Thursday, May 12, 2011:
Some addicts and alcoholics seem to “fall forward” in life. I believe that’s because, at first anyway, the drugs and alcohol work; they do what we want them to do. They give energy, boost creativity, and uninhibit us so that we don’t notice the fears and insecurity that would otherwise restrain us from taking the chances that are sometimes necessary to be successful.
Drugs and alcohol can propel us to the top of the mountain, but then they proceed to drive us right off the other side of the cliff.
That’s what happened to Peter Jaquith. Fueled by alcohol, he became a Wall Street millionaire, and started smoking crack at 57, and quickly found himself homeless and penniless. His story, and many others who made it to the top of the mountain in their careers, are found in Second Chances by Gary Stromberg and Jane Merrill.
There are stories by Michael Deaver, deputy chief of staff under Ronald Reagan; Andrew Zimmern, celebrity chef and TV personality; Walter Yetnikoff, former president of CBS Records, and many more.
In particular, I really enjoyed, and gained much insight from Wiktor Osiatynski’s story. He’s an internationally renowned legal scholar, and he says we addicts and alcoholics have five problem areas in our life that we must address:
- the problem of self-image, of ego and ambition;
- the problem of how we relate to God and spirituality;
- the problem of how we relate to other people;
- the problem of our fears;
- and the problem of what gives sense and meaning to our life.
Just like The Harder They Fall, also by Stromberg and Merrill, Second Chances is the equivalent of a hundred recovery meetings all in one book. It’s chock full of honesty, courage, and remarkable insight, and it’s a must-read for all recovering addicts and alcoholics.
Buy Running Away From Me as a Kindle format ebook.