What can be learned by not drinking for two years

Two years ago, a few days before New Year’s Eve, I last got drunk. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They’ve since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking — and eating meat — and focus on productivity.

Here’s a short list of what I’ve accomplished since I stopped drinking:

  • Lost 75 pounds.
  • Bought an amazing loft condo.
  • Finished the first draft of an advice book.
  • Started exercising three days a week, then four.
  • Went from a size XXL to size Large.
  • Performed in three comedy festivals.
  • Got an amazing new job.
  • Finished multiple drafts of multiple television and movie scripts.
  • Went from a 42-inch waist to a 36-inch waist.
  • Went from hating myself daily to relatively enjoying myself.

A lot of this is what I externally accomplished, what I can show on paper. But I think that the last one is the most important.

How to ease your alcohol drinking

I’ve learned a lot in two years, so I thought I’d share that with you, in case you’d like to take a break from the booze cruise. Also, that’s what I tell myself: I’ve taken a break. Maybe I’ll drink again. Maybe I won’t.

But overall, life seems to be a whole lot better for me because I took a break. Perhaps it could be for you too.

Things I’ve learned

  1. You don’t have to drink to have fun.

What a shocker! As someone who’s been drinking since senior year of high school (sorry, Mom, we weren’t just “hanging out” in the basement), most events in my life revolved around booze.

Almost everything does Comedy shows, concerts, after-work functions, meetups, dates, conferences, dinner, museum tours. But guess what? The events don’t change if you decide not to drink!

You’re still you. Maybe you’re more “inhibited,” but is that altogether terrible? I’ve found that when I hang out with folks who have been drinking, I start to feel the same way I felt — in terms of becoming silly, goofy, fun — when I was drinking too.

America’s drunken history: From the Civil War to the Kennedy assassination

And I remember everything that happened during the events, which is always nice.

  1. You have way fewer regrets.

Since I stopped drinking, I’ve yet to wake up and look at my phone, see something I texted, and go, “Ugh, wwwwwwhhhhhy.” I’m in control of my actions basically all of the time.

I think longer before I respond to something someone says. If I’m angry, it gives me time to calm down. Drinking definitely helped my inner jerk come out a lot more often. Now I am better at keeping the jerkier side of me locked up. It still comes out, sure, but at least I have more control over when that happens.

  1. People will judge the heck out of you.

This was the weirdest one to deal with. Many, many folks will give you attitude for not drinking. Here are some things I’ve been told:

“C’mon, dude, just have one beer! It’s not like you’re going to meetings or whatever!”

“I can’t trust someone who doesn’t drink.”

“You’re not fun unless you’re drunk.”

“When you don’t drink, it makes me feel bad about myself, which makes me not like you.”

“I can’t date someone who doesn’t want to get drunk with me, sorry.”

I’ll bet I said some of these things myself, back when I used to drink — because when you’re around someone who doesn’t do something you like doing, you can be taken aback by it.

I’ve had friends who’ve stopped hanging out with me because I don’t drink anymore. I’ve had relationships end (or not even start) because of it. I have been sent screenshots of people I know talking smack about me to other people because I choose to not do a thing.

It’s weird. But it makes you realize the bad relationship with booze that other folks must be having. And for that, I have empathy. And I hope they figure it out.

  1. You sleep so much better.

I haven’t slept this great since before high school. Man, it’s fantastic. I could point you to all the studies that show how alcohol affects your sleep, but hey, take my word for it.

  1. You get less sad.

I don’t know if I have depression, but I used to get bummed out a lot. There were days when I wouldn’t want to leave my apartment, or see anyone, mostly because I hated myself. I don’t hate myself nearly as much as I used to. I’m generally OK with my life and who I am. Positivity is now my go-to emotion, even when something bad or terrible happens to me.

It’s like I flipped this switch inside my brain: Instead of going to negativity, I try to find the reason something is positive. It’s definitely weird to have this happen to me.

  1. You develop more empathy for others.

A few weeks ago, this guy blared on his horn because I was crossing at a crosswalk and he wanted to turn, and he almost hit me with his car, then he flipped me off and cursed at me.

Old me probably would’ve stood in front of him, not moved, taken a photo or video of him, shared it on the Internet, explained, “Hey, look at this jerk who tried to hit me with his car!” and felt smug and wonderful about it.

