blogging / Life / writing

What Price Sobriety?

It is 8:47 pm


Its been another cold chilly day here in SE Michigan,we had sunshine mixed in with the gray clouds. Even saw a couple of flakes as well. The cheetah spent much of the day under the blanket in full purrito mode. I was in Dollar Tree Theater mode today so I put on a interesting horror film called “Bitter Feast”. The plot had a nice twist,a food blogger makes a name for himself as a harsh critic of chefs and restaurants. A famed chef is targeted by one article which leads him to lose his job. The owner of the restaurant’s owner is played by famed Iron Chef Mario Batali who is a real hoot to watch in his small cameo.

While we are supposed to side with the wronged chef,you never do because he is far from being the “innocent” victim here. The blogger isn’t much better but his reason for being so jaded rings true. I was a little surprised by the amount of violence in this film but it is effective and moves the story along. But it touches on a theme that podcast host Char Hardin and I touched on,torture porn. Torture porn is basically a fantasy of someone who has been “wronged” in some way and wants to get revenge in a violent way of the person(s) who has caused them their grief. I will touch on that in a future blog entry…

I was on Twitter this week when someone posted a link regarding actor Ben Affleck and his new movie, “Gone Girl”.

“Ben Affleck was reportedly so dedicated to his lead role in the new Gone Girl movie, that the actor broke his 14-year sobriety just so he could portray his character in the most realistic light possible, a move that saw him drinking every night.

  Affleck, 42, plays the part of Nick Dunne, who is suspected of murdering his wife, in the new flick and in order to make the role more believable the star admitted to getting drunk on a daily basis. Speaking about how he prepared for the role, the Argo star told Details: “Like, in the book, for example, it said he was puffy and hungover. And I dedicated myself to that, and I think it’s quite convincing.”

Wow. 14 years of staying clean and sober wiped away just like that. All for a movie role. The fact that Ben had a issue with drinking too much that it led him to make the choice to become sober in the first place. 14 years ago,he was in a high profile relationship with Jennifer Lopez,was coming off a string of solid hits and in 2000,Ben  realized he had a problem with drinking and choose to live a sober life. He entered alcohol rehab in 2001… It wasn’t was always easy as Affleck went through several poorly received films plus the whole “Bennifer” media storm. But he held on to his sobriety. Then starting in 2006,Ben started the best streak of his professional career as he moved behind the camera while acting in front of it.  In 2004 he started dating Jennifer Garner who he met while filming “Pearl Harbor” and then co-starred with her in “Daredevil”. They were married in 2005 and have a family of five now. Through the good times and the bad….Ben held on to his sobriety.
Three adorable little girls,a lovely wife and winning his second Oscar for “Argo” and he maintained his sobriety.

Why would someone with so much to lose risk it all for a movie role?


When a recovering alcoholic has a relapse it can seem like the end of the world. All the hard work that went into getting off alcohol and then living a clean and sober life gone to waste…. or has it?  There are those (particularly those in Alcoholics Anonymous), who believe that relapse is an essential part of recovering from alcoholism. We need an alcohol relapse in order to remind us of how bad it was when we were actively drinking. There well may be some truth to this.

An alcohol relapse can indeed shake us out of our apathy when life seems to be getting easy. When things are going well we tend to forget that it can quite easily get very, very difficult.

However, this is to ignore those who relapse and never quit drinking again, eventually dieing from the condition. Their relapse certainly was not a part of their recovery, it was the end of it. A relapse can go on for years and cause untold damage. Why risk it?

