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Reservations and Rationalizations: Getting in the Way of My Own Recovery

When I first began my journey of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, I didn’t do it because I wanted to get sober. Sure, I agreed to go to detox, I agreed to go to rehab, I agreed to go to my first 12-step meeting, and agreed to try to live without alcohol and drugs, but it wasn’t a decision I wanted to make. It was a decision I had to make. My body was falling apart. My mental and emotional health was almost nonexistent. Everyone in my life that I cared about – my family, my friends, my employers, my romantic partners – had told me that if I didn’t get sober, they could no longer support or enable my behaviors. People told me I was going to die. Doctors told […]

January 26th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

The True Gifts of Recovery – the 12 Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous

For most people, the holiday season is a time of year filled with of joy, revelry, and togetherness with family and friends. But for those of us in recovery, the holiday season can also be a time of great stress, with lots of obstacles and stumbling blocks that can stand in the way of healthy long-term recovery.

In active addiction, my world revolved around things that I wanted but didn’t have, or things I had and wanted more of… Things that would either feed my addiction or feed my ego (which in turn would feed my addiction). I was obsessed with more. Getting more, having more, taking more, wanting more. I was suffering from the disease of more. I had an unfillable hole in me, into which I shoveled all the things I thought […]

December 20th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Myth of the Functional Alcoholic

Warning: The following article contains frank language about alcohol and drug use that some people in recovery may find triggering. The techniques described for hiding patterns of substance abuse are meant to illustrate a downward spiral addiction, and should not be considered “tips and tricks.”

If you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please seek the help of an addiction specialist, alcohol and drug counselor, case manager, medical detox center, inpatient rehab, or sober living residence. If you are experiencing withdrawals from alcohol or drugs, please seek medical attention or dial 911.

 

Alcohol and drugs as part of the culture

Ever since stories of addiction, alcoholism, and substance abuse entered the pop culture canon, there have been stories of alcoholics and addicts who are able to maintain their normal, everyday lives, all the […]

October 26th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Surfing the Big Wave of Recovery

Think of your recovery like surfing a giant wave. As long as you’re concentrating on surfing that wave, (aka working on your recovery – going to meetings, talking to your sponsor, working your steps, staying in touch with your higher power), you’re balanced on your board, experiencing joy, and surfing the ultimate wave. But then your concentration breaks. You stop focusing on the wave and start paying attention to distractions around you. Maybe you start thinking about your romantic relationship, or how it’s going at work, or how you’re going to pay that next bill that’s due, or how that person you met last night perceived you, or some dumb joke you made that no one laughed at. It doesn’t matter what the distraction is, because as long as that distraction becomes more important than that wave you’re […]

October 1st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Relapse, Recovery, and Getting Back on Track

Those of us in recovery from addiction know that, sometimes, relapses happen. Relapse can strike anyone in recovery. Anyone. From the newcomer with 30 days sober, to people who haven’t had a drink or drug in years, no one is exempt from the dangers of relapse. Of course when it comes to avoiding relapse, vigilance helps. Going to meetings on a regular basis, participating in a recovery program of any kind, having a sponsor or recovery coach, and keeping in good emotional, physical, and spiritual health are all great ways of keeping relapse at bay. But the truth is, even those of us who maintain our spiritual and emotional health to the best of our abilities sometimes relapse. In the words of my first sponsor, “hey, shit happens.”

Relapsing after a long (or short) […]

August 21st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Women in Recovery: Finding Support, Following Suggestions, and Learning to Trust

When I first started going to recovery meetings, I didn’t trust anyone. Not even myself. And even though I didn’t understand why, I was especially intimidated by women. As a woman in recovery, I kept hearing that I should trust women, stick with the women, ask other women for help, but it just didn’t feel right to me. Women scared me, I thought they would manipulate me, judge me, compete with me because I felt like that was what they had always done. Of course I know now that a lot of my insecurity about trusting women was my own unhealthy defense mechanism.

During active addiction, I surrounded myself with the opposite sex, hoping to avoid judgement and seek validation. Seeking external validation from the opposite sex isn’t healthy, and my own unhealthy mind […]

July 23rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|