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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The dysfunctional family mid summer cook out.  I show up with my diversion, the BBQ ribs. It's been 30 odd years sober for me and still anyone who was alive in my drinking days doesn't really trust me. They go along with a joint skepticism, assuming even now that at any time, anything could happen to derail the days events. I know this and use it to prove them wrong. I'm kind considerate modest and self sacrificing like the Book says. All things to all people.

The young ones do their best with handed down mixed messages of drunkenness and cruelty, all before the invention of the cell phone so it's safe now apparently.. At best the general consensus is I'm weird but weird is the new fun so, I'm in.. Ripping into an ear of corn like an electric typewriter, poking fun at gramma's dollar store flip flops purchased on a wild shopping spree. I'm surviving here, my stage is set. My script demands a curtain call of goodbyes, smiles, hugs and handshakes. Last minute validation. Did I do ok? Did everyone like me? Ok. I can go. Thank God that's over..

 

  I don't really need a meeting but I'm bored. Lonely really. It's lonely at the top. Left to worship people for my validation. The old familiar like me so I can like myself self seeking behavior. The meeting is the only place I can roll up on my Hog and demand attention. An emotional security boost. Then came Bronson.. Me, the once homeless bum, now sober man with his beautiful motorcycle. A 12 Step hybrid of sorts, a power of example and an example of power as if all things to all people at all times. In this case? The AA meeting..

Although I don't smoke I settle in staking claim to the warn patch of grass known as the smoking area. My stage is set shucking and jiving around the butt can, jockeying for position with the homies from my Thursday night group. Running my mouth, picking interesting topic after topic. Shocking really. I am demanding attention as my experience sober spills over the top. All eyes and ears on me. I'm working the crowd. I even stop abruptly and pick up a butt that missed it's mark. Tossing it in the can I am paving the way to proper butt can etiquette.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I just wanted to let people know about this amazing Podcast about addiction and alcoholism. It's been a great help to me and many of my friends. You can subscribe on all the regular podcast distributors, but you can also watch it as a Vodcast on the recovery soapbox site.

Recovery Soapbox was started as a place to openly discuss drug addiction, alcoholism and recovery. It's put on by a rehab center in Utah, but it's in no way a commercial for them. This clip is just a short preview, the full episodes are free and about an hour long on average. They are on their 9th episode. Withing the podcast, they do a Women in Recovery series that has been amazing. There are now three episode of Women in Recovery. 

The guests on the podcast really know what they are talking about when it comes to alcoholism, drugs, addiction, rehab and recovery. Check it out if you get a chance or pass it along to someone who may be in need of some extra help. 

This was an episode with a recovering addict named Sarah Kappos. It's one of my favorites. 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a serious health condition that is considered a chronic, terminal disease by most in the field of addiction treatment. Much like Atherosclerosis (heart disease) or Diabetes, alcohol addiction needs to be challenged with effective treatments that lead to multi-dimensional changes in peoples’ lives. The bad news is that of the millions of people suffering from alcohol and drug addictions, only about 10% of those people get treatment of some kind.

The amount of alcohol consumption in Utah is among the lowest in the nation. Only about 25% of people in Utah report consuming alcohol, while on the national level that number is 50%. It would seem that with the rate of consumption being about half of the national average, the issues related to alcohol addiction in Utah would be lower than the national average. The truth is, however, that those who engage in addictive behaviors around alcohol (heavy drinking and binge drinking) do so at the same rate as those on the national stage.

studies show (ARDI application) that from 2006 to 2010 excessive alcohol use was responsible for an annual average of “88,000 deaths, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years, and 2.5 million years of potential life lost. More than half of these deaths and three-quarters of the years of potential life lost were due to binge drinking.” The same study shows that from a dollar perspective, problems with alcohol cost the US $249 billion in 2010. The average per state cost from this figure is about $3.5 billion.

Alcohol addiction is not new, and it certainly isn’t new in Utah. The effects of excessive alcohol use still devastate our communities and families. We know that prevention and treatment works, and the overall stigma and access to care have improved over the years. It’s time to do something about the issue that is plaguing your life in one way or another. This is the first day of the rest of your life.

If you are looking for help please visit alcohol treatment utah, it will be extremely insightful and helpful for you.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

When Do You Want to Get Well?

 

I wonder how many alcoholics upon finding out they had a deadly ailment and a doctor had a cure would sit in the doctor's waiting room 90 times in 90 days (or for a year or more) and wait for the medicine to be administered to them.  I also wonder how many alcoholics do the same thing concerning our 12 Steps; they go to 90 meetings in 90 days hoping to have a spiritual awakening without taking the Steps.” - Archie M.

