You Cannot Stay Sober by Willpower Alone

12-step-communityFor years we’ve lived life in a haze that we thought was clear. It took a generous act of God to show us that our clarity was little more than short moments of low blood alcohol content and time between fixes. God has shown us the door to true clarity and it took us a tremendous amount of courage to walk through it. Now we have learned, one day at a time, that we must fight the good fight every day for the rest of our lives in order to maintain a visible and progressive future. This fight, my friends, is no easy task. We are asking ourselves to go to war with a powerful force that once controlled our every move. This force seduced us with its promises of good feelings and superhuman wit. It drove us to the bottom of the barrel. Where we drowned willingly. Down there we found that the good feelings gave way to guilt and sorrow. The superhuman wit revealed itself to be nothing more than transparent excuses. We found the bottom to be very dark. And none of our friends or family followed us down, so we found “friends” already down there. If we were the lucky ones, they threw us a line and tried to fish us out. But only those of us at the end of our own rope grabbed on.

Remember that feeling, the feeling of being drowned by your own actions and distorted judgment, the feelings of isolation and anger at life. Because if you think you are strong enough to stay sober through willpower alone after completing drug rehab, I strongly urge you to think again. Once the drug rehab or 12 step program has run its course and sent us back into the world sober and fresh, we say hello again to our friends and family. We tell them everything we’ve learned and how good we feel. Then we must swallow our pride and ask them for help. You cannot stay sober by willpower alone!

The seduction begins as a subtle whisper in your ear. Someone asks if you’d like a drink. You say you don’t drink. Someone holds out a joint. You say you don’t smoke. But your body begins to tell you another story. The urge begins to build and it tells you that you’ve done such a great job that you deserve a little drink. Amnesia kicks in and you think… One drink, one drink wont kill me… Where is your willpower now? You are battling the demon, and without an army, you will lose.
Our friends and family are a great start, but we cannot rely solely on people who have not experienced our battle. That’s why it should be a Priority, as soon as we walk out the doors of drug rehab, to seek out a 12 step community. Programs like AA and NA work, but we cannot stay sober on willpower alone. A 12 step community puts a demon fighting army right at our side. The community gives us people to relate to. You help yourself stay sober by helping others stay sober. Online you can chat with others in the community and share profiles. Create network of sober people who have gone through exactly what you have. A 12 step community gives you friends you never knew you could have with a sober life. This is ever so important.

We now live our lives one day at a time. These days are clear and hopeful, no matter how hard they can be. We get through it. While we must hold on to our willpower, it is only one nail in the house we are working to build. And without a community helping us build that house, the walls will never hold up against the inevitable storm. Amen.

From: An Inspired Reader

Australian Will Power wins first IndyCar race at Rexall Edmonton Indy

EDMONTON–Will Power will start from the pole in today’s Rexall Edmonton Indy after winning yesterday’s qualifying session dominated by Team Penske.

The Australian ran a fast lap of 61.013 seconds in the final session of qualifying on the 14-turn, 1.96 mile (3.2-km) course.

Teammate Ryan Briscoe, who started on the pole last year here, will join Power on the front row.

Helio Castroneves will be third for the Penske team, which also dominated Friday’s practice session.

Scarborough’s Paul Tracy will start ninth in the 23-car field in his red and white No.15 Dallara Honda for KV Racing Technology.

Will Power signs with Penske Racing

MOTOR RACING

Power will drive Helio Castroneves’ car in preseason testing, but Castroneves will return if he clears up tax problems.

By Jim Peltz|January 14, 2009

Roger Penske’s IndyCar Series team on Tuesday hired IndyCar driver Will Power to drive Helio Castroneves’ car in preseason testing but said it remained hopeful that Castroneves could compete in 2009.

Castroneves, a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 for Penske, was indicted last October on federal tax-evasion charges and faces a trial scheduled to start March 2. The Brazilian has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

But with the race season approaching, Penske tapped Power, a 27-year-old Australian who drove for the team of KV Racing Technology last year, to drive Castroneves’ No. 3 car in preseason tests.

Whether Power stays in the car starting with the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 5 depends “on how everything sorts out” with Castroneves’ trial, team president Tim Cindric told a news conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We need to be sure in 2009 that we’re ready to go and we’re ready to win as many races as we can,” Cindric said as Power, Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, Penske’s other IndyCar driver, joined him at the conference. “We’ll kind of take it a day at a time.”

Castroneves’ ride is considered one of the most coveted in motor sports in light of Penske’s strong record in the IndyCar Series, including 14 Indy 500 victories alone.

Power could be a good choice for Penske Racing. He formerly drove in the Champ Car World Series, which was absorbed into the IndyCar Series in the reunification of U.S. open-wheel racing a year ago.

Champ Car’s races were mostly on curvy “road courses” and street layouts that are now combined with the oval tracks long favored by IndyCar. And the first two races of this year’s IndyCar Series are April 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg and April 19 on the streets of Long Beach, where Power won the final Champ Car race a year ago.

