Within the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, the word "recovered" comes up at lot, and come to think of it, why wouldn't it? Many an addict latches on to that idea as a desperate lifeline of hope. I, on the other hand, have grown to embrace the fact that until the day I die, I will be a recovering alcoholic. I long ago decided to make peace with this disease, but that in no way makes me immune to feeling frustrated and angry by the circumstances surrounding my relationship with the addiction.
Jean-Paul Bedard lives with his wife in Toronto, where he is a writer and speaker. In addition to being a high profile endurance athlete, Jean-Paul is an advocate helping other survivors of child sexual abuse find their "voice". You can follow his journey at breathethroughthis.com.
I believe we all just want to leave a gentle footprint on this earth, and for me, that means striving to go to bed each night feeling I've made a difference, and hopefully left things better than the way I found them. Am I able to say that I meet that challenge each day -- definitely, "no." Life has a way of getting in the way, and as is most often the case, I'm the one who's in my own way.
05/20/2015 05:26 EDT
After being imprisoned for over a decade, Omar Khadr is now free on bail. In his first public appearance and media scrum, we witnessed not a mean-spirited radicalized militant, but rather, an articulate humbled young man, and in his own words, someone eager to "prove to [Canadians] that I'm more than what they thought of me."
05/10/2015 07:45 EDT
I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives in which she puts forth the argument that the world is divided into two types of pe...
03/25/2015 05:20 EDT
Is there a blueprint for "cultivating grit," and are there steps you can take right now to build it within your life? These are questions that come up a lot whenever I give a talk on overcoming adversity, so I thought I would share a few of my strategies with you.
03/17/2015 06:29 EDT
People often assume that the main problem of addiction comes down to an addict's lack of willpower or commitment. Although it may appear that way from the outside looking in, I would suggest the complete opposite is true. I say this because the addicts I've met in recovery are some of the most tenacious, resilient, and creative people on the planet.
03/12/2015 08:41 EDT
I sat across from my therapist as she said: "So, in your own words, can you tell me what it feels like? "Well... have you ever run across a grassy field in your bare feet, the unencumbered freedom of...
03/03/2015 12:28 EST
As a writer and a long distance runner, I spend a lot of my day in Starbucks locations across the city, and for years I've had a massive pet peeve about their condiment stations. Anyone who has ever n...
02/26/2015 04:41 EST
I believe that deep inside, all of us have something that eats away at us, something that just doesn't sit right. Maybe it's some trauma from your past, or hurtful words that still resonate, or even some "dis" ease you are currently living with. For me, it was coming to terms with sexual abuse in my childhood.
02/24/2015 05:23 EST
By far the most horrific experience of my life arrived the day I woke up with the realization that I had been betrayed by my own mind. The world I had constructed to insulate myself from past trauma h...
02/18/2015 06:03 EST
It was the great Carl Sagan who said: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." And let's not forget in that universe, you and I are nothing more than spec...
02/10/2015 11:37 EST
Even though I've been clean and sober now for almost 18 years, without a doubt, I continue to move through life with the mind of an addict. For me, learning how to "soften into things" means learning how to quiet my ego, the presence that convinces me that in order to build myself up, I need to tear someone else down.
02/03/2015 04:24 EST
If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
01/29/2015 08:22 EST
I feel guilty in some weird way for entering into this debate that has been eye-opening for so many people, as it sheds light on how many female victims of sexual assault are among us. As a man, and as a survivor of rape myself, I worry that adding my voice to this might in some way usurp or direct the conversation away from highlighting the abuse of women in our society. But part of me thinks that this shouldn't be a debate about men or women, but rather, it should be about creating a culture in which stepping forward and disclosing sexual assault becomes a much more supportive and empowering experience.
11/07/2014 08:31 EST
What I find most shocking is that even though I am a survivor of rape and childhood sexual abuse, I was so easily swayed by the aura of power, prestige, and celebrity, as I quickly passed judgment before all of the facts have come out.
10/29/2014 06:13 EDT
The sad irony of most addictions is the addict participates in this behaviour as a means to connect with others, but the result is always a distancing from others. This is what we are witnessing now with Mayor Ford -- as he slips further into his self-destructive addictive behaviour, he pushes even those fiercely loyal to him further away. For me, the pathway to my addiction was set in motion by the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. Only time will tell what demon lies at the heart of Rob Ford's behaviour.
05/02/2014 05:57 EDT
For me, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in which the perpetrators were male, the issue is further complicated. I've struggled with revealing my thoughts and emotions to other men, and when I do, it's generally camouflaged by using jokes. Women typically build relationships based on social connectivity while men build them based on shared activity or goal orientation.
03/28/2014 06:19 EDT
All this chest puffing, testosterone-infused machismo leads to the moulding of desensitized frightened men who have not only a difficult time expressing their emotions to their partners but also an almost insurmountable obstacle in building meaningful and supportive relationships with other men.
03/19/2014 12:29 EDT
I recognized that I was like a mouse spinning on a wheel -- I was speeding through my day, but not really getting anywhere. I needed to cultivate the awareness to bring my attention back to what was most important. I thought I would share with you my strategies for slowing down the the runaway train that often is my life.
03/03/2014 12:16 EST
When it comes to letting go of relationships, certain themes always rise to the surface. Does it have to be all or nothing? So, how do you determine whether or not it's time to let someone go? Here is a list of five things I keep in mind before making that decision.
02/28/2014 08:29 EST
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