Instead, after an initial moment of fear and anger, I realized this dude was probably having an awful day. Maybe he was late for an appointment. Maybe he was trying to get to the hospital to see his son who has cancer. Maybe he didn’t have parents as loving as mine and that’s filled him with resentment his entire life.

Either way, that guy had something going on, and I wanted him to be happier. Then I felt weird because my brain has been wired forever to be a little twerp to anyone who wrongs me. But now? I generally jump to empathy. I like that.

  1. You save so much money.

I bought a condo. I’d like to pretend as though it wasn’t because of how much money I saved by not drinking and buying food while drunk, but probably a quarter of my down payment came just from abstaining from booze.

Yeah, I know.

  1. You get tired earlier.

It’s pretty hard for me to stay up past 11 p.m. most days, even on weekends. When I was drinking, booze was a magical fuel that kept me going, trying to find a new adventure.

Now that I don’t drink, I’m not constantly searching for adventure, trying to find one more fun thing that will fill the empty void inside of me. I’m content with what I’ve done for the day, and my body wants to go to bed. I dig that.

  1. You become amazingly productive.

When you’re not spending most of your free time at bars, you get a lot done. I read more. I write more. I learn more.

I spend more time working on bettering myself and my skills than I ever would have sitting at a bar, chatting with a buddy or two. I’m much less social than I used to be, but I’m also creating more art and failing a lot more than ever before.

In the end, I know I’m going to die. I’d rather there be a few things of me still hanging around after I’m dead, some sort of personal expression that others can enjoy. That requires me to put in the time to work on projects, make something tangible and real for people to enjoy.

That seems, now, like a better use of my time than chatting with some pals at a bar. That conversation may have been great, sure, but in the end, it dies with me and those people. If I can create a few things that last longer than me, it makes my life last longer. It means I mattered a little more.

I’m glad I haven’t been drunk for two years. Sure, I’ve done a few shots of Malort with people who’ve never tried it. And yes, there was that one time a dude threatened to kick my rear if I didn’t drink that shot of whiskey he bought to congratulate me on “being so funny” after hearing me tell jokes about how I don’t drink anymore.

If you ever think, hey, this drinking thing isn’t fun anymore, it’s OK to take a break. I just quit. For me, it’s been relatively easy, and I know it isn’t easy for everyone. But just know I’ve found countless rad people who can have fun without booze. And you can too.

Good luck.

Andy Boyle is a comedian, writer and web developer in Chicago.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Board and on Facebook

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

 

The 10 Most Damaging Myths About Alcoholism

By definition, a myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. In the world of alcoholism and treatment, myths are dangerous because they can be determining factors in life and death situations. Be honest, how many of the following myths did you take for a fact?

  1. The Only Way to Get Better is to Hit “Rock Bottom”

This myth allows alcoholics at any stage in their disease to rationalize their drinking. While some alcoholics do lose everything before they decide to seek treatment, people should and do seek help before they reach this point. You can seek help at any stage in your drinking – whether it’s the first time you binge drink or you’ve been drinking habitually for 25 years. There’s no line you have to cross before it becomes “bad enough”. You can and should seek treatment the moment you feel you need help.

  1. Drinking Culture is Harmless

In our culture alcohol is ever-present. After work, you expect to meet coworkers for happy hour. Binge drinking is viewed as a harmless rite of passage during college and drunken escapades are often considered funny even if they cause significant harm. Not only is this irreverent attitude toward alcohol consumption dangerous, it is yet another way people with dependency issues rationalize their habits. It can make those who desperately need treatment, put off getting help for years longer than they should.

  1. “You have a job, you’re not an alcoholic!”

Thinking this way causes two major problems. First, it gives those alcoholics whose drinking is not yet negatively interfering with their job an excuse to rationalize and deny their drinking. Second, it increases the shame associated with alcohol dependence. There is fear surrounding admitting you have a problem and it stems from the negative stereotype of alcoholics. These two effects can cause someone to delay seeking treatment and cause potentially irreparable damage. Alcoholism is a disease that spans all socioeconomic ranks; anyone can find themselves in the grips of addiction.

