Archive for March, 2013

January 28 2012 161Easter weekend, as good a time to drink as any other!

Seriously, are you having family over for the holidays?  Will there be drinking?  Let me tell you how it is in our household.

Everyone knows I am an alcoholic, so there is no drinking in our household.  I have never told our family not to.  They have chosen not to out of respect to me.  We gather together here and have sparkling cider or some other juice.

Would it upset me to be around booze?  After six years of sobriety probably not, but why would I risk it?  Why would I hang out in slippery places and be around my biggest temptation when there is no reason to do so? Staying sober is much too important to me, and I have no desire to tempt fate.  My health and happiness is much too important to my family, so why would they tempt fate?

I have listened to people debate whether families of alcoholics should drink at family gatherings.  My opinion is that they shouldn’t out of respect for the alcoholic and the struggle the alcoholic goes through.  What possible reason could you have for drinking if you know someone in the room is trying to stop from drinking, and their very health and well-being are at stake?

Just one man’s opinion.

Have a great Easter weekend!

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wash d.c.Yesterday we talked a little about the reactions we may meet once we have found sobriety.  Let’s talk a bit more about that.

Some of us…many of us…drank for decades.  The damage and pain we caused during that time was, for many of us, enormous.  Simply because we get sober does not mean that damage goes away.  Hearts were broken…trust was shattered…and that kind of damage takes a long time to heal and repair.

Our job as recovering alcoholics is to make amends and then show, through our daily actions, that we are changed people.  The amends we make may not be accepted.  We might make very sincere apologies only to have the injured party say they do not accept our apology.  So be it!  We can do no more.  We must make the amends and then move forward.  We cannot change the past but we can change our future.

Live each day with compassion, empathy and love.  Over time people will once again give you their trust and acceptance, but it is a long journey and one we must commit to.

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much younger daysFor some alcoholics, the long struggle has ended.  By whatever means, whether it be by treatment or AA or hypnosis, they have found sobriety and now they are starting a sober life.

Life is good again and they are picking up the pieces of their shattered lives and embracing this living thing once again.  They start interacting with people again and that can be a sticky wicket.

Most of us have caused some damage during our drinking careers.  We may have lied to others.  We may have cheated and stolen money, and we have most certainly broken trust that others had in us.

Simply because we are now sober does not mean that there isn’t damage control to be done.  We have to earn back the trust that we lost while drinking.  Some people will instantly embrace us and forgive.  Speaking for myself, I have had people who simply will not forgive me and that is understandable.  Others have accepted me with open arms and now look at me with respect and admiration.

Remember as you begin your sober lives that it is your job to ask forgiveness and then start walking your talk.  Respect must be earned.  It is not given freely, especially to those of us who have shattered that respect while we were drinking.

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wash d.c.I began writing for a writer’s site called HubPages fifteen months ago.  After about three weeks of floundering on that site I decided to pull out my real writer’s voice and speak from the heart. One of the first of those “heart” pieces was a discussion about my life as an alcoholic.  The response was incredible and beyond anything I could have imagined.

What I found was a group of people, fellow writers, who were very accepting of me and very, very supportive.  They read my words about my struggles with alcohol and they reached out a hand of love and support, and I will forever be grateful to them for that act of humanness.

Now it is my turn.  I write this blog not to make money but to reach out to the still suffering alcoholic.  I want my words to be symbols of hope.  I want those still drinking to know that if I can turn my life around then they can as well.

I hear from others and they tell me their stories.  They email me and I try to give them guidance and suggestions.  It is my calling to do so.  Each of us is capable of helping others if we are willing to do so.  It is so important that we do so.  There are people out there suffering, not just from alcoholism, but from a variety of other diseases as well like homelessness, abuse and a whole host of other problems.

We must reach out!  It is our calling as human beings.  Please, do your part today.

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teacherHow did it go this weekend?  Did you stay sober?  Did you act sober?

I know, that may seem like a strange question but really it isn’t.  The old question begs to be asked:  if you take the alcohol away from a drunk horse thief, what do you get?  You still get a horse thief!

The point being that not drinking does not solve all your problems.  The biggest problem is you!  We have to learn to deal with our inner demons if we are ever to fully find peace and happiness, and so the question remains:  did you act sober this weekend, or did you act like a drunk who needs a drink and still has demons?

Take some time this morning and see if you can honestly answer that question.

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teacherAre you an alcoholic?  Well there’s a loaded question if I ever heard one.  Get it??? Loaded???  Sigh, my humor may be too unique.  LOL

So back to the question.  Unfortunately, the only one who can truly answer that question is the person asking it.

Remember that alcoholism is a physical addiction and a psychological obsession.  Do you go about your day thinking about your next drink?  Do you find it almost impossible to stop after one drink?  Has alcohol started to cause problems in your life?  Do you lie to cover-up your use of alcohol? Do you hide your drinking?  Have you found your health suffering because of your drinking?

All of those are clues that you might just have a problem worth addressing.  Normal drinkers can take it or leave it.  They can stop after one drink.  Alcohol usually does not cause problems in their lives and they do not lie to cover up the fact that they had a couple drinks.

