Created with Sketch.
Busting Addiction and Its Myths
11 minutes | May 20, 2022
It’s Late in The Year For July
In this podcast, we see how addictive disorder proves itself to be an equal-opportunity predator, regardless of intelligence or achievement. We learn that: No one is exempt from the cunning, baffling, and powerful nature of this disorder. Intelligence and achievement are weak defences against addictive disease. It turns out that July, like so many other smart people, thought that she could outwit alcoholism, but found herself yet again on the losing end. Her defiance seemed to be fuelled by her confidence that came with being successful in a demanding job. She had a sense of uniqueness that ultimately caused her to assert that “this bullshit is not for me.” Even though we considered the intervention a success in that July did enter treatment, it seems her defiance caused her to take matters back into her own hands. Addicts are heedless to the pain they cause others, for at a certain point, the addiction takes over and reveals itself as a rapacious predator. It cares not about anything or anybody except to feed itself.
11 minutes | May 13, 2022
Uncle Francis Tried to Outrun it, But it Caught Him
In this podcast, we tell the story of Bruno Jr.’s Uncle Francis, we trace the history of his uncle’s survival during wartime and describe his downfall following his escape. We learn that: A man can survive almost anything and still be taken down by this disorder we call alcoholism. The power of family is evident in this story; it turns out that Francis was welcome wherever he went unless he was drinking. He was able to outwit and outrun the enemy except for the one inside of him. There was, however, no thought of treatment in those days. His legacy is unfortunate. Despite fond memories of his charm, his children were victimised by his disease. It’s too easy to remember only the good times; we do a disservice to the memory of this much-loved man if we do not also recall with clarity what killed him in the end.
9 minutes | May 6, 2022
Cary - Your Back Window is Blown Open
This podcast is about Cary who gave it all to the myth that she could control the disease. We learn that: Here was an ordinary, nice woman who was overcome by the disease that her husband contracted through no fault of her own. It became obvious that she was crying out for help, but she fervently denied the idea that there was anything wrong with her. Her co-dependency was so profound, she stopped taking care of herself, focusing all her energy on the illusion, the myth, that she could help her husband stop his drinking. The price that Cary paid essentially meant her life. Her body and soul succumbed to the stress imposed by the family disease of alcoholism and resultant co-dependency.
11 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Roy - A Life of Quiet Desperation
In this podcast about the life of Roy, we learn how a subtle, slippery slope can lead to an unwelcome destiny. We learn that: What starts out as an innocent friendship can morph gradually into a using and drinking companionship. Roy had no clue as to what his life was becoming. The desire to smoke weed and drink alcohol overtook his ambition to finish his studies at UCLA. That seemed to be the real signal that his life was taking the wrong turn. While I went forward - for quite a while - he went backward, and our paths never converged again. The last time he was seen, Roy showed the dire effects of a life-long habit of abusing drugs and alcohol. He never did get it and paid the price. I did end up paying a price, but somehow the gods had a different destination in mind.
9 minutes | Apr 22, 2022
April - A Young Life Cut Short
In this podcast about April, we discuss how an extreme addiction to cocaine cut her life way too short. We learn that: Had I (Bruno J.) even known about the possibility of recovery, I believe April would not have bought it since she had not yet reached her bottom. Nor did it appear as though her family tried to intervene, although I cannot be sure, since she never talked about her habit or her family. Two dysfunctional people do not one whole person make. Our relationship was one of extreme co-dependency and addiction fuelled by unrequited sexual desire. April's short life was ever more tragic in that she was extremely intelligent, savvy, stylish, and personable. All the makings of a successful life cut so short by a powerful and deadly addiction.
7 minutes | Apr 15, 2022
Chuckie, the original Mad Man
In this podcast, Bruno J. recounts his early career as a Mad Man in the ad business, led by his boss Chuck. We learn that: Chuck had established what was already a successful routine that included alcohol by the time I met him. The ad culture back in the 70's was very male and focused on the intensity of work and of play, defined as drinking. A young, ambitious man would adopt whatever he saw would help him succeed in fitting in, since belonging is such a powerful motive early in a career. Although the good lessons I learned from Chuck carried me far in my career and accounted for some considerable success, the hard drinking lesson cost me dearly later on.
10 minutes | Apr 8, 2022
Frankie, Have You Seen Johnnie?
This podcast is a story about Frankie, his beautiful daughter Johnnie, and the power of desperation. We learn that: There is goodness within people that we don't often see because they are not "our kind". Frank loved his beautiful daughter but was not able to help her due to his own addiction. It took a village to save her. Johnnie must have figured out that she could no longer stay alive or sane if she kept up the life she was leading. Ultimately, it was the luck of the draw that a space was available at a local rehab, and it is to her credit she seized the opportunity to help herself and keep her child.