  1. Willpower Alone Can Stop an Addiction

There are people who are able to stop drinking cold turkey, but they are the exception, not the rule. There are two things to note here: (1) The decision to stop drinking is often the result of an emotional event, such as the death of a friend due to alcohol poisoning, a pregnancy, or a drunk driving accident, and (2) a person who stops drinking without processing the “why” for their addiction is at high risk to pick up another addiction in its place. Addiction is not a switch you can turn on and off at will.

  1. Controlled Drinking is Possible

Alcoholics who try to drink socially or have “just one” drink are usually playing with fire. Most will quickly end up in a full-blown relapse because the mind and body fall back into old habits. People who try to push you to drink in moderation probably don’t have your best interest in mind. Having a strong sober support network you can call on when you’re thinking that having “just one” won’t put you back on a harmful path is key to a successful recovery.

  1. Everything will be Perfect Once You Stop Drinking

Most alcoholics didn’t start drinking because their lives were perfect. More likely, it began as a reaction to a painful or traumatic situation. If you never deal with trauma in a direct and healthy way, its effects will still be waiting after you stop drinking. Early sobriety can be tough because all those emotions you tried to avoid by drinking can come back to the surface. But dealing with those feelings and tackling the “why” of your alcoholism is the only way to get on a healthy recovery path.

  1. Treatment is the Magic Cure

Participating in an organized treatment program can be extraordinarily beneficial for someone suffering from alcoholism. While in treatment alcoholics have the opportunity to develop healthy coping mechanisms and network with others seeking sobriety. But treatment programs aren’t a one-stop shop to fix alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic disease and maintaining sobriety will be a lifelong journey. Continuously tending to your recovery is a rewarding process because you will be building lifelong relationships and a gratifying life outside of alcoholism.

  1. Alcoholics Must go to AA

Alcoholics Anonymous can be very helpful for people fighting alcoholism. But the recovery community is not limited to one way of doing things. Maintaining sobriety and establishing a fulfilling life outside of addiction is a unique journey for everyone. So figure out what works best for you by trying different things. For example, you can go to a few AA meetings per week but also incorporate activities like yoga and meditation to maintain sobriety. There are countless options and an enormous recovery community at your fingertips.

  1. Sobriety is Boring

A lot of people mistakenly assume that after they get sober, life will be boring. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the vibrancy and support that can be found in the recovery community are unlike any other. Clearing your mind of the fog of your addiction opens it up to so much more. Now is the time to discover or regain beloved hobbies and restore meaningful relationships. Most people who are seeking sobriety report that they have renewed appreciation for life and making the most of their time.

  1. Getting Sober is Impossible

Some people may feel like they’re too far gone in their disease to get help. This is simply NOT true. At any age or stage in your alcoholism, you can successfully seek sobriety. Once you enter treatment or start your recovery journey, you may feel overwhelmed. That’s normal, but it’s important to remember that you have the ability to change your life and sobriety is within your reach.

If the first step is awareness, the next step is to stop the widespread acceptance of false information. Stop believing and perpetuating these myths so we can open up a truthful dialogue about alcoholism and create a better treatment process.

WRITTEN BY SHELBY HENDRIX

Shelby Hendrix is a blogger from the Northern Midwest with close personal ties to the addiction world. She focuses on the addiction landscape to reach out to those fighting alcoholism and compel them to seek an informed, healthy recovery.

Staying Sober/Clean & Safe Over Christmas

Christmas is a time for celebratory occasions, where people of all backgrounds gather together to shake off their winter blues. The festive season means plenty of parties and other events where alcohol or drugs are consumed.

Not everyone finds the holiday season to be such a joyful experience. It can be a particularly difficult period for those individuals who are battling with an alcohol/drug addiction. There is so much temptation at this time of the year. Such individuals may need to take precautions to ensure that they enjoy a sober Christmas. Those who are spending time in rehab over the holiday season can also find it a challenging time due to them missing family and friends.

Challenges to Sobriety at Christmas

Christmas can be a particularly challenging time for people who are in early recovery. As people mature in sobriety they become better at managing this time of year. They can then enjoy it fully without any need for alcohol or drugs. These are some of the challenges that people face at Christmas:

Christmas can be a time of year that practising alcoholics look forward to. There is a great deal of alcohol consumption going on over the holiday period and this is perfect conditions for the alcohol abuse. Even the behaviour of a hardened drinker can appear normal during the festive season. When people become sober, they can remember how much they enjoyed drinking at Christmas. Some reminiscing may encourage them to romance the drink, and this can lead to relapse.

