21 October 2019

MY BRAIN HAD A MIND OF ITS OWN

(cartoonstock.com)

Thank You, John Brooks Recovery Center for helping me separate myself from my addiction.
***************************************************************************
Without OTHERS, my Recovery would be un-doable & un-sustainable. In no time flat, I would be replaced by a Relapse (and unknown consequences leading up to and likely including death).
With the help of OTHERS (this is a very partial list) these are some of the stops on my trip to my life of Recovery:
JBRC (twice)
AtlantiCare Hospital (countless times)
Homeless Buddies in & out of Recovery (homeless twice)
Atlantic City Detox (back-in-the-day, twice)
Lakewood Hospital (extended stay)
Atlantic City Rescue Mission (twice, once sober, once not)
A.A.
N.A.
Al-Anon...
and with a Host of OTHERS, I have remained Clean & Sober....
Let me end by saying "THANKS!" to You and All the Many OTHERS without whom I would not even be here today!!!
*****
Recovery is doable, sustainable, irreplaceable.
Share the Riches of your Recovery.
I'd like to suggest that you consider donating some of your time &/or money to a favorite charity. Help others in the Emergence of Their New & Sober Selves.
(I am a John Brooks Recovery Center volunteer and have donated $10 to Jim's Birthday Fundraiser for John Brooks Recovery Center - A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation).
Share the Wealth.
*****
Pause....
Move forward....
Give back....
Share.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

07 October 2019

The Symbolic Emergence of a New & Sober Self (at JBRC)

(drugfoundation.org.nz)

"At my second two-week Rehab at the Institute for Human Development [now John Brooks Recovery Center (JBRC)], ... high on Librium as we detoxify on alcohol and other drugs, one guy gave five or six of us a new haircut, one after the other. That was the symbolic start of the emergence of a new and sober self for me. An aboriginal ritual. 'Today you are a man. Free of alcohol and drugs. Go forth. Build a new life.' None of that was said aloud, of course, and the symbol of the haircut and the reality of the haircut were quite different things.
Am I splitting hairs?
Yes, but wisely (Har-de-har-har hair)."
*****
And 'build a new life' indeed, I did.
*****
Without OTHERS, my Recovery would be un-doable & un-sustainable. In no time flat, I would be replaced by a Relapse (and unknown consequences leading up to and likely including death).
With the help of OTHERS (this is a very partial list) these are some of the stops on my trip to my life of Recovery:
JBRC (twice)
AtlantiCare Hospital (countless times)
Homeless Buddies in & out of Recovery (homeless twice)
Atlantic City Detox (back-in-the-day, twice)
Lakewood Hospital (extended stay)
Atlantic City Rescue Mission (twice, once sober, once not)
A.A.
N.A.
Al-Anon...
and with a Host of OTHERS, I have remained Clean & Sober....
Let me end by saying "THANKS!" to You and All the Many OTHERS without whom I would not even be here today!!!
*****
Recovery is doable, sustainable, irreplaceable.
Share the Riches of your Recovery.
I'd like to suggest that you consider donating some of your time &/or money to a favorite charity. Help others in the Emergence of Their New & Sober Selves.
(I am a John Brooks Recovery Center volunteer and have donated $10 to Jim's Birthday Fundraiser for John Brooks Recovery Center - A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation).
Share the Wealth.
*****
Pause....
Move forward....
Give back....
Share.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
The quote at the beginning of this post is from my Autobiographical Fiction: ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

05 October 2019

VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD



*****
"Virtue is its own reward, addiction its own punishment." - Jim Anders, All Drinking Aside, p. 273
*****
Reward yourself by making a donation to John Brooks Recovery Center. Your Virtuous Generosity will Help the Human Need to Relieve the Punishment that Addiction is & Help Many in Their Recovery Quest.
*****
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop, as quoted in All Drinking Aside, p. 273
*****
THANK YOU!
*****
Here is a link to my Autobiographical Fiction: ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

30 September 2019

RECOVERY OPTIONS: A, B, C... H, I, J... R, S, T... +, &, +...