10 minutes | Apr 1, 2022
Angelo, Who Believes in Angels
This podcast is a story about Angelo, a dear friend of Bruno J.Angelo overcame almost unheard-of life challenges to get clean and sober and teach others the lessons of living a sober life. We learn that: It is possible to recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol regardless of one's life circumstances. We call the disease an equal opportunity predator and we call the 12-step program an equal opportunity saviour. Angelo's story usually stops people in their tracks. Here's basically an illiterate guy who ends up with a good job and helps others stay sober. That is a higher power at work. Angelo's belief in his form of a higher power is completely consistent with the idea of a "God of our understanding". Angelo "got it" right at the start, and you will notice, he never did have a relapse despite the many challenges he continues to face every day. His story, his charm, and his honesty continue to teach and uplift all who are privileged to know him.
8 minutes | Mar 25, 2022
Ricky - Have You Seen Keith Richards?
This podcast is about a good friend of Bruno J. who helped him in his early sobriety. We learn that: Some of the most important friendships happen in early sobriety when we most need them. There are the lucky ones who wake up and are still able to deploy their power of choice and say: "This is it". It is possible to have a whole lot of fun when you get sober, and you do not need any help from a mind-altering substance. We can undo what we have done - leave a dishonest relationship - after we sober up, even when it hurts to do so.
8 minutes | Mar 18, 2022
Lindsay Shoots the Sheriff
In this podcast about Lindsay, we tell the first of our stories of people who deal with addiction. We learn that: Some addicts never make it, and they end up in prison. The hard truth, but the real truth. Even though science says that addictive disorder is driven by genetics, Lindsay's environment accelerated her decline into hard drugs taken on a daily basis. Friends who want to save their friends do not let their unstable friends walk around with a loaded gun. Sadly, love has not a chance against a powerful disease. Had Lindsay been convinced to stay just a little bit longer in the treatment facility, her life and that of the man she murdered could have been saved.
8 minutes | Mar 11, 2022
A Stake into the Heart of The Vampire
In this podcast, we discuss the moral imperative of helping those who need us most, with truth and assertive compassion. We learn that we can: Think of an addictive disease as an invisible vampire that preys upon your loved one and saps their strength on a "nightly" basis. Create a powerful stake that is based on assertive love; love that does not take no for an answer and is calm and consistent. Hate the disease and still love the person. We can confront the one we love with the truth while showing compassion. Intervene on behalf of our loved one in the same compassionate way that the great teachers would have us do. Those of us who have more to give cannot abandon those who are in need. That, we should all believe, and is a law of the universe.
10 minutes | Mar 4, 2022
The Illusion of a Cure
In this podcast, we discuss the basic questions that people have about the topics of addiction and alcoholism. We learn that: There is no cure for alcoholism or drug addiction, and any claims to the contrary are misguided and/or attempts to seduce us into buying a bogus service or product. Untreated, addiction never gets better if left alone. It is well-known as a progressive disorder and has been proven so for over half a century. Addiction and alcoholism are diseases of the brain in their own right, not as symptoms or by-products of other disease states. They are chronic medical disorders as defined by the AMA and countless other entities who are experts in the field. Treatment for addiction and alcoholism has been proven to work for those who make the commitment to abstinence and address the mental and emotional distortions and immaturities that come with addiction. However, the recovering person must take full responsibility for his or her own recovery, as treatment is intended as a course-correction to get the individual back on the right path. The odds of complete, long-lasting recovery are very good, despite the reports of relapses along the way. We consider a relapse as a reminder of how powerful the disease really is. One of the most common sayings in the recovering community is: "Don't quit trying to quit" as very few of us got it on the first try.
11 minutes | Feb 25, 2022
It's Not About the Alcohol
In this podcast, we discuss why the recovery program begins after the alcoholic has put the drink down or the addict has stopped using. We learn that: Alcoholics who have not yet recovered do not understand that they only need to avoid one drink, and that is the first one, in order to stay sober. After they put down the alcohol, they realise that they no longer have a drinking problem, but they do have a thinking problem arising from the fact that their brain is immature and not yet capable of thinking clearly. The alcoholic or addict, even after he or she gets clean, remains an extremely self-centred individual, and it takes time and work for the user to fully acknowledge and make amends for the harm done to others. As such, the AA* or NA/CA* program is not about not drinking; rather it is all about the development of a spiritual life guided by honesty, kindness, and courage that equips the recovering person to live a new, inspired life. Those who love an addict or alcoholic and wish to recover from the family disease of alcoholism or addiction should consider joining Al-Anon, a 12-step program for families and friends of alcoholics and addicts. *AA = Alcoholics Anonymous NA = Narcotics Anonymous CA = Cocaine Anonymous www.aa.org www.na.org www.ca.org www.al-anon.org
8 minutes | Feb 18, 2022
Renounce Unnecessary Thinking
In this podcast, we discuss the value of present-moment awareness which helps us renounce unhealthy and unnecessary thinking. We learn that: We who have lived or currently live in an addictive relationship with an addict or alcoholic are experiencing PTSD and need more healing than we perhaps realise. It is possible to escape the trap of obsessive thought about our trying situation with a conscious attempt at becoming fully present. One of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of recovery is that of meditation - present-moment awareness - which can be practiced alone or with others. If we join others in the same life situation as ours, we shall find joy in a fellowship such as Al-Anon which will teach us how to become fully present and be able to once again live life one moment at a time.
