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Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Other Addictions

Within myself is a dark closet.  Inside the closet is a lost girl.  For years, she's pounded on the door of my heart begging to come out.  When she gets too loud, I tell her to be quiet.  When she rages for my attention, I tell her to hush. Attending to her needs would force me to put myself ahead of others.

For years, I've dragged her through the mud like a rag doll hanging in the arm of a toddler.  I've given little attention to her needs and wants.  Occasionally, I throw her a bone and let her do something fun or creative. But, for the most part, I make her work extremely hard and I rarely give her a break. On top of that, I insist she does everything perfect.

Lately, she's had it with me. She let me know that if I continue to do what I am doing, she's going to make me suffer.  Already, life has a stale feel and I attribute that staleness to her dissatisfaction.  So, recently, I decided to open the door Increaseand ask her what she needs.  She didn't say much, but I got the message.

"Thank you for paying attention.  Thank you for letting me know I am a priority.  I can't grow in this darkness.  I need fresh air and sunlight.  I need to play and I need to dance.  If you let me out, your whole world will expand.  If you let me out, your sour mood will dissolve.  If you let me out, new worlds will appear.  If you let me out, you will come to know happiness as you have never known it before."

All this time I thought I was angry at life when, in fact, I was angry at myself.  I, not anyone around me, stood in the way of my own dreams.  To be happy, I must pay attention to the lost girl in the closet. It's time for her to come out.  It's time to be happy.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

This blog contains adult content.  View with discretion.

At 19 years old I’d lived a fairly charmed life.  I grew up in an affluent NYC suburb with loving, if flawed, parents.  It was the 1950’s and my father believed that women had specific (traditional) roles.  As the youngest of 3 the rules were somewhat relaxed for me, but I chaffed under their weight nonetheless.  So I rebelled, in a mostly ladylike manner.  In the fall of 1972 all that had been before, my childish notions about the inherent goodness of all people, idealistic political views, and my core belief that my parents could fix anything, were run through a meat grinder, never to be the same again.  It was the beginning of 20 months in hell.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

I did not appreciate the relationship between secretive/traumatizing events and my addictions until I got sober. In this vignette from my soon to be released memoir, you will read about a decision I made to keep a traumatizing event to myself.

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

USA Today published an article by Betty Klink entitled "Number of Older Adults Treated for Substance Abuse Doubles." In the article, an expert in substance abuse mentions the possible link between the higher statistics of those seeking treatment and the decreased stigma attached to getting professional help. Although I got sober when I was 31 and this report refers to adults 50 or older, I believe public misconception about addiction is major hurdle to recovery.

I chose to be in disguise for this website for many reasons, including the stigma of addiction. I am a working professional with a family and a four year old son who worries how unwanted public exposure might adversely affect my relationships at work and in the community. While I am proud of my efforts in recovery to stay sober and help others, I am also aware of public perception of addicts/alcoholics. It's unreasonable to expect people without addiction to understand the disease when stories about people driving drunk and killing entire familys streak the headlines.

On the other hand, shows like A&E's Intervention, educate the public on the disease of addiction and encourage individuals such as those measured in the study to pursue treatment. When I was in the height of my addiction, the internet did not exist. To get an education on my illness, I had to walk into a Barnes and Noble and purchase a book with the word addiction in its title. The stigma of addiction prevented me from doing so and thankfully today, it doesn't have to be that way.

Best,

Increase

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Nowadays, it is difficult to find a person who is not affected by addiction in some way. I know what it is like to suffer at the hands of someone else's dependency and I also know what it is like to be the source of harm.

As the addict, I am clear on the damage I inflicted on others during my years of abuse. Like a Tasmanian devil, I spurred constant tornadoes in the lives of others and caused physical, mental, emotional and spiritual harm. I lied, cheated, stole, deprived, withdrew, destroyed, damaged, denied, demolished and corrupted. I overindulged in food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, pills, sleep and sex. I disengaged from life as much as any person could and I wondered why I felt empty, damaged and ugly.

When given the option of therapy, I lied to the therapist. When given the option of treatment, I refused to get help due to my pride. When given multiple opportunities and chances to succeed, I turned to easy fixes and wondered why I felt little connection to my family, my friends, my life and myself. It took years to clean up the wreckage of my addictions, but I remain forever grateful that I have been given the time to make my proper amends.

Best,

Increase

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