 

I have been scolded a few times (by fellow AA's) because of the fact that I sometimes share at meetings about how the Steps are meant to be worked immediately and quickly.  I've been told that this "theory" will "harm" newcomers (having only a few days, a few weeks, or a few months) who could not possibly be "ready" to do the work yet.  Then I'm usually told that these new members should just go to meetings for a while and eventually they'll "know" when they are ready to get into the Program.  In the early days of AA, when a new person showed up to their first meeting and asked about when they were going to get into working the Steps, established members usually asked them, "When do you want to get well?  If you want to get well now, we'll be working the Steps now.  If you DON’T want to get well now, I guess you can put off the Steps, but by doing so you're probably going to drink."  I do not agree that we first get our life together and then turn to God.  I believe that we turn to God and then, AND ONLY THEN, do we begin to get our life together.  That's exactly what the Steps are all about.  As a matter of fact, Bill Wilson got into the Steps after a few days, Dr. Bob got into the Steps after one day, and Bill Dotson (AA #3) also got into the Steps after a few days.  These were the first three members of AA and none of them ever drank again.  But for me the bottom line is, what does the AA Program and the AA literature have to say about it?  Since it says, “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path,” then what does the PATH say?  The following is a list of timeframes found in the Big Book, and is the basis for my experience and the experience of those I’ve worked with.  Page and paragraph numbers are from the new Fourth edition.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 In the last say, 10 years of the downward slide into my alcoholic abyss? Late teens to late twenties? It seemed the alcohol was what kept the slide wet. Outside issues made the alcohol look to be the problem. I drink, I'm a drunk and not much else. Later, in AA when I put the alcohol down I saw myself differently, yet the same coping skills were apparent. Same foundation different house..  It was obvious once I cleared up a bit that this "B head movie" I starred in went farther back, way back. I was broken into fragments early on in life, emotionally fractured and leaking badly. It was tears that kept the downward slide wet from the beginning. Before the alcohol there was the extreme sensitivity. Yeah! What she said! I'm overly sensitive! More infomercials, still no picture. 

The familiar emotional pit of despair seemed endless, bottomless. I knew it well. The nothingness. My life in the walk in closet. I was used to nothing in the midst of everything. My only self help seemed to be settling for a new low when I could. Acceptance. Go ahead self, bring on the familiar, there is security there because whatever life brings will never work for me and atleast I am used to it. Daydreams turn to nightmares. I always seem to end up here waiting for the parade, waiting for the happiness float but never seeing it when it comes, when others say it's beautiful. I can only see through a clouded mind, dripping with self pity. I know this place. This is home. I watch the world go by with my two associates, guilt and shame and the occasional devastating drive by from killer regret..

I can be the victim, well masked on an underdogs stage, stabilized in a new crisis for a time while seemingly fighting the good fight. I find security in the same old same old where losing is winning because losing is surviving. I survived! On survivor island? I am king. I will rest in my self centered delusion. Wander around in the chaos, above it all, watching from a third party perspective. As if from a distance I am the star of a movie. When reality knocks again? I am afraid to answer the door. The audience yells at the screen DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR!! But I do anyway and I fail, I am dead. My rise to stardom was again very short. The best I can do is create another movie and hope to sidestep the reality part by prolonging the emotional battle scene until a new arrangement? A better decision? Where I am once again the star and lives till the end? Nope. I become the producer of confusion with the best of intensions, Busting out on screen harder, settling for less and less, sooner...What happens to a movie where the star dies in the first part? The rest of it just fades away. Hardly worth the memory.

  Shaking sweating, the anxious mind always racing. I had bottomed out again with only one option to console myself in my reoccurring bondage. The familiar ending I look to once the vicious spiral begins. Get it over with. One option left to justify my overwhelming fear. I would fabricate new blame to somehow create a new and final ending to the familiar haunting unresolved episodes of my past. My never ending story. Invite the group as the committee in my head gains momentum as a last ditch effort to validate myself. OK I admit it! I am selfish! Frustrated dictator! God like creator! I would say NO! It was me who left her! No you don't understand. Those people were really screwed up! Again I am the victim of circumstance!

It's them! It's all their fault! Anyone can see. Anyone. Raising my self esteem by lowering others. Raised voice, intimidating puffed out chest. I will take you down, it's what I do, it's all I do. My extreme self centeredness on high alert, the fear that could be classed with stealing described in the Big Book4th Step? It is here. Oh yeah, I'm in control now, keep your eye on the walnut shell... 

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