Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

On Oprah Today: Big News—Addicts Engage in Denial!

Oprah and Paris Michael Jackson

Oprah talks with Paris Michael Jackson.

So Oprah has scored interviews with Michael Jackson’s mom and all three kids (Paris, Prince Michael I, and Prince Michael II, affectionately called “Blanket” by his father).

In the interview with Katherine Jackson, Oprah discovers that Michael Jackson actually DENIED that he was an addict.

omg!! I totally cannot believe an addict would do such a thing as lie. Personally?—I NEVER lied about my addiction. j/k

Oprah, for godsake, tell me some news.

Denial is just fear. … I was in a meeting last night, the topic of which was “fear.” Pretty good meeting. Went around the circle, lots of recovering people talking about how fear means either

Fu*k Everything And Run


Face Everything And Recover

Also how fear motivates some people to move into the danger zone, to become more active and work harder—or, in the words of one guy I enjoy hearing, fear motivates us to sit on the couch watching “Doogie Howser” and avoiding making a simple professional phone call. “There is no reason this phone call would be threatening,” this guy said, “there is absolutely no danger in picking up the phone and making the call, but when I’m in my fear, I am hanging with my internal addict, and he has me watching ‘Doogie Howser.’ It’s pathetic.”

He calls his internal addict “That Motherfu*ker LeRoy.” Because he heard someone else at another meeting call her internal addict “That Motherfu*ker LeRoy,” because someone else called his internal addict that once… and so it goes.

That Motherfu*ker LeRoy: the one who tells me I can’t make a simple phone call.

The one who tells me I’m worse than everyone else out there trying to accomplish anything. Even if I’ve done some fairly cool things. Like, for example, scoring 13 Grammy Awards, 26 American Music Awards, and the best-selling album of all-time. No matter what, if I’m in my addiction, I am The Piece of Shit Around Which The World Revolves (with thanks to my friend Jacques for this saying).

The one who tells me I have to hide in my house, endanger my kids, lie to my own loved ones.

The one who tells me not to accept affection, even as my son comes to hug me and say, “You’re wonderful” (as he did just now). Accepting affection: too dangerous.

My 13-year-old son heard me being interviewed by someone the other day. This person was interviewing me about my addiction and recovery. He heard me answering questions honestly about being “a drug addict” who had “gotten sober” and was now “changing my life” and “trying to help other people”—stuff like that. I thought he couldn’t hear me—I was in the kitchen making dinner (multi-tasking—trying to walk and chew gum), and he was in the living room playing his electric guitar.

Later on, after his soccer practice, he sat down next to me on the couch to watch a show about Jimi Hendrix on TV.

“Mom,” he said, “I heard you talking in the kitchen before.”

That Motherfu*ker LeRoy stuck a needle into my heart and told me to be afraid, Be Afraid Right Now, told me to lie and say it didn’t really happen. It was fleeting, but he definitely spoke to me. Instead I just sat there, breathing. (Meditation really does help)

“Yeah?” I said, watching the ruffles on Jimi’s shirt dance as he played “Hey Joe” and fiddling with one of my son’s fingers.

“Yeah,” he said, “and I just wanted to say that I know how hard it is for some people to do what you’re trying to do, and I’m really proud of you.”



  1. I popped in via an email to my blog asking that I review a book about the Serenity Prayer, with a reference to your review. Congratulations on your soberiety. It was nice to poke around here and there on your site. I’ve been in recovery since 1990, and still have much to learn about the courage to change the things I can. One of those things is FEAR, a consistent companion, probably to most humans on Earth. We in recovery have perhaps put a little too much stress on the acceptance aspect of that prayer, solidified by the wonderful “acceptance is the answer to all my problems today” story in the BB. We often forget to add “acceptance OF THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.” I’m working in my own recovery to test the waters of what I can and cannot change, how to discern the difference, what actions I might make in the research about that in particular difficulties I face. It’s all good. I’m very glad we do not graduate from the program of recovery. Best wishes to you.

  2. G – I’d like to read the review of the book about the Serenity Prayer. Could you please direct me to that?

    Glad to see that Chris from Enchanted Oak has discovered you. She has a beautiful blog and is a good writer.

    Yeah – I agree. Oprah – tell me something I don’t already know. She asks so many rhetorical questions, it gets really old.

  3. guinevere

    November 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Peggy, the review of Eileen Flanagan’s book The Wisdom to Know the Difference is at

    Book reviews and all other media reviews can be found under the “Reviews” tab in the header. And searches for anything can be done by keyword in the search form. Thanks for asking!

  4. Fear is one of my biggest defects–actually it used to be. I have found that by having more time in Al-Anon, my fear has greatly lessened about being abandoned or left alone. I know that I am okay.

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