Chips, Keytags, and Shit to Show You’ve Arrived


In marriage, the first few anniversaries are challenging- paper for one year, cotton for the second. It doesn’t really let up until year 3, when leather finally is an acceptable gift, I prefer giving patent myself, but when my ex-wife and I made it to 3, well, let’s just say I didn’t have a white key tag, chip, whatever and the last place anyone would have found me was a 12-step meeting.

That said, living in the “recovery capital of the USA,” Delray Beach, FL, it kind of grates on my nerves sometimes the image of recovery, as if these milestones have their own gift program.

0-29 Days: Free rent, van rides and Red Bulls thanks to IOP
30 Days:  Call center job; Tinder installation
60 Days: A custom $400 vape and spend free time becoming a ‘juice’ sommelier and earning a free tea via frequent drink card at Kavasutra
90 Days: Tattoos and steroids!!! The approval from friends to get an apartment with Tinder girl #14
6 Months: More tattoos and a scooter to find a new job since call center got shut down; Also a new girlfriend
9 Months: Trip home to Mom or Dad’s to drive the pimped out Vtec Civic back down to Florida
One Year: Miracles do happen, but unlikely if you only care about fitting in with the masses and do no work

Maybe I’m being cynical, but being “cool” in recovery isn’t about outward bullshit. It’s about not needing the latest pair of Jordan’s, or some purse that costs $500. It’s about working steps, not blowing huge plumes of water vapor. It’s being cool with self, not chasing something outside self.

God, no matter how you understand him, isn’t in a new iPhone 6. He’s inside us all, if we can move past our own bullshit. I think there’s a step four that…see what I did there?

Oh, and doing steroids, probably not clean. Kratom. Don’t get me started. Suboxone? I’m writing a Kindle-only book for that subject.

And yes, I get it, I am being a dick. Why? Because I tried it every single way, and I am by no means perfect- just read my Tinder posts, but when life hits me, I intuitively know how to handle it. Work the steps, quit looking for worth in things, other people, your validation is that you- the person in the mirror made it through your own personal hell to get however many days clean. Don’t go back by not being willing to move forward and take 12 steps towards inner peace and so many other gifts. Be proud to be you.

I said this in rehab- the last thing I want to be is the coolest guy in this place. I wanted to be the one who made it and didn’t go back out. I don’t let opinions, and words born from other people’s insecurities even phase me. Of my group, my big brother, my little brother, and I have not touched a drink or drug. No coincidence we have all worked the steps, and try our damndest to help others on this planet on a daily basis. Oh, a few have died too. Continue life selfish or find a better way and become selfless.

That’s what people forget-it’s not just a ‘relapse’ it could very well be the most permanent of ends.

Be grateful, be true to yourself, because inside us all is a spirit linked to something incredible.


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