At this time of year, it is usual to bump into old acquaintances at social gatherings. If these people are still drinking, they may try to tempt the sober individual to rekindle their friendship over an alcoholic beverage. It can be hard to say no to such invitations.

There are many parties and other drinking opportunities over the holiday period. There can be a great deal of pressure on people to indulge. Even those who generally do not touch alcohol will have a few glasses at Christmas. This means that there can be overwhelming pressure for those who are not yet comfortable with saying no.

Christmas is a time when people can feel incredibly lonely, especially those who are estranged from their family. Loneliness is a dangerous emotion for people in recovery because it can act as a relapse trigger. Such individuals may decide that life in recovery is unsatisfying or that they are unable to handle their negative emotions. They may view their only solution as a return to addiction.

Some recovering alcoholics can find themselves enjoying watching other people consume alcohol. This type of activity may appear harmless, but it can actually lead the individual back into their addiction.

Families are expected to come together over the holiday season. Such gatherings can be joyful, but they may also be incredibly stressful. Those who are newly sober can struggle when spending time so much time with relatives, particularly if they feel that their behaviour is being judged in any way. At this time of year, there can be a great deal of media promotion for alcohol consumption. Even family shows will have scenes where people are enjoying themselves while drinking.

This is probably the most dangerous time of year for alcoholics and some of them do relapse. Those who return to alcohol may try to tempt other friends in recovery to join them. The build-up to Christmas can be financially difficult for many people in recovery. If they have children they will need to buy presents. There might also be the expectation that they organize a Christmas meal. This can be difficult if people have not yet managed to sort out their finances.

How to Stay Sober Over Christmas

There are things that people in recovery can do to ensure that they remain sober over Christmas:

This is a good time for the individual to put more effort into their sobriety. This could include such things as reading some recovery literature or spending time with one of the recovery communities online. There are many newly sober people with similar fears about the Christmas period. Such individuals can come together to offer each other support. This can occur online in the real world.

Journaling over the Christmas period can be highly beneficial because it keeps the individual focused on their sobriety. A gratitude journal will remind the individual of the good things in their life that have arrived because of their recovery from addiction.

The drinker has traditions that they look forward to over the holiday season. This could be something like drinking a few glasses of whiskey as they wrap presents. It is necessary for the sober individual to invent new Christmas traditions. These can become even more enjoyable than the previous self-destructive ones. Those individuals who belong to a fellowship like Alcoholics Anonymous can benefit from increasing their attendance at the meetings over the holiday period. This can also provide a nice opportunity to socialize and enjoy the Christmas build up. It is also a good idea to collect telephone numbers of other members, as these can be used if the pressures of the season become too much. If spending so much time with family is starting to feel a bit overwhelming, the individual will benefit from taking a break. Even something as simple as going for a walk can help.

If people have a sponsor they will be able to rely on this person over the holiday period. The good thing about an AA sponsor is that they can offer one-to-one advice and support. Many sponsors are willing to allow their sponsee to contact them at any time of the day or night if there is an emergency. If people do not have a sponsor then they can still get contact details for people they contact in an emergency.

Discussing concerns and fears with family members can be helpful. This will they will be more understanding. The problem is that many of the general public just assumes that once the individual quits their addiction, the problem is over. So it may be necessary to tell family members that things like Christmas can still be a challenge.

How to Handle Parties at Christmas

If people are newly sober it is best if they avoid getting into a situation where they are surrounded by people who are consuming alcohol. There is a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous, if you sit in a barber’s shop long enough you will eventually get your haircut. What this means is that if you stay around drinkers for long enough, you will likely join them. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid such occasions. There are things that people can do to reduce the risk of problems when attending these parties:

The most important factor in handling these occasions is to never take them lightly. Even those individuals who have been sober a few years can be overcome at a celebratory occasion where alcohol is served. The urge to drink can come from nowhere, and it can be intense. People need to be prepared for how they will react if such thoughts and cravings occur.

It may be helpful if people practice saying no to alcohol before they attend the party. They can do this by using role play techniques. Some individuals can be particularly persistent when trying to get others to drink alcohol so it is best to be prepared for such people. There is no need to give a long-winded explanation for not drinking. This often only invites more questions. Sometimes the best solution is to just give a firm no and leaving it at that.