8 minutes | Feb 11, 2022
Joy Amid The Sorrow
In this podcast, we discuss how authentic joy has been destroyed by addiction in the home, and what the person who cares for an addict or alcoholic can do to recover their sanity and discover the joy that comes with it. We learn that: Living with an alcoholic or addict will suck all the oxygen and joy out of your life no matter how hard you try to get it back. You discover at some point, perhaps by the suggestion of a friend or professional counsellor, that you are as powerless over the disease of addiction or alcoholism as is your loved one. That's where you learn - I hope in an Al-Anon meeting - that you are not alone, that there are thousands of people, mostly women, facing the very same challenges as are you. You will learn to change your thinking and attitude and see your loved one as a sick person just as deserving of love as you are. You will learn the art of a loving detachment from his disease. You will finally find the joy you deserve, even amid sorrow.
11 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
Act Even When You Don't Feel Like It
In this podcast, we discuss the barriers to taking the right action. We learn that: Being ready and feeling ready are two very different things. We will never be ready if we wait until we feel ready. All our lives, we have taken the right action whether we felt ready or not. We knew what we needed to do and went ahead and did it, because we made a small leap of faith. Somehow, deep in our hearts, we want to make a big change. We want to break the chains of our old way of thinking conditioned by years of living with an alcoholic/addict that has brought us desperation and poverty of spirit. We pray for a leap of faith that, ironically, is inspired by the desperation we have lived with for so many years. And now it is time to gain the freedom we deserve. We take the action we were afraid to take, for now, we have acquired just enough faith to reach out for help, knowing that it will come in the form of loving people who genuinely want to help another person suffering from this disease.
10 minutes | Jan 28, 2022
What Are You So Ashamed Of?
In this podcast, largely drawn from the work that a not-for-profit enterprise called Shatterproof has done. We discuss the stigma of addiction. We learn that: The level of prejudice against those with a SUD (substance use disorder) is astonishingly high. Only one-quarter of adults believe that a SUD is a chronic disease. The stigma associated with a SUD is the cause of thousands of preventable deaths every year, as shame is holding back even those who want help. The main effect of stigma is the social isolation that keeps even those recovering from a SUD from fully participating in society. Even medical professionals are not immune to stigma and myths associated with SUD, such as the use of medications to treat opioid use disorder. You can only do so much on your own. Get in touch with Shatterproof.org and learn what you can do in your own hometown to help enlighten our society.
10 minutes | Jan 21, 2022
A Paradox: In Discipline There is Freedom
In this podcast, we discuss one of the surprising paradoxes that exist within 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. We learn that: We simply do not think that discipline could mean freedom. We thought of discipline as a form of punishment. Alcoholics and addicts of our type are fundamentally enslaved by our desires and cravings to get drunk and high as our only priority. Freedom to us was defined as doing whatever made us feel good. To become truly free of the obsessions that ruled our lives, we have to work for it by applying a rigorous, consistent, and compassionate discipline one day at a time. As taught by the principles of our 12-step program. Praying for the people we resent is perhaps the most surprising paradox the program has to offer, but it is guaranteed to change one's heart for the better, and free one's soul.
10 minutes | Jan 14, 2022
Does This Make Sense to You?
In this podcast, we discuss the many myths and lies that alcoholics and addicts hold onto in order to justify their drinking and drug abuse. We learn that: There are countless myths that active alcoholics and addicts believe in to make the world seem normal to them. Even when their reality is a dirty mess. These myths all support the idea that alcohol and drugs are the solution, not the problem. The problem is always something other than the substance. Only those who have known a low-bottom existence as active abusers can understand the feeling of zero self-respect and how hard it is to appear normal. A spiritual experience offers the hope of a transformation that recovering people claim has saved their sanity and their very lives.
14 minutes | Jan 7, 2022
Why I Don't Hate This Disease Any More
In this podcast, we discuss that although you did not ask for the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction, you had a genetic preposition towards it. Also, as your recovery progresses, why you will learn to not hate the disease anymore.We learn that: It really does not matter how you get into recovery, so long as you get started. Families can be misled if they seek advice about addiction or alcoholism from one who is not trained in the disorder. Desperation is a gift if you look at it the right way, and that is: it becomes a supreme motivator never to go back there ever again. The beauty of AA and other twelve-step programs is that they do not preach to you. They deploy the time-honoured approach of storytelling to gently guide you into a better, saner life.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022