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Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Other Addictions

My head aches.  I feel like my skull has been invaded by two opposing armys going head to head in a fight to the death. The winner will occupy my body as my liveihood and while I am inclined to support my writer/speaker/coach personality, my pharmaceutical personality is putting up an incredible fight.

I used to be one of those people who took out a peice a paper and wrote down the pros and the cons of a situation. That no longer makes sense. To me, there is a con for every pro and a pro for every con. Increase I can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks and months in my head debating the reasons I should or should not engage in a certain project, move to a new house, take a certain job, etc.  Or, as my Sponsor taught me in early recovery, I need to stop asking everyone else what they think and go within for my answer.

When do I usually stop neurotically debating in my head and turn to meditation for my answer? Usually, when I am on the verge of going insane. When pushed to a ledge, I remember I have a choice. I can stay in my head with my crazy thoughts or I can make a decision to pray for relief and wait for the Spirit to guide me.

"Pray on one issue at a time," my Sponsor advised. "You won't get a specific answer if your prayer is not specific."

She also reminded me that the answers I needed would not come by demand, force, begging or freaking out. "Just put your attention on God, pray from the heart, open the channel and allow the transmission to occur. If you seek him, he will reveal himself to you."

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Recently, a girl I sponsor in recovery came to me with a relationship dilemma.  After many years, her high school boyfriend came back on the scene and the two began dating long distance.  It seemed a fairytale come true, except for the fact she constantly needed to board a plane to see him.

Over the past year, she called me every couple months to complain about a dynamic between them.  Minor facts would change, but the basic problem remained the same.  She did not feel she was a priority in his life and whenever she vocalized her upset, he felt pressure. 

Having trouble expressing her upset in a calm way, Increaseher requests came across as demands and her boyfriend would shut down and not call her for days on end.  Past abandonment issues rose to the surface.  In despair, she called me to figure out what was wrong with her and how she could make the relationship work.

"The relationship is exactly as it should be," I said.  "Relationships exist to help us heal from our false ideas. If you examine your resentments and behavior now, things will change."

"But how do I get him to understand how his behavior affects me?" she replied.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I remember feeling so sorry for myself when New Year's 2000 arrived and I was unable to drink or drug with my friends. Due to a drug and alcohol induced seizure which landed me in an emergency room on November 6,1999, I was forced to get sober. I thought my "fun" was over when in fact my life was on the verge of a wonderous and drastic transformation.

Reflecting now, I hadn't enjoyed a New Year's Eve for a long time prior to my overdose. The "fun" was over. When the clock struck midnight each year, I missed the joy of celebrating the year to come due to my stupor and/or blackouts. New Year's Eve was just another holiday to get shit faced and forget about the emptiness of my life. 

I made many resolutions to quit drinking, smoking, puking, screwing, snorting, etc and failed miserably. Almost as soon as I swore off something, I was using that something again. Attempts at self control led to further lack of control and down the rabbit hole I fell. I was certain I was doomed to a life of misery, pain and disappointment. I wanted to stop using but didn't know how.

For anyone contemplating putting down the drink, the drug, the sugar, the shopping, the sex or the gambling this year, I have only one suggestion to make. Pray from your heart for the willingness to stop and accept the opportunity to change when the miraculous moment arrives. Your help might arrive in a form you would never expect. Mine came in the form of an overdose which introduced me to the real possibility of death.

I still possess the letter I wrote to God on August 22, 1999 which resulted in my hitting a bottom and finding a spiritual solution. I haven't had to feel that kind of despair ever again. I wish the same kind of freedom for you. Increase

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Last weekend I went away with my husband to visit his daughter in NYC. She is about to get married and the purpose of the trip was to join her for her fitting, get better acquainted with her in-laws and to be part of the wedding planning process.

From the goodness of my husband's heart, he purchased two expensive tickets to to the city, took groups of people out Friday and Saturday night and happily attended his daughter's fitting.  Seemingly out of nowhere, his daughter pulled him aside and accused him of being "emotionally abusive to her for the past ten years."  Her parents got divorced ten years ago. This coincided with the end of her limitless supply of money from her father.

Immediately, all kinds of judgment formed in my head about her behavior, her perspective and her upbringing. To me, this was a girl who went from spoiled rotten to severly resentful. Despite the financial constraints post divorce, she made a decision on her own to move to the Big Apple and ignore its high cost of living. She would make it on her own she said, yet continues to take a couple hundred dollars from dad each month.

While I was bitching in my head about her disrespectful behavior, several other thoughts came to mind. "Who are you to judge her?" "Maybe you are jealous of the lifestyle she is about to marry (her husband to be's familyis filthy rich and she doesn't have to work)." "How do you know what her experience was with her father growing up? Maybe his ADD did get in the way of them forming a deep personal relationship.  Maybe she wanted to connect with him on a deeper level and when she couldn't. Maybe shopping for her is a way to distract herself from her pain.

