Now I know, “practicing these principles in all our affairs” is daunting and where I often fail. But it is not how many times you fail that counts, it is how many times you try that matters. Though I practice these 12 Steps in my daily life, I am by no means a saint by anyone’s standards. I am still trying to stay one step ahead of my addictions though I do work Step 1 in AA perfectly by abstaining from alcohol and addicting drugs, and in DA by abstaining from compulsive debting.
However, I am an example for other alcoholics and drug addicts who want to recover, and for professionals who want to help their patients and clients who suffer from addictive illnesses. I write articles and books to help physicians and others who care for patients and clients with addictions. I give talks and teach medical students, residents, doctors, and anyone who wants to know and listen. I am considered an expert in a field where expertise is lacking, and not highly valued, unfortunately.
Yet I am grateful. I am blessed. I have turned a life-threatening disease into an asset. I found a power greater than myself: to help others. I don’t always know where I am going, but I am not lost. I have good orderly direction. I can live more in the solution, less in the problem. I can help where sometimes no one else can. God is doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Keeping sober and abstinent are the most important things in my life. The most important decisions I ever made were my decisions to give up my addictions. I am convinced that my whole life depends on not taking that first drink, drug, or debt. Nothing is as important to me as my own sobriety and abstinence. Everything I have, my whole life, depend on those things. Can I afford to forget these, even for one minute?
—Chapter 21 “It Gets Better, It Works If You Work It,” Bohunk’s Redemption, From Blacking Out to Showing Up: A Doctor’s Adventures
“I was constantly trying to explain my irrational thoughts and behaviors. I had intellectualized my entire world. I had rationalizations for just about everything. I lived in complete denial of my addiction and the life it created. I feared shadows, running away from ghosts of the past, present, and future, and my impending doom. When would the next tsunami hit? I was a walking time bomb, sure to go off. On a roller coaster, out of control, heading for a disaster. Death only a matter of time; committed to dying, sure to happen. No way to live. Not living, just along for the ride with death.
One day, I was looking out the window of my townhouse on a dreary afternoon in late October. I thought to myself, if I keep drinking I would be sure to start back using the tranquilizers, sedatives, and narcotics, etc. I would overdose next, followed by another intensive care unit, psychiatric hospital, alcohol. I wasn’t afraid of death. I was afraid of living. I had had enough. I had reached my bottom. I was trapped somewhere between living and dying, in limbo, on the fence, the most difficult place to be. I couldn’t stay sober, and couldn’t stay drunk. I was a cat on a hot tin roof, unable to stay airborne. I began my long journey of surrender to win. I had to give up alcohol and drugs for good, one day at a time. I had to acknowledge I was powerless over alcohol and drugs; imagine, finally…“
—Chapter 8 “Powerlessness and Acceptance,” Bohunk’s Redemption, From Blacking Out to Showing Up: A Doctor’s Adventures
Bohunk’s Redemption, my recovery memoir, is now available to purchase on ebook and paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
You can even read a free instant preview of the first couple of chapters: here!
The book’s synopsis:
When young Jewish Catholic “Bohunk,” heads to college, he aspires to become a doctor, but fulfills his family destiny of alcoholism instead. Drinking his way through medical school, and getting hooked on easy-to-access narcotics along the way, Bohunk inescapably finds himself at the precipice of death. After he emerges from a suicidal, drug-induced coma, he finally decides to confront his greatest fears, and commits to live. In his empowered and invigorated life of recovery, Bohunk walks you through the 12 Steps of AA. He quixotically sets out to change the world by becoming an educator, addiction psychiatrist, and attorney, to help similarly situated addicts. However, along the way his life is not short of personal drama—he marries, divorces, and with the help of U.S. Politicians and infamous private detectives, retrieves his two abducted daughters from South America! This highly entertaining memoir will leave you in awe of how one man simply survived, let alone ultimately prevailed, against all odds.
Don’t miss out on this unbelievable, one in a million story!