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teacherAn estimated 43% of U.S. adults have had someone related to them who is presently, or was, an alcoholic.

That statistic comes from “Alcoholism Information and Statistics” online, and I think that percentage is too low.  Quite frankly I don’t know of anyone in my circle of friends who has been untouched by alcoholism.

18 million Americans currently battle alcoholism.

7 million minors in the U.S. live with an alcoholic mother or father.

And on and on we go. The statistics are seemingly endless and they are always frightening.

Alcoholism kills!  Alcoholism destroys families!

There is no instant cure for alcoholism.  There is no magic elixir that will make all the pain go away and repair all the damage that has been done to family emotions and trust.

Ending the horrors of alcoholism requires a willingness to do the ugly work. It requires rolling up your sleeves, strapping on your work shoes and doing whatever is necessary to beat back the demons.

Are you willing to end the cycle of destruction? Are you willing to take responsibility and turn your life around?

The choice is yours and yes, you definitely have a choice.

If you want to take the first step, contact me and let’s chat.  Whenever anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to always be there, and for that I AM RESPONSIBLE!

 

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much younger daysOh what a tangled web we weave.

Hang around AA long enough and you will have people giving you suggestions whether you asked for them or not. J  It’s only natural I guess.  There is a lot of wisdom in the halls of AA, and there are a lot of people who want to help.  There are also a lot of egos there and those egos are convinced that they know better than anyone else how to stay sober.  Again, it’s only natural.

One thing you will hear over and over again is that during early sobriety you should avoid getting involved with the opposite sex in a relationship.  If you think about it you will see the wisdom in that suggestion.

During early sobriety the recovering alcoholic is like one large exposed nerve.  There is a blizzard of emotions and feelings as the sleeping giant is awakened and life bombards them from all sides.  Early sobriety means insecurity and insecurity means looking for someone to provide security for us….and sooner or later our thoughts turn to the opposite sex for that security.

Avoid it at all costs.  Anyone standing on the wobbly legs of sobriety is not ready emotionally for the trials and tribulations of a relationship.  It is better to concentrate on your sobriety until you are strong enough to stand on your own.  Get to know yourself before trying to get to know someone else.  In the long run you will end up stronger and more capable of handling the dynamics of a relationship with another human being.

loving life on a hikeHere is my message today for those of you who are still struggling with alcohol….are you ready?

DON’T DRINK!

I’m not big on making excuses.  I’m somewhat of an AA hard-ass.  By that I mean I don’t sugarcoat anything to do with alcoholism.  It is not a pretty disease.  It kills, and it not only kills the alcoholic but it destroys lives of loved ones.  How could I possibly sugarcoat that?

I have seen friends die from heart disease, failing kidneys, destroyed livers, and all related to their alcoholism.  I have had friends commit suicide and die homeless on the streets, and all because of alcoholism.

No excuses…no sugarcoating….no pats on the head saying everything will be alright….alcoholism kills.

DON’T DRINK!

It is a choice you know.  There is help out there if you want it.  If you don’t want it then you are making a choice…if you do want it you are making a choice.  I am here if you need someone to talk to….AA is there….millions of other people will help you if you want them to…..or….

You can choose to die.

DON’T DRINK!

A Sober Easter

miscellaneous....and steph 003I don’t remember the last time I was drunk on Easter.  That realization hit me yesterday as we were enjoying family and life.

We saw all five of our kids yesterday and people came and went.  No big meal was served.  Everyone just grabbed something from the fridge, and we played in the sunshine and built our chicken coop.

None of the joys I now experience would be possible if I was still drinking.  None of them.

I am incredibly blessed to be living a life of sobriety.  I am surrounded by loving people who fill my life with joy.  Life is good sober and it can be for you as well.  All you have to do is want it badly enough.

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!

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.

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.