At the age of 24, I was a hot mess. I wanted to live in New York, but didnt have the courage to move away from my family.  His daugher found a great job on her own, met a terrific guy she is going to marry and is simply facing the pains of growing up a little later than desired.  Instead of getting angry or annoyed at her, I need to send her love and pray for the harmony of this family. IncreaseThis child was not raised in a vacuum.  She was raised by two parents who were caught up in shopping addictions of their own.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I love being alone. With no one around me. When I have to leave my house. It creates anxiety inside me. I take medications for PTSD and other mental disabilities. I am 90 days sober. I have been sober before. I know all about staying sober and AA. I have fibromyalgia and carpul in both hands. I had pmdd my whole life. Until just recently. For some it is called PMS. But for others like me with extreme PMS it is called PMDD. This made it very hard to stay sober. I would more often than not, pick up a drink during that cycle. I am 58 years old. I tried many things for PMDD and none worked. Another problem that occurred during my cycle was anger. Uncontrolled anger. I have a lot of rage stuffed deep down. Some times not far enough away from my mind and emotions. My PTSD has reared it's ugly head while sober. I beat up a woman at work. Sober. My son would get hit once a month. During my PMDD cycle. I would use cuss words at that time as well. Nothing much could be controlled with my PMDD. I was like another person. I was not on any medications for most of my life. I finally got help when I was 48 and my son was grown and gone from home. I went to my first AA meeting when my son was 2 years old. I guess I was 30 at that time. But before I went to an AA meeting. I had a spiritual awaking and went to a church. I went there every Sunday. And after a while I started AA meetings I think it was 5 days a week. I was a single mom. On welfare. No help from my family. No friends. And no help from my son's father. As I did not know who he was. AA scared me and I was very submissive. Church felt more comfortable to me. I had a criminal past and before that. An extremely abusive mother. She used beatings with wire coat hangers, There was mental abuse, as she never said a kind word. unless she was around someone she did not want them to know how she really was. Behind closed doors. Her words were cuss words and phrases like you piece of shit etc. Emotionally she never hugged or kissed me. I ran away from home at age 13. I was locked up 14 months. When I got out. I ran away again at 17. I ended up in the hands of a pimp in LA, Calif. I did 10 months in jail for him. I say for him because I had to do all the illegal things and he took all the money. What did I get in return? Jail time and a permanent record that stopped me from getting any type of good job. later on in life. I have have been raped 5 times. And twice I was kidnapped. I have had a gun held to me. And a knife. And have beaten up. My last rape was while I was trying to leave this pimp. I could not take it anymore. I started hitch-hiking. A trucker picked me up. But I did not realize there were 2 of them. I was coming from Calif. And going to New Orleans. I was raped by both of them. But as God would have it I did not get killed. I have tried to kill myself 5 times. One of those times, was when I wanted to find a way to stop the pain from being with the pimp. It almost worked. On that occasion I had an after-life experience. I was over my body. And than I went into the light. I woke up alive in the hospital. I was so mad I was still alive. And that even GOD didn't want me!!! I got away from this pimp by dancing in night clubs naked. And earning money. I found a sugar daddy that took care of me. There was no sex with him. Just living together. He paid the rent and my food and bought my drinks and drugs. It was a very strange set-up. But very true. We never ever had sex in all the 40 years I knew him. It was hard to break away from him. I was very co-Dependant. I had a baby by this pimp. I gave him up for adoption in 1971. I never got over it. And a year later. I started having sex all the time. So I could have another baby to keep. When I realized it wasn't going to happen. I went to Canada. I was a dancer there. I got pregnant 1978 and came back to America. I lived in that co dependent relationship again.Deep down inside I did not want that for me and my baby. I was ashamed by it. I stopped drinking and smoking while pregnant. That led me to believe that I could stop anytime I wanted. That was so wrong. I think the hormones were in perfect working order while I was carrying my child. But after was another thing. I picked up a drink and could not stop. I was horrified. As this wasn't my plan for my life with my new son.  I came to believe if I could just get away and out of the relationship I would be fine. I moved and started drinking. I was arrested and my son was taken from me. In the jail. I had a spiritual awaking. A peace came over me that I never had felt before. And I just knew I would be OK from than on. I was on welfare when I went to my first meeting. As I said before I was going to Church and reading the bible. I was a mixture of spiritually and religion. I was a bad person trying to be a good person. I had a long rap sheet. I was a stripper, and a past whore. Stripping was a step up for me. Considering where I had come from. But that wouldnt cut it in AA meetings. These people were sharing their past. I was unlucky enough to have been going to a certain meeting that they only shared their past. Hardly any steps or big book or sponsership was going on. I knew I would never share. But I also knew That my spirtually was really keeping me sober. Not the meetings. I stayed sober for one year. .........to be continued.

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