Bringing along another sober friend in recovery can be of great benefit. It is vital that this other individual already has a strong sobriety. Otherwise, it would be putting their recovery at risk as well.

It can also be beneficial if the individual brings along some recovery resources with them. Carrying around something like the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book might be a bit conspicuous, but modern technology makes it possible to have such resources discretely on your person. Having an iPhone or Android smartphone enables access many recovery apps. It is even possible to read the Big Book online.

If people feel that they are at any risk of relapse, they should leave the party immediately. Those who are in AA will want to go straight to a meeting or call their sponsor. Those who do not belong to a fellowship can call a trusted friend or a therapist. The key thing is not to ignore the event.

Staying in Rehab over Christmas

Those individuals who are staying in rehab over Christmas can find that this is a time when they miss their family and friends. Many of these inpatient programs will take extra measures to ensure that clients get to enjoy some festive activities. This can include a special Christmas meal and even watching Christmas movies. Spending this holiday season in rehab can prepare the individual for the later joys of a sober Christmas.

We at in-recovery.com wish you all a Safe and Happy Christmas

 

Alcohol Alcohol……Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink.

It’s everywhere, alcohol, isn’t it? But what do you do if you want to stop drinking, or you’ve committed to sobriety, and yet booze is all around you?

Maybe your friends and family are still drinking, your partner drinks a lot, or your job involves a lot of boozy events and receptions. Does that mean that you can’t stop drinking, or that your efforts to quit drinking will be in vain, or perhaps that you will have to become a hermit for the rest of your life, just to avoid alcohol?

Well no. If you’re stuck in a situation where alcohol is inescapable, the best thing to do is to separate your own drinking habits from those of everyone else. So what if the world is filled with bars, pubs and off-licences and hoards of binge drinkers out on a Friday night? That is not your problem. Your issue is you, and your own relationship to alcohol, and that is what you should focus on. After all, you can not change other people or what the rest of the world does.

You can get sober and be happy about it, no matter what your environment is like, and no matter what anyone else around you is doing. At my age, a lot of birthdays are celebrated in bars, and social events are ‘naturally’ accompanied by alcohol. I can’t just avoid them all. In fact, I first got long-term sober while living with a partner who drank alcohol every day. I thought this was fairly unhealthy, but when it came down to it, it didn’t tempt me to drink.

That’s because I realise that ‘alcohol and me’ is my problem, not alcohol and anyone else. Other people’s relationships with drink or drugs are not my issue. My focus is always on my own recovery. You can not change anyone or anything else – you can only change yourself.

So, stay focused on your recovery, be grateful for being sober and safe, for not having hangovers, withdrawals and all the other nasty things that come with drinking alcohol. Whatever being sober is currently like for you, it’s got to be better than the pain, shame, guilt and frustration of being dependent on alcohol.

Focus on the great life you can create for yourself now that you are free of the bottle. Be grateful for the opportunity to clean up and change your life. Find new ways to enjoy yourself without alcohol. Above all, remember what the issue is. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about you and your recovery.

Very kindly written by Beth Burgess @ smyls.co.uk

 

Abstinence & Relapse

First Steps towards Recovery

When we reach out for help from a professional alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, we begin the first stage of our recovery, treatment initiation. Whether we seek help voluntarily or are forced by circumstances to enter rehab, our recovery process will begin with us initiating professional supervised treatment.

In the early hours and days of our treatment, we probably will have some ambivalent feelings about giving up our drug of choice permanently, and we may think that our substance abuse problem is not as bad as others. Beware!. Ambivalence and denial can be our worst enemies in the first days of our recovery.

First Stages of Abstinence

Once we have made a commitment to continue treatment for our substance abuse issues, we will enter the second stage of rehab known as early abstinence. This can be the toughest stage to cope with because of many factors, including continued withdrawal symptoms, physical cravings, psychological dependence and a host of triggers that can tempt us into a relapse.

It is during this early abstinence stage that our trained addiction counsellors will begin to teach us the coping skills that we need to begin to lead a sober lifestyle. The tools that we learn to use now will help us throughout our recovery.

Maintaining Abstinence

After approximately 6 months of continuous abstinence, we will move from the early abstinence stage of recovery to the third stage, maintaining abstinence. If we started with a residential treatment program, we will now move to the continuing or follow-up counselling phase of our rehabilitation program on an outpatient basis.

