Phil M. gives advice to his younger self, discusses his fulfilling career as an Elvis tribute artist, and reveals the greatest gift he’s ever received.
Q: What was the turning point that led you to get help?
A: I knew I needed help breaking the cycle of drinking in the morning just to get rid of the shakes, and continuing throughout the day, until I basically passed out at night, only to start all over again the next morning.
Q: What is the most important thing you learned in treatment?
A: Sobriety isn’t just abstinence…it’s a total life change. Quitting drinking and returning to the same environment and dealing with problems the same way is destined for failure. Mental, physical, and spiritual health is key.
Q: If you had to describe your recovery journey in 3 words, what would they be?
A: Welcomed, happiness, and forgiveness.
Q: If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?
A: I resented and stewed over things that caused my drinking to increase, that caused my stewing and resenting to increase, and so on. Therapy definitely helps me deal with those issues now.
See a therapist, invest in Amazon, and only lend girls sweatshirts you never want to wear again.
Q: What is your favorite part about being in recovery?
A: All of the things I do now that I would have never done while drinking: taking off to Six Flags alone to ride every coaster and leave, renting a cabin to go fishing for two days, taking golf lessons, and using my pilot license to go flying with friends.
Q: What is your greatest strength?
A: Gratitude! Every day I acknowledge something that either wouldn’t have happened or would’ve been extremely difficult if I were drinking…and there is something, every day!
Q: What is the last thing you learned?
A: That I’m powerless over alcohol only when I allow it to enter my body, and I don’t like being powerless over anything. As long as I abstain, alcohol is powerless over me.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are having a rough day?
A: Spending time with my dogs! Playing with Bella and Freddy Mercury, a shih-poo and a shih-wienie, always ends with a big smile!
Q: What is something you are trying to get better at?
A: Golf… so, with that, patience!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I have no idea, but honestly – and this may sound cheesy – with the clear state of mind and positive outlook I have thanks to Mountainside’s direction, I’m sure I’ll be just fine.
Q: If you could only have one meal for the rest your life, what would it be?
A: Pretty much any menu item that comes with a side of meatballs!
Q: What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
A: I’m an Elvis tribute artist. So, anything that involves me suiting up for people!
Q: What song cheers you up?
A: “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis!
Q: If you could spend an entire day with anyone, who would it be?
A: On a heavy note, any of my grandfathers, or friends I’ve lost so far. On a lighter note, ELVIS!!!
Q: What is the best gift you have ever received?
A: I received the Las Vegas Key to the City from Mayor Oscar Goodman! It was for raising toys for the less fortunate while I lived in Las Vegas in 2000!