Tagged addiction

Social Media CON-nections

So okay. First I want to explain my choice of title for this post. Social media connections have many positive effects on people and individuals. What bothers me is it seems a little – like chocolate (for chocolate lovers). So if you love chocolate, you’d at least want to taste it, right? It would be weird not to. Then suddenly, there is more and more chocolate, as far as the eye can see. And it’s still tasty, sure, but there’s starting to be kind of a chalky after-taste, like the chocolate “mouse” in Rosemary’s Baby. If you ever saw that…

How Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Happy New Year, one and all. I hope you are doing well so far as we approach the half-way mark of January. Did you make any resolutions/promises to yourself? How’s it going? Were they realistic, or did you shoot for the moon? Have you kept them? If not, don’t lose heart. You might need to lower your expectations. For many of us, the word “lower” is negative, and sounds an awful lot like “loser.” Is that how you feel? Well, I haven’t managed to keep my promises to myself, totally, yet. Sometimes I might hit one or two. But I figured out…

B is for Blaming

My sister’s three children, who are grown adults now — the eldest is forty, and the younger two are in their late thirties — like to blame her for the way their lives are now, drawing on countless stories of a “horrific” childhood raised by a sometimes absent practicing alcoholic. This is always heartbreaking for Carol but she has learned to say “Goodbye, I’m hanging up now,” when it gets redundant and too difficult.  I’m sure their childhoods were indeed difficult, but at what point does one say, “What’s happening in my life now is up to me. These are my choices. No one…

Benzodiazepines

Once upon a time, a discovery was begun by a man named Leo Sternbach and finished by a co-worker named Earl Reeder. What he had was a compound which showed very strong sedative, anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant effects. They named it Librium and they introduced it to the world at large in 1960. A few years later, Valium came into being, the one referred to as “Mother’s Little Helper” by the Stones. It is said that “benzos” are most effective if used in the short term, that is for about a month to six weeks. HA. Full disclosure: I take a benzo, and…

Why I Don’t Like Al-Anon Meetings

Okay. This post might make a whole lot of people angry. Let me just start by saying I love Al-Anon itself. It literally saved my life and my relationship with my sister. So let’s just clear that up, while you are looking at the silly meme on the left. It’s not about Al-Anon as a whole. Whew. There. This is why I don’t like the meetings anymore: 1. People complain about the same old things. I’ve been to a lot of meetings, and okay. I get that some things are harder to let go than others. But it’s really tiring and sad to hear the same person…

The Problem and The Answer

I’m not often speechless. It’s not usually hard for me to know what to say, but writing in this blog has been so hard for me lately, and that’s not like me. It’s like I feel like I’m supposed to have the “answers,” as if 1) there are certain answers one has to follow as a member of Al-Anon and 2) I know them. Let’s get a couple things squared away. The only “answers” I really know in Al-Anon are told to me (either through the other members, the big book of Al-Anon, my sponsor, whatever) by my higher power.…

Feelings Aren’t Facts: Make it a Mantra!

Maybe in your past you grew up in a chaotic or even abusive alcoholic family. Or maybe your family was dysfunctional in another way. No matter what, you learned to rely on your feelings as a barometer for what to do. If you felt scared, you ran and hid. If confronted by unwarranted anger, you might have also run and hid, or you might have fought back. We are all different. Some of us were little scrappers, which got us into further trouble. 😉 Some of us cried when we were sad, some simply withdrew. Some of us were shy,…

Accepting Change

Wednesday was a difficult day for me, and I thought I had lost all the ground I had previously gained in Al-Anon and then some. That was the day we picked up my sister from jail, and subsequently spent 11 hours in the car driving her around, back and forth from her probation officer to different places, only to have doors slammed in our faces and told to go back here or there . . . I admit, I lost my cool a time or two. I don’t do freeway driving well, and I had to listen to Stella (my…

The Curious Paradox

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. (Carl Rogers). At this morning’s Al-Anon meeting, the topic of the table was about being powerless. I knew all about the powerlessness over the alcoholic, over other people, places, and things. This I had come face-to-face with many times. But then someone at the table mentioned being powerless over her own self, and it felt like all the air been sucked right out of me. That’s it! That’s what I’ve been feeling over the last couple of weeks. Powerless over myself. But how can that be?…

Hands . . . Off

The tenth step of Al-Anon says: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” It’s one of those steps I take on a daily basis, or try to, before I hit the sheets at night, during my prayer time. I ask God to point out to me any areas where I might need to make amends. I also acknowledge any successes or achievements throughout the day, and am grateful for those. It’s a time for me to make any adjustments in my life. The adjustments aren’t always easy, and sometimes take much longer than the recognition…

Asking For Help With H.A.L.T.

After being in Al-Anon a while,  I learned about the acronym H.A.L.T., which teaches us never to get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  I’ve been rolling along all right, I guess, with the hungry and tired part . . . you know, eating enough (while not correctly) and sleeping enough. But I’ve been slipping in the anger department lately. And I’m devastatingly lonely. There, I said it. I don’t have any real/life friends other than my sponsor, and– Oh God, that sounds absolutely pathetic. But it’s really not. Because for the most part I enjoy my own company and have been perfectly…

Accepting the things we cannot change

If I want people to accept me where I’m at, in all my mistakes and imperfections, then I’ve got to be willing to do the same for them. The hardest lesson, the hardest thing I have had to accept is that we are who we are, we do what we do. People do not generally change. Past behavior is a strong predictor of future behavior. Addicts do what they do because they are hung up in their diseases, not because they are bad people. When something recently happened with my nephew, an addict, I got all surprised – like DUH…