recovery

Announcement: Welcome

This Website will be devoted to essays and insights related to diversity, addiction/recovery, psychological growth issues, global perspectives, the disenfranchised,  aesthetics, and cultural values. The core value streaming throughout the essays I write will be about returning to our innocence, which sometimes requires a trauma, a jolt, an invasion of the “other,” or a paradigm shift.

Many of my comments will sometimes reflect a more radically progressive approach to an idea. At other times, I may very well see some healthy alternatives in a more reactionary, conservative approach. There will be few areas, if any, that I hold sacred, taboo territory.  In that sense, everything will be up for grabs.

I am also interested in international film narratives, stories whose voices are too often left out of the more powerful voices of the international film industry. They have much to teach us about aesthetics, cultural values, and morality.

For those wishing to participate, enjoy the ride!

John T. Marohn

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Alcohol Recovery, a Personal Overview

A hand locked to glass of alcoholI used to believe there was only one kind of alcoholic, with several variations:

  • The guy sleeping in a small entrance cove of a store, at two in the morning, with a near-empty wine bottle tucked inside his stained trench coat.
  • The guy, with blood-shot eyes, standing in front of a seven-eleven, asking me for loose change so he can “buy a piece of pizza.”
  • The guy, with hands trembling, sitting on the steps of an urban church, stopping passers-by telling them he needs gas money to visit his mother in hospice.
  • The barroom story-tellers spinning out their lazy-tongued tales of resentments against a boss, an ex-girlfriend, or all the corrupt Washington politicians in bed with Wall Street.

Continue reading

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Owning Up, Part II

This is the second part of a two part series on “Owning Up, Emotional Honesty.” In the first part, I discussed the confessional-box tradition I grew up in and my many years of therapy.

In this part, I discuss the importance of what twelve-steppers refer to as the “rooms,” the meeting places where we go to “share,” as they say, “our experience, strength, and hope.”

Those of us in peer-group recovery programs like AA, NA,
OEA, and SA know very well the importance of hanging out in “the rooms.”

They are often cold, damp church basements with concrete walls that have been painted over so many times they begin to look like melting taffy. But they are the rooms where I go three or four times a week, if not more, to learn how to live in the real world.

As a recovering alcoholic of over twenty-six years, I take great consolation in knowing that others in these church basements are struggling with all the issues that normal, earth-people deal with every day: money, relationships, anger, a boss, an adolescent child, a new job, or Verizon tech support. Continue reading

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Our Descents into Hell

During my active alcoholic/addiction days, I vividly remember believing that if I descended into the booze enough, I would somehow come out car-wash clean. My repressions would be lifted. I could be my real self. I wouldn’t have to hide. I would be diamond-cut perfect. And, of course, I would have a winning style and personality.

What is it about this “descent” thing? Dante certainly believed it. Buddha had to go through his moments with his demons. Christ had his Gethsemane and his desert temptations. And soldiers have their foxholes.

No pain, no gain, as the saying goes. Continue reading

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Addiction, Another World

(This is another blog post on addiction and may help non-addicts understand the many-layered world of addiction, a world I once inhabited and continue to recover from. Because addiction is an equal-opportunity emotional and physical derailment, I purposely shift between the pronouns, “he” and “she” to avoid the impression that men have a monopoly on the world of addiction).

My drug of choice was booze. But the behavior and emotional patterns I exhibited could apply to all addicts. Each addiction obviously has its own uniqueness, but, in working with cross-addicted individuals, I have found many of the emotional and psychological traits to be the same. Continue reading

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Addiction’s Curse: Not Being Present

Woody Allen once said that whenever he was somewhere, he always wanted to be somewhere else.

We are never satisfied, it seems, to be where we are. There is always some other goal to attain, some other fantasy to fulfill, some other dessert we haven’t tried.

I say that to all my twitter friends because right now I would rather be conversing with all of you. But today I must engage myself in the beautiful discipline of expression, to dip my feet into the pool of some thoughts I have been having about my own addiction (alcohol was the addiction of my choice). Continue reading

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