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Think About This

You want to give up drinking and you are having a hard time.  Alcoholism is a disease and one always has to fight hard to lick a disease. Do you think that people who have cancer and are on Chemo have it easy? Who wants to feel nauseous? Lose hair? You get the picture.

Let’s face some facts here.

  • If you are having a hard time admitting to yourself that you need to give up drinking the very circumstance that you are reading this material means that your are thinking about it. According to Prochaska et al (1992) one model suggests five stages an alcoholic and/or multi –substance abuser goes through. The first is  a precontemplation which consists of “do I really have a problem and if, is it really serious?” The next stage is contemplative where the patient thinks, “Yes, there does seem to be problem but am I going to do something about it? I am not ready to make a commitment to change even though I know there is a problem.” The third stage is called preparation. The alcoholic cuts down on the drinking and looks for help from a substance abuse facility. The final two stages, action and maintenance are the goals the patient needs to reach. Here the patient goes into treatment, gives up drinking and educates herself on how to avoid relapses.

This bit of information was taken from my book, The Drinking Woman Revisited.  (when reprinting I have to give credit).

Let me say something more here: many women thinking about giving up drinking feel sometimes shy about joining a group. Don’t. Trust me nothing shocks the women in Alcoholics Anonymous – yes, there are women only AA groups. You also may consider joining Women For Sobriety Group. Go for it. Be good to yourself. Even if you are only thinking about giving up drinking join.

 

Happy and Healthy New Year Wishes

Time for new year resolutions? Remember, a resolution without a plan is only a wish. Is your wish I will drink less or I will give up drinking? Those are very doable but tough to do. Sit down and think how you can manage this. Cold turkey? Alone? With a group such as  Alcoholics Anonymous? Worried about not succeeding? Trust everyone in such a group as AA has had the same worry. Be patient with yourself. Have you ever visited Women for Sobriety?  All these groups are on line. It is all anonymous. No one will see your face or know you. Listen to their stories. Eventually you may want to tell your stories. The great thing about these groups is that the members help each other. Short of money? Need a job? Worried about your children? Did your drinking contribute to your problems? Share and listen. Be good to yourself.

The Holidays Are Coming

Times are tough. Many people have serious money issues. Those suffering with addiction unfortunately use their disease as a cushion. Children are confused and feeling hurt. This is the time to reach out for help. Make a list of the resources near you. Counselors? Salvation Army? Social Services? Your religious center? Medical Center?  Alcoholics Anonymous? Toll free Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (highlighted because they know all the resources – financial help, medical resources, abuse help -)  phone 1877-726-4727.

A big ALSO here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MApm61EEhPE click on the Dr. Carl Clark Invites You To Take The Science of Well Being Course

Take this course. It may change your life.

 

 

 

Take a look. Sites you will like.

The pandemic is tough. Reach out to people. Here is a list:

For teenagers: https://youngpeopleinrecovery.org/join-a-chapter/

For the elderly: AARP – lots of help available

Fight abuse. Don’t put up with it: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

Need info about gay, lesbian issues? GLAAD

Job issues: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Job Accommodation Network

Law resources: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972

Worried about your mental health, your drinking? Compassionate private help is available: National Council for Behavioral Health 

 

 

Want To Know What Your Teenagers Are Thinking?

This coming Sunday, June 14th, 3PM Pacific Time a teenager will ask questions of me and how I came to write the book, For Teenagers Living With A Parent Who Abuses Alcohol/Drugs. You can get the radio station on your computer by going to http://www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com.  

The questions will as well deal with what worries them about living with a parent who abuses alcohol/drugs.  The difficulties. The pain. Getting help. Join us. It obviously will be private and we welcome you.

Feeling Down? Try This —

We all have days where nothing seems to go right. At the moment some of us have money issues, others who are bedeviled by addiction are trying to cope, to find a way to health. The list goes on and on. Visit and try this:

https://www.healthline.com/health/emotion-focused-coping

It may lead to solutions of which you never thought.

 

 

Corona virus – reach out to others

With our internet connections there is no reason to feel isolated. Do reach out to this group. https://www.myusara.com/events/                                 I hear their coffee gatherings are great.

