Advice From A God

by Screedler on March 24, 2015

I found this accidentally in an obscure corner of the interweb; a forgotten slideshow about ancient Greek vases http://www.ifvp.org/ivpc08/Diane%20H%20Cline/IFVPtalkFINALpdf.pdf.

Dionysus

 

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Madonna’s New Anti-Drug Anthem

by Screedler on March 19, 2015

I listened to Howard Stern interview Madonna this week and it was very interesting. They spent a good portion of the talk about her view on substances, her past experiences with them (limited but bad i.e Ex’s), and her disdain for them. She has a new album, hence the interview, and it has an pointedly anti-drug song on it. The album is number 2 on the Billboard charts. Way to go Madge!

Out-take from a Rolling Stone interview she gave earlier this year after the song leaked premature to the album’s release this week.

RS – “Devil Pray” is at risk of being misunderstood as a song encouraging or condemning drugs, but it’s more about a search for spirituality, correct?

Madonna – I don’t think when people are experimenting with drugs they’re actually consciously saying to themselves, I want to get closer to God. I think it’s a primal thing, a more inexplicable thing that happens where I think the feeling people have when they’re high is plugging into the universe and appreciating things or seeing details that they otherwise may have missed, or feeling a certain kind of euphoric joy. Ultimately those feelings never last, because the drugs wear off and then there’s the after effect. Whenever you synthetically make yourself feel euphoria there’s going to be the crash. I’m certainly not judging people who take drugs or saying “don’t do drugs,” however, I’m saying you can do all of these things to connect to a higher level, but ultimately you’re going to be lost. People who are getting high are instinctively also trying to connect to a higher level of consciousness, but are doing it in a way that will not sustain them.

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A Collective Effort of Heroes

by Screedler on March 14, 2015

Neato assist by TDA favorite Robert Downey Jr. But, the real heroes here are Albert Manero of The Collective Project and of course Alex. For more on The Collective Project.

I know we toot his horn a lot here, but it’s only because his story is a shining example of redemption through recovery. The above act of kindness and his current good fortune would never have been possible had he not kicked his bad habits. Most likely he would not be here at all. His may be an unrealistic outcome for us mere mortals (just kidding), but his real story of addiction is easily forgotten now that he is so successful.

No one can say he had a “high bottom”, in the lingo of AA. He pretty much lost it all, like most of us do, before we make the turn around. Here are some highlights of his lows, from an article back in 2013 that appeared in the Daily Mail:

The extraordinary thing is that, not so long ago, Downey Jr was a poster boy for wasted talent. Broke and in and out of prison because of his self-destructive taste for booze and never-ending quantities of weapons-grade drugs, he was reduced at one point to earning eight cents an hour scrubbing pizza pans in the kitchen of the LA County Jail.

In the 1990s and the early part of the next decade, the actor was considered a pariah and a laughing stock, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that he had consistently hailed himself as the best actor of his generation after the intensity of his performances, not least in his Oscar-nominated role in the biopic Chaplin in 1992.

One leading director used to enjoy playing party guests the tape of an emergency 911 call by a female neighbour of the actor who came home in May 1996 to find Downey Jr asleep in her 11-year-old son’s empty bed. Out of his mind on cocaine and drink, he had wandered in, undressed to his underpants, folded his clothes up and settled down to sleep. Comically, the bemused woman’s call to police was accompanied by the sound of the star’s loud snoring.

He was already on parole after being arrested for racing his car drunk along Sunset Boulevard while in possession of a stash of drugs and a .357 magnum revolver — mercifully, unloaded. On another occasion, he was arrested, naked and hallucinating, at the wheel of his Porsche.

At his lowest ebb, he was found in the foetal position in a rat-infested alley behind a dingy LA hotel.
During one of a litany of court appearances on drugs charges, he told a judge: ‘Taking drugs to me is like having a shotgun in my mouth with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.’

It was a steep descent for Downey Jr, the handsome one-time leading light of Hollywood’s Brat Pack of actors who had won rave reviews for his roles in films such as Natural Born Killers and Short Cuts.

To a large extent, his myriad problems were the legacy of a recklessly liberal upbringing by his parents, underground film-maker Robert Downey and Elsie, his actress mother, in bohemian Greenwich Village, New York. His father cast his son in his first film, the avant-garde comedy Pound, at the age of five. But Downey Sr was a notorious drug addict and one day, as he watched the eight-year-old Robert drinking the white wine he had given him, he offered to let him try a cannabis joint. It was the start of a slippery slope. When his parents, who also have a daughter, Allyson, divorced in the late 1970s, 13-year-old Robert Jr moved to California with his father and enrolled in High School.

Within four years, he had dropped out and returned to Manhattan to study acting. A stint on the long-running television comedy show Saturday Night Live made his name and he soon became catnip to a series of Hollywood leading ladies. He had flings with Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and began dating his first long-term girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker (who would go on to find fame in Sex And The City) on the set of 1984 film Firstborn. Their relationship lasted seven turbulent years, but succumbed eventually to his increasingly out-of-control behavior. On the rebound and in a haze of drugs, Downey Jr met and married his first wife, actress and musician Deborah Falconer, in the space of 42 days in 1992. The couple had a son, Indio, now 19, but the responsibilities of being a husband and father did nothing to quell his hell-raising. Nor did a series of commercial flops, including the 1990 action adventure Air America in which he starred with Mel Gibson, help calm his self-destructive tendencies.

rdjjIn 1997, Downey Jr was given a 180-day jail sentence in LA for violating probation, but was caught fighting with another inmate. Amid reports he was being targeted by other prisoners, he twice woke up from attacks in a pool of his own blood. He says of his time in jail: ‘I would never tell you the worst things that have happened to me.’
In 1999, after failing to show up for a court-ordered drugs test, he was sentenced to three years in a state-run substance abuse facility and prison in California. He served 12 months of his sentence before being freed by a judge.

