If there is one thing that you will discover about 12-step meetings and people in recovery in general, there is plenty of laughter. Rule #62 as it is told says, “Don’t take yourself too damn seriously,” and many addicts and alcoholics today follow this example throughout various conventions, speaker meetings and summits. One who established this spirit of humor in recovery to absolute perfection is the comedian Sarge. He is celebrating this year 25 years of continuous sobriety this year and he can look back to a fantastic career of delivering an honest message about a serious disease wrapped in a bright and funny package of comedy to people who need to learn how to laugh again.
Sarge was born as Steven Pickman in 1961 in Miami Beach, Florida, as a son of a brief relationship between an Orthodox Jewish mother and a black father. He was given up for adoption before he was born and friends of the family agreed to care for him. In racially sensitive times, his mother never revealed that her child would be a mixed race baby, but his new parents took him to Long Island, New York. At age five his talent was discovered. He could play a piano by ear without ever having lessons.
Sarge was an addict and alcoholic, used and drank for about ten years starting when he was 19 years of age.
He used PCP, cocaine and alcohol. He lost his promising career at ABC and CBS because of the drugs. Knowing that his life could not go on as it was, he reached out for help, and entered a treatment center at age 29. The help he received was ironically initiated by a man he called his friend, but who he had stolen lots of valuables from during this troubled addiction times and an episode of homelessness in New York.