Friday, October 14, 2011
It has been almost 30 years since Richard Dreyfuss found sobriety, it is clearly still one of the most important days of his life, as it is with most who have, through hard work, achieved long term sobriety - Nov. 19, 1982.
“It's my daughter's birthday, and there's more magic attached to that sentence than I can possibly begin to tell you. But suffice to it say that one year ... before my daughter was born, I was upside down with my head on the pavement with a Mercedes Benz on top of me. And I was held in by a safety belt that I hadn't put on,” Dreyfuss explained to an Oklahoma City audience Tuesday night, October 11, 2011.
“I spent the next 10 days in absolute and complete denial. I am an expert on denial, and I did my level best to not see the inevitable consequence of my acts. Except I couldn't shake the image of this little girl that was in my mind's eye, and every day she got clearer and clearer until on the 19th I said, enough. And she disappeared and didn't reappear for one year. She was my daughter.”
Dreyfuss was the keynote speaker last Tuesday night at the Oklahoma Outreach Foundation's “An Evening of Courage & Inspiration”, a charity dinner held at the Skirvin Hotel. The event generated $212,000 for the nonprofit organization that helps treatment and recovery programs for state teens coping with dependency on alcohol and other drugs.
Dreyfuss explained he developed his drug habit for “many of the reasons that young people have been doing stupidly risky things forever.”
“I thought I couldn't be killed, I thought I was immortal, and I thought I would always be smarter and faster. ... And the other reason was, of course, that while I knew I was immortal, I also knew that I was a worthless piece of dog dung and I couldn't stand myself and I would do anything to not be me,” he said.
“Every once in awhile I would do something that if it had been just a millisecond different, I would not be here today. I would either be dead or be in prison.”
We encourage everyone to listen to and watch a short video of his keynote speech where in talking of the Serenity Prayer he says: “That is the first, most important, most clear spiritual revelation of my life. It changed me from one thing to another and made me better,” he said. “God has always fascinated me, as either fact or metaphor. God works.”