One focus of this stage of rehabilitation is obviously to maintain abstinence by avoiding a relapse. We will learn the warning signs and the steps that can lead up to a relapse.

Also during this stage of our recovery, we will learn to put the tools that we have learnt in early abstinence to use in other areas of our life so that we can continue to live a truly rewarding drug/ alcohol-free lifestyle. We will learn new coping skills and tools that can help us deal with difficult areas/triggers in our lives.

The maintain abstinence stage of recovery will begin at about three months into our rehabilitation program and last until we reach approximately five years clean and sober, at which time the follow-up counselling will usually terminate.

Ongoing Recovery

After approximately five years of abstinence, we will reach the fourth and final stage of our treatment and ongoing recovery. It is at this point that we take all the tools and skills that we have learnt during our rehabilitation, counselling and put them to use living a satisfying, fulfilling life.

Not only will we merely be able to remain abstinent, we will also have the skills to become a healthier person, a better spouse and parent, a productive member of society and a good neighbour, peer and citizen.

Relapse

If we have tried to quit drinking or using drugs, but had a relapse and returned to drinking or using, we are not alone. Statistics indicate that up to 90% of people

who try to quit have at least one relapse before achieving long-term sobriety.
Do not let this put you off?

In recovery circles, it’s called a slip or falling back into old behaviours. When or if it happens, it is important that we get back up, dust ourselves off and get back on the road to recovery.

It is an opportunity for us to assess how we feel about getting clean/sober, about what led to the drinking/using, and to consider again whether we have had enough. We don’t know that we can ever explain all of the whys and wherefores of drinking or using, but we can certainly identify our triggers and our vulnerable situations/places.

Avoid Relapse Triggers

For those in early recovery, there are many factors that can trigger a relapse. But relapse is predictable and preventable if we learn to recognize and avoid the triggers and begin to focus on other more healthy activities.

But even if a relapse occurs, rather than viewing it as a failure, we can turn it into a positive, by looking at it as a learning experience in the process that can lead to long-term sobriety. Recovery is much more than just staying clean and sober.

You can do it. Nothing worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily.

Letter To Addiction

Dear Addiction,

First of all I would like to ask why you had to pick on me?

I feel you were probably there when I was born! Waiting til you thought I was old enough to hide inside me, and hold me responsible for all your actions, knowing full well that I did not understand.

As I got older, with no thought or consideration, you used me to live a destructive, manipulative, fearless, uncaring, deceitful existence.

You made me feel you were my friend and that you would take care of me? You had me believe you would take away fear, give me confidence, make people like me, make me more successful, make me more popular and be there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on?
i.e. the bottom of a glass?…

As I got older you took away my dignity, respect and care for others. I became blinkered about how I really felt. You destroyed any love I might have had for anyone or anything. You made me feel it was OK to take what was not mine, you told me you would stand up for me! Yet you hid away and let me take all the blame. You made me believe you were the only thing in the world that understood me, yet every time anyone showed me any attention or love, you told me they were no good for me? You drove them away, so that you could have my undivided attention.

Every time I thought I was wrong, you made a joke of it? And made me look worthless. Anything I ever cared for you took away from me. Then! When you were really at your lowest, you started on my health. Just to get attention, you even tried to kill me? But No! You had not finished with me yet?

People that cared for me got me into treatment, just to get me away from you. I started to hate you, I stayed away from you, I started to live a healthy life without you, and I became a more caring person. I actually started to like myself. For the first time I could remember, I had feelings? A sense of responsibility, and I had respect for others.
I felt good??

So I got confused, what happened? You crawled back out and pestered me, made me feel sorry for you. I believed you when you said you would get me through hard times and uncertainty? I took you back!!

What did you do? All the work I put in, you destroyed it? But this time you really put your foot down, you didn’t take a lifetime to inflict damage to me, pain and suffering to others, put me back in hospital, you tried to kill me again, and again, and again?

Well Mr F****d up alcohol existence! I have had enough of you? I am not even going to let you down gently. I, yes I! Can see and feel the damage you have done to me. You did it again, left me with nothing? Except poor me, poor me, poor me another drink?

