About Me

Who the hell is this guy, anyway?

“To whom much is given, much will be required.”

—Luke 12:48

My sobriety date is May 7, 1997

Every day since has gotten better. My problems are now definitely on a much higher plane. But it was not always so.

What it was like

As a young hippie, I experimented will all manner of consciousness-raising drugs, but in the end I just used them to get wasted. During my school years, I left them all behind. I needed a clear head for my studies. I had never crossed the line into addiction.

At the age of about forty-two, as a faculty member at the medical school, I discovered that good wine gave me the same high that pot had done years before. Since it would be unseemly for an assistant professor to be caught trying to cop drugs on the street, I sought pleasure in fine wine as an alternative. It was, after all, a part of the good life I had worked so hard to earn. The slide into full-blown alcoholism was insidious, a slippery slope. I never recognized what was happening. In the end, I was drinking more than two bottles a night. My blackouts went unrecognized until much later.

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Cocaine, however, was another story

What began as a party favor became regular entertainment. I can vividly remember the first time I saw someone shoot up coke. I could never do that, I thought. It took less than two weeks for me to give the lie to that. I stole needles and syringes from the office and never looked back. At the end, I could go for days, staying up all night until my life was completely unmanageable. My nurses eventually figured out my predicament and asked the Medical Board to intervene. I was sure they would take my medical license, maybe even put me in jail. Instead they sent me to detox.

What happened

I was so sick they kept me in detox for almost a week. From there I went to a rehab facility in Atlanta that specialized in treating physicians, never realizing the true depth of my insanity. For over seven months I struggled to understand what had happened to me and what I needed to do to recover. Fortunately, several people took me under their wing and shepherded me along. This was when my bipolar disease was diagnosed.

​What it’s like now

I’ve never gone back to medicine. The swings from depression to mania have become less common over the years and my mind continues to clear. The first year of sobriety was easy. The promises of AA were slowly becoming a part of my life: I judged my sobriety then on how many of them were coming true. Serenity was only a goal.

I can’t say there haven’t been ups and downs. But my progress has always been positive and my enjoyment of life has only grown.  In time, I realized that what I was looking for was not sobriety, or even recovery, but serenity. Living in the moment, unshackled from the past, unafraid of the future, free from worry and fear, finding joy and peace in all things, unruffled by the cares of the world—that’s it. What I found was that my own personal serenity was directly proportional to the degree to which I could turn my will over to God. This process has been slow, painfully slow, and I still struggle with giving up my ego. But life is good and life is easy. And if it seems otherwise, I was told, I must be doing it wrong.

Today, I have at least one foot in the door labelled Serenity

I have learned to control my thoughts. I do a much better job of finding the goodness in others. I am the happiest I have ever been.

​“To whom much is given, much will be required.”

Since May of 1997, much has been given to me. Volumes of recovery wisdom have been poured into my head. My job here is to give back some of that.  I chose the format of a journey through rehab as a vehicle to organize my thinking, since that is where the process began.

The Problem is Addiction

The Answer is Recovery

Text and original photos copyright 2017-2018 by Linville M. Meadows