(moneymorning.com)

Many Roads lead to Recovery.
Whatever your faith or lack thereof:
Atheism, 
Buddhism, 
Christianity...
Hinduism, 
Islam, 
Judaism...
Religion, 
Spirituality, 
Theology.
Whether you believe in this or that or the other (or not), Recovery (at least in my experience) will take persistence, perseverance and (in my case) shared courage. 
I thought I was in it for the long haul when I first got clean & sober 23 years ago. Yet eight years & several relapses preceded my 15 years of continuous sobriety. 
*****
There are many roads that may lead one to a successful, satisfying and sustainable recovery and many questions that will crop up along the way:
Must you hit bottom first?
Is abstinence only the only answer?
Is harm-reduction hypocrisy in disguise or a spin-off of the Hippocratic Oath?
What about MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment)?
Faith-based or evidence-based Recovery?
What will best help each individual on their Road to Recovery?
*****
I seem to have few, if any answers for someone new to Recovery, but here are a few that may well be first considerations:
Where are you at now?
What do you need?
What do you want?
What are your hopes and dreams?
What is your plan? 
Let's make a plan. 
Who? What? When? Where? Why? & How?
What are your options? Are there better options? Have you considered this? Or that? Or an other?
What are your short-term plans? Long-term plans? 
What are your obstacles? How might you overcome them?
*****
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein
*****
Everything that precedes this quote by Einstein is an over-simplification. Recovery is complex, irreducibly complex. Recovery is different for every person. 
*****
Find your joy.
Explore Recovery.
Celebrate a life in Recovery.
Yours, Mine, Ours.
*****
"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." - John Andrew Holmes
*****
Without OTHERS, my Recovery would be un-doable & un-sustainable. In no time flat, I would be replaced by a Relapse (and unknown consequences leading up to and likely including death).
With the help of OTHERS (this is a very partial list) these are some of the stops on my trip to my life of Recovery:
JBRC (twice)
AtlantiCare Hospital (countless times)
Homeless Buddies in & out of Recovery (homeless twice)
Atlantic City Detox (back-in-the-day, twice)
Lakewood Hospital (extended stay)
Atlantic City Rescue Mission (twice, once sober, once not)
A.A.
N.A.
Al-Anon...
and with a Host of OTHERS, I have remained Clean & Sober....
Let me end by saying "THANKS!" to You and All the Many OTHERS without whom I would not even be here today!!!
*****
Recovery is doable, sustainable, irreplaceable.
Share the Riches of your Recovery.
I'd like to suggest that you consider donating some of your time &/or money to a favorite charity.
(I am a John Brooks Recovery Center volunteer and have donated $10 to Jim's Birthday Fundraiser for John Brooks Recovery Center - A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation).
Share the Wealth.
*****
Pause....
Move forward....
Give back....
Share.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Here is a link to my Autobiographical Fiction: ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 


27 September 2019

SURVIVOR'S GUILT / "AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES"*

(pixabay.com)

So many die.
Some few of us live.
The exact statistics are unimportant here.
I am but an example of the lucky ones.
*****
Survivor's Guilt has likely stricken each of us who are lucky enough to have survived a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Like sole survivors of a plane crash, we pick ourselves up from the debris which remains in Addiction's wake, survey the wreckage of our past and ask an audience of one, "Why me?"
*****
The words "An Embarrassment of Riches" (the title of a book unrelated to Recovery) capture some small sense of how I sometimes feel about my Recovery.
On one hand, I've been embarrassed by how little Addiction left me with (after pilfering my bank account, bringing my cash reserves to zero, time and again). 
On the other hand, I feel so overjoyed by the richness of my life in Recovery that at times it can feel more than just a little bit embarrassing.
If you count yourself as one of the lucky ones in your embarrassment of riches, share your wealth as I do. Spread the word that Recovery is doable,sustainable, irreplaceable.
Share your Embarrassment of  the Riches of Recovery.
Consider making a donation of time (I am a John Brooks Recovery Center volunteer) to your favorite charity or making a donation of money (I have donated $10 to Jim's Birthday Fundraiser for John Brooks Recovery Center A New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation).
End your Embarrassment of Riches.
Share the Wealth (Recovery is doable, sustainable, irreplaceable).
*****
Pause....
Move forward....
Give back....
Share.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Here is a link to my Autobiographical Fiction: ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

16 September 2019

"HEALING: Preparing for the Next Wound"


