Being clean and sober is a way of life. A fun, exciting, purposeful life that is a result of working 12 simple steps. This website is dedicated to carrying the message to other alcoholics and addicts while also encompassing the multi-faceted adventure and daily journey of those in recovery who have found this way of life. Being clean and sober while living life to the fullest. We are CLEAN AND SOBER NOT DEAD™!
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Stevie Ray Vaughan rode a wave of public and critical acclaim after his 1983 explosion onto the national scene with the album Texas Flood. Subsequent albums Couldn't Stand the Weather (1984), Soul to Soul (1985), and Live Alive (1986) all helped to cement Vaughan as one of the great guitar-gunslingers of the 20th century, and his work helped to fire the Blues revival of the mid-1980s. However, his success was coming at a great price. Stevie Ray Vaughan was destroying his life with Old Crown whiskey and cocaine. His addictions grew so bad that in the middle of a concert in London in 1986 he collapsed on stage and could not go on.
Stevie Ray realized that many of the choices he had made in life were failing and ultimately ruining his life. He understood now that the only hope available for his life and career were in his continued sobriety. Stevie Ray walked away from music and his career for the next 18 months focusing on acheiving lasting sobriety and taming his demons that had been with him since a young boy. In October and November 1986, Stevie Ray cancelled all of his tour dates and sought treatment for addiction at a treatment center in a Marietta, Georgia in order to gain some stability and refocus his life clean and sober. After leaving the treatment center he returned home to Dallas Texas. Surrounded by the love, support and and encouragement of his family and friends, Stevie Ray Vaughan continued doing the right thing living one day at a time through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous tought to him in recovery. He strengthened his program with a good sponsor and actively participating in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. November 22, 1986 Stevie Ray, now clean and sober, returned to touring with his first concert in Towson, Maryland.
Stevie Ray came back to touring with a passion and a new lease on life. He was not only clean and sober, he was focused on doing the things that was necessary to stay clean and sober.
Now that Stevie Ray had embraced life without drugs and alcohol he continued to move forward. Stevie Ray, like the rest of us in recovery had times that were trying but he tied a knot in the rope and held on. He stayed true to his desire not to return to the life he had before and never touch drugs and alcohol again. Tommy Shannon, Stevie's band member, saw the difference in Stevie Ray and wanted sobriety too. Shannon also joined AA and began his adventure in recovery as well. This was one of the many people Stevie Ray inspired by working the simple steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and being an example of "attraction not promotion" to a new life found in recovery.
Stevie Ray was quiet and unassuming until you put a guitar in his hand.
Vaughan and Double Trouble were on the road again, instruments in hand. Their work had grown in intensity and power, and with a new sense of conviction they re-entered the studio in January of 1989 to create the body of work that would become their fifth album, In Step they were able to put out acclaimed music that often was inspired by recovery. This album was their 4th studio album and would be their last as a band. It went to number 33 on the charts and also featured their only number one hit "Crossfire".
The world cried out in shock and anguish August 27, 1990 when Stevie Ray Vaughan died tragically in a helicopter crash after performing at the Alpine Valley Music Festival in Troy Wisconsin. The Sunday concert eatured Clapton, Stevie Ray and Robert Cray. The congested two lane highway to and from the concert forced musicians to take helicopters after the concert. The helicopters were scheduled to take everyone to Chicago following the concert.
Each of the 4 helicopters left 2 minutes apart. Stevie Ray was in the 3rd helicopter with Bobby Brooks, 34, of Los Angeles, Clapton's agent at Creative Artists Agency; Clapton's bodyguard Nigel Browne, of London and one of Clapton's tour managers Colin Smythe of London, and the helicopter pilot Jeff Brown of East Chicago, Indiana,
All 4 of the helicopter passengers died on impact said Walworth County Coroner John Griebel.
Wreckage was scattered all over a ski hill and took months for investigators to determine the cause of the crash.
According to Walworth County Sheriff Dean McKenzie evidence indicated the helicopter crashed into the hill after slowing in dense fog. Weather officials said fog had cut visibility to below two miles in parts of southern Wisconsin at the time.
Bill Bruce, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, said the Bell Jet Ranger helicopter slammed into the hill in "a high energy impact at a shallow angle."
"We had four helicopters and Eric and I were in one directly behind it when it suddenly disappeared from vision," Clapton's manager, Roger Forrester, told Britain's Sky News.
Eric Clapton and his enterage landed safely in Chicago in one of the other 3 helicopters, He was overcome with emotion and stated the victims of the crash "were my companions, my associates and my friends. This is a tragic loss of some very special people."
Stevie Ray's death "is particularly sad, given that he'd cleaned up and was playing the best music of his life," said Jeff Peterson of the "Austin City Limits" television program on which Stevie Ray appeared several times. Peterson continued "We'll miss STEVIE and we'll miss his music." An understatement that grows more each year of his absense. Stevie Ray, 35, overcame a 1986 drug problem to win two Grammy awards and the musician of the decade honors in his home state of Texas. He won a grammy for best blues artist, a frist for a white man. He music grew as did his popularity in the middle 1980s with his guitar jamming and blues sound, reminiscent of music legends B.B. King, Wille Dixon, Muddy Waters and Albert King.