But his reliance on drink and drugs was far from over. On his release in 2000, he was given the part of Calista Flockhart’s boyfriend in the TV legal drama Ally McBeal. He won a Golden Globe for his performance, but within months he was in trouble again. His room at a hotel in Palm Springs was searched by police, acting on a tip-off, who found methamphetamine and cocaine. Then, while on parole, Downey Jr was found wandering the streets of LA, barefoot and high as a kite. He was immediately sacked from Ally McBeal and sent back to rehab.

It was the final straw for his wife Deborah, who left him, taking Indio with her, and filed for divorce. Where once he had earned up to £5 million a year, he was now deemed untouchable. To make matters worse, the U.S. taxman came after him and he was left close to bankruptcy.

His road to redemption began in 2003 when Mel Gibson cast him in the lead role of the film version of Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective. Gibson, who was the film’s producer, even had to personally underwrite Downey Jr’s liability insurance because he was deemed too much of a risk. That same year, Downey Jr met his current wife, producer Susan Levin, on the set of ghost story Gothika. He credits her with turning his life around. Before agreeing to go through with their marriage in August 2005, she insisted that he must finish with drugs for good.

Downey Jr. started therapy, entered a 12-step programme, took up meditation, the martial art Wing Chun Kung Fu and described kicking his addictions as like coming out of a ‘20-year coma’. Now he says the strongest thing he consumes is espressos.

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Thumbnail image for The Return of The Toolbox

The Return of The Toolbox

March 12, 2015

As promised some time ago, we are bringing back the Sober Toolbox feature. Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery, or something you should not have missed just because your new here, and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox […]

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The World’s Most Dangerous Drug

March 8, 2015

One of our regular readers shared this with me. They said it was one of the most brutal depictions of drug abuse they had ever seen. After watching it I would have to agree. Produced by National Geographic and hosted by notable reporter Lisa Ling, this documentary on methamphetamine is not for the faint of […]

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I Lie When I Drink

March 4, 2015

The truest song about drinking ever written. For more info on The Liar’s Disease.

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Thumbnail image for R.I.P. Spock – He Got Sober, Lived Long, and Prospered

R.I.P. Spock – He Got Sober, Lived Long, and Prospered

February 27, 2015

I am huge OST (Original Star Trek) fan. I still watch them like my father watches Gun Smoke, Bonanza, and The Rifleman. They bring a deep feeling of my youth and comfort. I once went and saw Leonard Nimoy speak while a student at UAB in the mid 80’s. I brought along a pair of […]

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Sadder But Wiser

February 25, 2015

Like most men my age, I grew up with MAD Magazine. My favorite issues involved spoofs of current movies and TV shows of the time – Happy Days, SWAT, Star Wars, and Animal House parodies come to mind. Another favorite running gag was their fake ads. Mad Magazine never ran real ads and hence made […]

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Thumbnail image for Red Carpet News – And the Oscar goes to…

Red Carpet News – And the Oscar goes to…

February 22, 2015

Rehab if he keeps this up. This appeared on Hollywood boulevard a couple of days ago. Doubtful we will see it tonight. And last year the same artist who goes by the moniker Plastic Jesus wowed the crowd with this tasteful work – Stay classy PJ.  Next year, I hear he is using the same coke […]

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Flow States and Addiction Management

February 19, 2015

Thought provoking article on addiction found on the Singularity Hub – The Truth About Addiction: We’re All Junkies Now. The article postulates that everyone is an addict; that it is the nature of being human. There is no normal non-addictive state, and since addiction is unavoidable, what we need to do is start teaching people—and […]

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Nobody’s Fault But Mine

February 16, 2015

They were the epitome of the saying Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll. But, there was a time before Led Zeppelin came to an unexpected end, that lead singer Robert Plant started to think if they did not change their ways, things were destined to get bad. And they did, especially for drummer Jon Bonham, […]

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John Oliver Vs. The Drug Pushers

February 12, 2015

Four billion dollars could go a long way in helping us find a cure for Restless Leg Syndrome, or any malady for that matter. That is how much the drug makers spend per year on the pervasive drug ads that are on TV and in print. But it is nowhere near how much they spend […]

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Alcohol Poisoning Deaths

February 9, 2015

No surprise here, it’s like I had a bull’s-eye painted on my back. If you wondered into ten random AA meetings, I bet the breakout of attendees would closely match these numbers. The CDC has published a new study that takes an in-depth look at who exactly is dying from alcohol poisoning in America. The […]

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Nothing Blue

February 5, 2015

I have made a few additions to the website.  Some new tabs, one featuring the Letters from Hell, and another featuring all the music we have highlighted over the years.  Music has always been a big part of my recovery and this site.  We even interviewed Art Alexakis of Everclear  one time. That’s the something old and […]

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Thumbnail image for Sly Stone – Mo Money, Mo Problems?

Sly Stone – Mo Money, Mo Problems?

February 2, 2015

It’s no secret that funk legend Sly Stone had or has a huge drug problem that certainly did not help in landing him in A Van Down By The River, but maybe, just maybe, his luck is changing. Sly has won a court case that has been in the works since 2010 and awards him […]

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