(lizarch.com)

"A man who suffers before it is necessary suffers more than is necessary." - Seneca

"Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere." - Anonymous
*****
Learning to live without the next drink prepared me for whatever battles I will have had to face without that drink. And I've had plenty.
My Recovery from Alcoholism prepared me for my diagnosis, treatment and eventual Recovery from Cancer. 
"HEALING: Preparing for the Next Wound" may sound a bit Ouch-y!, but life is tough and as a young kid, the only tools in my toolbox were alcohol and other drugs. I would and did get through practically everything with a drink in my hand.
Alcohol was my solution to everything, yet it solved nothing (much like worry in the opening anonymous quote). And alcohol, so much like any other addictive substance, caused me unnecessary suffering, much more, in most cases, than any pain it was attempting to offset or relieve. 
I used alcohol preemptively to kill the pain of any impending doom I may have anticipated. As a preemptive measure, alcohol failed miserably. 
Addiction is a cul-de-sac, a road with no apparent end or escape.
RECOVERY. RECOVERY. RECOVERY. 
Recovery is healing, learning to cope with all of life's issues, large and small, without dependence on a substance to deaden any possible future pains.
"HEALING: Preparing for the Next Wound" is another way of saying that Recovery taught me to live life on life's terms. 
After overcoming alcohol, cancer was a little bump in the road compared to what it may have been had I not learned to survive my Substance Use Disorder (SUD) first.
Nothing about Addiction is empowering, but Recovery from Addiction IS empowering.
RESILIENCE: Recovery taught me resilience. 
And the Next Wound?
I am Ready. I am Willing. I am Able.
ALCOHOLISM: Loving to drink. Living to drink. Dying to drink. Dying from drinking.
RECOVERY: Wanting to live. Learning to live. Loving to live. Living with love.
Addiction prepared me for nothing. Recovery has prepared me for everything.
Period.
*****
[Please NOTE: The quotes excerpted here are two of the 180 found in All Drinking Aside: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal]
On Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

14 September 2019

"I GOT MY MOMMY BACK!"


A child may not know all of the facts, theories or nuances of Addiction and Recovery. All she may know for sure is that "I Got My Mommy Back!" and her realization that one of her many nightmares and sleepless nights and crying may now be put to rest.
*****
Addiction Dissolves Human Connection.
Recovery Reunites.
Recovery proclaims "Welcome back. You have returned to the Human Race. You are the Face of Recovery."
*****
The reunification of this mother and this child grabbed me to the quick.
Addiction had separated these two as Addiction separates anyone from themselves and from the world-at-large.
*****
CELEBRATE!!!
*****
[The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that more than one in eight American children are raised by one or more parents or guardians who have a (SUD) Substance Use Disorder.]
*****
To these two (and to you, and yes, even to myself) I wish to offer my thanks for this Gentle and Strong Reminder that Change is Always Possible....
"You Are Not Alone."
Thank you for your Courage.
May your Resilience Reign.
Let Us all Continue to Connect in this Most Very Human Way.
*****
Addiction be Damned!
She got her Mommy back.
*****
(& Thanks for Giving me an Extra Helping of Hope!)

20 August 2019

"The Distinction Between a User, Abuser, and Addict...


(madinamerica.com)

"The distinction between a user, abuser and addict is irrelevant when a person is sentenced to prison because he was driving high and killed someone, or when he suffers permanent brain damage or a stroke, or when he OD's." - David Sheff, "Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy," p. 77.
*****
Sheff's quote left me speechless, lost in reflection of my own slow descent into addictive hell.
*****
Escalating forms of denial accompany the up-and-coming addict as they go down-and-out.
*****
How well I remember that "by the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it." I flowed seamlessly from user to abuser to full-blown addict.
Lickety-split.
Truth and consequences took a back seat once addiction was in the driver's seat.
As I've heard in the rooms of recovery, 'Jails, institutions and death' are addiction's usual destinations.
Even after recovery has been achieved, addiction seems patiently to lie in wait, to take up where it left off.
User, abuser, addict?
Irrelevant.
*****
"Loving to drink. Living to drink. Dying to drink. Dying from drinking. This is the progression of alcoholism. Wanting to live. Learning to live. Loving to live. Living with love. This is the progression of recovery."
Love will solve what stigma has dissolved.
*****
Quotes which follow David Sheff's are excerpted from All Drinking Aside: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
On Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 