Stevie Ray was honored when Stevie Wonder gave permission to record Superstition. Stevie Ray used Stevie Wonders recording studio for the recording. The two bonded and enjoyed their friendship. Stevie Wonder sang at the Stevie Ray's funeral with heart felt emotions.
Stevie Ray was a musicians musican. Always spoke of in the highest regard for the pureness of emotions and honesty put in his songs. Many musicians attended the funeral including ZZ Top, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and Jeff Healey.
RIP Stevie Ray Vaughan.
In the months and years following his death, friends, family members, colleagues, and fans all came together in various ways to celebrate the music Stevie Ray left behind. Most notable was the strong message sent through In Step, a message of trust, responsibility, commitment, and the value of human relationships. That message can serve human beings from all walks of life. It can reach out to our students today and help them see the strength and conviction of a man who finally saw through the glitz and glory of the image of a rock and roll star. Tragedy may have robbed us of a tremendous, guitar-slinging Texas hero, but Stevie Ray's music and his anti-drug message carry on for us all to enjoy.
The Committee - A short movie by Sharon Ferranti
Sharon Ferranti is a director and talented movie maker. Here she has put her skills to work making a touching short film concerning "The Committee" that everyone wrestles with in their head. Thank you Sharon for sharing this important message. You can visit Sharon's website by clicking here
An intriguing Alcoholics Anonymous print ad
The simplicity of this piece and the unconventional angle does not force any idea but says alot by leaving much to the immagination.
God Help Me
A short film by Rafael Vaz
Music by Jesus and Mary Chain
Alcohol - writer unknown
CLEAN AND SOBER NOT DEAD™
Chat & Online 12 Step Meetings
We now have LIVE CHAT offering online 12 step meetings and sober singles events.
Tell us about your 12 step recovery hero. Clean and Sober Not Dead will recognize someone in the recovery community with the Sober Recovery Hero Award. Nominate someone that has made a difference here. Tell us about them. How have they made a difference? We want to recognize them for the good they do our recovery community. First name and initial only for anonymity.
Click Here to see the recepients of our Recovery Hero Awards
Click Here to read "Heroes of the Century" about Bill W.
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The struggle is over for many. For those that live there is still hope but for the grace of God... there Goes I
Whitney Houston Dead At Age 48
The singer passed away today Saturday February 11, 2012.
Icon Whitney Houston died today at The Beverly Hills Hilton, where she had been staying. Paramadecs were called and attempted CPR to no avail. There is no cause of death at this time. Houston sold over 200 million albums and is considered one of the worlds most selling women singers of all time.
Whitney had fought alcoholism and addiction in the past and had as recently as May of 2011 reentered rehab for another try. She told Oprah Winfrey her drug of choice was marijuana laced with cocaine. Years of a rocky marriage with bad boy Bobby Brown played out in the headlines of the tabloids. Interviews where she did not make sence raised speculation that she was still using. Recently she went out on a world tour but did not have the voice she is known for. Many walked out of her concerts after hearing her sing bad and appearing winded after a few songs.
Houston was last seen publicly on Thursday, when she appeared disheveled and disoriented in front of a Hollywood nightclub. According to the Hollywood Reporter, she got into an altercation with "X Factor" finalist Stacy Francis on Thursday at an event where she was said to be acting "belligerent."
Keep your sobriety close to your heart and take it seriously. Do the things your suppose to do to stay sober. Alcoholism is patient and will wait to sneak back into your life and kill you.... some faster than others.
My Itty Bitty Shitty Committee is meeting and working overtime with their trying and useless chatter and commentary. This powerful inner committee holds their meetings in my head and its members are my fears. They do a lot of talking but not much listening. Some days the committee works nonstop 24/7 telling their opinion. They are often hard at work even before I get out of bed in the morning and still going strong way after I retire to bed at night.
This committee is very good at disorganizing thoughts and keeping me from focusing in the right direction, being productive or making a pivotal decision. These crazy committee members all chime in with their points of view while also responding instantly to my own inner voice. They clash, talk over each other, act out and generally just make a big disturbance in my head rather than help in a constructive way. Some express their points of view based on my fears while others nudge in ways based on control issues, anger, pride, denial, lust, serenity, depression and the "ism" of my alcoholism.
"When I'm alone I'm outnumbered" - Unknown
These internal thoughts and opinions all have their own voice. It is not just one voice but all the voices from my life and history. They can be the voice of my parents, sister, friend, boss, employee and/or coworkers to name a few. These voices are always in judgement of me even if I have done nothing but had an innocent constructive idea. They hijack my thoughts with critique and self doubt.
They say things like "Don't do that", "Your doing it wrong", "You know that will never work", "You can easily do that, go for it" or any other comment from the tapes and voices that are rerun over and over in my head. This committee also gives instant feedback where immediately I hear the response others might say such as "I knew you could not do that", "Your not as good as him and you will make a fool of yourself", or "I told you so, loser".
