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 


28 September 2019

I WAS A S.P.U.D. (Special Person, Under-Drugged)!!!

(cartoonstock.com)

I know....
I'm in Recovery from a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
15 years + of continuous sobriety, to be more exact.
But with all this Recovery under my belt, I allow myself to make ridiculous statements now & then.
Such as....
"I've got a Hangover... my belly's hanging over my belt."
or....
"I WAS A S.P.U.D. (Special Person, Under-Drugged)"
because
"Ego is not my Amigo."
.... there I go again....
But let me be serious for a moment....
*****
I got sober at John Brooks Recovery Center (twice). This was back-in-the-day when it was known as I.H.D. (Institute for Human Development).
Since then, I've written a book, become a Recovery Coach and a Volunteer at John Brooks (what goes around sometimes comes around). All of which is to say that I lead a rich, full and happy life in Recovery.
But enough about me.
*****
"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):
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!!!
*****
I am NOT a S.P.U.D.!!!
This RECOVERY's for YOU!!!
*****
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."
*****



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!)