Archive for November, 2012

much younger daysSo, are you?  Are the cravings for alcohol starting to infiltrate your mind?  It’s normal you know.  When you stop and think about how much of our life was spent drinking, it is only natural that our brains turn to thoughts of drinking, and our bodies follow suit and want that elixir.

When cravings hit, and they will hit, it is important to find a different outlet for your thinking.  Stay busy in any way that you can.  Call up friends and hang out; work on a hobby or go for a walk.  Better still, get involved in service work.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, takes our minds off of our own problems faster than helping someone else.

Volunteer to help in your community.  Get out of your own mind and spread some love.

Above all else, though, when cravings hit you, talk to someone about them.  They are nothing to be ashamed of, and by talking to someone the cravings lose their power over you.

Remember, drinking is a choice.  So is abstinence!  The tools you need to stay sober are available, but you have to want it badly enough to use those tools.

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I just wrote an article about the dangers of alcohol.  You can read it here.

The thing is, and I have to make this as clear as possible, I am not on some witch-hunt against those who drink alcohol.  I am not some jealous alcoholic who wishes he could drink, but because he can’t, he hates everyone who does.

I am, however, a guy who understands very well the dangers of this deadly drug.  Yes, alcohol is a drug, and it is the most-widely used drug AND the deadliest drug in the world.  Period!  What makes it so scary is that it is socially acceptable.  Heck, 60% of Americans drink alcohol!  That’s a pretty good chunk of the population.  All of the stink over the past few years about legalizing marijuana, but no stink at all about the number one killer among drugs.

Question:  Have you ever seen a person get stoned on marijuana and then do something violent?  If you have you would be the first.  Now, have you ever seen a person drunk and then do something violent?  I certainly have, on too many instances to count; I have also seen them get argumentative, foul-mouthed, and disgusting.  I have seen them get sexually aggressive and I have seen them take chances with their personal safety.

This blog is not so much for the alcoholics out there; it is more for the casual drinkers who think they are immune from problems.  During my 20+ years in AA I have seen innumerable people come to AA because of court orders.  They were picked up on a DUI and sentenced by the courts to attend AA.  They were not alcoholics; they were simply average folks who had one too many drinks and then made the mistake of getting behind the wheel of their car.

You do not have to be an alcoholic to have trouble with booze!  Try to remember that as this holiday season unfolds, and I wish for all of you a safe holiday season.

If you are having problems with alcohol, you can pick up my Kindle book on alcoholism here.

If you feel like watching my video on alcoholism, you can find that here.

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So, how are we doing with the holidays upon us?  Hectic time for sure…sad time for many….and I have the perfect solution for all of you who might struggle with the holidays.

Get out of yourself and help others.

Alcoholism is a lonely and selfish disease.  Don’t you think it might be about time to get out of the prison you built and join the human race?  There is not quicker way to forget about your problems than to help someone else.

Remember, the battle here is between Ego and Humility!  The further away from Ego the better; the closer to Humility the better.

The time for selfishness is gone!  Do good for others and you do good for yourself.

Alcoholism does not have to be a death sentence.  You are the judge and jury, and you hold in your hands the verdict.  It is up to you

Would you like to read more on this subject? You can find my ebook on Alcoholism, for Kindle or for PC, right here!!

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To all of you who read this, I am one of you.  I have struggled for years with alcoholism.  I have been in and out of the program so many times I have lost count, and each time I began again I promised myself that this time would be different.

Finally I made it; in November of 2006 I walked into a treatment center, and now, six years later, I live free of the obsession.  It is a freedom I wish for all of you.

The holidays bring a set of challenges that are absent the rest of the year.  For whatever reason, this is the toughest time of the year for recovering alcoholics.  I decided early on that I would take whatever steps necessary to make it through these holidays.

There is no alcohol allowed in our home; if relatives come over they know they are not allowed to bring booze into our home.  Not only that, but I only associate with people who are supportive of my efforts.  My life is too short to waste my time with people who do not want to be a part of my support system.  Relatives or not, they can either ride my bus or get off; it makes no difference to me.

Even though I have no cravings, that does not mean that I play stupid.  I do not go to parties where there is alcohol. In other words, I guard against putting myself in compromising situations.  My sobriety is the most important thing in life to me, simply because without it I will lose everything, including my life.

Remember during the holidays to pick up the phone if you need to talk to anyone.  Help is a phone call away, but you need to tell people that you need help.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  If I can be of any help, reach out and I am here.