Perhaps the best indicator that you might be an alcoholic is the fact that you would even ask the question in the first place.  The mere act of asking if you are an alcoholic says that you realize alcohol is a problem in your life. J

There is help out there…reach out and ask for it before it is too late.

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teacherI started this blog as a way to inform others about the disease of alcoholism.  It was also my hope that I could in some way help the still-suffering alcoholic and/or help those loved ones who are living with an alcoholic and don’t know what to do.

I do not advertise on this blog.  This is not about making money.  I do have an ebook about alcoholism but I do not advertise about it.  This blog is simply my way of reaching out to those who may need someone to talk to about this disease.

And I have been very gratified because people have reached out.  It is so uplifting when someone asks me for help, or simply needs to “talk” to someone about this baffling disease.

Alcoholism has been called the disease of aloneness.  There is great secrecy about alcoholism, not only with alcoholics but also their families and friends.  People keep shoving it into the closet in hopes that others will not find out, and that is the worst thing you can do.

There is no shame in having a disease.  There is no shame in loving someone who has a disease.  I have heard it said often that we are only as sick as our secrets, so I say to all of you that if alcoholism is a part of your life or the life of a loved one, it needs to be spoken about and brought out into the light.  There is no other way to deal with it.

If you are suffering from alcoholism, or you have a loved one who is, reach out to me. I am here for you and I will do everything I can to make sure you do not have to face this killing disease alone.  That is my promise to you and I am worth trusting.

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much younger daysI have people who depend on me.  I have people who trust me and believe in my word.  What a remarkable thing that is considering where I have come from.

There was a day, not so long ago, when my word was worth very little.  I could not be trusted nor could I be believed.  My whole world revolved around alcohol, and mundane things like trust and character did not enter into my daily life.  My family worried about me, of course, because they loved me, but they did not trust me and quite frankly, they were convinced I would be dead within the near future.

Today that is all gone because you see, today alcohol is not my lover.  Today I love life, and my well-being, and that of my family, are the most important things in my life.

The change in me happened because I made a choice.  It was a difficult choice because it required that I change most things about me, but it was a conscious choice and one that completely changed my life.

You can do the same!  If you are struggling with alcohol or drugs, there is help available, but the first step involves admitting that there is a problem and that you need help.  When you are ready to admit those things then you are on your way for the trip of a lifetime.

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teacherI mean, I inherited the disease of alcoholism, and I learned early to get help when I needed it. I always went to people who knew more than I did.

Liza Minelli


Boy, talk about an endorsement for sponsorship!  Great quote and oh so true.  When I was first cognizant of the fact that I had a problem with alcohol, I had no clue how to stop drinking.  I mean  no clue.  I would continually make efforts to stop drinking, or at least cut back, and nothing I did had any effect.

It was only when I sought out help from those who had successfully given up alcohol that I finally began to find a solution.  Finding the right sponsor in AA is so important.  Learning from someone who has been there, who understands, and who has found the solution is invaluable for those just starting on the sobriety journey.

My sponsors have all helped me to not only stop drinking but to live a meaningful and happy life sober.  They taught me to look at myself, because I was the main problem.  They taught me how to cope with life, and to not only cope but to embrace life and love it as the gift that it is.

If I don’t know how to fix my car when it breaks down I go to a mechanic.  If I don’t know how to stop drinking I go to someone who has done that successfully.

It just makes sense to do so.

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markIt is my pleasure to introduce you to a friend of mine, Mark Bruno!  Mark has agreed to supply today’s post about alcoholism. I’m sure you will find it interesting and helpful.


How To get Your Life Back On Track After Leaving An Alcohol Rehabilitation Center

You have finally taken that step towards a new life and have entered a Rehab. Center for the treatment of your alcohol addiction.

You put your heart into getting well and listened to your counselors every words of advice and wisdom.  Now the time comes that you will be released from their care and back you go to the outside world with many temptations from your past and the friends you hung around during those times of drinking and abusing alcohol.

The questions in your mind are how to get your life back on track after leaving an Alcohol Rehabilitation Center?

There are unfortunately many things that you must avoid when entering back into society as a clean and sober person.  Some you may not like, but it is a must to listen to those words from your counselors, as they know best for your well being and your long term sobriety.

Number 1 – You just may have to say goodbye to your past drinking buddies for they will try to influence you to start drinking alcohol again.  They sure don’t like drinking alone without you.  Many of them will not support you choice to become clean and sober for jealousy they don’t have the willpower or the determination to get sober as you did.

Number 2 –  You may need to stay clear of any parties or functions that your family has until you feel comfortable being around alcohol again. (This is what I had to do in the beginning of my recovery)

Number 3 –  You MUST stay busy physically and mentally at all times so that your minds doesn’t wonder to what you are trying to stay away from which is your past alcohol addiction.

Number 4 – Think of a hobby that you would really enjoy doing and be able to even share this hobby with your family.

Number 5 – Take walks alone or with your spouse or sober friends.

Number 6 –  Start a exercise regiment at home or join a gym to be around others that are trying to make their lives better as you are.

For more wisdom from Mark, follow along on his blog at here or  you can find him on HubPages at here.
Thank you Mark!

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