20 Questions with Craig Shoemaker

Craig Shoemaker

by Roni Askey-Doran

1. Describe how you came to your “rock bottom” point.

Frankly, there is no specific point. I came to many places in my mind where it should have been my bottom. I even died and hovered over my body once, but that was still not enough. I had been to meetings all through 1987, but when I woke up after another night of sex, drugs and alcohol I decided that was the day. I woke up naked on a pull-out couch in my sister’s Philadelphia apartment laying next to something I was praying was even human or female. The voices of all the people I met in fellowship were loud and I decided that was it.

2. What advice would you give your 25 year old self?

Surround yourself with people who walk the walk of great spirit, and turn away from those who wish to control you and have you join them on a path to misery.

3. What does “recovery” mean to you today?

It means having direction when I feel lost. It means having support when shaky. It’s a joy to know that the answers are all right here if we just surrender.

4. Which part of your treatment and recovery do you feel was the most interesting or unexpected? 

I never thought it would lead to such a significant search for higher source, finding that power is the be all and end all for me.

5. For what in your life do you feel the most gratitude?

I feel most grateful for my wife who is a magnificent manifestation of promises coming true. Our relationship is the closest thing I’ve ever had to pure connection to another human being which leads to an even more heartful and loving engagement with the children.

6. How important is it to have a solid support network?

It’s important as much as it is important to open my lungs to breathe. Without others there is no life.

7. What does an average day look like for you today?

Its a whirlwind, a cornucopia of feelings, actions and situations. There are no average days, they are all rich with possibility and abundant with laughter.

8. What blows your hair back and makes your heart beat wildy?

There is a profound energetic shift that takes place in me when I assist others in finding their light. To help them with a breakthrough causes me to breakthrough.

9. How would you describe your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is an ongoing process. It’s best felt when I go through, not around, difficulties and obstacles. I wrote a book about it called, Lovemaster’d, a Digital Journey into Love and Happiness. The book is a one year exchange with a fan/acquaintance of mine who lives 3,000 miles away. She expressed via private message that she was getting divorced and I literally moved my cluttered mind aside and responded to her with a goal of sharing my story to give her some hope. The book is our private message relationship over one year, and it ends with me fixing her up with my old friend from kindergarten, who she is marrying this year!

10. What was the closest you have ever come to death?

In Jamaica, in 1984, I overdosed on a mixture of cocaine, Red Stripe beer, marijuana, ganja cakes and mushroom tea. I literally passed out standing up and my head bounced on the pavement like a bowling ball. I went into the light and hovered over my body. I can still hear their voices as they tried to revive me with one Jamaican saying, “Pasty mon did too much mushroom tea.”

11. Who is your favorite superhero, and why?

I never got into comic books. I did enjoy a cartoon called Mighty Mouse because I related to his small frame with great bravado and his propensity to save women and children in distress.

12. Where is the most interesting place you’ve ever been emotionally and why?

I’ve had a long and painful relationship with my ex-wife, which includes countless false allegations being lodged against me in court and out. The depths of despair and frustration were something I could have never foreseen. However the adversity also led to the most monumental changes of my life. It forced me to do personal inventory and this time put it on steroids. The benefits of the infinite authentic self that rose from the ashes, something that I could never have dreamed of, especially from such a chaotic and fear-filled childhood.

13. Describe the weirdest situation you’ve ever been in.

To ask a comedian to define one weird moment of significance is like asking a sea captain to describe his favorite wave. There are too many to count, I’ve had so many surreal times that have had both good and bad consequences, but the key is to grow from each one.

14. Have you ever described in a public place as an addict or alcoholic? How did that feel?

Because I used to surround myself with like-minded people, who drank and used like I did, I didn’t hear the label very often. If I do now, its a source of pride knowing that I am on a clear path of recovery. But it wasn’t always that way. My first few years of sobriety were filled with shame, rarely wanting to admit to anyone that I had what was perceived as a weakness.

15. Do you feel that substance/alcohol abuse magnified your problems? If so, in what ways?

Substance abuse magnified my problems because it numbed my feelings to the point where I could justify and block out bad behavior. I have committed many crimes, and drinking with my friends led to laughing off the plight of the victims of those crimes.

16. Global advocacy against stigma is stronger than ever. Do you feel the battle is being won, and what more needs to be done?

I believe our world is always evolving so there is always more to be done.

17. What is the biggest lesson life has taught you so far?

That absolute truth and my acknowledgment of it is always the road to peace and happiness.

18. If you could be any cartoon character on earth, who would you be?

Funny, I didn’t see this question when I answered the super hero with an animated character. Sometimes I wish I would just shut my mouth and be cool like the Pink Panther. He says it all without saying a word.

19. How big a part do you think diet plays in the maintenance and management of addiction? 

Good question. I think mind body and spirit are all very important. If we take care of our bodies through good nutrition it also strengthens our minds and our souls.

20. What should I have asked you that I didn’t?

Has sobriety helped my career? The answer is most definitely. Not in a traditional sense by a fellow sober member hiring me for a job, but my approach to success is now about being in the moment. This has led to a thriving career that keeps getting better. It’s also led to another form of being of service as I have dedicated myself to raising the awareness of the healing powers of laughter. I’m even producing a weekend retreat which brings together top consciousness leaders with world renowned comedians. Its like building a bridge from the “woo-hoo to the ha-ha”.

Lovemaster’d: www.amazon.com/dp/1460244591

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