If you would like to read more about my thoughts on this disease, you can find my ebook on Kindle here.

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What can it hurt?  Just one drink won’t make any difference.  It’s the holiday season, and surely I can have one drink without causing any trouble.  I’ll just go out with the boys and have one beer and then I’ll head home.  Hell, I won’t even feel any effects from one beer.

Oh my!  If you are an alcoholic, one beer is disaster with a capital D.

I have said this before but it is worth repeating.  Any schmuck can quit drinking for hours or days.  All it takes is white-knuckling it and a little willpower.  I could probably go out right now and have one beer and leave it alone for the rest of the day, or for the weekend…..but…..

Yes, but!  The one beer would be a trigger for me; instantly my mind would be in alcoholic mode, and I would obsess about it, and I would dream about it, and I would begin planning how I was going to sneak the next drink….and it would happen.  By next week I would be living and breathing the drinking experience, and within one week I would be drinking around the clock, feeding my body that which it craves.

Within one week I would hurt Bev’s feelings and cause her emotional harm.  Within one week I would abandon my writing jobs.  Within one week I would be puking up blood and I would be too weak to function as a human being.

Within one week!  Seven days of an unimpeded trip to hell.

Whenever you get a craving for alcohol, play it through all the way to the end.  Envision what that one drink will mean based on your drinking history.  If you are honest with yourself, and you paint a true picture of what it would be like if you took that one drink, you might just prevent it from happening.

I have been told that if I drink turpentine that it will kill me.  It will kill you, too, so a rational person will not drink turpentine, right?  And yet tell an alcoholic that if he/she continues to drink it will kill them, and they will continue right on taking the poison.

It is insanity and it is a nightmare that will not stop unless you are willing to make it stop.

The choice is yours!

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I had someone ask me the other day why I write a blog on alcoholism?  At first I laughed, because it seemed like a rather inane question.  So I asked what prompted the question, and I was told that alcoholism is not a popular disease….I’m laughing again….no shit!  But the point was, that by writing about alcoholism, and admitting to the public that I am an alcoholic, wasn’t I afraid of the backlash? What the person was asking was why was I sticking my neck out and allowing the public to judge me?

So, viewed in that way, it is a great question.

The 12th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous requires us to reach out to the still suffering alcoholic and be of assistance in any way possible.  That is why I write this blog.  You will note that there is no advertising on this blog; there is no way for me to make money by writing this.  I am not after fame and fortune.  I am simply hoping that my words will help some other alcoholic who may be struggling with this disease.

Am I worried about what people may think of me?  Am I worried about what they might write about me, or if they can harm me in any way?  I am laughing again…..they better take their best shot, because nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself when I was drinking.  If there are petty people out there who want to judge me because of my alcoholism, then bring it on, petty people!  Throw your vileness at me; give me your infantile remarks and deride me in public.  I simply don’t care!  It is real hard to hurt someone who is not affected by your pettiness.

So, that is why I write!  I hope that someone out there will gain strength from my words.  On Friday I will have six years of sobriety, and they were six years of hard work, or introspection, or reflection and of helping others.  I am proud of the work I have done to become a better person, and I want others to feel the same sense of accomplishment and pride.

So, that is why I write!

You are welcome to join me on YouTube as I discuss alcoholism.  You can see it here!

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An old mentor of mine once told me that the miracle is not that he isn’t drinking.  He said any idiot can quit drinking for a day, a week, or longer, just by holding onto his ass and gritting his teeth.  No he said, the miracle is that he has no desire to drink, that the cravings are gone from his life and alcohol is no longer even a part of his conscious thinking.

That is a miracle!

This Friday I will celebrate six years of sobriety, and I can relate quite well to what my friend Little Joe was talking about.  Alcohol is no longer a part of my life, my thinking, or my subconscious.  I live a life free from cravings.  I live a life free from the insanity.  I live a life of happiness and joy, without my energies being sapped by the draining disease of alcoholism.

And all of the good could be gone tomorrow if I choose to ignore what got me to this place in life.

Alcohol is doing pushups and preparing for the day when it will once again kick my ass; all I need to do is pretend like I’m not an alcoholic.  All I need to do is let down my guard and begin to think that maybe, just maybe, I can drink normally like other people. When that happens I have no doubt at all that alcohol will once again rule my life.