Any of you like to write? You may want to visit this web site and see if it fits your bill. https://app.etapestry.com/cart/SteamboatSpringsArtsCouncil/default/item.php?ref=810.0.504066079

Stay strong.

Some Good Advice During These Challenging Times

Sober Quarantine Is Totally Possible
April 15, 2020 in Author News, Blog

By Dana Bowman, author of How to be Perfect Like Me

Sober people might have a head start on wellness during stay-at-home orders.

The COVID-19 virus has taken our reality and turned it on its head. We are isolated. We are afraid. And for those of us in recovery, we might be wondering if we can handle all of this and stay sober.

Social media is a culprit and here’s why: It’s currently one of our main outlets at this time for connection, and at times like these, posting images of emptied beer bottles on the deck while the kids run rampant in the background is sort of expected, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink in times like this?

Me. That’s who.

As a sober mom who found recovery while parenting two small children, I understand pressure and isolation. In fact, much of this quarantine reminds me of just that: my early days in recovery, with two babies under two years old. We didn’t get out much. I ate too much chocolate and cried sometimes. I watched too much reality television and often felt anxious and alone, all very much in line with how I’m feeling now, some six years later.

We are on the battle lines with the coronavirus, and it’s strange and scary. The entire world is traversing through the five stages of grief, and for someone who is battling addiction, this grief is compounded by a real fear of stress-induced relapse.

But actually? The recovery tools so familiar to those who are sober have prepared us for these difficult days. And with this knowledge, we can be a great help to others. Here’s how:

1. We have experience with withdrawal. And we lived to tell the tale.

Scarcity and change are the ingredients of withdrawal. Those in recovery have looked withdrawal straight in the eye and carried through. If we could do it then, with a substance that we were more than likely physically addicted to, we can do it now with isolation and withholding from things we think we so badly need. Toilet paper, anyone?

2. We are adept at simplification.

When I got sober, my days were reduced to what really mattered: Just DON’T drink today. The narrowing of our focus and our strength was great training for these days, when some days the best we can do is to have fed the kids, kept them from killing each other, and headed to bed before eleven. It’s a simple existence right now, and we can stay calm and adapt because . . .

3. We know how to reach out. For real.

For me, recovery meant finally finding real connection. No longer did I have to wear a mask of “I’m fine! I’m totally fine!” but I could open up and share with others (starting with my sober group) about my struggles, my deepest fears, my needs. This taught me how to allow for vulnerability in my life, in all of my relationships. It also taught me how to set boundaries and let go of relationships that were toxic, which is essential for my own sanity. Today, when I’m feeling terrible and anxious and sad, I know the importance of reaching out to a trusted friend. The best part? I have those friends now all thanks to my sobriety.

4. We know what to do when we are hurting.

The key to getting sober was to get outside of myself. In the throes of early sobriety, I often found myself, hands clenched, praying through gritted teeth, “OK, God, how can I be of service?” And the opportunity would arise, and my mind would settle. Service is a serious medication. And it is seriously needed right now.

5. We know exactly what to work on, and what to leave alone.

A lot of time could be spent right now on social media, on spinning out, on drama, on worry, on stocking up, on making endless lists, on overwhelm. My sober toolbox taught me to do the next right thing. Recovery gives me a daily wellness script, and it applies to my days all the more now.

6. We have a legitimately awesome safe harbor.

There will be really hard days ahead. There is no control over all of it, but I am forever grateful that I was given the gift of group recovery. If there ever was a time to forego our dislike of online anything, it’s now. Get thee to a meeting. Stat. There are hundreds of options, and if that doesn’t suit your fancy then . . .

7. We have the courage to change the things we can.

Don’t want to find an online group? Create your own sober group for that needed sober check-in.

Recovery gave me the gift of acceptance. EVERYTHING in my life is filed under the heading of “Acceptance is Key.” Because of this, I am able to do quarantine, with the worry, with the pain and grieving, with the stress, with the kids all over the house, with the money issues, with the headlines, with all of it.

One day at a time.

Having Difficulties With Isolation?

Finding the isolation the Corona virus has placed us in difficult? You are not alone.  Reach out. Talk it over with someone who understands.   The National Alliance on Mental Illness has good suggestions. Telephone Help Line: 1-800-950-6264 or info@nami.org