The most common reasons for alcohol relapse


  • I can’t forgive or forget. Resentments are the number one cause of relapsing. Carrying around and mulling over how people have slighted you is, and not just for the alcoholic, unhealthy. A resentment not dealt with is a drink down the road.
  • I’m tired and unwell. Exhaustion and ill-health are major relapse triggers. In the past you might have had a drink to make yourself feel better. To avoid this, make sure you get at least 8 hours sleep a night, don’t overdo things and eat healthily.
  • What’s wrong with a little lie? Once we start telling lies we are on a slippery slope. One lie leads to another and then we lie to ourselves, lies lead to guilt, guilt leads to a drink.
  • How long? Impatience is a factor. Staying away from drink and feeling better about a sober life takes time, sometimes a lot of time. Patience is the key. The same goes for other people, you can’t change how other people work. Impatience leads to frustration, frustration leads to…I don’t need to spell it out.
  • Stop disagreeing with me. Life would be incredibly dull if we all had the same opinions and agreed on everything. It is impossible to get people to have the same opinions as you, agree to disagree, accept others and move on
  • The world is against me. It may seem like it sometimes, but no, the world does not have it in for you. Life is not fair and you can’t have everything you want. Children can be excused for thinking they are owed a living, adults, on the other hand, need to learn to cope with the curve balls life throws at them.
  • Despair. We all go through periods of despair, keeping it to ourselves is the worst thing we can do, getting it out in the open is half the battle and will, generally, ease the depression.
  • Nothing ever goes my way. As with ‘the world is against me’, this is the classic attitude of a child. Generalizing about negative events and focusing on the negative is self-destructive. Of course, things go your way, be realistic and don’t make generalizations.
  • Poor me syndrome. Self-pity, poor me why can I never drink again, why is it me who has to be drink dependent. Instead of focusing on the bad, be grateful for what you have got.
  • I’ve got it made. This is common among recovering alcoholics who have been sober for some time and get cocky. Thinking you can go back to drinking because you no longer have cravings and life is hunky-dory is not good. A few people can go back and drink moderately, but they are in the minority. Do you want to take the chance?
  • I don’t even think about drinking As above, but this is a paradox. Are you not thinking about drinking if you have such thoughts?
  • Why can’t they be like me? The urge to change everybody and everything around you. If only she didn’t do this, if only I had a better job, if only we didn’t have those dogs, and so on. You can’t change others, only yourself.
  • It won’t do any harm. You’ve given up alcohol what’s the problem with a few pills, a spliff. Alcoholics become alcoholics because they replace negative feelings/emotions with the momentary buzz of alcohol. Any other psychoactive substance will provide the same result. Also, when you are high from something it is much harder to resist a drink. Cross-addiction is a real danger
  • I Want more. We all get greedy and want what we don’t have. Waiting for things to come our way can be hard. Live in the present and those things you need will come your way.
  • I have so many problems. Don’t we all. Life is a collection of problems, that’s what makes it such a challenge and gives us the satisfaction when we overcome the challenges.
  • It won’t happen to me. Yes it will, if you tempt fate.
  • I am God. We all think we are all-powerful at some stage. Everything seems to be going our way and then BANG, we get complacent and it all falls apart. You are not omnipotent, no more so than the next person.
  • Wasn’t I bad. Guilt and dwelling upon it will lead you back to the bottle. Yes you have done bad things, hurt other people but we, and they, need to move on. If those you have hurt cannot move on then that is their problem, you can’t do anything about it but show you are sorry. – Deborah Morrow,M.S. Addiction Psychology.

I was talking with the person who posted the article about this on Twitter last week and he said because I wasn’t a addict,I shouldn’t comment on something I don’t know anything about. Truth is,we ALL know someone who is battling some sort of addiction,be it drugs,sex,gambling,drinking or any number of things that addictions are borne of.  I have sadly seen far too many friends and even folks I have met in the music business who have battled hard to overcome their personal demons. Some have made it,some have not. But we are all affected by someone’s choices.

I asked the following question on my Facebook page:
“Question: if you’re a addict and had maintained your sobriety for 14 years,would you take a drink for a million bucks?”

I was quite surprised at the answers I got…5 of the 6 folks who answered said they would indeed take a drink for a million bucks. This included someone who told me about a acquaintance who had lost everything due to a severe drug addiction and was only just know putting their life together. The only person to say “no” is a professional drug and alcohol therapist who works in a prison system. This person sees the results of what addiction can do to people and knows that a clean and sober life is priceless.
I like Ben Affleck as a actor…I wish to hell he had talked to his sponsor or his wife or more important,that the director of “Gone Girl” had the moral courage to tell Ben “No” when heard what Ben was going to do.  To take a walk with Ben and explain that his family,kids,career was more important then a mere role in a movie.

Well,that is my take…..what is yours? Feel free to drop a comment below….if you are on Twitter,feel free to follow me @Jinzo_2400

Dedicated to Lewis who continues to fight the good fight,one day at a time.


Shout outs:


Happy birthday Amy Lange!!

Happy birthday Charley!!

Tyler Ervin and the San Jose State football team: Beat Wyoming!!

The Projection Booth Podcast: Excellent show on “American Mary”.

Lynn Carey Saylor – very sorry about your brother.

Lori’s Angels – can’t wait to see you for lunch






5 thoughts on “What Price Sobriety?

  1. Powerful read, Patrick. And I agree that Affleck made a bad choice, but that’s from my perspective as an ACOA. If he was able to shut if off after his “take one for the team” performance, then I guess my opinion stands corrected. I don’t think most people have the strength to take a dip like this, come out and dry off and again dry out. But I’m no pro in the field. And I hope Affleck can make it sober again. Good actor, good director, and (hopefully again) good role model.

  2. What an incredible post Patrick. So much food for thought and it looks like the cost to Ben Affleck has been extremely high in the long term. I think we all have addictions, whether it is food, or in my case over-thinking. If we look hard enough at our own lives, most of us can relate to addiction from personal experience.

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