Archive for October, 2012

So, do you want what I have?

Do you want to wake up with a clear head and a smiling heart?  Do you want to wake up not regretting your life?  Do you want to wake up happy with who you are?  Do you want to wake up not fighting life?  Do you want to wake up in love with life?

Well, if so, here is the secret…..are you ready?  Give up!  Give up the fight!

The good news is that the battle is over; the bad news is that you lost!  You can’t beat alcohol, so you might as well give up trying.  I know; I’ve been there!  There is no way to win that battle, and the sooner you realize that fact the sooner you will have what I have.

You also have to give up trying to control life; there is no controlling life; it just is!  You can either accept people, places, and things as exactly the way they are supposed to be, or you can let it all eat you up inside and then you will be right back to drinking.

The choice is yours.  Nobody else can make this decision or choice.  Nobody else controls your happiness.  I am a big believer in calling it like I see it, and I’m here to tell you that suffering from alcoholism is a choice.  Armed with the knowledge that alcoholism is a disease…..armed with the knowledge that there is a solution…..once you know those things, then you choose whether to continue suffering or not!

I have lost many friends to this disease.  It damn near killed me.  I miss those friends, but the bottom line is that they chose to go back out and drink.  Nobody forced them!

Being drunk is a choice; being sober is a choice!  Which do you choose?

Listen to my own words about alcoholism here…..and God bless you all!

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The holidays are coming!  That can be either good news or bad news for an alcoholic, and it all depends on you!

I am pretty big on personal responsibility, and I am also one who calls bullshit when I hear it.  Living a sober life is a commitment, and the only one who can fulfill that commitment is the alcoholic.

Yes, the holidays are a time when drinking occurs.  Family dinners, celebrations, office parties, gab sessions with old friends, they all happen and there always seems to be booze around when they happen. However, that is not an excuse to drink!

For some, the holidays are a sad time, reminders of days gone by when the family was one, and everyone was happy….before the damage caused by alcohol.  So there is some sadness in the air and sadness leads to alcohol because hey, we are alcoholics, and that’s what we do.

No, it isn’t….that’s what we choose to do!

For the past six years I have been sober during the holidays.  For the past twenty Christmas seasons I have been sober.  That was a conscious decision on my part to not use excuses and to stay sober.  Of course it took some planning but it was oh so worth it.

I’ll tell you what I have done.  I do not put myself in slippery places or situations.  I do not go to New Year’s Eve parties, and I do not meet people in taverns or cocktail lounges.  There is no liquor in our house and all of my friends and family are well-aware that I do not want booze around me.  Period!

If they want to drink they can do it anywhere but around me.  If they want to party with booze they can party without me.  For me, alcohol is poison, and it will not be a part of my holiday season.

And that is a choice and a commitment!

I’ll tell you one other thing:  it is entirely possible to have a fun holiday season without booze. I am living proof of that statement.

Happy Holidays everyone!

P.S. I invite everyone to watch my video about alcoholism found here…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EakW8mlNE24&feature=player_embedded

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Read that title again because it is an important question.  Are you enjoying life now that you are sober?  If not, why not, because I gotta tell ya, I’m having the time of my life.

It is so important that you get out there and become an active, fun-loving member of the sober world, because let’s face it, if sobriety isn’t fun then you might as well drink!

When we were drinking, alcohol dominated our lives!  Sure, there were fun times, but most of the time, near the end of our drinking career, there was nothing fun about it. It was misery and it was never-ending.  Those are the plain, harsh facts!

Now that we are sober we are discovering life again.  Nature is once more beautiful!  Chores around the house are not drudgery but rather a chance to test our skills and make the house a home.  Time with family…..well, time with family is precious, and we have a lot of time to make up for.

We re-discover old talents and things we once did for enjoyment.  Maybe it is a hobby we once were involved in; maybe we take up a new sport, or we learn to relax and enoy a good book.  Maybe, like this writer, we finally start writing, and we publish a novel.

Whatever you do, the point is to have fun.  We have been miserable….now it is time to have a blast….a sober blast!

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I am one month away from six years of sobriety, and as I have a habit of doing, I was reflecting on those six years and how far I have come…..and how far I will fall if I ever decide to stop this sober lifestyle.

Yes, I said decide, because that is what it comes down to:  we make a conscious choice to fall off the wagon and relapse.  Nobody pours that magic elixir down our throats; that is our choice completely.  It has nothing to do with whether or not your wife is a bitch or your husband is an asshole.  It has everything to do with whether or not you want to live a sober life.

Today, living sober is very easy.  I literally never think of drinking, and that statement comes from a person who, six years ago, was about one day away from dying.  I could not stop drinking, and I had become so weak, and my blood pressure so low, that I would not have lasted much more than another day.  I was not a functioning human being.

Today, six years later, I have everything to live for, and alcohol is nothing more than a reminder to me of how far I have come and how far I can fall.

Yes, I live a sober lifestyle!  I have surrounded myself with sober people.  I have surrounded myself with caring and compassionate and moral people.  I do not go to slippery places, and I work on my spirituality daily.

I have, in fact, returned to the person I was before alcohol entered the picture forty years ago, and I like that person today…..no….I love that person today!

And so will you, but first you must be willing!

May you find peace and happiness, as I have!

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Channeling stress…..that was the topic of a comment I recently received….how do we, as alcoholics, find a way to relieve ourselves of stress now that we are not turning to alcohol for the numbing effect it has on us?

A great question and one faced by many recovering alcoholics.  It explains, of course, why so many recovering alcoholics smoke and drink copious amounts of coffee; it also, in part, explains why so many return to their drinking ways.  They have not found alternatives for handling stress and so they return to the one thing they know.

The recovering alcoholics who I know, who are enjoying life and not fighting recovery, are an active group of people.  They all have found interests outside of AA that keep them quite busy and channel their energies in a positive manner.  It may be volunteer work, or taking up a hobby, or something as simple as becoming involved in AA group activities.

The key is to find ways to stay busy so that the stress that you may be feeling is eventually forgotten.

One other way that is guaranteed to work is to do work with another suffering alcoholic.  We have found that doing service work with others is a sure-fire way of eliminating the stress and worry in our lives.  Reach out to someone else who is struggling and you will find that you gain strength in helping others…..and you also gain a great deal of satisfaction.

There is life after alcohol, and it is a great life, but it takes hard work and willingness.  If you are struggling with this, talk to someone who has travelled the same road that you are travelling.  We do not invent the wheel in recovery; we simply share that which was freely given to us.

May you find peace and happiness just around the next corner of your life.

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