.
After his using took him everywhere from jail to rehab, David Adam, 32, from Astoria, Queens, has been sober since October 23rd, 2013. Since embracing his concept of a higher power, working a program, becoming a student of several disciplines of yoga and meditation and choosing a life of service and helping others, he has stayed sober through some of the most challenging times of his life, including his fiancée’s recent cancer diagnosis one year before their wedding date. Now a certified yoga teacher and recovery coach currently in school to obtain his CASAC, David spoke with us about what finally caused him to get help, why it stuck, and what we can all learn from the challenges life presents us if we are willing to stay sober through them.
“If you see something, say something,” isn’t enough when actual lives are on the line.
A creative director named Billy at an advertising agency I freelance for overdosed last month. It's so tragic. He was only 31. Looking through pictures of Billy online, there’s not a single one where he looks sober. He definitely wasn’t new to the game as he died in the bathroom of Soho House, needle in arm.
Survey says? The web is a welcoming place to be when it comes to recovery.
Welcome to the ever-changing world of online recovery. Since most of us struggle to unplug, it comes as no surprise that there's a broad world of digital recovery. Whether you’re blogging behind a laptop, participating in an online meeting, scrolling through your curated sober Instagram feed, checking in with your counselor on the latest online recovery program, or listening to a guided meditation on your phone, there’s a way to stay connected. Recovery in 2017 is a very different place than it was ten years ago, when I first got sober. And it’s changed every year in nuanced ways. Even in the two years since I started The Sobriety Collective, the digital landscape has evolved.
So what better way to illustrate the evolution than to poll the very people who make up what we call #TheRecoveryFriendlyWeb? I surveyed a small sample size of 30 recovery bloggers and other folks who use the cyber world as part of their holistic recovery. Let’s see what they say about the changing face of the digital recovery space.
No matter how long it’s been since you quit drinking, at some point you’ll crave a drink. I’ve heard people say, “Once I quit drinking the obsession was lifted” and sure, maybe the obsession was lifted, and they weren’t thinking about drinking all day every day, but that doesn’t mean they never again had the thought that they’d cut a bitch for a Budweiser. We’re human! It doesn’t matter how hard you work on your sobriety: You can practice transcendental meditation two hours a day; visit an expensive therapist weekly or journal endlessly about your childhood, but the fact is, sometimes it all goes out the window and you crave a drink. You want a momentary reprieve. You just want to alter your goddamn mood for a minute, even if nothing’s wrong!
You can’t be operating in this universe and not be aware of Moby – the musician, photographer and animal rights activist, who burst into the cultural stratosphere in the 90s with his unique electronic dance music. While he came clean about his entire life in his memoir Porcelain, which was released last year, I was able to interview him all his addiction and sobriety. (He’s now been sober over 15 years.) Here are some of the choicest bits:
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Today is one of the biggest drinking-oriented holidays of the year, making it tough for some of our sober stars out there.
You’ve decided to stop drinking. But that doesn’t mean you’ve decided to give up your night out with the guys. And hey, no one’s asking you to stay in with a mug of tea and a blankie, unless that’s your jam. What is being asked of you? Your order, at the bar. So as a new non-drinker, what do you do when the bartender turns your way? Arm yourself with some non-alcoholic drink knowledge, and enjoy your evening out, my friend.