Well not this time! You have robbed most of my life. I don’t know how much I have left, but guess what? You’re not having it! I can’t get an injunction against you; I can’t call the police when you appear? But I can see you, lurking in the supermarkets, and the big superstar in the TV ads, using people I care about, causing misery wherever and whenever you feel like it.

I know you will never pay for, your actions, or accept any of the consequences? Truth is, I can’t handle you or your behaviour anymore.

I want some peace, I want my feelings back, and I want to be accepted for me? Not! What you do to me? I know it’s no good asking you nicely, because you have no heart! I need, Yes, I need, not want? Need! You to leave me alone. This relationship is Bad! For me and people I care about. You? You will just move on and make someone else’s life a misery. It’s a shame the whole world can’t see you for what you really are?

Kindly sent to us by a client in Rehab 2012

 

The Journey Continues

Well, it’s been four years now since we last updated. But god willing we are back on track. Close friends have been lost, and relapse struck with a vengeance. For myself, alcohol managed to get past my barriers, and caught me unaware? Two and a half years and I thought I had the better of it, how wrong I was.

I often asked the question, what made you pick up? I have asked myself the same, I have no answer, though one drink wouldn’t harm. How wrong was I? back to square one in no time at all, knowing full well that I chose to drink, nobody forced me, I had nothing or nobody to blame but myself.

Back into rehab January 2010 after 2-week detox, only lasted a week. I wasn’t ready. May 2010 saw the loss of my closest friend, not caused by alcohol alone, but was a contributory factor. I was searching for answers, but there were none. I continued to drink on & off until August this year when I finally got the strength to say no more! Life was becoming unbearable.

We all know that it’s difficult at times to stay abstinent, but it is the only answer to survive and stay alive, even when we feel like giving up. There is help out there for everybody, we just have to be strong enough to ask. There is no shame in admitting we are powerless over our demons.

Some find strength in AA/NA, this is a great place to meet and share experiences with others in the same or similar situation. “you are not alone” There are organizations and support groups that are more than willing to guide us in the right direction. I started with my doctor who was very understanding.

In-recovery.com is a site compiled to provide information about, and where to look for help and support. We are more than happy to publish any stories that may help others seeking guidance. The November newsletter will be dedicated towards the understanding of dual diagnoses. Please feel free to email us anytime to info@in-recovery.com we will respond.

Thank you for visiting.

This issue is dedicated to the memory and sad loss of
Jacqueline Nunn
1961 – 2010

Where it all started 17/05/08

Daylight? Never thought I’d see it…

I was sat in a group session whilst in a treatment centre for alcohol addiction. Looking out a window in a dream state, as usual, I found myself thinking “Why am I here?” I am in recovery! I would love to give something back… but what? I know! www.in-recovery.com! wouldn’t that be great! I have learnt so much about myself. I have learnt how to care, the only time care ever came up was “I don’t care”. I had no respect, no ambition and most of all NO hope!

Alcohol and drugs took hope away from me

I had no understanding of what was happening to me. I had an illness that I thought was unique, it was only me that had it. Who’s fault was it? Certainly not mine! Everything and everyone around me, that’s where I put the blame. I just didn’t care, and not surprisingly, neither did anyone else. It very nearly cost me my life. And at the time I didn’t really care about that either.

Enough was enough…

I said to myself whilst having a drink after 10 days in a hospital. I was sick of being sick. I needed help and accepted this for the first time in my life. Why? No idea! someone or something was watching me. I am on a journey, if I ever say to myself I’m fixed… That’s the day I will no longer be!

Where are we going?

This site will be run solely by people who have been in recovery experienced issues with any form of mood-altering addictions, or have been in some way, involved in the addiction treatment field of work.

There are NO governing body/parties.

This is a site that has been set up to promote awareness, offer direction and support for the still suffering addict, worried family members, ex-treatment centre clients who wish to add content. Also, members of the general public who feel they have something to offer are most welcome. We are addressing all forms of addiction, not just drugs, alcohol, or gambling.

Dedicated Message Board and chat will be available for people who are, have been in, or considering treatment. As well as for site visitors. You may just wish to find out what addiction and different types of treatment are all about
It’s your site! Use it!

TOTAL CONFIDENTIALITY ASSURED

We intend to work hand in hand with other organizations with the same interests and commitments.
Our mission statement is simple:

There is hope for everyone!