Former actor and model Jason Umidi nearly lost everything after years of heavy drinking and drug addiction.
Despite having grown up in the church where his father was the pastor, Umidi gave up religion to pursue a fast-living show business career in New York and Europe. A back injury led him to abuse prescription pain pills and, eventually, fentanyl and alcohol. In 2017, Umidi got clean and sober after entering detox and a 12-step program. He also returned to the church after realizing that his “higher power” was Jesus.
Umidi is now sharing his experiences and road to lasting sobriety in the new book, “Jesus and Seltzer: Stories and Meditations on Sobriety and Recovery” (The Weight of Ink Publishing).
“Jesus + Seltzer” is based on meditations Umidi wrote for his recovery blog, Today’s One Minute Read™ (todaysoneminuteread.com). Each is preceded by an inspirational quote from a famous figure such as Henry David Thoreau, Carl Jung, Benjamin Franklin, Joan Baez, Mother Teresa, Oscar Wilde and others, followed by Umidi’s explanation of how that quote is relevant to his recovery.
“’Jesus and Seltzer’ is an easy read for busy people who might be looking for quick inspiration any time of day or night,” Umidi said. “With these ‘one minute’ meditations, I reflect on the gratitude that I have for life as I journey on this road through recovery. The hope that I offer is born out of my decades of experience living with addictions and the ultimate freedoms found through this sober lifestyle.”
Umidi’s reasons for leaving Christianity in his younger years were complicated, involving family issues and theological disagreements. Though he is now a follower of Jesus, he believes that Jesus and Seltzer can help addicts and alcoholics of other faiths, or even those who have no belief in a higher power.
“The title definitely identifies who and what I’m about, but I have friends who don’t practice any particular faith who really enjoy reading my work,” Umidi said. “If you’re struggling with addictions and you pick up this book, my prayer would be that our shared experiences would create a bond that would transcend our differences and that the reader would experience an intimate connection with the God of their understanding.”
“Jesus and Seltzer: Stories and Meditations on Sobriety and Recovery” is available through Amazon for $9.95 (paperback) and $2.99 (Kindle). More information is available at www.JasonUmidi.com.