16 August 2019

A Self Revealed (#Recovery) in a not too Trivial Moment


(niceislife.com)

1) June marked my 15th year of continuous Recovery from what I'm told should properly be called a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). I'll just say here that I no longer drink alcohol.
2) July marked one year since my last chemo and radiation treatments for cancer and I am now cancer-free and
3) Wednesday marked the date of my port removal (A port is a surgically implanted device through which chemo is administered to cancer patients).
I noted on three different occasions in less than two hours on this day, also, in both pre-op & post-op, that a doctor, a nurse and another staff member at Cooper Hospital all had used the word 'celebration' in their small talk with me regarding my port removal.
I diminished this event's importance by framing it as no big deal, "another day in paradise," or some other flippant remark, fully thought yet not said aloud. No big deal. A day like every other day.
A diminished reality, not wishing to pay too much attention to it, I would not celebrate my port removal with champagne, as had been suggested. I do not drink and so trivialized this event as a sort of defense mechanism protecting me from feeling the reality of a day worth fully feeling, a benchmark worthy of celebration.
*****
Let it in. Let it out. Sometimes the very expression of breath escapes me.
Trivializing moments, whether important or unimportant.
Let it in. Let it out. Sometimes the very expression of breath escapes me.
There.
I did it again.... Another breath transpired and ignored. A day, like any and every other, worthy of celebration, and I, too often oblivious to its wonder. Any day, every day, fully worthy of my attention. I am worthy.
Let it in & let it out.
Do not let each breath escape you.
*****
Find the inexpressible in each moment.
I'm still learning to not suppress the sublime that each moment is, worthy of my full attention.
Sublime.
Each moment is a port to the sublime (not the port through which the chemo was administered, the port that is each moment, portal to the sublime).
I'm glad you took the time to celebrate with me, this string of moments.
*****
Let it in. Let it out.
Don't let the very expression of your breath escape you.
*****
Recovery is sublime.
It's time to celebrate.
Authenticate each moment in time.
It's time to celebrate sublime.

30 July 2019

Book Review of "Unbreakable Mind: Channeling Your Survival Instincts after Catastrophic Injury"


by Jim Anders

A Book For Everyone Recovering from Anything (5***** Stars)

Steven Quigley's  spinal cord injury was his Lemon. "Unbreakable Mind: Channeling Your Survival Instincts after Catastrophic Injury" is his Lemonade.
The 18 Chapters of "Unbreakable Mind" contain many seeds of wisdom (Lemonade pun intended), far too many to include in this short 5***** Star Reader Review, but here are a few I found particularly Awesome:
1. "... quietly, below the surface, each of us has a wound we need to heal." (Chapter 12)
2. "It is only twelve inches from the mind to the heart, but so few manage the journey." (Chapter 1)
3. "Doctors and hospitals do not heal you- you heal yourself!" (Chapter 3)
4. "... masking pain can be deadly, it only hides the underlying problem and can lead to an escalation in the use of painkillers or creating a dependency." (Chapter 9) I masked my pain with alcohol. Let "Unbreakable Mind" serve as a tool of introspection so that you may become Unbreakable, too.
5. "Your team is everything- so built it wisely and strongly." (Chapter 10) This book is powerful. Reading it will put Steven Quigley on YOUR Team.
6. "The physical fight is only the first of many battles in your recovery and some will be broken by it before they begin their journey to a new life." (Chapter 17) To paraphrase Steven Quigley, the biggest fight exists in your mind.
From deep within yourself, through connection with others, you will "find a way to help other people." (Chapter 18) "Unbreakable Mind" is engrossing, thought-provoking, inspirational. Dive deep, connect, emerge more fully whole. Pass it on. 5 Stars.

Here's the link to "Unbreakable Mind" https://www.amazon.com/Unbreakable-Mind-Channeling-Instincts-Catastrophic/dp/0692129901/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=%22Unbreakable+Mind%3A+Channeling+Your+Survival+Instincts+after+Catastrophic+Injury%22&qid=1564506413&s=gateway&sr=8-1