“I’m really looking forward to helping these guys out for the 2009 season,” Power said, adding that he felt “very privileged that they chose me. No matter what the outcome is, I’m very happy to be here.”

Castroneves declined comment on his court case, but said he continued to exercise to stay fit.

“I can’t wait for this thing to be over, for me to be back in the race car, do what I love most, which is racing,” he said.

Cindric also said the team continued to support Castroneves “under difficult circumstances,” adding that “if Helio is ready to go at St. Pete . . . the 3 car is his.”

james.peltz@latimes.com

REPOST from LA Times

Will Power wins last Champ Car race

Associated Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Will Power will go down in the record books as the last driver to win a Champ Car World Series event, and that’s bittersweet for the Australian driver.

“I love Champ Car racing,” Power said Sunday after taking the checkered flag in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. “I love the cars. I love the engine. It’s great to win here in Long Beach in the last Champ Car race. It really is pretty special.”

It was the last race of an era because another era — the unification of American open-wheel racing — began in February, absorbing much of what was Champ Car into its bitter rival of 12 years, the IRL IndyCar Series.

With the IRL scheduled to race this past weekend in Japan, and unable to talk Japanese officials into changing their date, it was decided to take the IndyCars to Motegi and run the Champ Cars one more time at Long Beach, the biggest event in the series formerly known as CART.

It turned out the weekend was even more historic than expected, with Danica Patrick becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar event less than 24 hours before the Champ Cars took the green flag for the final time.

Once the race on the temporary street circuit in downtown Long Beach began, though, there was no melancholy, just racing.

There are some who would have liked a more dramatic finish to the series that was begun by dissident team owners, breaking away from the U.S. Auto Club in 1979. But Power spoiled that, leading 81 of the 83 laps in the 1-hour, 45-minute timed race.

There was little question who was in charge once the Aussie drove his yellow and green No. 8 Champ Car from third to first before the first turn, passing both pole-winner Justin Wilson and veteran Alex Tagliani.

“I knew it was important to get a start because, if not, I was going to get hung up behind people,” Power said. “I know it’s very tough to pass around here, so I really had a good start and, from that moment on, we got good fuel mileage. In the last, probably 15, 20 laps, I just cruised.”

Once the race was over, like just about everyone else at Long Beach — including Patrick, who flew 12 hours to be here for the finish — Power was looking to the future.

“We’re going to be in Kansas next week for an IndyCar race and I’m fifth in the points, so, yeah, I’m looking forward to what’s coming,” the Australian said.

But Power, who has only two previous starts on the oval tracks — like the one in Kansas — that make up the majority of the IRL schedule, drew a laugh, adding, “I’m looking forward to the road courses and street circuits.”

Patrick, looking fresh and happy after her long flight, congratulated Power and said, “The momentum of the (IndyCar) series is clear. A lot of great things have happened over the winter and it’s a bright future. It’s just the start of everything, but it will snowball from here.”

The Long Beach race was run with Champ Car teams, drivers and equipment, but the points awarded were for the IndyCar Series.

Power, who finished fourth in last year’s Champ Car series for Walker Racing, earned his third career victory, this one with the KV Racing Technology team, one of several Champ Car teams making the transition to the IRL.

In fact, Power and eight other transitional drivers have already raced twice in the IndyCar Series, but moved back into their old equipment for this one last event.

Twelve of the drivers in Sunday’s race do not currently have rides in the IRL. Two of them, former Formula One driver Franck Montagny, and longtime Champ Car star Mario Dominguez, finished second and third. It was Montagny’s first Champ Car start.

Dominguez, who has two Champ Car victories in his resume, said he was sad it was the final race for the series that nurtured him.

“In the end, the best thing for open-wheel racing in the United States was to get together, to be united,” the Mexican driver said. “The future is very bright, I think. There has to be only one series. That was proven before.

“Even though I’m very, very sad that Champ Car is ending … I’m happy because I’m sure in the end the fans are going to be the winners when they’re going to be watching one IndyCar race all the time, with all the starts, with all the great teams.”

Rookie Enrique Bernoldi and Oriol Servia, both transitional drivers, finished fourth and fifth.

Graham Rahal, the 19-year-old son of longtime racing star Bobby Rahal, who became the youngest driver ever to win a major open-wheel race two weeks ago in the IRL event in St. Petersburg, Fla., spun twice and finished 13th on Sunday.

The youngster had moved back up to seventh when he spun trying to pass Franck Perera, another transitional driver, for position on the last lap.

Wilson, the driver who replaced Sebastien Bourdais, who won the last three Long Beach races for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, wound up completing only 12 laps before going out with a mechanical problem.

Former CART champions Jimmy Vasser, who came out of a two-year retirement to drive here, and Paul Tracy, who didn’t have a ride until earlier this week, finished on the lead lap in 10th and 11th.

REPRINTED from USATODAY