These thoughts are all self defeating and only make it difficult to find direction and hear my own voice from all the background chatter. The jabbering committee when in full swing can be devastating in their ability to defeat through distraction. In general this committee is working to wear me down. They most certainly never assist me in achieving new heights or clarity.
"Is the noise in my head bothering you?" - Unknown
This committee is the multiple internal thought processes / internal realization / inner dialogue with oneself. Everyone has this self talk. It is often a direct reflection of sense of self, sense of worth and self esteem. Self will rationalizing everything... right, wrong or indifferent.
Drinking helped put down the committee's voices but it also made it more difficult to recognize my own inner voice from all their trash talk. In drinking, I tried to drown my fears and emotions but the crazy committee members taught the bastards to swim.
As an alcoholic/addict I have to watch my thinking processes and recognize it for what it is. Alcoholism distorts our way of thinking. After all, my best thinking got me to some pretty bad places and unsavory situations. In fact, I need to consider being alone in my head as a bad neighborhood. A neighborhood where some undesirable characters try to guide me in directions that are probably not in my best interest.
Don't get in your own way by letting your own committee distract you. There are some things that can be done to help manage this committee and quiet the noise they put forth. These processes and thoughts are not you but are independent from the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of self. That means we can put them in their place and manage them. Once it is recognized that we have a itty bitty shitty committee we can do things to quite them and/or at least make sure we recognize the committee members for who they are and deal with them appropriately. This can be very liberating knowing that we can learn to tune them out like we do commercials and enjoy a repreive from their judgements.
"It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts."- K. T. Jong
The Big Book states (pg. 85) "What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition".Through prayer and meditation our Higher Power helps us with our daily reprieve and if asked will assume the position of the chairperson of our inner committee. We ask for his guidance with our life and help with our self will running wild and acting out in our thought processes. For me this daily reprieve is my Higher Power doing for me what I could not do for myself and this includes taming those little voices amplified 10 fold from the cunning, baffling and powerful illness of alcoholism.
The big book states (pg. 84) that if we feel disturbed (selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear) that we immediately ask God to remove them when they crop up. Are any of the thoughts being governed by selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and/or fear? If so, recognize the committee member for who they are and tell him his input is no longer needed.
One of the best things to do to get rid of the committee is talk to your sponsor, a friend in the program or your pastor. The committee will disappear quickly as you let others in. Talking to your sponspor about your thoughts is often recommended to be a regular part of our recovery and a valuable tool in keeping the committee in check and restoring us to some form of sanity again.
When seeking an answer or guidance, sometimes you just to have to accept that the answer might not be known to us. It helps to think of things we have read in the big book, heard in AA meetings or to ask yourself "what would my sponsor do". We can also read the big book and focus on the principles and tools of our 12 step program, journal or give of oneself by doing some volunter work. This would give a little distance from the committee and provide a needed break. Wait and be patient and do the next right thing of working the steps and helping others. Pray and stay focused on the right path and clarity can be found and self doubt conquered. We learn to practice these principles in all our affairs and that includes for help with our thought processes as well.
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail" - Robert Schuller
If the committee is overwhelming you with self doubt sometimes it helps to "act as if" or better known in 12 step programs "fake it til you make it". To do this one imitates confidence so that it will generate real confidence and produce success in ones life. It might be awkward at first but with a little practice it gets easier and easier. Act as if you are good enough. Act as if you can do this. Act as if you are the best. Act as if you deserve to be happy, joyous and free. By acting as if, we tap into the power of the possible and we supersede the literal and predicable.
No matter what is going on in our life and our committee, we need to always ask our Higher Power for guidance and direction and recognize that we have a committee in our head that we can not trust. Understanding this is a big step in the right direction to retrain, remove, resend or retire your committee so that your own inner voice, with guidance from the Higher Power and the tools of our 12 step program, will set you on the right course.
With a little work and help from the Higher Power, the itty bitty shitty committee can be renamed the Internal Advisory Committee where members can contribute their unique, insightful and vital perspectives to help you live the fullest life possible.
"Today I recognize the danger of being alone and out numbered" - Unknown
Committee meeting adjourned.
"It took a great deal of acceptance to come to terms with being an alcoholic but acceptance was the key to my sobriety... If I didn't have acceptance at that time in my life I would not be standing here today."
- Dennis Eckersley, 'TimesUnion.com'
Speaker In Spotlight
Chris R. from Ingram TX. speaking at the 20th Anniversary of the Primary Purpose Group
Click here to see some bathrooms from our lives as a high class drunk. Heck you can even send us a photo of your old bathroom hangout and we will get it published too on our bathroom wall of shame. Ooh, the memories.
Curious how many times "Stairway To Heaven" could've played in your sobriety time? Find out here.
Inspirational Short Stories
I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come
from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.
Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum.
From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no
money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times
that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of those "don't
want to be bothered times."