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Recovering Joy

“Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me.” ” Hoyt Axton

If you have spent any time wandering around this blog or watching my videos, you know I have an almost stubbornly positive view of things. I like to smile, I love to laugh, and if someone is rude to me I figure they must be having a bad day.

Kinda sickening, isn’t it? There’s nothing worse than someone like me standing around when you’re pissed off about something. And I realize that my insistence on being happy can be my own, clever sense of denial. It could actually prevent me from seeing things clearly in times of real trouble.

Life has a way of foiling attitudes like mine, of course. Between watching AIDS emerge twenty-five years ago and then my drug addiction during the last decade, I’ve known pain and hopelessness. So, when my first sponsor in recovery asked what I wanted for myself, I said “I want to have joy again.” It seemed like such a distant goal at the time.

Thank God for you ” yes you, sitting there reading this ” because this blog has helped me regain a sense of purpose that I never thought I would get back. Your support and comments since I launched this blog just ten months ago have encouraged me more than you will know. I feel like I have my voice again, that I am making a contribution. I am filled with joy today.

AnitaNightLet me share some of that joy with you. Above, you’ll find a special reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by my alter ego Anita Mann (her rendition takes you places you never thought this story could go, trust me).

The video was recorded at a fundraiser for GLBT folks recovering from addiction. It has a message that applies to us all, and it’s pretty funny. And come on, now… when was the last time someone read you this classic tale? Now is the time, so relax and enjoy.

As Anita says during her reading, “…we all have gifts in our bag.” Thanks for the gifts you have given me this year, my friends, and here’s to a wondrous, healthy year ahead.

Joy to you, to me, and to the world,


(I have added a new “share” feature” below, so you may now share this post with your friends via Facebook or Twitter, etc. with one click. I hope you will!)




  1. Sherri Lewis December 14, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Fantastic, wonderful, uplifting and full of love, life and recovery. God bless you Mark. Thank you for sharing your talents, heart and humor on this holiday season. Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year! 2011

  2. Bill K December 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Given freely indeed! Thanks Mark! I loved this. Heartfelt, sweet, funny. Best line: “Someone is not using the Macy’s accessories wall very thoughtfully.”

    On a totally unrelated note, I would totally watch a porn video starring Tim Gunn and St. Nick. But that’s just me.

  3. Mark Corcoran December 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Mark: Happy, happy to you too. I also make it my business to be happy. Your posts are incredibly mindful, helpful and frequently very funny.
    I just checked my 12 Steps iPhone app and I’ve been sober 38, 803 hours, 1,617 days or 4.43 years. Time flies when you’re having fun. I still “find the fabulous” somewhere in every day of my journey. Thanks for sharing yours!

  4. Jay S December 14, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Mark, I appreciate you (and Anita) so much. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that we really do ALL have gifts to share.

    Like you, recovery has given me many gifts: love, support, self-acceptance and a new relationship with my higher power. And it has taught me that the true blessing of any gift comes not in receiving it but in giving it away. When I give to others what has been freely given to me, I can keep the gift of my recovery.

    So thank you for giving so freely, for sharing your gifts and your journey with all of us. I am grateful to have shared a part of it with you.

    Much love,

  5. Patrice Dickey December 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Mark, You and Anita are THE BOMB!
    Thanks for letting your freak flag fly.
    That gives ME joy!
    XO, PD

  6. Sue December 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm


  7. Steven Honzik December 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Mark, You are such a joy. You have no idea how you have helped me through this blog, Anita, your shares. You truly are a blessing and i am so fortunate to have met you. May you have a wonderful holiday.
    Hugs and kisses,

  8. Subversive Librarian December 16, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Oh, yay, Anita, how wonderful to see this! Atlanta misses you!

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