With little warning, we were driven off the shores of the Land of Before.
About a year and a half ago, I wrote an open letter to the universe regarding my search for my next job. While the universe didn’t directly write back, that column led to an all-expenses paid weeklong trip to New Orleans for a job interview, along with a number of sometimes fascinating phone conversations with … Continue reading An Unorthodox Man’s Unorthodox Search for a New Home
This morning a meatball dropped on my head. Translation for the pious: God reminded me of His grace, giving me a vision of myself had I not been lucky enough to get sober 12 years ago. The meatball splattered at about 7:40 am in the lovely seaside town of Whitley Bay, just outside Newcastle. Tomorrow … Continue reading A Drunkard’s Dream
My daughter, Meredith (Meri) Howard overdosed on opioids last Friday. She, unlike thousands of other New Hampshire overdose victims, is alive. Meri is 24 years old, adored by the world (if not always by herself) and had been clean of opioids for more than four years. Her mom, Cindy, discovered her, called 911 and Meri … Continue reading When the ER Nurse Says, “Good Luck” It’s Medical Jargon for “Next Step: The Morgue”
Each millennium brings with it an event so huge it changes the course of human history. The first thousand years anno domini brought us the sack of Rome, with its joyous fires, picturesque streams of blood and a return to home rule. The second millennium’s Black Death helped increase workers’ wages, reduce urban crowding and … Continue reading Completely Self-Serving Plug: Improv Theater Training–February 2—Hope for NH Recovery, Manchester, NH
A confession: although I’ve been clean and sober for 11 years, I didn’t go to a 28-day treatment facility. When I reached the jumping-off point, the spot where suicide made more sense than simply wishing for death, I was lucky enough as a veteran to walk into a VA facility and say, “I’m Keith Howard … Continue reading Shipbuilders of Sunken Vessels: Quick Dispatches from the Belly of the Treatment Industrial System
Smoking marijuana is not a revolutionary act. Finally, at 60, I understand this. You see, boys and girls, I started smoking weed in 1972 when I was 13, and the whiff of revolution—at least as defined by Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies—still hung in the air. While I was going door to door for … Continue reading A Radical Moderate Take on Recreational Marijuana Use
I am an alcoholic in recovery. Without treatment, an alcoholic of my type is like a medieval town under siege. The military tactic of a siege, of course, is used to cut off all incoming supplies and to prevent escape, and so it was with me. I huddled in my drinking as all other forms … Continue reading Where There is Life, There is Hope: Rethinking My Notions on Recovery
I’ve always been a smart ass—no surprise to anyone who’s read this column—but I’ve tried to be a gentle smart ass, punching up not down. As part of my recovery path, I’ve learned the importance of apologizing when I’ve been in the wrong. Because my life is filled with mistakes, this ability to say I’m … Continue reading Mea Culpa, Brad Ladner—And Let Those Panties Drop
Nobody comes into recovery on a winning streak. I’ve yet to meet an addict or alcoholic who decided, while on top of the world, to walk away from a substance that works. Despite the downsides—hangovers, jonesing for product, shame, self-hatred—if alcohol and drugs are working no one walks away from them. Drunks and junkies only … Continue reading Grateful for Your Recovery? Open Your Wallet!