Oct 2 2013

Paul Williams



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When I was drinking and using I spent a lot of time ‘scoring’.  No, I don’t mean writing music for movies.  I mean getting in touch with my dealer and getting the cocaine that had become a daily habit.  That little chemistry experiment that lasted a quarter of a century.  The high I’d experienced at the beginning of my using was long gone and I had reached the point in the eighties when the drug did little more than erase the cravings.   In other words there was no real pleasure in consuming the drugs.  Which makes a common scenario I recall really interesting.

Running low on supplies I’d begin calling my dealer.  Soon the drugs would be gone and I began to enter a state of pure panic.  I’d call the woman I bought from again and again and leave messages.  When she had nothing to sell she simply didn’t answer her phone.  Sometimes she’d pick up just to update the estimated time of availability.

The longer I waited the angrier I got.  I began to hate the woman and my body began to twitch with a gnawing discomfort that was actually painful.  There was room for no other thought in my mind beyond the need to use.

And then she’d be home.  She’d answer the phone with a kind of sing song ‘helloooo’ that told me she’d replenished her supplies and she had something for me.

And I felt better.

A marvelous sense of well-being would wash over me.  I was fine.  Not ‘going to be fine’ but already there.  Not euphoric but ‘fine’.   All was well with the world.  An infant who’d been fed, changed, put to bed happy and well loved.  I couldn’t get the smile off my face.  What was I experiencing

Once the drugs were available and I began to use them that quiet joy gave way to the twitching anxiety of a toxic medicine that no longer really worked.  Using too much I needed alcohol to level me off and as I tried to find a combination of the two substances that resembled normal the stash began to disappear and I was soon back at the beginning of the terrible dance.

But for those few minutes, for maybe an hour, when I knew the drugs were on their way I had the composure and confidence of a master woodcarver, whistling as he whittled away at his hobby … or a Freddy Couples, walking the golf course during a playoff looking as relaxed as if he was waiting for his wife to try on clothes.  What was happening

Looking back I understand that I was experiencing the magnificent power of

Faith.  Faith that everything I needed was coming to me and the worrisome world I’d lived in was about to be replaced with something wonderful.

There was, in that realization, a marvelous gift.  For if faith in that horrid substance had the capacity to calm my troubled mind certainly faith in a loving and generous Higher Power would work for me.

Faith works.  It is the parent of Trust.   And access to the power that truly works is your mind and your heart.  When we believe in them, thoughts become things.  That’s worth repeating I think.

Thoughts become things. For me it’s pretty simple.  What we dwell on we create   It’s the basic premise of new age philosophy that’s been a huge part of my recovery.  A great deal’s been written about the beginnings of the theory’s and the ways science has begun to prove them. Books like “The Secret” are spreading the word to a whole new generation.

The first affirmation in the book Tracey and I are writing is “Something needs to change and it’s probably me.”    Change your thinking first and changing the rest of your world will follow.   We’re more powerful than most of us realize and by embracing a positive thought, framed in solid and unshakeable faith, we believe we will all co-create a better life lived in gratitude and trust


Paul Williams

Paul Williams is a singer, songwriter, actor, recovery advocate and has been a fixture on the American cultural scene since the seventies. His book Gratitude and Trust is now available.