Ronnie, with 25 years of sobriety shares how he did it. We also discuss 50 ways to stay sober this summer.
Ronnie got sober a few times throughout his life, once at age 17 and again at age 20. At age 20, he found himself smoking crack on the sidewalk after 3 years of sobriety… One drink of alcohol was his gateway drug.
Lives in L.A. and works as an actor and director, running two theater companies. Check out 68 Theatre Company. Ronnie is 45 and married with a dear family… For more information on Ronnie and his work - ronniemarmo.com.
Take us back to age 20...
Was that your bottom?
For me, “I was out of control ever since I started drinking. I always drank and got high in the same way. I was never a social drinker, I had no interest in drinking socially.”
It went something like this - one gallon of vodka, one quart of Yukon Jack, and then I found myself waking up at a sober picnic. My sponsor asked me if I was humble enough… I said yes, and went back to rehab for the 3rd time.
What is it like being sober in your industry?
It’s like anything, many people are sober, once you start talking “our” language. Those who do drink and get high, it’s never an issue, but I tend to gravitate towards people who are sober.
Let’s talk rules: Did you ever try to put rules into place?
“I thought alcohol was a problem, but I didn’t think it was my biggest problem. I constantly negotiated with myself. Normal people don’t hide bottles. Normal people don’t wake up needing a drink.”
People have gone on retreats and think that anxiety is the issue, or depression is the issues, when underneath it is really the alcohol.
Literally, every day of my life I spent my day trying to figure out how to get more booze.
Do you remember your first intensive rehab?
“I hadn’t even seen the STEPS on the wall!”
Now, I have a healthy fear of booze.
Talk to me more about this healthy fear, I’m terrified of this stuff…
When I look at it, it’s rare that I glorify a drink. When I see booze, I get nervous. If I ever take a second to glorify it. I immediately think I could destroy my life. It happens quickly.
That thought is so fleeting, it’s not even an option.
Bill W. and Dr. Bob:
Playing in north Hollywood, CA
Soon to star in the movie, Back in the Day.
Walk me through a day in your sobriety:
I don’t go to as many meetings as I should, but I never miss my Wednesday home meeting.
If I do these things daily:
If I don’t do these things, life is just harder...
What are your thoughts on relapse:
It’s a weird disease because you have to self-diagnose it. It’s 2:30 in L.A. right now, if I had a drink right now, I’d be smoking crack by 7:30pm… Relapse doesn’t have to happen, but if it does, hopefully you can choose sobriety again quickly.
What would you say to your younger Ronnie:
“The sooner you can get past being so dependent on the drink or the drug the sooner you can get on with your life, doing what you really want to do.”
“No matter where you go or what you do, drink a lot of water and walk slow.”
What’s still on your bucketlist:
All these items are attainable with sobriety.
Rapid Fire Round:
1.What was your worst memory from drinking?
Stealing my mother’s pocket book.
2.Did you ever have an oh-shit moment?
I had a spiritual awakening in the courtroom, asking the judge for help. The things that came out of my mouth were nothing that I had intended to say when I walked in.
3.What is your plan for sobriety moving forward?
Keep showing up and trying to be graceful, reaching out to others, and trying my best on a daily basis to stay with a formula that works. Keeping it super simple!
Drink a lot of water and walk slow
If you are thinking about it (getting sober) and it’s on your mind, there’s a really good chance that you should be doing it. Give it a really strong 90 days.
“You might be an alcoholic if…”
You might be an alcoholic if you steal from someone you love just to get a drink or a drug.
You might be an alcoholic if after 2 years of sobriety you take a drink and later you end up smoking crack.
Connect with Ronnie:
50 Ways to stay sober this summer
Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org how many of these you tried this summer!
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