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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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