But….but, if I continue doing what I am doing, that day will never arrive.  I will continue to live a life that is free of alcohol and free of cravings, and wouldn’t that be a miracle?

If you would like to purchase my book on living the life of a happy alcoholic, you can buy it here.


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So much negativity in the world.  Never was that more clear to me than during the recent Presidential Elections.  I have never seen anything like what we just witnessed, and quite frankly I am done with politics.  Why?

Because negativity is a way of life for an alcoholic or addict.  When under the spells of addiction, everything is negative.  Life is mirerable….nothing is fair….everyone is against you….if only you could catch a break….if the wife would just quit nagging….if the kids would just behave…..if your boss would just cut you some slack…..if the parents hadn’t been so cruel…..and on and on we go.  The monster feeds the monster and pretty soon it is poor me, poor me, pour me another drink,  and the insanity continues!

I am done with it!  I am done with the negative thoughts.  I am done with the negative words.  I am done with the negative actions.  I am done with the negative people.

This is serious business to me, as in life and death.  If I go back to drinking I will die quickly; of that I have no doubt, and I refuse to do that…..soooo….I eliminate negativity from my life.  I got rid of people who were negative, and I don’t hang around those negative vibes any longer.  More importantly, though, I changed my way of looking at life.

Instead of always complaining I am now praising my life and everything about it.  What I have found, is by concentrating on the positive I end up being more positive in my words and actions.  Positive In/Positive Out….PIPO!  Beats the heck out of my old life, which was GIGO….you got it, Garbage In/Garbage Out!

I was just on Facebook a few minutes ago and I was blown away by the amount of complaining I was reading.  What the hell?  Is life really that miserable, or are people so accustomed to thinking that way that nothing positive can come out of them?

I think it’s about time I eliminate some negative people from my Facebook account!

If you are interested in purchasing my ebook on alcoholism, you can do so here!  It is called Loving Life As An Alcoholic!

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Well, do you?  Think about that for a second….perpetual quietness of heart!  Is it even possible to be so calm, so secure, so happy, that you do not have a worry or fret?

On November 16th I will celebrate six years of sobriety. I have been living those six years according to spiritual principles, and I am a better person because of it, and I have to tell you I have not seen perpetual quietness of heart yet….but I do see glimpses of it, and those glimpses are a blessing.

The human species is in a constant battle between the opposing forces of ego and humility.  When ego is guiding my actions I am a mess; when humility is guiding me, I find peace of mind and heart.  It really is that simple.

When I put my needs and my desires first, I find it hard to achieve serenity.  That is an easy thing to accept intellectually, but the practice of it is much harder.

And so I keep moving forward, and I keep trying to be a better person, and each day brings me closer to the goal….to be a loving human being who cares as much about others as I care about myself.

Perpetual quietness of heart….today I can see it!  As long as I keep doing what I’m doing I’ll keep getting what I’m getting.

How about you?

I invite you to watch my video on alcoholism; you can see it here!

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Do you have triggers that give birth to a desire to drink?  We all do, so the correct answer is “yes” to that question. J

The fact is that any alcoholic has triggers, just like any binge eater has triggers and any smoker has triggers.  There are certain actions, words, places and yes, people, that remind us of drinking and seem to kick-start our brains into wanting to drink.

Maybe it is walking into a cocktail lounge; maybe it is being around others who are drinking.  Mine is a bit more subtle than that; for me, it is a hot day in July when I remember going to the beach and having that first cold beer.  It is, literally, the only time during the year when I think of drinking.

The holidays are a huge trigger for many alcoholics.  Thoughts of the past, of broken families, of pain caused, of love of family, they are all on the minds of an alcoholic during the holidays.

So what to do?  Well, the most obvious solution is to avoid the triggers.  Do not expose yourself to those things that trigger your mind.  In a case like the holidays, you really can’t avoid the trigger, so you have to protect yourself in other ways.  Spend time with supportive people who do not drink and who will encourage you in your efforts not to drink.

One of the best ways to stop the urge is to play the thought all the way through to the end.  What will happen if I have that drink?  For many of us, having that first drink means beginning the spiral towards oblivion and possibly death.  My mind is programmed now so that whenever I have a thought of a cold beer, I immediately think about where that beer will lead me; once having done that, I “sober up” and realize the foolishness of that stinkin’ thinkin’.

If you would like to buy my book on alcoholism, in Kindle format, you can find it here.

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