A Personal Story By John Taylor

Music phenomenon and author of In The Pleasure Groove, John Taylor moved from the excesses of success to loneliness and depression, through the tough paths of recovery, to the joy of building relationships with family and friends.

john-taylorI am an alcoholic. A drug addict. I could not control my use of alcohol or drugs and my using caused me to behave in ways I never would have done had I been sober. 19 years ago, I checked into a rehab facility. I spent 30 days there. It turned my life around.

Based on this experience, I believe in rehab. I believe in the turn-around that is possible through rehab. A life that is spiralling and out of control can be made useful and successful once living drug and alcohol free. It was in rehab that I was first introduced to the 12-step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcoholism is a disease that is also a spiritual malady. I believe that it is a form of genetic defect, why some of us can stop after one drink and some of us can’t after 20. Whether that is fact or not is unimportant. What is important is believing in the idea. It lets everyone off the hook, for one thing, everyone and everything you have ever blamed for your life problems. And that’s a big deal.

But it doesn’t mean you are not accountable for your actions from here on, from the time you discover recovery. On the contrary.

Most of us who wind up in 12-step programmes aren’t there because our lives are working. More often, life is crashing down around us. Out of work and unemployable, family hardly on speaking terms, poor health… That’s the perfect state to enter a 12-step programme. It’s called the gift of desperation.

And here’s another thing about alcoholism: it’s an equal opportunity illness. It will bring down lawyers and footballers, veterans and factory workers, rich and poor.  It recognises not ethnicity nor age, and it has no political allegiance.

But getting to that place of acknowledgement… I have a problem with alcohol, I have a problem with drugs… Once there, I was ready to be helped. It was all right for me: I could write a cheque. But that is not the case for the majority of people in this country who want help now. Read more…


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